made in gsa winner 2017

Switzerland Takes The Made in GSA Crown

And the Made in GSA winner 2017 is: Chloé Merz! She has been named winner of Made in GSA 2017. The fifth edition of the Made in GSA final kicked off in Vienna on Monday, and the results, as always, were illuminating. Here are all the highlights from the German speaking area’s major cocktail competition.

From more than 180 entries, just 11 bartenders made it to the final on the Atmosphere Rooftop Bar at Vienna’s elegant Ritz-Carlton Hotel. But only one could take out the top spot and be the Made in GSA winner 2017, and this year it was Chloé Merz from Basel with her cocktail “The Traveling Tombstone.”

A clever combination of Ziegler Aureum Grave Digger Edition The Bruce Whiskey, Belsazar Vermouth Rosé, Faude Fine Flavors Calabrian Bergamotte, Earl Grey tea leaves and sugar syrup made Merz the first woman to win the main category at Made in GSA. She’s now looking forward to a week in New York City, with plenty of opportunity to experience its historic bar scene. Then, in October, the Made in GSA 2017 winner Merz will feature in the Made in GSA Talk at Bar Convent Berlin.

Made in GSA Winner 2017: Basel and Bamberg steal the show

Taking out second place was Christoph Stamm, a fellow Basel bartender, with his cherry fruit brandy-based drink, “Hanami.” The drink also netted Stamm a win in this year’s special category: Fruit Brandy & Fruit Schnaps. He’ll be spending a week in Berlin this October for the MIXOLOGY BAR AWARDS and, of course, Bar Convent Berlin.

Between Stamm and Merz, Basel’s domination of the competition seemed complete, but Bamberg had a few tricks up its sleeve. With strong showings at Made in GSA every year, this small German city has built a reputation for a vibrant cocktail culture, and 2016 saw Bamberg’s Matthias Inglemann win the main category.

This year, Joris Raible took third place for Bamberg, scoring a €500 voucher from Cocktailian, and Nicole Espinoza’s literary-inspired highball “Marcel Prost” earned her (and Bamberg) a victory in the Fillers, Sodas & Lemonades category. Once again, bartending legend and Made in GSA jury member Charles Schumann praised the quality and inventiveness of the drinks.

The idea behind Made in GSA

Since the very first Made in GSA competition in 2013, the aim of the event has been to showcase the unique drinks and flavours produced in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria. From Korn and Kümmel to Aquavit and Fruit Brandy, the competition shines a spotlight on underrated cocktail ingredients.

As well as encouraging bartenders to appreciate local spirits, Made in GSA helps those bartenders get more recognition. The anonymisation of all entries to the competition means new bartenders compete on an equal footing with their more experienced peers.

This year’s winners are no doubt looking towards the future with excitement. After all, Ingelmann’s victory last year helped him make the leap from Bamberg to London, where he’s now working with Tony Conigliaro at Untitled. It’s impossible to say where this year’s successful bartenders will be in 2018, but their future – and the future of Made in GSA – looks very bright indeed.


Foto: Photo via Constantin Falk.