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Jean Trinh is the bartender at Alquímico in Cartagena de Indias. Photo: 50 Best Web
Jean Trinh is a bartender at Alquímico in Cartagena. Photo: 50 Best Web

One of the best bartenders in the world lives in Colombia

France's Jean Trinh, based in Cartagena, won the Altos Bartenders' award from The World's 50 Best Bars 2022.

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Cartagena-based, French bartender Jean Trinh spoke to 50 Best after receiving the Altos Bartenders' award as one of the best bartenders in the world. In his interview with the publication, Trinh restated his mission to stand up for Colombia, its products and help everyone who comes to his bar in the historic center of the Caribbean city.

"When I found out that I had been named bartender of Top Bartenders for 2022, I was very happy. It was a great recognition of the industry and all the work we do. As a high-energy bar, we are very proud of the complete hospitality package we offer and have spent years working on. This award on behalf of my team," the bartender said.

During the award presentation, 50 Best mentioned that "at first glance, Alquimico is a high-energy bar that offers a high volume of drinks to hundreds of customers every day. However, if you scratch a little underneath the facade, you find an extraordinary space with a profoundly positive ideology for people," referring to the environment created by the staff. 

Thanks to Trinh's vision, every cocktail served inside the venue is uniquely designed and crafted with the same level of care and respect found in the world's most exclusive bars. 

Trinh believes that the philosophy he has implemented at his bar and in Cartagena is just the beginning of a renaissance for South America, especially in the bartending world.

"Before we came to Colombia, the cocktail scene was very new," he said. "Everyone wanted the cocktails that were being had in the U.S. and Europe, with very high prices."

By using local products, Trinh has made the price point accessible to a much wider audience at his bar. 

"Speaking of South America, and I think it's the same in other areas of the world, the prices of products have only gone up. If you don't start working locally, it's hard to understand how you can keep buying products from the other side of the world," Trinh mentioned.

Through small changes, Trinh believes that the bartending community can change the world. 

"Let's start by asking ourselves 'how can I do better? And then ask ourselves 'how can I improve the quality of life for my people?'" he asked. "These are small changes, but bartending is such a big industry. When we're together, it can add up to something huge."

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