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Edinburgh bartender crowned UK winner of Global Zero Waste cocktail challenge.

Sean Cavanagh from Edinburgh’s legendary Panda & Sons cocktail bar crowned the UK’s Most Sustainable Bartender

Flor de Cana

In a nail-biting final, Edinburgh-based mixologist Sean Cavanagh shook off fierce competition to be crowned the winner of the Flor de Caña Sustainable Cocktail Challenge.


The zero-waste initiative saw Sean go head-to-head with bartenders from across the country to create the best eco-friendly cocktail. Competitors were challenged to pair carbon neutral Flor de Caña rum with seasonal, local, or Fair trade ingredients or repurposed leftovers. Each used their creativity and expertise to craft a drink that will also help to eliminate 15 tonnes of food waste.


Finalists’ concoctions were judged by a panel of industry veterans on criteria including history and inspiration, their use of sustainable ingredients and techniques, level of creativity, flavour, and appearance.

Reclaimed Orchard

Sean impressed the judges with his ‘Reclaimed Orchard’ cocktail, inspired by his younger self’s love of rum and apple juice. The drink combined Flor de Caña rum with repurposed Flor 4 Falernum, freeze-concentrated apple cordial and apple water, garnished with freeze-dried puffed apple and presented on an edible apple leather coaster.

Lucy McQueen, UK Brand Manager for Flor de Caña, said:

“Sean blew us away with his creativity and enthusiasm. We loved how he managed to use the whole apple in different ways, incorporating innovative techniques to pull different flavours out of a single ingredient. He gave us a masterclass in sustainable bartending, and we can’t wait to see how he gets on at the European final later this year.
“We hope his journey will continue to inspire others to adopt meaningful sustainable practices and raise awareness of the importance of reducing food waste – one sustainable cocktail at a time!”

As well as a sustainably made trophy, Sean will also take home a personalised bottle of Flor de Caña 25 Year Old Rum and a cash prize. He will go on to compete in the European regional final in Berlin in October for a chance to reach the global final in Nicaragua in 2023. His winning ‘Reclaimed Orchard’ cocktail will also be available for guests to try at Panda & Sons in Edinburgh.


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