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HAVANA,July  24  Historic change between the U.S. and Cuba trickled down to the streets of Havana Thursday as a bartending competition in Havana featured a South Florida visitor.

Bartenders from around the globe showcased their skills at the King of the Daiquiri contest, which took place at El Bar Floridita. For the first time, the event included barkeeps from the U.S.

Among the participants was Miami resident John Christian Lermayer, and he said he felt very welcome at the competition. “All I can do is go back to America and tell other American bartenders how warm and receptive that the Cuban bartenders are to us,” he said.

Lermayer said he almost felt like a pioneer representing the continental U.S. in Havana. “The doors are going to open for more and more Americans. I can tell you that the first group of Americans that are going to come here are bartenders,” he said.

The competition, however, proving to be too much for Lermayer, as a Cuban barkeep was crowned King of the Daiquiri.

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