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A special treat for American Express card members this October

American Express has announced that it will launch its first-ever exclusive pop-up experience in South Africa, organised by Nedbank and Zioux, in collaboration with The World’s 50 Best Bars.

From 20 to 22 October 2022, American Express Card Members will enjoy delights from two bartenders whose establishments have ranked on The World’s 50 Best Bars list: Maura Milia, Manager of London’s Connaught Bar (ranked no 8) and Tato Giovannoni from Argentinian bar Florería Atlántico (ranked no 18). 

This experience includes the following:

  • Exclusive access to the American Express Experiences, The World’s 50 Best Bars pop-up evening at Zioux in Sandton, Johannesburg.
  • A five-course set menu, including three complimentary cocktails valued at R1 000.
  • A discount of 50% on drinks curated by these two bartenders.

The event is the latest in a series of exclusive experiences for American Express Card Members, including Card Members from licensed issuers that are part of the American Express network in select cities around the world.

Through these collaborations with leading banks, the benefits, services, and experiences that American Express offers are extended to more people globally. American Express has already hosted similar exclusive events for Card Members in the United States, Japan, Israel, Turkey, Argentina and Uruguay.

Duygu Yenidogan-Schmidt, Vice President, Global Head of Product and Marketing for American Express Network Services, says that American Express is dedicated to offering access to extraordinary Card Member events across the world – from beachside lounges to immersive dining experiences. ‘We’re delighted to bring this incredible event to South Africa for the first time. In collaboration with Nedbank and the talents of Tato Giovannoni and Maura Milia, we will give our Card Members an unforgettable experience’.

‘American Express understands our clients’ desire for the best in life, including access to curated, private events, and that’s what we will be offering them on 20, 21 and 22 October 2022 at Zioux in Sandton,’ says Buli Ndlovu, Executive Head for Retail and Business Banking Marketing at Nedbank.

Through this event, local American Express Card Members will have an opportunity to experience the international cocktail scene on home ground’.

Card Members can buy tickets to the experience by contacting Zioux via or by calling Zioux directly on +27 10 594 5455. 

The number of seats for each evening is limited, so booking is essential.

To learn more about the American Express experience visit,

American Express in Africa 

American Express products have been in Africa for 60 years and its presence in the region continues to expand. American Express consumer Cards and corporate Cards are issued in more than 40 countries across the region through its joint venture American Express Middle East (AEME), collaboration with local banks, and direct issuance of Global Dollar Cards.Through its bank partners and AEME, American Express is committed to expanding the number of places where local Cardmembers, international travellers, and local and international businesses can use their American Express Cards for daily spending, business, or tourism in the region.

Nedbank is the authorized issuer of American Express Cards in South Africa. Learn more at

Maura Milia

Bar Manager at The Connaught Bar, London

Maura Milia is the bar manager of The World’s Best Bar for 2021, London’s Connaught Bar. Having joined the team in 2014, Maura has worked her way her from a waitress position to assistant bar manager in 2019 and bar manager in 2022.

For Maura, creating experiences for guests is not only about top-quality creations being served but also about the way it served. Meticulous attention to detail, storytelling and impeccable synergy within the team, make the guest experience second to none at The Connaught Bar.

Leading and mentoring a team of 16, looking after their personal and professional development, and being the key connection between bar and floor teams as well as bar and broader hotel management, Maura’s role is key to the smoothest and highest-standard experience.

During this journey marked by determination and a shared commitment to extraordinary hospitality, Maura achieved the important recognition of Front of House Star of the Year’at the CLASS Bar Awards in 2018 and ‘Bar Manager of the Year’ at the CLASS Bar Awards in 2022. Maura’s accolades are testament to her contribution to the progress of the team and the venue and recognises women’s talent in hospitality.

During the pandemic, Maura used her position within the hotel and industry to support the local and global community. From volunteering to prepare meals for NHS workers to collaborating with spirits brands to raise money for the industry and those in need, her commitment was proactive.

The bar team continued to be nurtured throughout lockdowns via regular teambuilding sessions hosted online to remain motivated and come up with new, creative ways to deliver their service standards.

Tato Giovannoni

How did a boy who dreamt of making movies become one of the best bartenders in the world? Some speak of talent, others of passion.

One day, he said goodbye to the sea and woods of Pinamar and went away in search of his future. He studied Graphic Design and Art Direction at Escuelita de creativos, and Filmmaking at the New York Film Academy.

Back in Argentina, he started working as a bartender inGran Bar Danzón, Sucre and Faena Hotel. His talent and creativity did not go unnoticed. He was an ambassador for many brands of distillates and designed the drinks menu forMalbec House (USA), the Gaucho restaurants and the Galante bar (UK), and La teatrería(Mexico).

In 2013, he foundedFlorería Atlántico, voted as one of the world’s 50 best bars.  A few months later, Tato created the Príncipe de los Apóstoles gin, made with yerba mate, pink grapefruit, eucalyptus, peppermint, and juniper. The Pulpo Blanco tonic water and ginger ale followed, as well as the Giovannoni vermouth and the Bosquísima and Marítima beers.

In September 2015, Tato opened Brasero Atlántico, a restaurant to rediscover typical Argentine flavours. A year later, he left his mark in Chori, an innovative street-food concept mixing different varieties of choripán (chorizo sandwich) and drinks made with Príncipe de los Apóstoles gin.

In 2016, the book Coctelería argentina: El mar de Tato (Argentine Cocktail Bartending: Tato’s Sea) was published, sharing the story of who Tato is and how he makes his creations.

Inspiration and work. Decision and experience. Research and testing. Each dream turned into a new adventure. And the sea, always the sea. That is Tato Giovannoni.

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