Public House News


Diageo Reserve recently announced it’s 2017 World Class finalists when the nation’s top 50 bartenders were whittled down to 11 as judges struggled to choose only 10 due to the level of talent at this year’s GB semi-finals.

Fifty bartenders were put through their paces yesterday at Diageo’s Customer Collaboration Centre in Park Royal, to battle it out for a place in the GB World Class final which will be held in June. Aimed to test their bartending technique, creativity, presentation, hosting skills, and brand and industry knowledge, each bartender endured three high pressure challenges, themed around this year’s Diageo Reserve Future Trends report.

The first challenge, The Road to Jalisco, saw the competitors transport themselves to Jalisco, the home of Don Julio Tequila, and was designed to fully immerse them in the culture of this year’s final host country, Mexico. Challenge two, A bartender’s guide to Feng Shui, tested the bartenders’ speed and efficiency skills. Each contestant drew two drinks at random from a hat and were tasked with making both serves in just five minutes using brands from Diageo’s World Class portfolio including, Ciroc, Ketel One Vodka, Ron Zacapa 23, Tanqueray No. TEN, Talisker Skye, Johnnie Walker Gold Reserve, Copper Dog, Don Julio Blanco and Bulleit Rye. The final challenge, Battle of the Grainiacs, tested contestants’ vodka knowledge, asking them to recall the key elements and production methods of the modern liquid and those specifically used in Ketel One Vodka.

After an intense day, the judging panel, including World Class Manager, Dan Dove; Diageo’s Reserve Brand Ambassador, Ali Reynolds; World of Zing Founder, Pritesh Moody; World Class UK Winner 2016, Aidan Bowie; and Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassadors, David Beatty, Steve Martin, David Sinclair, Ervin Trykowski, Tim Homewood and Joe Tivey, and the semi-finalists made their way to Quaglino’s in London’s Soho. Here, Colin Dunn announced the 11 bartenders whose skills, creativity and

14 MAY 2017

overall understanding of the industry stood out to the judges, making them this year’s World Class GB finalists. Congratulations to:

1. Aiden Page | The Bar With No Name | London

2. Alf Del Portillo | The Natural Philosopher | London

3. Constanca Cordeiro | Peg and Patriot | London

4. James Bowker | The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel & Cocktail Lounge | Birmingham

5. Jamie Jones | The Social Company | London

6. Jerome Allaguillemette | Sexy Fish | London

7. Jon Hughes | Bramble | Edinburgh 8. Liam Broom | Callooh Callay | London 9. Martin Hudak | American Bar at The Savoy Hotel | London

10. Sean Fennelly | Hawksmoor Spitalfields | London

11. Thomas Matthews | The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel & Cocktail Lounge | Birmingham

Dan Dove, Head of World Class UK commented: “The skill, precision and incredible talent of our competitors increases every year. The pushing of boundaries and knowledge these bartender’s exhibit never fails to surprise me and the level this year is higher than ever. Each and every bartender should be incredibly proud to have made it to the semi-finals and to have been chosen for the final means that they are in the top 11

most talented bartenders in Great Britain in 2017. I’m sure I speak for all the judges when I say that we can’t wait to see what they bring to the final in June.”

Aidan Bowie, Diageo Reserve World Class UK Winner 2016 commented: “I never imagined I’d be crowned World Class GB Bartender of the Year last year, so to be part of this year’s World Class competition judging panel is so surreal. I know the level of pressure these bartenders are put through during the competition and it’s been an honour to be able to offer advice and constructive feedback when judging.”

The 2017 Diageo Reserve World Class GB Bartender of the Year will receive a number of luxury prizes including:

· The coveted title of Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2017 · Access to the European World Class boot camp following the GB final · Business class flights to Mexico for the global final

· Trip to Don Julio

· Trip to Schiedam to the Ketel One Vodka distillery

· Bespoke whisky trip to Scotland · £500 voucher for a personalised Cocktail Kingdom kit

· Caracalla World Class bespoke bartender hand luggage – worth over £1,000

· Professional signature serve and profile photoshoot with a top industry photographer

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