Australia, Czech Republic, Great Britain, Greece, Israel and Japan bartenders go through to final
September 3, Cape Town – After a third and final day of challenges, the top six finalists of the World Class Bartender of the Year competition were announced on Wednesday night.
Jack Sotti of Australia, Viteslav Cirok of the Czech Republic, Alistair Reynolds of Great Britain, Ma-nolis Lykiardopoulos of Greece, Ariel Leizgold of Israel and Michito Kaneko of Japan were chosen after an exhaustive judging process, presided over by leading authorities in the world of fine drink-ing and experiential cocktail culture.
South African’s were disappointed that local hero Domenico de Lorenzo didn’t make it through to the next round, but he remained calm after hearing the news.
“I’m not sad. In fact, I’m very proud to have made it this far,” said Dom. “It’s been the experience of a lifetime. The whole World Class competition has been a turning point in my life and career. I wish the top six all the best. And I hope the other contestants enjoy the rest of their time in Cape Town.”
In a ceremony honouring all 54 contestants, World Class global brand ambassador and judge Spike Marchant said: “The talent on display this year has surpassed our already high expectations. It was almost impossible to predict who the top six would be because the level of skill was con-sistent across all competitors – exceptionally high. But what else would you expect when you have the best bartenders in the world under one roof? It was the toughest competition we’ve ever had the honour to judge.”
“From here,” Spike continued, “the competition gets really demanding. The six finalists standing shoulder to shoulder on stage will have to give everything they have and use every trick at their disposal to prove they have what it takes to be World Class Bartender of the Year 2015.”
A standout drink of the day, and one that surely earned its creator a place in the top six, was the “Stealth Bomber” by Australia’s Jack Sotti. Made using Bulleit Rye, the cocktail’s defining character-istic was the fact it was suspended in mid-air in a stemless wine glass using magnetic levitation technology – a fitting method given the third part of the challenge’s theme of “Retro, Disco, Fu-ture”.
On Thursday they will go head to head in the “Cape Town Shakedown” challenge in which they must create their own pop-up bar representing their personal vision of “the world’s best bar”.
As part of a recently announced partnership between luxury resort group One&Only and Diageo Reserve, the top six finalists will be afforded the opportunity to spend time at One&Only’s unique resorts worldwide where they will create bespoke menus and signature cocktails for discerning drinkers.
Each of the six global finalists of the World Class Bartender of the Year competition will also re-ceive a Tanqueray® Champion Shaker – the smaller, bar-mounted expression of Jason Crawley’s classic 1.5m Imperial Shaker – to take home to their respective countries as a token of a shared commitment to innovation and craftsmanship.
The World Class Bartender of the Year winner for 2015 will be announced on Friday at a grand ceremony taking place at Cape Town City Hall.
Please Drink Responsibly
Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits, beer and wine categories. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, JεB, Buchanan’s and Windsor whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness.
Diageo is a global company, and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. The company is listed on both the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and the New York Stock Exchange (DEO). For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com. Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.
About Diageo Reserve
Diageo Reserve represents the luxury division of Diageo, a multi-award winning portfo-lio of fine spirits rich in heritage, craftsmanship and innovation.
The World Class Collection of brands includes: Ciroc vodka, Tanqueray No. TEN and Tanqueray London Dry gins, Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Platinum and Gold Label Re-serve Scotch whiskies, Tequila Don Julio, Zacapa rum, Ketel One vodka, Haig Club sin-gle grain whisky, Bulleit Bourbon, Talisker, Mortlach Scotch whisky and Singleton single malt whiskies.
Diageo Reserve promotes responsible drinking.
Celebrating life, every day, everywhere.
About Diageo Reserve World Class™
Diageo Reserve World Class™ is transforming fine drinking experiences and cocktail culture around the world and in the home. The industry’s largest, most credible investment in the luxury on trade, it discovers the next generation of bartending talent who set the latest mixology trends and bring these to the best bars worldwide.
At the core is an outstanding, global training programme and internationally recognised platform that elevates the craft of the bartender and builds careers in the industry culminating in an annual luxury landmark week where the Diageo Reserve World Class™ Bartender of the Year is announced. Launched in 2009, over 20,000 bartenders have been inspired and educated in the craft of mixology using the finest spirits in the Diageo Reserve collection.
A partnership and collaboration with gurus, media, partners and owners, Diageo Reserve World Class™ is widely recognised as a mark of sophistication and distinction of international fine drin-ing culture by bartenders and customers alike