Daniel Warren from Last Chance, Nottingham has been crowned the winner of this year’s Diageo Reserve World Class GB Bartender of the Year.
The two-day GB final kicked off with a day of trials in Edinburgh, followed by a second day of challenges at the Gleneagles Hotel in Auchterarder.
The first challenge took place in a penthouse apartment at the newly opened Edinburgh Grand Hotel.
Designed to test the bartenders’ hospitality skills and their ability to create a welcoming experience, competitors were required to create the ‘Perfect Welcome Cocktail’ and experience using a base of Ketel One Vodka, Tanqueray No 10 or Don Julio in any style.
On day two, the top 10 were invited to join Diageo brand ambassador Ali Reynolds to test their skill in creating a perfectly balanced smoked cocktail, using and highlighting the smoky notes of Johnnie Walker Black Label.
During the final challenge at the 19th hole at Gleneagles, competitors were asked to imagine they had just been appointed as the new bar manager at the venue. They were tasked with creating the new Club House signature drink, inspired by the rich legacy of the famous golfing institution, all during their first 10 minute ‘shift’.
During their shift, the finalists were judged on how well they entertained and hosted guests as well as the judges.
They were required to create two full serves for the judges at the bar, and 15 sample sized versions for the guests, whilst simultaneously taking orders from customers from a bespoke World Class Classics Menu.
The menu included Tanqueray No 10 and tonic, Zacapa Daiquiri, Don Julio Margarita, Ketel One Dutch Mule and Johnnie Walker High Ball.
Daniel said: “I never imagined I’d be crowned the winner of this year’s 2018 World Class competition, it’s a dream come true and I’m so incredibly happy. It’s such an honour to of been able to work with so many talented bartenders, judges and brand ambassadors.
“This year’s competition has been tough; the challenges really tested my technical abilities as a bartender and also my hospitality skills.
“I can’t wait to see what the Global Final in Berlin brings. I’m counting down the days until I can do it all over again and represent my country!”
Stephen Martin, Diageo World Class GB manager and panel judge, added: “World Class is all about fantastic hospitality, exceptional knowledge, skill and creativity, and Daniel has it all.
“He really inspired us, brought his own style to the competition and engaged everyone involved, not just the judges. We’re really proud of Daniel and can’t wait to see what he will bring to the global final in Berlin.”
Daniel’s signature serve (pictured)
Peated terroir cordial
JW Blue label
70 Club House bitters
A thin slice of tobacco box Cedarwood
Frozen golf ball