Bannie Kang of Antidote bar in Singapore has been crowned the winner of Diageo Reserve’s World Class Global Bartender of the Year cocktail competition.
Entrants from across six continents took part in this year’s contest, with 53 bartenders making it through the national heats.
The competitors travelled to Schiedam and the Isle of Sky where they completed a series of challenges for Ketel One and Talisker, followed by a four-day drinks culture experience in Glasgow, involving two days of rounds centred on Tanqueray No Ten, Singleton and Johnnie Walker.
The finalists were whittled down to the top eight, which included GB champion Cameron Attfield, who impressed the judges with his technique and creativity.
The competitors then took part in a final round where they were judged on the speed and quality of their serves by former winners, award-winning mixologists, drinks writers and journalists, who ultimately named Bannie 2019’s World Class champion.
Bannie said: “This has been an incredible experience. It’s been a lot of fun and a lot of hard work – a real whirlwind.
“I’d like to say well done to all the finalists – there were so many incredible drinks created this week it could have been any of us who won.
“I’ve learnt a lot and made some friends for life. It was a privilege to spend the last five days with these guys, working with these incredible spirits brands, at the best bartending competition in the world. To have won is the cherry on the cake.”
Simon Earley, head of Diageo World Class, added: “This year’s competition was one of the most competitive we’ve ever had. The skill and talent of the bartenders battling it out across all the different challenges was awe-inspiring.
“Bannie Kang is a worthy winner, and her technique, temperament and artisanship really stood out across the four days.”
At the final, Diageo also revealed that the 2020 World Class global final will take place in Sydney.