Diageo Reserve launches latest World Class competition

Ali Reynolds World Class Bar2

World Class, the international bartending competition run for Diageo Reserve brands, is set to open for entries for its eighth year.

Bartenders from across Great Britain are being called on to enter by visiting www.theworldclassclub.com and submitting a cocktail recipe from October 30 to November 8. (The original November 7 deadline was extended by 24 hours to midnight on November 8.)

This is the first phase of the competition, dubbed “Mindful Drinking”, with entrants able to submit recipes using whiskies Talisker, The Singleton, Cardhu, Johnnie Walker Gold Label and Blue Label and Haig Club, American whiskeys Bulleit Bourbon and Rye and Ron Zacapa rum.

The second phase, called “Fruits and Plants”, will open for entries from March 18 to 27 next year, giving bartenders a chance to enter using Tanqueray No Ten gin, Ketel One and Ketel One Citroen vodkas, Cîroc and Cîroc Pineapple vodkas, Don Julio Blanco and Reposado tequilas, and Jinzu gin.

The judges, including Diageo Reserve World Class brand ambassador Dan Dove, will whittle down entries in each phase to 50 who will go through to two semi-finals.

Five bartenders from each of the phases will go on to the GB final in May 2016 where a bartender will be selected to represent Britain at the world final.

The 2016 GB World Class champion will be invited to travel worldwide to educate and identify new talent and become a mentor or judge in the following year’s competition.

In addition, the owner of the bar in which the GB winner works will receive a one-off £10,000 marketing fund to create their own World Class ritual serve.

The competition was launched this week to tie in with the World Class hub in Soho as part of London Cocktail Week which runs from October 5 to 11. Bartenders behind the World Class Bar this week include Ali Reynolds (pictured), current GB champion, and James Fowler, last year’s GB winner.

The hub houses a World Class Bartenders Studio, which is hosting a series of trade and consumer workshops throughout the week. The sessions will help to drive recruitment to the competition as well as provide a platform for bartenders to experiment and hone their skills. See below for upcoming sessions.

Nick Temperley, head of Diageo Reserve GB, said: “World Class has evolved considerably over the last few years and remains the biggest and most respected bartender competition in the world.

“Every year, we see a heightened level of quality entries and this in turn inspires a new wave of talent to enter the following year.

“We are very proud of World Class and have built a network of the world’s best bartenders over the last seven years. I very much look forward to working with the next round of industry leaders and cocktail trend setters, with the guidance of our existing World Class community.”

Dan Dove added: “The World Class London Cocktail Week hub is the perfect platform from which to launch this year’s competition – the new studio is fantastic as it allows us to facilitate training and insight ahead of a bartender’s entry.

“The quality of entries we witness never fails to surprise me – cocktail culture is so progressive and I can only anticipate our best year yet.”

London Cocktail Week World Class hub trade sessions

Wednesday 7 October
1pm | 2:30pm | 4pm
Dispersions & Hydrocolloids, hosted by Tom Aske of Fluid Movement

Thursday 7 October
1pm | 2:30pm | 4pm
Perfumery & Flavour Layering, hosted by Isabelle Gelle of London School of Perfume

Friday 9 October
1pm | 2:30pm | 4pm
Rotary Evaporation, hosted by Tom Aske

Saturday 10 October
1pm | 2:30pm | 4pm
Advanced Ice Carving, hosted by Hamilton Ice

Sunday 11 October
1pm | 2:30pm | 4pm
Dispersions & Hydrocolloids, hosted by Tom Aske

Details about the World Class hub at https://drinkup.london/events/the-world-class-bartender-s-studio/.

Updated November 6, 2015, with extension to deadline.

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