Diageo Reserve opens 2018 World Class competition for entries

Jamie Jones

Diageo Reserve’s World Class, the most hotly contested international competition for bartenders, is now open for entries in Great Britain.

It is starting with a call for bartenders to make a digital submission of one serve, with a deadline of March 30, which will be followed by in-bar judging, semi-finals and then the GB final in June.

For The Closed Loop Cocktails entry challenge, competitors can submit one cocktail which needs to comply with two elements of the competition: The Resourceful Bartender and Heat of the Moment.

The Resourceful Bartender focuses on the significance of sustainability and resourcefulness, enabling bartenders to create a better bar, serve and working environment, while Heat of the Moment homes in on flavour and experimentation, delving into culinary influences.

The cocktail must include at least 30ml of any Diageo Reserve spirit from the World Class portfolio forming the foundation of the serve, such as Ketel One Vodka, Ron Zacapa, Tanqueray No Ten gin, Don Julio tequila, Cîroc Vodka, Bulleit bourbon, selected expressions in the Johnnie Walker range, or whiskies Talisker, Haig Club, Cardhu and The Singleton of Dufftown.

The full recipe should be submitted online at www.TheWorldClassClub.com.

During the competition, contestants will be invited to showcase their skills in a series of challenges formulated to test ability, knowledge and originality while championing their unique proficiency and telling their own story.

The first stage after entries will be an in-bar judging process where judges will visit bartenders across Britain to taste-test their entry drinks.

The judges will then choose the UK’s top 30, catapulting them to the semi-finals. This stage of the competition will identify the UK’s top 10, leading to the GB final where bartenders will battle it out to be crowned GB World Class Bartender of the Year 2018.

This year’s overall winner will also be awarded a prize package valued at over £15,000 and will represent GB in the Diageo Reserve World Class global final in Berlin later this year.

Nick Temperley, head of Diageo Reserve GB, said: “It’s hard to believe that we have launched what will be the 11th World Class Competition which marks an instrumental milestone in the drinks community. We aim to devise new challenges and every year we see the standard of excellence increase.

“As always, we’re looking for bartenders who demonstrate forward-thinking skills and vision by pushing the boundaries to create remarkable serves.

“By drawing from current themes in bars across the UK, marrying together sustainable and gastronomic influences, we know we’ll discover those at the top of their game.”

Last year’s GB winner was Jamie Jones (pictured), who was group bars executive for Jason Atherton’s The Social Company and is now director of drinks at consultancy Scotch + Limon.

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