Global bartending competition World Class is returning to GB, introducing new people, partnerships and competitor challenges.
As well as a revised approach that adapts to a new competition environment, the internationally recognised contest also announces a series of activations at this year’s London Cocktail Week.
First three competitors reach CB top 15
Taking a brief pause due to recent events, the competition resumes with a Bottle Cocktail Challenge in partnership with Cocktail Porter and London Cocktail Week.
Recognising the demand for portable cocktails, and the importance of encouraging cost-effective serves, the GB Top 100 were split into three groups – Ketel One, Johnnie Walker Black Label and Tanqueray No Ten – to create their bottled cocktail based on classic serves including the Espresso Martini, Tom Collins and the Highball.
A winner from each category has now secured a spot in the GB final 15. The three successful competitors are James Rawcliffe from Tigerlily, Edinburgh; Kuba Korzynski from Black Rock, London; and Stevie Kane from Baccarat Bar, London (all pictured below).
The winners will have their cocktails produced in a cocktail kit format for consumers to purchase via Cocktail Porter, featured on the London Cocktail Week website.
With the first challenge to find the GB Top 15 complete, more information on upcoming challenges will be revealed over the coming months.
London Cocktail Week x World Class
New for 2020, Whisky House at Goods Way, a collective of curated experiences, events and masterclasses, will showcase and celebrate whisky.
Set up in the new food, drink and music hub, Goods Way in Kings Cross, the activity will offer exploration and tastings of exclusive whiskies. All guests will receive a Johnnie Walker Highball cocktail on arrival, with a diverse food offering from independent traders.
In addition, and in partnership with Drinks Drop, RTD £6 cocktails will be available from World Class partner bars, with 50p of every cocktail sold going back to the bar.
Throughout October, three World Class masterclasses will take place each week at Whisky House at Goods Way, hosted by the World Class team.
Led by brand ambassadors from Johnnie Walker, Ketel One Vodka and Tanqueray, the experts will share cocktail recipes and tips on how to develop skills and techniques to make the perfect drink at home.
For those unable to attend, every Thursday at 7pm, ‘Whisky House at Home & Online’ will be streaming a digital masterclass where consumers can join in virtually, using bespoke cocktail kits purchased via Cocktail Porter.
Meanwhile, a partnership with Crucible will offer a weekly live show hosted by Jack Sotti and Stu Bale. It will feature special panel guests, exploring the fundamental elements that create flavour in mixed drinks.
World Class community grows
The series of activations comes with key new appointment announcements. Jack Sotti, previously senior Tanqueray ambassador, has been promoted to head of advocacy GB, while Pippa Guy, senior bartender at the Savoy’s American Bar, will be joining the team as the new GB Tanqueray brand ambassador.
The community also welcomes Jo Last, the new whisky brand ambassador, and Miriam “Mimi” Scofield as TLA account executive.
Jack said: “We are incredibly excited to bring World Class back to GB, with a new and adapted program to champion bartender creativity in the face of adversity.
“We have stripped back and rebuilt the competition to allow bartenders with no bar or budget to compete, and are airing our exciting new four-part series with Crucible to kickstart their inspiration.
“Most notably, World Class is about people, and so it gives me the utmost pride to welcome Pippa, Jo and Mimi to our diverse and passionate team.”