Diageo’s World Class Competition Crowns Mark Mcclintock


This year’s GB final took place virtually with a live awards ceremony hosted via the World Class Facebook page. A recording of the competition will also be broadcast on Facebook on April 23rd 2021 showcasing highlights from the challenges and the extraordinary serves created by the talented top eight. 

Despite not having a bar to call home over the past year due to the pandemic, Mark McClintock has achieved the Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year 2021 title. A true testament to the hospitality industry which has continued to adapt and come together, Mark will go on to represent GB in the first ever fully virtual World Class Global Final taking place from 4th-8th July 2021. 

The GB final consisted of two key challenges – ‘Alive with Freshness’ and ‘The Scotch Box’, designed to showcase creativity, craft and personality using Tanqueray No. TEN, Johnnie Walker and Talisker. 

Challenge one: ‘Alive with Freshness’ – a test of creativity and craft, based solely on flavour and balance. Competitors were tasked to create two perfectly balanced cocktails of contrasting styles, using one magical modifier that celebrates the whole fruit freshness of Tanqueray No. TEN.

Challenge two: ‘The Scotch Box’ – a challenge to create a dream whisky bar considering all elements from the drinks and menu style, to atmosphere and hosting skills. Competitors had to create a memorable guest experience for the judges, welcoming them into their ideal bar, sharing with them a carbonated welcome drink using Johnnie Walker Black Label, and a second cocktail to draw the evening to a close, using Talisker 10 – taking inspiration from the natural environment of where their dream bar would be located. The cocktails were presented to judges alongside a box including a menu and playlist, plus another item of choice. 

This year’s highly esteemed judging panel included previous World Class GB winner, Cameron Attfield, Diageo GB Brand Ambassadors including Pippa Guy and Jason Clark; and Sandrae Lawrence (The Cocktail Lovers); Andy Ives (BarLife UK); and Dan Dove (Global Bartending).

World Class Ambassador, Jo Last, comments “All of our competitors showcased their creativity, adaptability and passion throughout this year’s competition. We were blown away by the standard they brought in this new virtual format. Mark McClintock showcased impeccable skills and hospitality throughout both challenges, presenting delicious drinks every step of the way and we are thrilled to have him crowned as our winner”.

Pippa Guys, adds “There have been so many extra challenges on all the bartenders this year, and the level of work that our top eight put into the challenges is simply breathtaking. Mark has demonstrated a consistently high quality of drinks, knowledge and personality ever since he stepped into the World Class programme. I can’t wait to see him continue to develop as he steps up to representing Great Britain on the global stage.”

Diageo Reserve World Class GB Bartender of the Year 2021, Mark McClintock added: “I was not expecting this at all, in any way shape or form! I am genuinely shocked and so honoured to go on and represent GB on the global stage. I am elated to have been chosen – thank you to all of the BAs, my fiancé India Blanch, and those who have supported me along the way – their advice and support has been invaluable. I can’t wait to go on and do everyone justice in the global finals.”

As well as representing GB in the World Class Global competition, Mark McClintock, will also win:

  • 12-month contract with Global Bartending
  • WSET Level 3 Spirits Course & Qualification – a course carefully developed by and for professionals working closely with spirits 
  • Entry to World Class Global Finals 
  • Personalised Cocktail Kingdom kit
  • Professional signature serve & profile photo shoot
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