Entries open for Diageo’s World Class 2019

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The 11th annual Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year competition has opened for entries.

World Class 2019 kicks off with a digital submission of one or two serves, giving entrants the opportunity to double their chance of making it through to the top 100.

The successful applicants will go through to the in-bar judging stage. From there, the top 100 will be whittled down to 20, who will then come together to compete to be crowned GB World Class Bartender of the Year 2019, before representing GB in the World Class global final hosted in Glasgow later this year.

‘Science of Smoke’ and ‘Tech Tonics’, both of which featured as modules on the World Class studios UK-wide tour, are the two key elements of the online entry challenge in the UK. Competitors can choose to submit a recipe for one or both.

For ‘Science of Smoke’, bartenders are required to create a unique highball serve that is representative of their bar or geographical location, using 30ml Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky as the base and integrating a pre-smoked ingredient, homemade or otherwise.

‘Tech Tonics’, on the other hand, invites entrants to produce a highball serve using 30ml Tanqueray No Ten and soda while experimenting with botanical combinations and unique flavours, inspired by the distillation process of the gin.

Bartenders must submit recipes online and post a picture of the drink to social media using #WorldClassGB2019 between 14 March and 7 April.

The top 100 digital entries will be announced on 9 April. Competitors will then go through to the in-bar judging round where they will craft serves around the theme of ‘Tartan Tiki’, integrating Talisker into a tiki-style serve, while showcasing British flavours and inspiration.

Rich Larkin, head of Diageo Reserve GB, said: “Since its launch, World Class has been instrumental in transforming fine drinking and cocktail culture and brings together the best bartending talent from around the globe.

“We’ve already seen some fantastic demonstration of skill during our World Class studios GB-wide tour this year and I’m extremely excited to see the team reveal GB’s top bartending talent and crown the GB World Class Bartender of the Year 2019.

“It was an extremely close call for GB at the Global Finals last year with GB representative Daniel Warren coming in second.

“With this year’s global final taking place in Scotland – home to all of Diageo’s iconic scotch including Johnnie Walker, Talisker, The Singleton and Mortlach – the competition really is on to see if a GB bartender can take the crown of the World Class Bartender of the Year 2019 in their own country.”

In October 2018, Australia’s Orlando Marzo clinched the 2018 World Class Bartender of the Year trophy in Berlin.

As part of his victory, Orlando is currently travelling the world as a Diageo representative and is due to arrive in London in June 2019 for the World Class GB final where he will provide advice and guidance to this year’s finalists.

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