First five UK semi-finalists announced for Diageo World Class

World Class First Five UK Finalists

The first five bartenders to go through to the UK semi-final of the prestigious Diageo Reserve World Class competition have been announced.

They are Jon Hughes from Bramble in Edinburgh, Jamie Jones from Manchester and three from London: Luca Corradini from The American Bar at The Savoy, Tim Laferla from Red Bar at Bam-Bou, and Kyle Wilkinson from The Blind Pig. Their cocktail recipes are below.

All five bartenders will take part in the next stage of the competition held at Drummuir Castle in Scotland this June. They will compete with another five semi-finalists who are to be announced in April after a second series of challenges.

Daniel Dove, Diageo Reserve World Class brand ambassador, said: “This year we have put competing bartenders through the paces more than ever, with rigorous challenges designed to test their sensory, accuracy, hosting and mixology skills.

“The standard has been higher than ever and we can’t wait to see our finalists compete for a place in the global final, taking place in South Africa this September.”

“World Class is a celebration of the world’s best bartenders, the world’s best drinks and the world’s best spirits. The competition aims to elevate the craft of the bartender and inspire the world to care about what, where and how they drink, and our new semi-finalists have the skill, creativity and ambition to do just that.”

As well as being named UK World Class Bartender of the Year and representing their country in the global final, the UK winner will travel the world educating and inspiring new talent.

Further advancing their career, the UK winner will become a World Class judge and mentor, feature on the World Class TV show, and have the opportunity to create their own cocktail collection book to be released globally.

The bar they work in will not only benefit from the prestige of working with the UK World Class Bartender of the Year, but will also be awarded a one-off £10,000 marketing fund to create their own, exclusive World Class ritual serve.

The competition can be followed on the World Class website, on Facebook at, on Twitter at or on YouTube at

Indulgence Hideaway by Luca Corradini
60ml Johnnie Walker Gold whisky
12ml Crème de cassis
5ml Nougat infusion (chocolate, hazelnut and almonds infusion)
2ml Raspberry eau de vie
1/2 Barspoon of chestnut honey
Stir and serve on ice and garnished with smoked cinnamon bubbles. (2.6 units)

Risk & Reward by Tim Laferla
60ml Bulleit Rye
10ml Porter reduction
2 dashes Hopped coffee bitters
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass with ice. Stir and strain and serve in a coupe glass. (2.5 units)

The Third Whey Home by Kyle Wilkinson
60ml Cardhu whisky
20ml Whisky tea syrup
25ml Lemon juice
50ml Whey milk
Combine ingredients, shake hard, fine strain and garnish with nutmeg. (2.5 units)

The Bulleivardier by Jamie Jones
40ml Bulleit Rye
20ml Campari
20ml Cinnamon, orange and coffee-infused sweet vermouth
5ml Pedro Ximénez sherry
Stir all ingredients with ice, pour into a highball glass and garnished orange twist. (3 units)

Earheart by Jon Hughes
45ml Ron Zacapa 23 rum
10ml Vulson White Rhino Rye Spirit
15ml Green apple shrub
5ml Vanilla syrup
Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a dehydrated apple slice and a spray of cinnamon tincture. (2.2 units)

Updated on March 11 to correct error in information from Diageo for Jamie Jones.

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