Spain’s David Rios wins World Class global final

David Rios Crowned Bartender of the Year at Diageo Reserve World Class Global Final 2013David Rios (pictured) from The Jigger Cocktail bar in Bilbao was named Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2013 at last night’s global final.

After months of events and competitions around the world, he represented Spain against 44 other bartenders in a series of challenges on board the boutique Azamara Club Cruise’s ship, Azamara Journey, as it sailed through the Mediterranean.

The judges included some of the biggest names in bartending from around the world such as Salvatore Calabrese, Peter Dorelli, Dale DeGroff, Gary Regan, Julie Reiner, Hidetsugu Ueno, Arturo Savage, Steve Olson and Aristotelis Papadopoulos.

David will embark on a year-long global tour as an ambassador for Diageo Reserve World Class, widening his own knowledge, honing his skills and techniques along the way, and being the standard-bearer for fine-drinking experiences. He will also set out to inspire new talent as the next wave of bartenders prepare for the 2014 competition.

David said: “I am thrilled and humbled to be awarded Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year amongst the incredibly talented group of bartenders at the global final. I look forward to the year ahead, travelling the world as an ambassador for the programme, meeting my peers, educating new talent, and learning about new cocktail cultures and trends around the globe.”

The UK was represented by Gareth Evans, executive bar manager at Social Eating House in London, who won one of the individual challenges called the Red Carpet.

Diageo Reserve World Class global ambassador Spike Marchant said: “A true testament to the World Class programme, each year I am astounded by the skill, technique and level of talent from the global finalists. As always, the choice was difficult, but David Rios’ creativity, technique and sense of hospitality make him an ideal ambassador not just for World Class but for our industry as well.”

Over the next few months, a TV programme will be broadcast across 100 countries featuring behind-the-scenes footage from the global final.

The World Class 50: A Definitive Drinking Guide will also be launched, an anthology of the drinks created by the World Class global finalists of 2013.

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