Top 10 bartenders announced for World Class GB final

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The top 10 bartenders through to the GB final of Diageo Reserve’s World Class competition have been announced.

They were revealed tonight after 35 semi-finalists came together for a day of challenges at Diageo’s Customer Collaboration Centre in Park Royal in west London.

The 10 going through to the GB final in Edinburgh and Gleneagles from June 18 to 20 are:

  • Cameron Attfield, Dandelyan, London
  • Georgia Billing, Sexy Fish, London
  • Daniel Bovey, Hyde & Co, Bristol
  • James Bowker, The Wilderness, Birmingham
  • Adam Day, Peggy’s Bar, Manchester
  • Kieran Grieves, Bonbar, Newcastle
  • David Hall, Terroir Tapas, Bournemouth
  • Manacháin Monaghan, Below Stairs, Leeds
  • Luke Robinson, Cub, London
  • Daniel Warren, Last Chance, Nottingham

They are all pictured above except for Daniel Warren who had to return to Nottingham before the finalists were announced at an event at Nine Lives bar near London Bridge.

The competition called on bartenders nationwide to submit a cocktail recipe using one of the Diageo Reserve portfolio of World Class brands showcasing their creative skills.

Today’s semi-final set them challenges themed around sustainability and culinary skills, using spirits from Diageo’s World Class portfolio including Ketel One Vodka, Cîrocc vodka, Tanqueray No Ten gin, Don Julio tequila, Ron Zacapa 23 rum, Bulleit Bourbon, Talisker 10 whisky, Roe & Co whiskey and Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky.

The first challenge, Flavour on the fly, was a liquid-led challenge designed to test their ability to play with flavour and balance a drink. Competitors were given a guided workshop by an industry professional before being asked to apply those skills to create a drink.

Challenge two was a speed round where they were asked to make two classic cocktails and pour a Guinness in 119.5 seconds -the exact amount of time that it has been “scientifically proven” to pour the perfect pint of the stout.

The final challenge, Breakfast Martini, tested contestants’ knowledge of brunch and creativity in using everyday ingredients and equipment that you would find in a typical home. Contestants were put on the spot and asked to present as if it was a real television talk show to test their presenting skills.

The World Class GB Bartender of the Year will go on to compete at the global final in Berlin.

Judges in the semi-final included Diageo Reserve GB brand ambassadors Ali Reynolds, Colin Dunn, Jo Tivey, Kate Jackson and Jenna Ba, European brand ambassadors Dave Beatty and Deano Moncrieffe, Diageo Reserve World Class GB manager Stephen Martin and Craig Harper, on-trade manager for Fever-Tree.

Stephen said: “This year’s competition is themed around sustainability and culinary techniques and we’ve seen some really unusual flavour pairings and innovative thinking from the bartenders competing.

“It’s incredible to witness the UK’s best bartenders thinking on their feet and delivering exceptional drinks in a challenge environment.

“The level of talent in the competition was incredibly high this year, and it wasn’t an easy task to whittle down our top 35 bartenders to just ten World Class finalists.

“We’re incredibly excited to see them all compete at the GB final in June, though it’s clear our judges have a job on their hands in selecting just one winner.”

The 2018 Diageo Reserve World Class GB Bartender of the Year will receive a number of prizes including a 12-month contract worth a minimum of £5,000 to tour with the World Class team hosting workshops and bartending at high-profile events throughout the UK as well as gaining nationwide media exposure and dedicated PR for themselves and their bar.

Click here for a full list of the 35 semi-finalists.

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