World Class global final to take to the seas

Diageo has announced that this year’s global final of its annual Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year competition will take to the seas on a luxury cruise ship.

It will take place from July 4 to 9 on board the Azamara Club Cruise ship, the Azamara Journey (pictured), as it sails along the French Riviera to Nice and Monte Carlo and then into the Mediterranean with stopovers in St Tropez and Ibiza before ending the trip in Barcelona.

More than 600 people will attend the event where 50 bartenders from around the world, including the UK, will compete.

Judges will include legendary bartenders such as Dale DeGroff, Salvatore Calabrese and Peter Dorelli and some of the world’s leading cocktail experts such as Gary Regan.

Rudy Paoli, managing director for Diageo Reserve, said: “The World Class global final is a landmark event in the luxury industry which has become an internationally recognised platform and mark of distinction for mixology.

“World Class elevates the craft of the bartender, discovers new talent and previews the latest trends and must-have fine drinking experiences to the world. Given the strong growth of the Diageo Reserve business within Europe, the Mediterranean was a clear choice for the 2013 global final.”

The UK programme is currently under way, with training forums run by whisky experts Dave Broom and Ryan Chetiyawardana, Grand Marnier global brand ambassador Julian Lafond, and other drinks specialists. Events also feature World Class GB winner Andy Mil, who represented Great Britain at the global final in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil last year. The GB final will be held in May.

Launched in 2009, World Class now trains around 15,000 bartenders around the world each year in the Diageo Reserve portfolio including Ketel One and Ciroc vodkas, Tanquery No Ten gin, Don Julio tequila, Zacapa rum and Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, Platinum Label and Blue Label whiskies.

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