Dom De Lorenzo of the Molecular Bar is the best bartender in South Africa. De Lorenzo beat six of his peers from around the country in four themed challenges in the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year national finals, held in Johannesburg from July 14 to 16.
The culmination of 12 months of trials and challenges, the national finals were a gauntlet of skill and mental acuity pushing all contestants to their limit. In the end it was De Lorenzo who earned top marks overall – with leading scores in the “After Dark”, “Ketel One Market” and “Bartender Mastery” challenges. He was followed closely by runner-up Assaf Yechiel of Cape Town.
Clinching the victory with his original creations the “Curious Case of the Malted Man” and “Lady in Red”, De Lorenzo will now go on to represent South Africa in the World Class global finals in September. The event is being held in Johannesburg and Cape Town and will see the most talented bartenders from 57 countries go head to head for the world title.
Using the finest products from the Diageo Reserve portfolio of luxury brands – with a special focus on Ketel One Vodka; Tanqueray No Ten and Tanqueray London Dry gins; and the sophisticated flavours of Ron Zacapa Centenario, Johnnie Walker Blue Label and Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve – the finalists crafted a series of unique, awe-inspiring cocktails perfectly demonstrating mixology as an art form.
The judging panel – made up of Masterchef SA judge Pete Goffe-Wood, international Ron Zacapa brand ambassador Rebecca Quiñonez, fine-drinking consultant Chantelle Horn, and South Africa’s previous World Class Bartender of the Year winner Brent Perremore – assessed the contestants on criteria including skill, technique, originality and taste, ultimately determining De Lorenzo as the master of all.
In addition to claiming prize money of R20 000, De Lorenzo will now spend four days at a mixology boot camp in Turkey with other winners from around the world preparing for the World Class global finals.
The Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year competition, now in its seventh year, is the biggest and most prestigious mixology event in the world, providing a platform to celebrate the skill and craft of the world’s best bartenders, showcase fine-drinking experiences and inspire drinkers to embrace quality cocktail culture around the globe.
Read more on: