Scotland, 27 July 2014 – 49 of the world’s greatest mixologists came together at Gleneagles, Scotland today to mark the start of the sixth annual Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS™ Global Final 2014, the industry’s most prestigious and respected cocktail competition. The 49 bartenders from around the globe gathered at the iconic hotel and golf course as they prepared for five days of mixology challenges which will determine who will be crowned the 2014 winner.
After conquering a year-long journey of qualifiers, each has earned the right to represent cocktail culture in their country as they take on the other finalists in a series of innovative challenges staged around Great Britain. Each challenge will be overseen by the cocktail luminaries such as Dale DeGroff, Salvatore Calabrese, Peter Dorelli, Daniel Estremadoyro, Steve Olson, gaz regan, Julie Reiner and Hidetsugu Ueno along with a selection of guest judges who are all renowned craftspeople in their fields.
Matteo Fantacchiotti, Global Vice President Commercial, DIAGEO RESERVE, said: “With its mix of history and heritage with contemporary glamour and sophistication we believe that Gleneagles is the perfect place to begin the final of the 2014 Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS™ Bartender of the Year. The levels of creativity and craft on display in the heats means that this will be the most competitive final we’ve ever had. Each mixologist will need to be at the very top of their game if they want to win. As the finalists travel from Scotland, the home of iconic whiskies, to London, arguably the cocktail capital of the world, we’re set for five truly memorable days of competition and unforgettable drinks. We wish every one of the finalists the very best of luck.”
Paying homage to Scotland’s WORLD CLASS™ whisky heritage, the 49 bartenders will begin by having their knowledge of blends put to the test, before moving on to a more sensory challenge that will require a mix that delivers on sight, smell, taste, touch and sounds to stimulate the judges.
The Finalists will then travel down to London on The Orient Express before competing in The Tale of Two Martinis challenge at St Pancras Station. Here they will be tasked with creating a classic Martini alongside a new, modern take on the iconic drink. After the challenge the ultimate WORLD CLASS™ bar will open for service, as five of the top bartenders from across the globe will show the ‘rookies’ how it’s done by joining together in a one-off residency at the legendary Searcys Champagne Bar. Those lucky enough to get a seat at the bar will be able to enjoy the signature serves of previous WORLD CLASS Winners David Rios, Tim Phillips, Manabu Ohtake, Erik Lorincz and Aristolelis Papadopoulos in an evening that will celebrate the best of cocktail culture and the superior craft of bartending.
As part of the 5 Star Challenge, the remaining bartenders will then be tested behind one of five different leading hotel bars in London, including the Savoy and the Langham. Next they combine writing and mixology with literary inspired cocktails for the Cocktails and the Written Word challenge. As the week nears its finale, the competition heats up as the mixologists are given a challenge based in foodie haven Borough Market before speed serves in Cocktails Against The Clock. The overall winner of the WORLD CLASS™ Global Final 2014 will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on 1st August 2014.
Opening to coincide with the WORLD CLASS™ Global Finals, the WORLD CLASS™ House will be a celebration of contemporary cocktail culture, bringing the best bars, iconic bartenders and most exquisite spirits from around the globe to the heart of London this summer. Set over five floors of a beautiful townhouse on Fitzroy Square, London, drink connoisseurs will be able to experience one-off pop-up bars and mixology masterclasses run by world-renowned bartenders, unique cocktails and food tasting sessions, along with a host of secret events.