Whisky Focus - Diageo World Class Competition 2020 Returns With A Revised Approach

Diageo World Class Competition Returns With Revised Approach

14th September 2020
Diageo’s World Class 2020 competition kickstarts activity with bumper series of announcements.

Diageo World Clss - Bartenders Jo Last, Jack Sotti and Pippa Guy.

You may have thought that it wouldn't be taking place this year, but Diageo's World Class, the global bartending competition, has made a triumphant return in 2020 albeit with a revised approach that adapts to a new competition environment. World Class 2020 has introduced new people, partnerships and competitor challenges. The internationally recognised competition has also announced a series of activations at this year’s London Cocktail Week, including the Whisky House at Goods Way.

Taking a brief pause due to recent events, the competition resumes with a Bottle Cocktail Challenge in partnership with Cocktail Porter and London Cocktail Week. Recognising the demand for portable cocktails, and the importance of encouraging cost-effective serves, the GB Top 100 were split into three groups – Ketel One, Johnnie Walker Black Label and Tanqueray No. TEN – to create their bottled cocktail based on classic serves, Espresso Martini, Tom Collins and the High Ball. A winner from each category has now secured a spot in the much-anticipated GB final 15.

Top 3 – Bottled Cocktail Challenge Winners:

James Rawcliffe – Tigerlily, Edinburgh
‘Eastern Adventure’ – (Tom Collins adaptation) – Tanqueray No. TEN, kaffir, pineapple & lemongrass cordial, Belsazar riesling, soda

Kuba Korzynski – Black Rock, London
‘Esprimita Martini’ – (Espresso Martini adaptation) – Coffee & coconut Ketel One, crème de cacao blanc, coconut water

Stevie Kane – Baccarat Bar, London)
‘Jasmana Highball’ – (Highball adaptation) – Johnnie Walker Black Label, banana and jasmine cordial, soda

The winners will have their cocktails produced in a cocktail kit format for consumers to purchase via Cocktail Porter, featured on the London Cocktail Week website. The partnership will allow consumers to buy the bespoke Cocktail Porter x World Class Cocktail Kits (£39 - with free delivery during LCW) as part of an immersive at-home & online drinks experience, with digital masterclass events hosted throughout October.

With the first challenge to find the GB Top 15 complete, more information on upcoming challenges will be revealed over the coming months.

New for 2020, Whisky House at Goods Way, a unique collective of curated experiences, events & masterclasses will showcase and celebrate whisk(e)y. Set up in the brand-new food, drink and music hub, Goods Way in Kings Cross, the activity will offer exploration and tastings of exclusive whiskies, innovative masterclasses and interactive evening experiences. All guests receive a Johnnie Walker Highball cocktail on arrival, with a diverse food offering from independent food traders.

Whisky House at Goods Way will encompass ‘World Class Drinks at Home Masterclass’, to ‘Whiskey Rock n Roller’ and ‘Copper Dog Presents’, table side menu add-ons for masterclasses and interactive experiences will allow guests to expand their evening in Sweetwater, Nola and Lafayette. Full programme of activity will be available over coming weeks.

In addition, and in partnership with Drinks Drop, RTD £6 cocktails will be available from World Class partner bars – with £2 of every cocktail sold going back to the bar partners.

Throughout the month of October, 3 x World Class masterclasses will take place each week at Whisky House at Goods Way, hosted by the World Class team. Led by Brand Ambassadors from Johnnie Walker, Ketel One Vodka and Tanqueray, the experts will share cocktail recipes and tips on how to develop skills and techniques to make the perfect drink at home. For those unable to attend, every Thursday at 7pm, ‘Whisky House at Home & Online’ will be streaming a digital masterclass where consumers can join in virtually, using their bespoke cocktail kits purchased via Cocktail Porter.

In addition, a partnership with Crucible will offer a weekly live show hosted by Jack Sotti and Stu Bale of Crucible and feature special panel guests, exploring the fundamental elements that create flavour in mixed drinks. Full programme scheduled in Notes to Editors. Also available online.

The exciting series of activations comes with key new appointment announcements with new faces joining the World Class community – Jack Sotti, previously Senior Tanqueray Ambassador, has been promoted to Head of Advocacy GB where he will be the key lead on the community’s advocacy programme.

Pippa Guy, will be joining as the new Tanqueray Brand Ambassador, GB. Previously Senior bartender at the Savoy’s American Bar, Pippa was the first female in nearly a century to be positioned in this role, and the first female ever to wear The Savoy’s iconic white jacket.

The community also welcomes Jo Last, the new Whisky Brand Ambassador well established in the bartending scene, and Miriam “Mimi” Scofield – TLA Account Executive, well-seasoned in the industry working with some of the world’s most renowned establishments for over 15 years.

Jack Sotti, Head of Advocacy GB at Diageo, comments:"“We are incredibly excited to bring World Class back to GB, with a new and adapted program to champion bartender creativity in the face of adversity. We have stripped back and rebuilt the competition to allow bartenders with no bar or budget to compete, and are airing our exciting new 4-part series with Crucible to kickstart their inspiration. Most notably World Class is about people, and so it gives me the utmost pride to welcome Pippa, Jo and Mimi to our diverse and passionate team."

You will find Tanqueray, Ketel One and Johnnie Walker available from specialist online whisky retailers such as The Whisky Exchange, The Whisky Shop and Master of Malt

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