Whisky Focus - Diageo World Class Competition Goes Virtual

Diageo World Class Competition Goes Virtual

3rd February 2021
Diageo World Class has announced that they are resuming the 2020 competition this year and that the much-anticipated World Class Studio Sessions will take place virtually for the first time.

Diageo World Class Studios

Like most things Diageo's World Class 2020 Competition, Diageo's global bartender competition, was hit by Covid-19 and was cut short but the good news is Diageo World Class has announced that they are resuming the competition and that the much-anticipated World Class Studio Sessions will take place virtually for the very first time this year.

Resuming the 2020 competition, the much-anticipated World Class Studio Sessions are set to take place on the 4th, 11th and 18th February hosted on the World Class GB Facebook page.

World Class Studios has been created to educate and inspire bartenders around the world, and also act as a tool for the competition itself, providing competitors with top tips and guidance in preparation for the semi-final challenge. The themed seminars are historically led by the Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassadors, who take to the road visiting bars across the country.

However, this year the evolved digital sessions will be open to all bartenders via a live stream platform hosted on the World Class GB Facebook page. The activity aims to keep its community of dedicated bartenders well connected and informed through a series of educational sessions.

This year’s semi-final challenge has also been revealed to competitors – the Top 100 are tasked with completing The Singleton Challenge: Malt Memories, judged virtually by Diageo Reserve World Class Brand Ambassadors, Jo Last and Pippa Guy, and Diageo Global New World Whisky Ambassador Ervin Trykowski.


4 February First Draft: First Draft, focuses on creativity, accessibility, service and methodology; through the lens of draught serves, an emerging technology to improve consistency and help to deliver perfectly balanced cocktails. The World Class Studio session is set to be hosted by Ervin Trykowski, Global New World Whisky Ambassador and TJ Littlejohn, GB Scotch Whisky Ambassador.

11 February World Class Menus: World Class Menus explores the modern menu of today, delving into origins and how to best unleash creativity from behind the bar by effectively communicating to guests. This session is hosted by Pippa Guy, GB Tanqueray & World Class Ambassador and Lauren Mote, Diageo Global Cocktalian.

18 February Punch Modernism: Punch Modernism is a deep dive into understanding the importance of flavour, textures and batching to help reduce waste and deliver exciting and memorable drink experiences for guests – hosted by Jenna Ba, Global Whisky Ambassador at Diageo and Jo Last, GB World Class & Malt Whisky Ambassador.

The remaining Top 100 are set to be whittled down to five finalists who will join Stevie Kane, Kuba Korzynski and James Rawcliffe who were triumphant in the bottled Cocktail Challenge and won their place in the final back in September 2020 as part of the London Cocktail Week series of challenges. Competitors must submit their creations by midnight on the 23rd February and the final eight will be announced on the 12th March.

Jack Sotti, Head of Advocacy GB at Diageo, comments: "This is unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before and we’re incredibly grateful to be able to continue the World Class journey virtually in an exciting way. It was important for us to be able to adapt the competition and launch a platform where we could continue to support our community. The hospitality sector has been hit hard and we wanted to be able to keep our community closely connected and carry on championing fantastic bartender talent. We’re incredibly excited to be launching World Class Studios and paying homage to such amazing industry talent by coming together and making this another memorable year."

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