Whisky Focus - Diageo Reserve World Class GB 2018 Finalists Revealed

Diageo Reserve World Class GB 2018 Finalists Revealed

17th May 2018
Diageo Reserve World Class GB announce the 10 bartenders who will go through to the 2018 final in Edinburgh.

Diageo Reserve World Class GB 2018 Finalists

Following an intense semi-final earlier this week in London which saw 35 of the top UK cocktail makers and shakers battle it out for a place in the Diageo Reserve World Class GB 2018 final.

The 35 competitors were narrowed down to just 10 through a series of challenges testing their skills, adaptability and spirit knowledge at Diageo’s Customer Collaboration Centre in Park Royal, competitors were challenged throughout the day, to be in with a chance of winning a place in the GB World Class final in June, to be held in Edinburgh. Each bartender took part in three challenges, themed around sustainability and culinary techniques.

The first challenge, Flavour on the fly, was a liquid led challenge designed to test bartenders’ ability to play with flavour and balance a drink. Competitors were given a guided workshop by an industry professional, before being asked to apply those skills to create a drink.

Challenge two, 119.5 seconds to go! saw competitors take part in a speed round, where they were asked to make two classic cocktails and pour a Guinness, in 119.5 seconds; the exact amount of time that it has been scientifically proven to pour the perfect pint.

The final challenge, Breakfast Martini tested contestants’ knowledge of brunch and creativity in using everyday ingredients and equipment that you would find in a typical home. Contestants were put on the spot and asked to present, as if it was a real television talk show to test their presenting skills. Bartenders created all serves using brands from Diageo’s World Class portfolio including; Ketel One Vodka, Ciroc, Tanqueray No. TEN, Don Julio, Ron Zacapa 23, Bulleit Bourbon, Talisker 10, Roe & Co and Johnnie Walker Black Label.

This year’s judging panel, included; Andy Ives (Bar Life), Simon Difford (Difford’s Guide), Sandrae Lawrence (Cocktail Lovers) and Craig Harper (Fever Tree); Diageo Reserve World Class GB Manager, Stephen Martin; Diageo Reserve GB Brand Ambassadors Ali Reynolds, Colin Dunn, Jo Tivey, Kate Jackson, Jenna Ba, and European Brand Ambassadors Dave Beatty, and Deano Moncrieffe.

Following an intense day of challenges, the judges and finalists made their way to London’s Nine Lives, where Stephen Martin, Diageo Reserve World Class GB Manager and Ali Reynolds, Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador announced the final ten finalists of the competition, who’s unusual flavour pairings, skills, creativity and open-minded thinking stood out to the judges, making them this year’s World Class finalists.

Diageo Reserve World Class GB 2018 Top Ten

The 10 competitors who are going forward to the GB World Class final in June, to be held in Edinburgh are:

  • Dave Hall - Terrior Tapas, Bournemouth
  • Kieran Grieves - Bonbar, Newcastle
  • Georgia Billing - Sexy Fish, London
  • James Bowker - The Wilderness, Birmingham
  • Adam Day - Peggy's Bar, Manchester
  • Manachain Monaghan - Below Stairs, Leeds
  • Luke Robinson - Cub, London
  • Daniel Warren - Last Chance, Nottingham
  • Daniel Bovey - Hyde & Co., Bristol
  • Cameron Attfield – Dandelyan, London

Stephen Martin, Diageo Reserve World Class GB Manager Commented: "This year’s competition is themed around sustainability and culinary techniques and we’ve seen some really unusual flavour pairings and innovative thinking from the bartenders competing. It’s incredible to witness the UK’s best bartenders thinking on their feet and delivering exceptional drinks in a challenge environment. The level of talent in the competition was incredibly high this year, and it wasn’t an easy task to whittle down our top 35 bartenders to just ten World Class finalists. We’re incredibly excited to see them all compete at the GB final in June, though it’s clear our judges have a job on their hands in selecting just one winner."

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