Diageo World Class returns for 2020 with a bang

Millie Milliken

Millie Milliken

15 September 2020

The global bartending competition announces first three competitors in GB Top 15, as well as new ambassadors, partnerships and competitor challenges

Winners of Bottled Cocktail Challenge announced

This year, the competition resumed with the Bottle Cocktail Challenge (in partnership with Cocktail Porter and London Cocktail Week) to reflect the current demand for portable cocktails. The GB Top 100 were split into three groups – Ketel One, Johnnie Walker Black Lable and Tanqueray No. Ten – and tasked with creating cocktail based on three classic serves: Espresso Martini, Tom Collins and the Highball.

Winners from each category have now secured a spot in the GB Top 15 and will have their cocktails produced in a cocktail kit for consumers to buy via Cocktail Porter, featured on the London Cocktail Week website.

The Bottled Cocktail Challenge winners are:

  • James Rawcliffe, Tigerlily (Edinburgh): Eastern Adventure, comprising Tanqueray No. Ten, kaffir, pineapple & lemongrass cordial, Belsazar Riesling and soda.
  • Kuba Korzynski, Black Rock (London): Esprimita Martini, comprising Coffee & Coconut Ketel One, crème de cacao blanc and coconut water.
  • Stevie Kane, Baccarat Bar (London): Jasmana Highball, comprising Johnnie Walker Black Label, banana & jasmine cordial and soda.

More information on upcoming challenges will soon be revealed.

World Class partners with Whisky House, Drinks Drop and Crucible

New for 2020, throughout October Whisky House at Kings Cross' Goods Way will hold three masterclasses a week, hosted by the World Class team with the Johnnie Walker, Tanqueray and Ketel One ambassadors sharing cocktail recipes and tips on how to develop skills and techniques at home.

Elsewhere, partner bars of World Class will be selling £6 RTD cocktails in partnership with The Drinks Drop, with 50p of each cocktail going back to the bars.

Crucible will also be offering a weekly live show, Crucible Presents: The Lowdown, hosted by Jack Sotti and Stu Bale, and featuring special panel guests. They will be exploring the elements that create flavour in mixed drinks, including fermentation, distillation, terroir and taste.

World Class welcomes Pippa Guy, Jo Last and Miriam 'Mimi' Schofield

A trio of new appointments has also bolstered the World Class family: Pippa Guy (previously senior bartender at the Savoy's American Bar) is now the new Tanqueray brand ambassador; Jo Last (formerly of the Savoy's Beaufort Bar) has been given the title of whisky brand ambassador (both pictured above); and Mimi Schofield is now TLA account executive.

'We are incredibly excited to bring World Class back to GB, with a new and adapted programme to champion bartender creativity in the face of adversity,' said Jack Sotti (pictured above), head of advocacy GB at Diageo. 'We have stripped back and rebuilt the competition to allow bartenders with no bar or budget to compete, and are airing our exciting new four-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.'

Find the full programme of events at theworldclassclub.com.

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