Ten finalists have been announced as this year’s Diageo Reserve World Class GB finalists following a cocktail battle yesterday.
Held at Diageo’s Customer Collaboration Centre in Park Royal, London, 35 competitors took part in three challenges themed around sustainability and culinary techniques.
The finalists are: Dave Hall, Terrior Tapas; Kieran Grieves, Bonbar; Georgia Billing, Sexy Fish; James Bowker, the Wilderness; Adam Day, Peggy’s Bar; Manachain Monaghan, Below Stairs; Luke Robinson, Cub; Daniel Warren, Last Chance; Daniel Bovey, Hyde & Co; and Cameron Attfield, Dandelyan.
The first challenge, Flavour on the fly, was designed to test bartenders’ ability to play with flavour and balance. The contestants were each given a guided workshop before being asked to apply the skills to create a drink.
For the next task, competitors took part in the 119.5 seconds speed round in which they had to make two classic cocktails and pour a Guinness.
The final challenge, named Breakfast Martini, tested contestant’s knowledge of brunch. The contestants were asked to present drinks using everyday ingredients and equipment found in a typical home.
The judging panel included Andy Ives of Bar Life, Simon Difford from Difford’s Guide, Sandrae Lawrence from Cocktail Lovers, Craig Harper from 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.
Martin said: “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 final will take place in Edinburgh next month.