Charles Joly from The Aviary, Chicago, US has been awarded the title of Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2014.
Matteo Fantacchiotti, global vice-president commercial, for Diageo Reserve, said: "Right from the beginning Charles' passion, creativity and unrivalled mixology skills blew the judges away. His desire to create unique serves that combined sophisticated tastes with innovative modern twists never faltered at any stage of the competition.
"It's a real honor to have Charles as our 2014 Diageo Reserve World Class ambassador, and I look forward to working with him in the future. Together we hope to inspire a new generation of mixology talent across the world, helping raise the profile of bartenders to where chefs are today."
"I just feel totally overawed by this. I know it sounds like a cliché but to be announced as the World Class Bartender of the Year 2014 is like a dream. The other finalists really are the best bartenders in the world today so for the judges to pick me as the winner is incredible," Joly said.
Joly becomes the sixth bartender to be awarded the revered World Class title and will now become a global ambassador for Diageo Reserve World Class, a role which will see him travel the world, educating and inspiring new talent while developing his own skills and knowledge through the different tastes and techniques they experience along the way.
The 2014 competition consisted of a series of challenges staged around Britain, starting in Gleneagles, Scotland, before travelling via the iconic Orient Express to London.
This year, for the first time ever, consumers were also invited to participate in the final and discover a world of fine drinking culture at the World Class House, with hands-on mixology masterclasses run by world-renowned bartenders.