Luxury drinks brand Diageo Reserve has announced its 2017 World Class finalists with the UK's top 50 bartenders whittled down to 11 as judges struggled to choose only 10 due to the level of talent at this year's semi-finals.
The competition aims to test bartending technique, creativity, presentation, hosting skills, and brand and industry knowledge, with each bartender put through three high pressure challenges, themed around this year's Diageo Reserve Future Trends report.
Including ‘The Road to Jalisco' challenge which saw the competitors transport themselves to Jalisco, the home of Don Julio Tequila, designed to fully immerse them in the culture of this year's final host country, Mexico.
The finalists are:
- Aiden Page, The Bar With No Name, London
- Alf Del Portillo, The Natural Philosopher, London
- Constanca Cordeiro, Peg and Patriot, London
- James Bowker, The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel & Cocktail Lounge, Birmingham
- Jamie Jones, The Social Company, London
- Jerome Allaguillemette, Sexy Fish, London
- Jon Hughes, Bramble, Edinburgh
- Liam Broom, Callooh Callay, London
- Martin Hudak, American Bar at The Savoy Hotel, London
- Sean Fennelly, Hawksmoor Spitalfields, London
- Thomas Matthews, The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel & Cocktail Lounge, Birmingham
Dan Dove, head of World Class UK commented: "The skill, precision and incredible talent of our competitors increases every year. The pushing of boundaries and knowledge these bartenders exhibit never fails to surprise me and the level this year is higher than ever. Each and every bartender should be incredibly proud to have made it to the semi-finals and to have been chosen for the final means that they are in the top 11 most talented bartenders in Great Britain in 2017. I'm sure I speak for all the judges when I say that we can't wait to see what they bring to the final in June."