Diageo's global bartending competition World Class has launched with new competitor challenges and partnerships.
A Bottle Cocktail Challenge competition will be held in partnership with Cocktail Porter and London Cocktail Week, aimed to recognise the demand portable cocktails and the importance of cost-effective serves.
The GB Top 100 were split into three groups – Ketel One, Johnnie Walker Black Label and Tanqueray No 10 – to create a bottled cocktail based on either Espresso Martini, Tom Collins or the High Ball. A winner from each category has been selected and will take a spot in the much-anticipated GB final 15.
James Rawcliffe of Tigerlily in Edinburgh created the 'Eastern Adventure', an interpretation of a Tom Collins, made with Tanqueray No 10, kaffir, pineapple and lemongrass cordial, Belsazar Riesling and soda.
Kuba Korzynski of the Black Roc in London created an ‘Esprimita Martini', made with coffee and coconut Ketel One, crème de cacao blanc and coconut water.
Finally, Stevie Kane of London's Baccarat Bar, London invented the ‘Jasmana Highball' using Johnnie Walker Black Label, banana and jasmine cordial and soda.
The winners will have their cocktails produced in a cocktail kit format for consumers to purchase via Cocktail Porter and featured on the London Cocktail Week website.
There have been changes to the Word Class community team, with Jack Sotti, previously senior Tanqueray ambassador, now head of advocacy GB, where he will be the key lead on the community's advocacy programme.
Pippa Guy joins the Diageo team as the new Tanqueray brand ambassador for GB. Guy was previously senior bartender at the Savoy's American Bar, the first woman in nearly a century to be positioned in this role, and the first woman ever to wear the Savoy's iconic white jacket.
Jo Last takes the role of whisky brand ambassador, while Miriam Schofield has been appointed TLA account executive.
Jack Sotti, head of advocacy GB at Diageo, commented: "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.
"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 Presents: The Lowdown 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."
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