Bartender Aidan Bowie (pictured right) has secured his place at Diageo Reserve's World Class Bartender of the Year event in Miami this September after clinching the British title this week.
The Dandelyan bar in London, where Bowie has worked since it opened in October 2014, was also awarded a £10,000 marketing fund to create its own world class drink to celebrate Bowie's success.
The three-day championship event saw 11 finalists battle it out for the title and to secure a place at the global final.
It was judged throughout by the Diageo Reserve team of brand ambassadors, flavour chemists and industry experts, including Alex Kratena and last year's winner, Ali Reynolds (pictured left with Bowie).
For the first challenge, The Art of Umami, held at Farnhams Hall, bartenders had to create and present judges with a long and short serve that showcased and highlighted the largely unexplored flavour of the hotly debated fifth basic taste.
The second day of the competition, at Diageo's Global Innovation R&D Centre, saw the finalists develop their own bitters, using state of the art equipment, before bottling and branding their product. They then worked to design a signature cocktail and paired the bitters with a brand from the Diageo Reserve luxury spirits portfolio.
The final 11 then moved to Rosewood London where they unveiled their final bitters alongside their signature cocktail.
This last stage of the event was open to guests, including 30 consumers who formed a public vote, which was added to the judges' final scores - a first in the British competition's history.
Announcing Bowie as the winner, head of Diageo Reserve World Class GB, Dan Dove, said: "Aidan Bowie's World Class journey has been remarkable. Throughout both the semi-final event and this week's final, he has consistently impressed the judging team with broad thinking, incredible knowledge base and pioneering ideas.
"Aidan Bowie epitomises a Diageo Reserve World Class bartender and we are extremely proud to have him now represent Great Britain at the global final in September."
Bowie added: "I am so proud to have earned my place at the World Class global final. This year's competition has been beyond tough in terms of the challenges but also the level of skill and talent I have witnessed amongst the other competitors. I am very pleased and honoured to go through to the next stage of Diageo Reserve World Class."
The final 11 competitors were:
- Jerome Allaguillemette (Sexy Fish)
- Lorenzo Antinori (Dandelyan)
- Aidan Bowie (Dandelyan)
- James Bowker (The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel & Cocktail Lounge)
- Liam Broom (Callooh Callay)
- Sean Fennelly (Milk & Honey)
- Scott Gavin (Rosewood London)
- Tim Laferla (City Social)
- Gordon Purnell (Panda & Sons)
- Dominic Whisson (The American Bar at The Savoy)
- Kyle Wilkinson (Beaufort Bar)
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