This week Diageo Reserve hosted the second part of their World Class competition and announced the final bartenders heading into the UK final.
At the end of last year World Class held it’s first semi-final with five bartenders making it through to the UK final. This week six more joined them (a tie for fifth making it six instead of five) after another intense day of competition.
Once again 50 bartenders converged to a the secret Diageo Customer Collaboration Centre (near Park Royal tube station, head past the Nando’s and keep going) to battle it out across a series of challenges revolving around the title, ‘Fruits & Plants’.
The challenges were focused around the Reserve white spirits portfolio including Ciroc Vodka, Tanqueray No. TEN, Ketel One, Don Julio and Dee Humphrey’s wonderful Jinzu.
The cocktail creation round saw the competitors basing their inspiration on someone who has made a difference to the environment in some way, be they famous or a loved one (the winners drink specs are below) all judged by last years World Class UK winner Ali Reynolds. Each bartender had to compete in a couple of other challenges before the agonising wait to see who had made the grade.
The wait was tempered somewhat by the fact they were all taken to Oriole and given a drink or three to relax. When the announcement came it showed the fine lines that made the difference between hero and zero, with six having to be picked due to the aforementioned tie.
Those six are:
- Lorenzo Antinori of Dandelyan, London
- Aidan Bowie of Dandelyan, London
- Dominic Whisson of The American Bar at The Savoy, London
- James Bowker of The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel & Cocktail Lounge, Birmingham
- Jerome Allaguillemette of Sexy Fish, London
- Gordon Purnell of Panda & Sons, Edinburgh
They will be joining the winners from the first semi-final – Liam Broom of Callooh Callay, Tim Laferla of City Social, Sean Fennelly of Milk & Honey, Kyle Wilkinson of Beaufort Bar and Scott Gavin of Rosewood Hotel.
They will be fighting it out at the UK final to represent the UK at the global final in Miami in September as well as getting all sorts of lovely travel and mentoring opportunities. For us though the biggest prize will be not having to refer to Ali as the UK World Class winner anymore, we can go back to calling him ‘Josh’s brother Ali’.
Well done to all 11 for making it this far and we look forward to hearing all about how the eventual winner gets on in Miami, it’s about time we won it again isn’t it?
Lorenzo Antinori, Dandelyan
40ml Ketel One
15ml apple orgeat
20ml apple pulp
10ml apple cider
Combine all ingredients in a container & whisk together. Pour into a Collins glass, add crushed ice & churn/swizzle with a fork in order to chill & dilute the cocktail. Garnish with dehydrated Apple slices
Aidan Bowie, Dandelyan
1 part Don Julio Blanco Tequila
2 parts blood orange & artichoke posca
Top with sparkling water
The drink is served as a sharing punch over ice with watercress & blood orange
Dominic Whisson, The American Bar at The Savoy
The Eden Project
45 ml Don Julio Blanco
20ml lime juice
10ml eucalyptus honey water
15ml pear eux de vie washed with coconut oil
Blend & stirred, served in a bowl with a soil garnish
James Bowker, The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel & Cocktail Lounge
60ml meadow-infused Tanqueray No. TEN (grass & sorrel)
25ml lemon juice
25ml apple, pea and quince shrub
15ml tonic water
The guests will be presented with an array of pickled vegetables, plants & fruits which they can choose their garnish from. Shaken and served in a wine glass.
Jerome Allaguillemette, Sexy Fish
Earth From Above
50 ml Don Julio Blanco infused with lapacau tree bark smoked Broccoli
20 ml Aperol
10 ml yuzu
10 ml Cocchi Rosa
50 ml prosecco
3 Drops of peach & chilli essence
Broccoli, hibiscus powder
Build the drink in a watering can before swirling it inside with cracked ice. Pour the liquid on top of the Broccoli, which is covered at the top with Hibiscus powder & stand in a rocks glass with crushed ice with Prosecco. The cocktail will fall as a rain 7 will collect all the Hibiscus powder.
Gordon Purnell, Panda & Sons
Sex Out the City
240ml Ketel One Vodka Citroen
180ml dry damson water
100ml red cabbage juice
90ml sweet dandelion water
60ml lime juice
Served for sharing in a water fountain. Add the cabbage juice to the fountain. Then the other ingredients one by one & watch the whole thing change colour. Guests are encouraged to fill their martini glass from the moving liquid in the fountain