America’s Charles Joly Wins the 2014 World Class Final in London

Beginning in Gleneagles, then travelling to London via the Orient Express…

Charles Joly with his newly acquired silverware.

…the 2014 World Class global final brought 48 of the World’s best bartenders to London, for a week of cocktail-related challenges.

A variety of masterclasses held by various industry luminaries punctuated a week of competitive challenges which centred around a five story London town house, where spectators were able to see the competing bartenders in action, and taste their drinks.

The field was narrowed at various points, with each successive challenge eliminating various bartenders, culminating in the final round – Punch and Glass.

Judges Dale DeGroff, Salvatore Calabrese, Julie Reiner, Steve Olsen and Gary Regan were much impressed with Charles Joly’s (The Aviary, Chicago) submission, Above the Clouds, which ultimately won him the 2014 Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year.

Charles had this to say of his victory: “Wow, I just feel totally overawed by this. I know it sounds like a cliché but to be announced as the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2014 is like a dream – I half expect to wake up at any moment. The other finalists really are the best bartenders in the world today so for the judges to pick me as the winner is incredible”.

Next year, the World Class finals will travel to Africa for the first time, taking place in Cape Town. We will bring you news of the competition and how to enter as soon as possible.

Charles Joly’s winning drink – Above the Clouds

  • 1.5oz Ron Zacapa
  • 0.5 oz Benedictine
  • 1.5oz Ver jus rouge
  • 1.5 oz Gingerbread dream rooibos syrup
  • 1 pound Dry Ice

Combine in beaker over heat source. Pour into globe and drop in small amount of dry ice to chill, create aroma and visual. Serve in glass globes on stand with a metal straw.