Jacob Martin, from Canada has been crowned 2023 World Class Global Bartender of the Year, beating 10,000 other bartenders who entered this year’s competition, including GB’s Matt Arnold of Passing Fancies in Birmingham, who placed in the final Top 12.
The competition saw Jacob participate in a series of challenges over four days, which included the creation of classic cocktails with Tanqueray No. TEN, employing Johnnie Walker Black Label’s versatility of flavours, as well as creating a Ketel One ‘Garnished with Good’ cocktail.
Jacob’s professional life began with a career as a Toronto-based opera singer and clarinettist, before a chance encounter at a cheese counter ignited a new passion, leading him to become the youngest Affineur to graduate from the American Cheese Society. He then found his true calling in bartending at the newly established Hexagon restaurant in Oakville, Ontario. Continuing to hone his craft, Jacob ventured to the “Louis Louix” at the St. Regis hotel, before embarking on a journey to New Zealand, immersing himself under the guidance of Japanese bartenders at the renowned “Rata,” mentored by chef Josh Emmite. After three transformative years abroad, Jacob returned to Toronto, translating his dreams into reality with the inception of Bar Pompette. His path of innovation persisted as he went on to create Bar Banane on Toronto’s lively Ossington strip.
This year’s World Class competition also saw the inclusion of the Industry Forum, a chance to engage, educate and inspire the bartending community with seminars and panel discussions from World Class judges and guests – highlights included: “From Insta to IRL: trends and how to master them”, featuring World Class 2017 winner, Kaitlyn Stewart and Diageo Global Reserve Culture Manager, Giuliana Pe Benito and “Behind the Scenes of the World’s Best Bars” with bar owners including Monica Berg, Thiago Benares and Benjamin Padron.
Marissa Johnston, Global Head of Diageo World Class said: “Following last year’s World Class in Sydney was always going to be a big ask, but the World Class teams around the world, the Brazil team and, of course, our amazing 54 competitors have all stepped up to the plate and knocked it out the park. The level of energy on the ground here is incredible and after so many months of planning it’s been such a thrill to see it all come together like this. It’s so exciting to see a city come alive with great drinks and great experiences. Jacob has truly taken this competition to the next level – he excelled across the board and the feedback from the judges has been incredible. Jacob is such a deserving winner and I can’t wait to work with him over the next 12 months – he’ll go far.”