The first challenge of Diageo World Class 2017 is whisky and whiskey


World-leading premium drinks company Diageo kicks off the 2017 edition of its annual World Class Competition this month to identify and celebrate the world’s most talented, innovative and creative bartenders.

One of the most prestigious but toughest mixology competitions, Diageo World Class puts aspiring, experienced and veteran bartenders through the paces in a series of cocktail and mixology challenges to winnow out the merely good from the best of the best. In its ninth year, the competition attracts bartenders of all levels to pit their skills against one another for the honour of being recognised and lauded by their peers in the industry.

The Singapore leg kicked off earlier this February to find the top three bartenders who will go on to compete in the regional finals to take home the title of “Southeast Asia Bartender of the Year”, as well as earn a spot to compete at the Global Finals in Mexico City laster this year.

“At Diageo, we believe in realizing our mission to help the world drink better. And that is what the Diageo Reserve World Class competition is really all about – continuously seeking out the cream of the crop, and furthering their potential with the opportunity to work alongside with some of the industry’s best,” says Fabricio Marques, Reserve Brand Development Manager, Asia Pacific.

For the first challenge in Singapore, contestants are tasked to create two whisky cocktails drawing inspiration from the themes of “old fashioned twist” and “contemporary” featuring either The Singleton of Glen Ord 12YO Scotch Whisky or the Bulleit Bourbon 10YO in the month of February, tapping on the current explosive growth in both Scotch whisky and bourbon whiskey categories.

The top 50 will then advance to the second round that would take place in March, from which the contestant pool will be narrowed down to just 25 bartenders. The third round in May will shortlist the 10 finalists and the final round in June would determine the top three that will represent Singapore in the Diageo World Class Asia Finals.

The Singapore leg of the Diageo World Class in 2016 was won by Boo Jing Heng (pictured) – who most recently moved from Jigger & Pony to Tess Bar & Kitchen – while the 2015 edition saw Steve Leong win the local leg, who coincidentally moved from Tess Bar & Kitchen with Boo taking his place, to a sales position with William Grant & Sons.

[Photo credit: Diageo]