Diageo World Class GB finalists whittled down to 11

Jo Gilbert

Diageo’s annual World Class competition has announced its finalists for GB 2017.

At yesterday’s semi-finals, 50 UK bartenders were whittled down to 11 following a day of challenges.

During the first challenge, semi-finalists were tested on their knowledge of tequila.

As well as honing in on the impressive growth of tequila over the past two years in the UK – as reported by Harpers this morning – the Road to Jalisco challenge saw bartenders immerse them in the culture of this year’s global final host country, Mexico.

Semi-finalists were then transported to Quaglino’s in London’s Soho, where this year’s finalists were announced.

The judging panel included World Class Manager, Dan Dove; Diageo’s Reserve Brand Ambassador, Ali Reynolds; World of Zing founder, Pritesh Moody; World Class UK Winner 2016, Aidan Bowie; and Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassadors, David Beatty, Steve Martin, David Sinclair, Ervin Trykowski, Tim Homewood and Joe Tivey.


The Diageo World Class GB finalists for 2017:


1. Aiden Page The Bar With No Name London 

2. Alf Del Portillo The Natural Philosopher London 

3. Constanca Cordeiro Peg and Patriot London 

4. James Bowker The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel & Cocktail Lounge Birmingham 

5. Jamie Jones The Social Company London 

6. Jerome Allaguillemette Sexy Fish London 

7. Jon Hughes Bramble Edinburgh 

8. Liam Broom Callooh Callay London 

9. Martin Hudak American Bar at The Savoy Hotel London 

10. Sean Fennelly Hawksmoor Spitalfields London 

11. Thomas Matthews The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel & Cocktail Lounge Birmingham 

Dan Dove, head of World Class UK, said: “The skill, precision and incredible talent of our competitors increases every year. The pushing of boundaries and knowledge these bartender’s exhibit never fails to surprise me and the level this year is higher than ever. Each and every bartender should be incredibly proud to have made it to the semi-finals and to have been chosen for the final means that they are in the top 11 most talented bartenders in Great Britain in 2017.”

The competition operates alongside Diageo Reserve – a division of Diageo created in 2004 to focus on luxury brands.

The portfolio consists of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Cîroc, Don Julio, Tanqueray No. TEN, Ketel One vodka, Zacapa and a fine collection of Single Malts and accounts for over 15% of Diageo’s total sales.

The final is scheduled for June.



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