World Class 2009

Here’s a great way to start the New Year. While celebrity chefs have been propelled to prominence in the last few years as Brits re-discover a love of cooking and fine dining, drinking in Britain has undergone a much similar, although not quite so publicised, re-invention. The days of foreigners scoffing at our love of a warm beer are long gone and Britain is now arguably widely regarded as the world’s leading cocktail destination. So it’s only fitting that Britain’s finest bartenders receive the recognition they deserve.

Diageo Reserve (including brands such as Tanqueray® No. Ten™, Johnnie Walker® Blue Label® blended Scotch whisky, Ketel One ® and Cîroc® vodka) has launched its ‘World Class’ bartender programme in a bid to do just that. In a nationwide search to find Britain’s finest bartender, the competition will pit the best against the best, culminating in a highly competitive Great Britain final and ultimately, for the GB winner, a global final which will see them competing against the finest bartenders from around the world including Australia, China, Singapore, Brazil and Greece.

The GB final will be judged by some of the country’s most esteemed experts in taste, style and bartending, namely Marco Pierre White, Michelin-starred chef; Andy Pearson, TV Mixologist; Bill Prince, Deputy Editor of GQ; Tom Innes, Editor of Theme (one of the bar industry’s leading publications) and Barrie Wilson, Diageo Reserve Brands Ambassador. Also, from 1st August, anyone with a Bluetooth facility on their mobile phone will receive a text message when they walk into any bar taking part in the World Class competition. The message will recommend a World Class cocktail for you to try, as well as providing you with the recipe so that you can try making it at home.

The winner of the GB final will win a place in the prestigious global final, to be judged by a star-studded panel. The global winner will go on to have their definitive book of cocktails published courtesy of Diageo and be the face of a global campaign to raise the profile of the industry, themselves and their bar – a once in a lifetime opportunity.

So, if you think you have what it takes to take on the best in the world, simply log on to to enter the competition

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