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Daniel Warren is Diageo’s GB World Class bartender 2018
Published:  20 June, 2018

Daniel Warren from the Last Chance bar in Nottingham was last night (June 19) crowned Diageo Reserve’s World Class Bartender of the Year 2018 GB.

The two-day final started with a day of trials in Edinburgh, followed by a second day of challenges at the well known Gleneagles Hotel.

The first challenge took place at the Edinburgh Grand Hotel. Designed to test the bartenders’ hospitality skills and their ability to create a welcoming experience, competitors were required to create the ‘Perfect Welcome Cocktail’ and experience using a base of Ketel One Vodka, Tanqueray No. Ten or Don Julio in any style, with only five minutes to prepare for the presentation and five minutes to present to the judges.

On day two, the top 10 joined Diageo brand ambassador Ali Reynolds at the Shooting Lodge on the Gleneagles estate, to test their skill in creating a perfectly balanced smoked cocktail using and highlighting the smoky notes of Johnnie Walker Black Label.

A challenge pack was sent to the finalists’ ahead of the competition. They were then asked to pre-prepare one smoky cocktail, in a ‘ready to go’ hipflask, which they brought with them to Scotland. On the day of the challenge the competitors presented and served the cocktail back to the judges, describing how it had been made.

The final challenge, ‘The 19th Hole’ took place at The Gleneagles Hotel in the Auchterarder 70 Club House. The competitors were asked to imagine they had just been appointed as the new bar manager at the venue and were tasked with creating the new Club House signature drink, inspired by the legacy of the famous golfing institution, all during their first 10 minute shift.

Finalists were given five minutes to prepare their station before their shift started and 10 minutes to present to the judges, during which time they were judged on how well they entertained and hosted guests as well as the judges.

The finalists were required to create two full serves for the judges at the bar, and 15 sample sized versions for the guests, while simultaneously taking orders from customers from a bespoke World Class Classics menu which included: Tanqueray No.Ten and tonic, Zacapa Daiquiri, Don Julio Margarita, Ketel One Dutch Mule and Johnnie Walker High Ball.

This year’s judging panel included: Simon Difford (Difford’s Guide), Sandrae Lawrence (Cocktail Lovers); Dan Dove (Global Bartending); Diageo World Class GB Manager, Stephen Martin; Diageo Reserve GB brand ambassadors, Ali Reynolds, Colin Dunn; Diageo Reserve European brand ambassador, Deano Moncrieffe; Diageo Global Cocktailian Lauren Mote, Diageo Reserve GB Bartender of the Year 2017 Jamie Jones and Global Winner Kaitlyn Stewart.

Warren, said: “This year’s competition has been tough, the challenges really tested my technical abilities as a bartender and also my hospitality skills and it’s not over yet. I can’t wait to see what the global final in Berlin brings.”

The 2018 Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year prize package includes:

  • Nationwide media exposure & dedicated PR for the World Class GB Winner & their bar throughout the year;
  • A 12 month contract worth a minimum of £5,000 to tour with the World Class team hosting workshops & bartending at high profile & prestigious events throughout the UK
  • Fly to Schiedam for an exclusive 2-day culinary experience with a mystery chef at the Ketel One distillery
  • A two-day Malts Advocate course in Scotland with Whisky Gurus: Dave Broom or Charles MacLean
  • Be part of the World Class Bartender Exchange and travel to three European countries to guest bartend behind some of the world’s best bars
  • A £300 voucher for a personalised Cocktail Kingdom Kit
  • Professional signature serves & profile photo shoot with top industry photographer
  • And finally…Represent GB in the World Class Global Finals 2018 in Berlin.