Diageo announces World Class bartender

Diageo has announced the winner of its global bartender competition World Class. Erik Lorincz from the Connaught Bar at The Connaught, London, was crowned champion at a ceremony in Athens, Greece.

The year-long challenge saw 9000 bartenders from around the world compete in national heats and 24 of the most talented went on to the four day final in Athens.

Judges included Dale DeGroff, Salvatore Calabrese, Peter Dorelli, Gary Regan, Alberto Soria and Hidetsugu Ueno.

Rudy Paoli, managing director, Diageo Reserve said: “World Class is a truly international celebration of the flair, creativity and skill of the bartender and the appreciation of great spirit brands. Erik represents all of this and we would like to congratulate him on this fantastic achievement.”

Judge Dale DeGroff said: “What's most impressive is how every aspect of the craft of bartending is tested by the challenges and judges. You need to be creative, thorough and skilled - it's daunting. Each year I learn different skills from everyone I meet at World Class including the contestants. These 21st century bartenders are the pioneers of a new golden age of the craft.”

World Class was established by Diageo Reserve, the luxury division of Diageo plc. The Reserve Brands portfolio includes – Ketel One vodka, Cîroc vodka, Tanqueray No.Ten gin, Don Julio tequila, Zacapa rum and Johnnie Walker Gold Label and Blue Label blended scotch whisky.