Melbourne's Marzo wins World Class

Orlando Marzo from Melbourne’s Lûmé restaurant was named the world’s best bartender by Diageo World Class last night amid wild celebrations in Berlin.

Marzo triumphed over 10,000 bartenders from every corner of the globe in a competition that spanned five continents, six months, hundreds of challenges and countless cocktails.

World Class 2018 culminated in a four-day final at E-werk, a transformed industrial space in the east of Berlin, where 56 bartenders battled through various tests of their skill – including speed and creation tests.

The competition was whittled to four bartenders for the final round with Marzo (pic: centre left) joined by Daniel Warren of Great Britain (right), Laura Newman of the US (centre right) and Gökhan Kuşoğlu of Turkey (left).

Lauren Mote, Diageo global cocktailian and World Class judge, said: “All the finalists brought their A game, but Orlando really was on another level. The Zacapa aperitif he made for the Before and After challenge was one of the best I’ve ever tasted and the way he held his nerve in the Cocktail Clash finale – for me, that’s the mark of a truly World Class bartender.”

Marzo said: “I can’t believe it. Just being here, competing alongside the best bartenders in the world, judged by some of the most iconic names in the business was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but to actually win? I’m still in shock. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my amazing team back home – they’ve cheered me on every step of the way.”