Diageo Reserve World Class was launched in 2009. It has been a great promoter of the fine drinking experience and cocktail culture. It has supported, inspired and educated bartenders in over 60 countries, and has motivated over 250,000 bartenders with their advocacy and training program. World Class is a platform that encourages talented local bartenders and provides them with correct knowledge to move forward.
Moreover, they conduct a yearly competition that brings the bartenders together from across the globe. The Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year Competition decides the best bartender, and this year’s competition will be held in August in Mexico.
On 6th June, the Diageo Reserve World Class India Championship was held in Mumbai, India. It was a full day event that was held at St. Regis Hotel. In this final leg of the competition, 12 bartenders from leading hotels participated to win the title.
For the last 6 months, the international brand ambassadors, Nicholas Ord and Jamie Walker have mentored nearly 300 bartenders. The mentored the participants on global cocktail trends and modules like sustainability in cocktail making, the art of storytelling and history of bartending techniques.
The participants completed several regional level competitions before going for the National Finals. From the 300 bartenders, only 12 made it to the World Class India finals, after many regional rounds of training and competing.
Rounds of the Competition
The participants were judged on their performance in the 3 rounds. Every bartender went through a training procedure to reach the Global Finals in Mexico. Take a closer at each round.
The Blind Tasting Round
This was the first round, where the contestants had 10 minutes to create 2 drinks. Of all the contestants Devi Singh from Goa displayed his flawless style of making cocktails, as he stole the show by Creating cocktails in truly Indian Rajasthani style.
The Speed Round
Next round the speed round, in this the contestants had to make 8 drinks in 6 minutes. This was the round in which Rohan was able to impress the judges with his speed.
The Mystery Box Round
The final round was the mystery box. In this, there was a mystery box in which the ingredients and whiskey were placed. The participants had to select one box and make a cocktail on the spot with the available ingredients.
The runners up were Jitender Singh Rana from Perch,Delhi and Kevin Dias from Hakkasan, Mumbai. They were able to impress the judges with their creativity and craftsmanship.
The winner of the Diageo Reserve World Class India Championship was Rohan Rege from Pune. He will be representing India in the Global Finals in Mexico later this year. Rohan displayed unparalleled skills with extreme passion. He was able to impress the judges with his careful execution, balanced cocktails, and speed. I wish him all the success so he can make India proud. I wish him all the best for the Global Finals.