Above: The class of 2019 – World Class GB finalists with judges
What’s the big deal? Isn’t this just another cocktail competition?
Wash your mouth out, this is World Class we’re talking about! Not for nothing is it regarded as one of the cocktail competitions to test your mettle. Twelve years since it launched, it continues to set a benchmark for fine drinking experiences – inspiring and educating bartenders around the globe.
For starters, the competition is continually evolving. Each year the World Class team devise new and clever ways to test bartenders’ creativity and showcase the premium spirits in the Diageo Reserve Brands portfolio. It also changes lives. Sounds dramatic but it’s true. Winning the title has proved itself to be a ticket to travel the world, gain mucho media attention, consult, land the top job in bars – you name it. The only limit to what winning can bring is down to you.
Okay, you’ve convinced me. How do I enter?
Take your pick from one of two modules, (or both if you’re up for it), then create a fabulous drink that captures the brief. Once you’re happy with your recipe and the rationale behind it, upload a photo or video of the finished product to theworldclassclub.com, then share a photo of said drink on Insta using the hashtag #WorldClassGB2020 and that’s it, job done.
Sounds good. What are the modules in question?
As if we wouldn’t tell you… Choose from Acid House, where your mission is to accentuate the burst of whole citrus fruit used in Tanqueray No. TEN Gin by using an acid alternative. Or there’s the Heritage Highball; this is where you’ll be tasked with using Johnnie Walker Black Label as your base to create a one-of-a-kind highball.
Great stuff! How long have I got?
You have until midnight on the 9th March to get your entries in.
Drink done, entry submitted, what next?
Then it’s down to the World Class team to get busy sifting through the entries, whittling the initial number down to the top 100.
When will I find out if I made the cut?
You’ll have to wait until 11th March. If you have, you’ll be asked to complete another online submission, this time heroing Ketel One Vodka. Then one of the Diageo Reserve Brand ambassadors and/or previous World Class GB winner will visit you in your bar for an in-house judging. #NoPressure.
Here’s where things get even more exciting – the top100 will somehow get trimmed down to 20. Yes, 20! If you’re one of the clever bods who’s on this list, you’ll be invited to The Pig, a fabulous spot in the New Forest. Not that you’ll be thinking of your surroundings mind, here’s where you’ll be showing why you should be the World Class GB 2020 champ.
Asking for a friend: what can they expect if they make it through?
Tell your friend that bragging rights and a ticket to Sydney for the World Class Global Final aside, they’ll bag themself a budget for bar tools, equipment and custom serve creation; the opportunity to visit Diageo-owned distilleries in Scotland; a chance to tour the country hosting events and workshops with the World Class team and a guest shift in a top European bar. And did we mention a ticket to the World Class Globals in Sydney? That’s got to be worth getting their thinking caps on for, right?
Lastly, any presentation tips?
Not from us, we’ve judged the competition on numerous occasions but we don’t have the skills to enter. Instead, we hand over to last year’s World Class GB winner (who also came in at a very impressive fourth in the whole World Class Global Final), Mr Cameron Attfield.
“Everyone can create a great drink but it’s how you present it, matched with your poise and essentially your presentation style that really makes the difference. The year before I won, I think my drinks were good but my presentation style was slightly unorthodox. It’s funny because I always recommend people letting their personalities shine through but then obviously there’s a limit to that, particularly in a competition like this.
Staying calm and relaxed is key – when I get excited, I speak really, really fast – so it’s about controlling your emotions and staying poised and calm. For the most part, your worse enemy is yourself. If you allow yourself to get into a situation where you’ve gone into your head, that’s what affects you and I think that’s what happened to me last year. The main thing is to relax, take time to understand that you’re there for a reason but really get your point across.”
Entries for Diageo Reserve GB World Class Bartender of the Year 2020 are now open and close on 9th March. To enter, visit theworldclassclub.com/
Or check the World Class GB Facebook page www.facebook.com/WorldClassUnitedKingdom