Shake, strain & pour: new competition dates announced

December 22, 2020
By Ioni Doherty

The Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year returns in 2021, with entries to the Australian competition open from Wednesday, 20 January and the competition will open on Monday, 1 February.

The Australian winner will compete in the Global Finals, where a new World Class Global Bartender of the Year will be crowned in a unique multi-format event hosted in Madrid, Spain from 5-8 July, 2021.

It was intended that Sydney would host the 2020 event but instead, Sydney will now play host in 2022. The Madrid event will be run in accordance with global cocktail culture safely in line with all prevailing government guidelines. 

World Class Bartender of the Year – Australian Competition

Local bartenders around Australia are invited to represent their country and enter the drinks industry’s most respected bartending competition.

Interested participants should register here.

In an all-new format for the competition, bartenders will lodge their drinks via the Diageo Bar Academy portal before competing in a series of challenges where they use Reserve Brands to experiment with flavour, balance and creativity across Ketel One Vodka, Tanqueray No. Ten gin, Johnnie Walker Black Label blended Scotch whisky and the Diageo Malts portfolio.

Prizes will be given at every stage of the competition, rewarding more bartenders than ever as part of the program. 

Diageo has assembled the best in the business to inspire and guide bartenders through the challenges, including previous World Class victors and Australia’s finest culinary talent.

To celebrate the Australian finals in April, Diageo will also host the World Class Cocktail Festival, a seven day national program of experiences that celebrate the craft of cocktail culture. The festival will culminate with the national winner being crowned on Monday, 26 April in Sydney, hosted in strict accordance to COVID safety regulations. Further details will be announced in due course. 

Diageo brand ambassador, Krystal Hart said: “This year, the hospitality industry has battled its greatest challenge in known history. But what has emerged from the hardship is an inspiring sense of camaraderie, community and creativity – exactly what World Class is all about”.

“We’re thrilled that World Class is returning in 2021 and cannot wait to see what Australia’s inspiring and innovative cocktail leaders have in store for us. We have a feeling it’s going to be one of our most impressive competitions yet”. 

Andrea Gualdi, 2017 Australian Bartender of the Year, said: “World Class is so much more than a title. It is a tight-knit community that encourages us to connect with, learn from and inspire each other – pushing drinks culture to the bleeding edge of innovation. No matter where you place in the competition, World Class leaves a lasting impact and helps open the doors to so many new experiences and opportunities”. 

The World Class Bartender of the Year Competition is the world’s biggest and most respected bartending competition, celebrating the skills and artisanship of bartenders worldwide. It is an annual competition entered by thousands of bartenders across the globe, culminating in a Global Final event and experience. The World Class Competition is not only where the best bartender in the world is crowned, it’s where the latest trends are showcased by industry leaders, trade’s biggest issues are unpacked by those actively championing them, and brand and partner innovations that will shape and define future drinks experiences.

Entries for the 2021 Australian competition are open from Friday, 1 January Register here.

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