Entries now open for Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2019



Diageo Reserve’s prestigious bartender competition, World Class, is now open for entries in the UK. This year, the competition returns with a more streamlined entry process, promising to be easier than ever for bartenders to get involved.

Now in its eleventh year, World Class kicks off with a digital submission of one or two serves, giving entrants the opportunity to double their chance of making it through to the top 100. The successful 100 applicants will go through to the in-bar judging stage. From there, the top 100 will be whittled down to 20, who will then come together to compete to be crowned GB World Class Bartender of the Year 2019, before representing GB in the World Class global final hosted in Glasgow later this year.

‘Science of Smoke’ and ‘Tech Tonics’, both of which featured as modules on the World Class studios UK-wide tour, are the two key elements of the online entry challenge in the UK and competitors can choose to submit a recipe for one or both.

‘Science of Smoke’, centred around Johnnie Walker whisky, requires bartenders to demonstrate mastery of flavour understanding and execution. Competitors are required to create a unique highball that is representative of their bar or geographical location, using Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky as the base and integrating a pre-smoked ingredient, homemade or otherwise.  ‘Tech Tonics’ draws on inspiration from the unique production and distillation process for Tanqueray No. TEN gin and asks bartenders to experiment with botanical combinations and unique flavours to produce a highball serve using Tanqueray No. TEN and soda.

Between 14th March and 7th April, bartenders across the UK are invited to digitally submit one cocktail to one or both of the entry challenges, giving the opportunity to increase the chances of one of the drinks being noticed and recognised as worthy of the next stage. Each cocktail of choice must be in the form of a highball and include at least 30ml of Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky or Tanqueray No. TEN gin. Bartenders must submit recipes for Science of Smoke and/or Tech Tonics online at and post a picture of the drink to social media using #WorldClassGB2019.

The top 100 digital entries will be announced on 9th April. Those competitors who are chosen as part of the top 100 will then be invited to submit their next entry online for the in-bar judging process, where judges will visit the top 100 bartenders across the UK to taste-test entry drinks. This will be a ‘Tartan Tiki’ serve, integrating Talisker into a tiki-style serve, whilst showcasing British flavours and inspiration.

The judges will then choose the UK’s top 20, who will compete in the GB final, taking place in London in June 2019.

This year’s overall GB winner will be awarded with an exclusive prize package which includes the opportunity to tour with the World Class team hosting events and workshops, a tour of a selection of Diageo-owned distilleries covering the four corners of Scotland, Cocktail Kingdom bar tools and equipment, a guest bartending shift at one of Europe’s best bars, as well as nationwide exposure and dedicated PR throughout the year. This year’s winner will also be crowned with the coveted title of GB World Class Bartender of the Year 2019 and will represent GB in the Diageo Reserve World Class Global Final hosted in Glasgow later this year.

Rich Larkin, Head of Diageo Reserve GB, comments: “Since its launch, World Class has been instrumental in transforming fine drinking and cocktail culture and brings together the best bartending talent from around the globe. We’ve already seen some fantastic demonstration of skill during our World Class studios GB-wide tour this year and I’m extremely excited to see the team reveal GB’s top bartending talent and crown the GB World Class Bartender of the Year 2019.

“It was an extremely close call for GB at the Global Finals last year with GB representative Daniel Warren coming in second. With this year’s global final taking place in Scotland – home to all of Diageo’s iconic scotch including Johnnie Walker, Talisker, The Singleton and Mortlach – the competition really is on to see if a GB bartender can take the crown of the World Class Bartender of the Year 2019 in their own country.”

In October 2018, Australia’s Orlando Marzo clinched the 2018 World Class Bartender of the Year trophy in Berlin. As part of his victory, Orlando is currently travelling the world as a Diageo representative and is due to arrive in London in June 2019 for the World Class GB final where he will provide advice and guidance to this year’s finalists. He also joins a roll call of the industry’s finest, becoming the 10th member of the World Class Hall of Fame.

Entries for Diageo Reserve GB World Class Bartender of the Year 2019 open from 14th March until 7th April. To enter, visit

World Class GB Facebook page

Enjoy Diageo Reserve Brands responsibly.

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