I have been invited to and attended a series of events in my lifetime, but when I got to hear that there is such a thing as a Bartender Competition, I was quite intrigued and wanted to widen my horizon and see what this was all about, and for all that is worth, I was certain there were definitely going to be serve up some lovely cocktails through the night! And disappointed I was NOT!!
Now in its 7th edition, Diageo Reserve World Class continues to transform fine drinking experiences and cocktail culture around the world. A unique platform, which aims to nurture the potential talent of local bartenders and enable them with the right knowledge. This year again, they had 20 of India’s top mixologists,compete for the title at Shangri La Hotel in Bangalore. The creations had unthinkable ingredients that balanced the flavours of Scotch.
The bartenders had an array of spirits to chose from Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, Johnnie Walker Platinum Label 18, Talisker, Tanqueray 10, CÎROC, KetelOne, Don Julio and the Singleton of Glen Ord 12YO. They were judged on the basis of three rounds – The Pantry Round, The Speed Round and The Mystery Box Round. Each bartender went through a rigorous training procedure to survive till the end and had their eyes firmly set on the global finals in Miami!
Jitender Singh , from Gurgaon was conferred the title of the India Bartender of the Year at Diageo Reserve World Class 2016. The winner will now represent India and compete with the world’s best bartenders at Diageo Reserve World Class Global Finals to be held in Miami in September, 2016. Congrats once again Jitender Singh!
Runner up Vikram Ku and Runner Dilbar Singh from Delhi/Noida too impressed the judges and the attendees with their creativity and craftsmanship, thus earning them the second and third position respectively.
~ Jitender Singh from Gurgaon wins the Diageo Reserve World Class India Finals 2016 and gears up for the Global Finals in Miami ~
Top 20 bartenders were judged by an expert panel consisting of Feroze Merchant,Head of Luxury, USL Diageo, Nicholas Ord, USL Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador, Jamie Walker, USL Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador, Serhan Kusakisizoglu, Director of Corporate Projects, Shangri La, Nicole Faria, ex Miss Earth 2010 and Manu Chandra, Chef Partner Toast & Tonic (Bangalore), Monkey Bar (Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai), The Fatty Bao (Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai), and Executive Chef Olive Beach, Bangalore.
Announcing the winner, Feroze Merchant, Head of Luxury, United Spirits Ltd – a Diageo Group company said, “Diageo Reserve World Class is considered one of the most respected bartender competitions both in India and globally. A unique platform, which aims to nurture the potential talent of local bartenders and enable them with the right knowledge, craft and skill. Diageo Reserve World Class aims at transforming fine drinking experiences and cocktail culture which encourages people to drink better and responsibly. ”
Sharing his big win, Jitender added, “It’s a real honour to be the Diageo Reserve World Class India Bartender of the Year 2016. The platform has given me an opportunity to learn from the best in the industry and I can confidently say that I have grown enormously as a professional through this journey. It feels extremely rewarding to compete with the best bartenders in the world and represent India at the Global Finals in Miami. I can’t wait to bring the Global title back to India!”
~ About Diageo Reserve World Class ~
Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS is transforming fine drinking experiences and cocktail culture around the world and in the home. Launched in 2009, over 15,000 bartenders have been inspired and educated in the craft of mixology using the finest spirits in the Diageo Reserve collection.
~ About United Spirits Limited ~
USL is a subsidiary of Diageo plc which is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits, beer and wine categories. Founded in 1826, USL is the largest Indian spirits company.
The night ended with the finest cocktails being served at the latest addition to Bangalore’s skyline rooftop lounge at Shangri-La Hotel called HYPE . It was rainy heavy that evening, yet it didn’t damped anyone’s spirit. The competition took place in-spite of it. Was good to bump into Nicole Faria (Miss Earth 2010), who was one of the judges Andreas the GM of Shangri-La and his wife gave me company, as the ambassadors of Diageo Nick Ord and Jamie Walker conjured us some fancy and delicious cocktails. I personally, caught up with a lot of old time friends as I had been on a hiatus for sometime.
The cocktails were served in bottles and had been labelled with the type of drink that was served. It had the cities who’s who show up with a very tight guest list. Overall, a wonderful experience, and I end on a high note #lovescotch
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**Disclaimer: Even thou the invite was complimentary, all views expressed are my own.