Diageo Reserve’s World Class Bartender of the Year 2018 GB final has named Daniel Waren the winner of this year’s competition.
The first challenge included the creation of the ‘Perfect Welcome Cocktail’ with a base of Ketel One Vodka, Tanqueray No. TEN or Don Julio under 10 minutes to prepare for presentation and present to the judges, who tested the bartenders’ hospitality skills and ability to create a welcoming experience.
On day two, the challenge was to pre-prepare one smoky cocktail in a ‘ready to go’ hip flask to test the competitors’ skill in creating a balanced smoked cocktail highlighting the notes of Johnnie Walker Black Label.
The last challenge asked the bartenders to imagine themselves as new bar managers of The Gleneagles Hotel in the Auchterarder 70 Club House, which overlooks the Queen’s Golf Course.
The competitors had to create a new signature drink for the Club House, offering two full serves for the judges and 15 sample-sized versions for the guests. The bartenders had five minutes to prepare their station and 10 minutes to present to the judges and guests while attending orders from customers from a bespoke World Class Classics Menu.
Judges of the competition were Diageo World Class GB’s manager Stephen Martin; brand ambassadors Ali Reynolds, Colin Dunn and Deano Moncrieffe; global cocktailian Lauren Mote; global winner Kaitlyn Stewart; last year’s winner of Diageo Reserve GB Jamie Jones as well as Simon Difford from Difford’s Guide, Sandrae Lawrence from Cocktail Lovers and Dan Dove from Global Bartending.
Warren said: “I never imagined I’d be crowned the winner of this year’s 2018 World Class competition, it’s a dream come true and I’m so incredibly happy. It has been an absolute whirlwind and it all feels very surreal. It’s such an honour to of been able to work with so many talented bartenders, judges and brand ambassadors.
“This year’s competition has been tough, the challenges really tested my technical abilities as a bartender and also my hospitality skills and it’s not over yet! I can’t wait to see what the Global Final in Berlin brings, I’m counting down the days until I can do it all over again and represent my country.”
Manager and judge of Diageo World Class GB, Stephen Martin, added: “World Class is all about fantastic hospitality, exceptional knowledge, skill and creativity, and Daniel has it all. He really inspired us, brought his own style to the competition and engaged everyone involved, not just the judges. We’re really proud of Daniel and can’t wait to see what he will bring to the global final in Berlin.’’