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WORLD CLASS challenges push competitors to the limit

The challenges they are facing as part of the global finals – taking place this week in South Africa – are designed to push them to the very limits of their skill and creativity.

Antonio Lai representing Hong Kong

The WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year competition is in full swing, testing the 2015 selection of the most talented mixologists on earth. The challenges they are facing as part of the global finals – taking place this week in South Africa – are designed to push them to the very limits of their skill and creativity.

Each of the 55 finalists, representing over 50 countries, are competing in five demanding challenges presided over by a panel of global gurus and WORLD CLASS Hall of Fame champions.

“In order to impress the WORLD CLASS judges, a bartender must exhibit originality, precision, showmanship and the ability to connect with consumers. They will be tested to their limits throughout WORLD CLASS – working under pressure to create not only beautiful drinks, but also memorable experiences. Each year I am astounded and inspired by the level of talent, skill and innovation the participants bring to the competition,” said Spike Marchant, global ambassador for WORLD CLASS.

The week opened with an “Against the Clock” challenge – a high-pressure speed round where competitors prepared a minimum of five cocktails in just 10 minutes to the tune of their own, personal soundtracks. Judges awarded points based on dexterity, creativity and the contestants’ grace under pressure.

The final six bartenders will be annouced tomorrow and will go on to take part in the challenge of challenges, The Cape Town Shakedown, where they will have limited resources and limited time to create their own micro WORLD CLASS pop-up bar. The six will have to draw upon every trick and talent at their disposal to mix the ultimate signature drink – the last obstacle between of the finalists and the title of WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year 2015.

Once the final scores have been tallied, the winner will be announced on Friday at a grand ceremony at the Cape Town City Hall.

The 2015 Bartender of the Year will become a recognised industry name and a global ambassador of the WORLD CLASS™ programme, travelling the world, educating and inspiring new talent while widening their own knowledge and honing their skills and techniques along the way.

The Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year is the most prestigious event of its kind and aims to elevate the skill and craft of bartending and set global trends and standards in the service industry.


Country Bar Bartender
Australia Boilermaker House Jack Sotti
Austria Barracuda Barcatering Philipp Ernst
Belgium Diageo Jurgen Nobels
Brazil Grupo Vegas Kennedy Nascimento
Bulgaria By The Way Dimitar Dimitrov
Canada UVA Wine and Cocktail Bar Lauren Mote
Colombia Mai Tai Bar Cesar Acero Sanchez
Costa Rica Hotel Andaz Papagayo Clark Jimenez Alvarado
Czech Republic L’Fleur Bar Vítězslav Cirok
Denmark Open/Closes Karl-Martin Edin
France Le Florian Paul Silvers
Germany Shakekings Marian Krause
Greece Theory Bar and More Emmanouil Lykiardopoulos
GTME Celebrity Cruises Santos Mercedes
Guatemala Independiente “Nomada Cocktail” Marvin Martinez
Hong Kong Quinary Antonio Lai
India Drinks on MG Alfonso del Portillo
Indian Ocean Apoteek Tristan Petit
Indonesia Sofitel Nusa Dua Bali Ayip Muhammad Dzuhri
Ireland MVP Anna Walsh
Israel Bellboy Ariel Leizgold
Italy Replay the Stage Francesco Cione
Japan Lamp Bar Michito Kaneko
Kenya Royal Orchid Hotel Akash Tomar
Lebanon Central Station Refaat Ghostine
Malaysia Omakase & Appreciate Yi Shawn Chong
Mexico Licoreria Limantour Fernanda Tejada
Morocco Sofitel Royal Bay Agadir (Accor Group) Brahim Hamouali
Netherlands Door 74 Tess Posthumus
New Zealand Racket Bar Phillip Spector
Norway Raus Jørgen Dons
Panama Taberna Rasputin Felix Cuevas
Peru Bottega Dasso David Romero
Philippines ABV Kenneth Bandivas
Poland El Koktel Mateusz Szuchnik
Portugal Cinco Lounge Jose Maria Robertson
Puerto Rico Santaella Michael Norat
Romania PPD Paul Sfirlea
Russia Mendeleev Bar Evgeny Shashin
Singapore Tess Bar Steve Leong
Slovakia Gastronomy Group Filip Navratil
South Africa Molecular Bars Domenico de Lorenzo
South Korea Speakeasy Mortar Byungjim Lim
Spain Varsovia Bar Borja Cortina
Sweden Bar25 Ted Filip Dako
Switzerland Intercontinental Geneva Olivia Hairay
Taiwan Mandarin Oriental Taipei Jacko Chang
Thailand Why97 Pongpak Sudthipongse
Turkey Nopa Kevin Patnode
United Arab Emirates Zuma Restaurants Mehmet N. Sur
United Kingdom Hawksmoor Alistair Reynolds
United States Death & Co Tyson Buhler
Vietnam Urban Kitchen Bar Duy Tu
Western Europe Central Team / Yachting (SS) Sailing Yacht Marie Jasmin Rutter