Moët Hennessy Diageo has announced the six finalists who will go on and compete in the 2017 World Class Hong Kong and Macau final. After two sets of challenges and two rounds of competition Diageo Reserve has found the region’s top six bartenders. The top six are;
Alexander Ko – The Woods
Ana Souza – The Pontiac
Lok Cheung – Angel’s Share
Nokoy Mak – Topiary
Samuel Kwok – Quinary
Valerio Politano – Skye at Parklane Hotel
To arrive at the top six, 12 bartenders competed in the World Class semi-final at Honi Honi, which featured two challenges: the Tanqueray Aroma Challenge and the Zacapa Rum Challenge. For the Tanqueray Challenge, bartenders were required to make a cocktail using the aromas of Tanqueray, while the Zacapa Challenge asked the competitors to deconstruct the five tastes of sweet, salty, bitter, sour and savoury in an undiluted cocktail.
The esteemed judging panel featured Master Distiller of Zacapa, Lorena Vazquez, who was impressed by the level of talent, saying “The quality of the bartenders is inspiring”.
The final for World Class Hong Kong and Macau will take place on June 12 and 15 at Taikoo Place, where the final six bartenders will take part in three challenges. The challenges are the blending room, which tests whisky knowledge, a food pairing market challenge with Ho Lee Fook, and the American classics speed challenge where they must make a round of classic cocktails in 10 minutes. The top three will go on to take part in the Hong Kong Shakedown on June 15.
At the Hong Kong Shakedown, the top three bartenders selected will have a mere 72 hours to create their own pop-up bars in Taikoo Place for the night of June 15. To do this, each bartender is given a budget and a design team to bring their own vision of a bar to life. The global panel, featuring none other than one of the most influential bartenders of the last 30 years, Angus Winchester, Global Single Malt Ambassador Donald Colville, Dennis Tamse, Nolet Distillery Ambassador for Ketel One, celebrity chef Jowett Yu of Ho Lee Fook and Hong Kong champion from last year, James Barker of 208 Duecento Otto.
The winner of the final will go on to represent Hong Kong and Macau at the World Class Global Final in Mexico City in August.