The battle to become the world’s best bartender is on. This year, 5,500 cruise line bartenders from three of the world’s leading cruise lines have been shaking it up in the Diageo Global Travel World Class Programme in pursuit of their place in the Diageo Reserve World Class Final. Only one can go forward to represent Global Travel at the star-studded World Class Bartender of the Year Global Grand Final in Cape Town later this year, competing against the best bartenders from around the globe. Last year’s winner, Charles Joly has experienced a life-changing journey filled with new and exciting opportunities such as mixing at Jenson Button’s wedding and the Grammy Awards.
All 5,500 bartenders who took part in the training were put through a series of competitive heats to find the top three. They will now face-off at the glitzy World Class Global Travel Final in the deluxe Diageo 396 Bar inMiami, Florida on July 9th 2015. The three are: Wade Cleophas, 29, South Africa: Norwegian Cruise Line; Santos Mercedes Enriquez, 39, Peru: Celebrity Cruises; and Shekhar Grover, 28, India: Royal Caribbean International.
The expert judging panel who face the difficult task of selecting a Global Travel winner are; Enrique de Colsa, Master Distiller for Tequila Don Julio; Spike Marchant, World Class Global Brand Ambassador; Erik Lorincz, World Class Bartender of the Year 2010; and Julio Cabrera, Managing Partner of The Regent Cocktail Club in Miami.
“Diageo Reserve World Class is at the forefront of cutting-edge mixology, taking great strides in creating luxury drinking experiences. The global training initiative is widely recognized as a mark of distinction in international fine drinking culture. We are delighted to partner with three leading cruise lines in the Global Travel programme for 2015. Together we want to ensure that we are constantly challenging the boundaries of contemporary and experimental on board cocktail culture. The competition is fierce this year – I wish each of our finalists the best of luck!” said Louise Higgins, Regional Marketing Director, Diageo Global Travel Western.