The Best Bartender Ever

World’s best cruise line bartenders from Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean International and Celebrity Cruises fight for a place in the DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS™ Global Grand Final.

The Luxonomist. 09/07/2015
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World Class cocktail – the Flapper Fizz (PRNewsFoto/Diageo Global Travel Western)

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.

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The judges look on as a competitor mixes up a WORLD CLASS cocktail at the Diageo Global Travel final last year (PRNewsFoto/Diageo Global Travel Western)

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 in Miami, Florida on July 9th 2015. They are:

  • Wade Cleophas,29, South Africa: Norwegian Cruise Line
  • Santos Mercedes Enriquez, 39, Peru: Celebrity Cruises
  • 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.

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World Class cocktail – the Smokey Apple Julep (PRNewsFoto/Diageo Global Travel Western)

WORLD CLASS trainer Sarah Lawrence said, “It was truly thrilling to see the trainees advance through the program and the heats. There was a real sense of excitement in the air as they rediscovered classic cocktails, finding interesting twists and interpretations of them, using the finest spirits from the Diageo Reserve luxury portfolio to create exciting drinks for cruise line guests. Now we have our final three! Each has proved themselves the best in the cruise line bartender business and I’m excited to see who will be crowned Diageo Global Travel champion.”

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Diageo World Class cocktail. Click for more information

Louise Higgins, Regional Marketing Director, Diageo Global Travel Western, said: “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! ”

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Diageo World Class cocktail. Click for more information

Renowned mixology expert Sarah Lawrence was one of the trainers who led an intensive WORLD CLASS bartending programme that our finalists took part in, which sought to inspire and educate cruise line bartenders in the mystic art of mixology.

Trainees were coached in exceptional service, innovative ingredients, showmanship and the latest cocktail-making trends, whilst preparing them for the fierce competition ahead. This training ultimately enables them to provide guests with an exceptional in-bar experience on board their cruise ships.

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