Diageo Kenya Crowns Winner of the 2018 World Class Bartender of The Year

Diageo Kenya Crowns Winner of the 2018 World Class Bartender of The Year

By Leila Namisango

The World Class Kenya competition finale was bigger and more interactive than ever. Guests at the WORLD CLASS competition witnessed the pinnacle of bartending creations, new trends and the parameters of cocktail making pushed further than ever before during the Grand Finale Gala event.

The six finalists started off their day having judging sessions where they had to impress the judges with not just their cocktails but personality and presentation skills too.

The judges of the day were Michelle Slater of Eat Out Kenya and Brian Owango.

Later on in the evening, the Tusker Stadium in Ruaraka dubbed the World Class Dome for the event had mini bars set up for each of them to impress us with a punch they had previously made.

Each one of the bartenders was super proud of their creation evident in how they talked about it without seeming to be campaigning for a vote… I honestly don’t even think they new we would be voting.

Here is what each of them made from what I remember…

Kevin from Radisson had a fruity and refreshing gin cocktail he called the Tanqueray Breeze… Kevin has such a great personality and seeing him at the stand made me wonder what he is like at the Larder which is the Radisson bar. The cocktail was a favourite for many too…

WORLD CLASS is on a mission to make the world drink better – it is a mark of distinction that guarantees the best in drinking experiences whether that's the world's best bartenders, bars, spirits, drinks, recipes or entertainment, said Diageo East Africa Senior Brand Ambassador Douglas Duncanson.

Angel from Dusit also chose to use a combination of four or five fruits and a whisky to make her punch. She served them in tree tomatoes and that was pretty cool!

Evans from Kempinski was trying to convince us that every time could be whisky time. He also used whisky …

Since its inception, World Class has been passionate about giving the bartenders the spotlight they deserve for being incredibly talented professionals whose skill is on a par with the world's best chefs but also supporting them to increase their skills and be able to create better and great drinking experiences to consumers

Patrick, who by the way, <spoiler alert> won the competition served a gin tea and was very knowledgeable on how to pair gin with different flavors to create a perfect cocktail. He had fermented teas and sourced ingredients from far and beyond so it was clear just how much thought he put in to the competition.

Patrick survived the fire of the Heat of the Moment challenge as he showed how to break boundaries in cocktail making by incorporating the best of culinary techniques with his ‘El Granjero’ cocktail. El Granjero is a Spanish word meaning the farmer; which is the country of origin for Ron Zacapa; the spirit he used to make his cocktail. He took on the challenge to show how bartenders can look for new ways to create the ultimate cocktail. Over six finalists battled it out for the World Class Kenya Bartender of the year title.

I appreciate Diageo for giving me this opportunity to learn more about becoming an exceptional mixologist. It is through working together with my fellow bartenders that I have learnt how to create the perfect balance in a cocktail, he added.

From the beginning of the competition, Patrick has seen off challenges which tested every single skill that makes a bartender truly great. He battled it out in the Signature Serve challenge, going head-to-head with his opponents to create his best classic cocktail.

Paramjeet of Nyama Mama was all cool ad collected serving his whisky cocktail that he called Roulette

Last cocktail we sampled was from Sam who was the only competitor who owns his own bar and also the only one to use vodka. Sam’s drink had aloe-vera and he mentioned something about using potatoes skins. Interesting combinations and flavors.

The Global Final will see the world's best bartenders battle it out in a series of innovative cocktail and mixology challenges and be judged by the world's most respected mixologists and taste experts to be crowned with the title of the World's best bartender of the year.

The competition is part of a fully integrated program that aims to increase the quality of consumer's experiences in fine drinking, offering support and training to thousands of bartenders and bars to improve their skills. To date, the program has inspired and educated more than 25,000 bartenders worldwide while working in partnership with bars, restaurants, night-clubs and hotels to build their business and offer a better experience to consumers.