The global final will feature its 50 best bartenders from around the world compete in a series of challenges staged around the country that will “tell stories of places, people and provenance”.
The organisers say this year, for the first time, consumers will also be able to participate in the final with masterclasses, cocktail themed events and the challenges themselves as a way to recruit consumers into what Diageo calls “the fine drinking culture”.
Launched in 2009, the Diageo Reserve World Class bartender competition has undoubtedly become recognised around the world of bartending as the event to win as an individual.
Diageo says the final will be judged by the world’s most respected mixology cognoscenti and attended by trend-leading editors, renowned bar owners and a selection of guest judges who are also renowned craftspeople in their fields.
The dual-location event is aimed at “highlighting Scotland’s art of blending and London’s contemporary global cocktail culture”.
Diageo Reserve global commercial director, Matteo Fantacchiotti, said: “World Class is a true celebration of the world’s best bartenders and fine-drinking experiences. From small beginnings in London, to international hot spots in Athens, New Delhi, Rio de Janeiro and the high seas of the Mediterranean; this year, we are proud to see World Class return to Great Britain, paying homage to its origins and showcasing its evolution into the world’s leading bartender event.
“Come July 2014, our guests will experience the best of Scotland and our Scotch whisky portfolio and will then be taken on-board the luxurious World Class Express to London. Arriving into St Pancras International and capturing the spirit of the environment to introduce fresh influences and inspiration, our bartenders will take over a platform to compete in World Class Live – a once-in-a-lifetime experiential challenge in front of consumers and luxury travellers,” said Fantacchiotti.
The accompanying TV special will be aired on more than 20 TV networks across more than 100 countries to a potential audience estimated at more than 180 million.
Diageo is also producing the ‘World Class 50: The Definitive Drinking Guide 2013’, described as “an online go-to for the discerning who want to be in the know of the best fine-drinking experiences all around the world”.
Hosted on both Tumblr and Pinterest, the guide is said to be curated by the best in the bartending industry and provides 50 unique stories: how to hunt down the best drinks, the best ways to enjoy these drinks, and the best things to see, hear, and do that make for a richer fine-drinking experience.