Le Nechet wins World Class

30 September, 2016

France’s Jennifer Le Nechet has been crowned the world’s best bartender at the World Class Bartender of the Year Global Final 2016, the first female bartender to win the award.

Following a four-day contest in Miami, Le Nechet triumphed from a field of 56 national finalists.

The bartender, from Café Moderne in Paris, made an impact with judges after a display of creative, vibrant drinks at her Steampunk themed pop-up bar.

2016 marks the eighth year of Diageo’s World Class, and the biggest yet, with nearly 10,000 bartenders entering the competition.

Each challenge turned the spotlight on a different skill in the bartender’s armoury: technique, personality, spirits knowledge and how well they perform under pressure.

Using brands from Diageo’s Reserve portfolio, bartenders made classic cocktails and created their own new recipes. They also went up against the clock to mix eight 'quintessential drinks' in 10 minutes.

Le Nechet said: “I’m completely blown away – it’s such an honour to take home the title of World’s Best Bartender – especially when competing against such talent from around the world. This week has inspired me to continue pushing the boundaries of flavours and to explore how all the senses can be engaged through cocktails”

Le Nechet will become a Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador, and can expect to travel the world judging competitions and guest bartending.

Johanna Dalley, World Class director, Diageo Reserve said: “World Class is continuing on a stellar trajectory – since we launched in 2009 the number of countries participating has tripled from 18 to 56, and the programme has reached and inspired more than 250,000 bartenders around the globe.

"We are proud to bring you this year’s crop of the world’s most skilled bartenders, and to learn about the newest and greatest drinks experiences on offer. Jennifer is the deserved winner, and we are delighted to have a female winner for the first time, but the five runners up were all worthy contenders.”

Alex Kratena, judge and founder of P(OUR) said: “We judges have been blown away by the standard this year. These guys have knocked it out of the park – no matter whether it’s mixing a classic cocktail or creating a bespoke drink. The level of innovation has been jaw-dropping.”

At the Awards, Mexico City was also revealed as the location for the World Class Bartender of the Year Global Final 2017.

Dalley added: “This year, World Class will take cocktail culture to a new level in Mexico City, and there could be no better place for this, since for many years, this city been developing into one of the most vibrant capitals for food, drink and culture.”

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