Bannie Kang wins Diageo World Class 2019

Cristina Diezhandino, Diageo MD, Reserve and Bannie Kang

Bannie Kang wins Diageo World Class 2019

27 September, 2019

Bannie Kang from Singapore was named Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year 2019 at the global finals in Glasgow on Thursday, 26 September.

Kang is head bartender at Singapore cocktail bar Anti:dote and she will now spend the next 12 months acting as a global ambassador for Diageo’s Reserve brands.

“I’m dreaming, this is so amazing. All of the challenges were great fun and difficult in their own way,” said Kang.

“The preparation that goes into a competition like this is unbelievable and I’m so honoured to be the winner.”

A total of 53 bartenders were selected to represent their country at the four-day global finals in the Netherlands and Scotland having won their respected regional final earlier in the year.

The first challenge took place at the Ketel One distillery in Schiedam, Netherlands where the bartenders made cocktails aiming to have a positive environmental and social impact on the local community.

The second challenge then took place at the Talisker distillery on the Isle of Skye, where they were given a surprise box of ingredients in which to make a Talisker-based cocktail from.

Kang added: “I really enjoyed the Ketel One challenge because I want to inspire people to become a bartender, regardless of their skin colour or sex. I also think as bartenders we have an opportunity to make a difference to this world.”

The global finals then culminated at Glasgow’s SWG3 venue in the city’s west end, where the World Class Hub hosted the final series of challenges for the 53 contestants.

The challenges which took place in Glasgow included making a drink with The Singleton single malt scotch, a flight of three small Tanqueray No. Ten cocktails and a Johnnie Walker highball available in can form.

The final night of the competition saw a final eight bartenders selected to compete in a live speed round, where they were given six different cocktails to make as fast as possible. However a one minute penalty was awarded for every one of the drinks which was not deemed ‘world class’ by a panel of judges on stage.

“It’s difficult to prepare for the speed round because you have no idea what cocktails you’ll have to make but I’m so proud to see five of the final eight representing Asia,” added Kang.

Although representing Singapore, Kang originates from South Korea and is now the 11th winner of the competition, with previous winners including Erik Lorincz, Charles Joly and Orlando Marzo.

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