World Class

Given that England were absolutely and royally trounced by Germany in the World Cup yesterday, it’s nice to have a competition to look forward to in which the UK may actually do quite well.

I’m not referring to Andrew Murray’s quarter-final quest at Wimbledon but the final of the UK  heat of Diageo’s World Class cocktail competition – which is a quest to find the world’s best bartender.

I will be in attendance all day tomorrow, chatting to all the finalists, getting tips and tasting their creations – and blogging updates all day too. It’s a great opportunity to find out from some of the best in the field what the latest trends are and get tips on improving the quality of my own drinks so I’m pretty excited.

The regional heats were organised by different spirits. The finalists, hailing from all round the UK (links below include some of the winning recipes) are:


Alex Kratena –  The Artesian, London
Alistair Reynolds – The Park, Bristol
Stephen Martin – Rick’s Bar, Edinburgh
Tom Mountain – BIBIS Italianissimo,


Christos_Kyriakidis – Vanilla Room, Cardiff
Conor Foley – Alma de Cuba, Liverpool
Erik Lorincz – Connaught Bar, London
Joey Medrington – Tiger Lily, Edinburgh


Stefan Cossio – The Dorchester, London
(can’t seem to find the other three finalist on the site – sorry)

The judges for tomorrow’s final are:

  • Gregg Wallace
  • John Torode
  • Andy Pearson, TV Mixologist
  • Barrie Wilson, Diageo’s Head of Brand Ambassadors
  • Simon Difford, Trade Guru

Which should offer an interesting mix of experience and perspective on what promises to be a demanding day for the contestants with five rounds in total.

But what I’m really wondering is with a total of 52 cocktails to taste, exactly how are the judges going to keep sober enough to come to a decision?


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