Diageo’s World Class Competition unfolds a few times a year in Australia. In State Capitals around the country; shakers, stirrers, barmen (& women) and even the odd mixologist bring their A game and a great cocktail for a chance to pit their skills, share their knowledge and not inconsiderable banter and win a spot in the Australian finals and a chance at going to the Worlds.
Earlier in the week I was lucky enough to get some insight into the World Class finals from the 2010 winner, Eric Lorincz.
From its grassroots in each of the 3o something countries now a part of the global contest, the level of competition at each stage increases. The camaraderie between the contestants remains constant, but the judges especially elevates from the amateur enthusiast to the global elite. Peter Dorelli, Gary Regan, Hidetsugu Ueno, Dale DeGroff, Salvatore Calabrese & Alberto Soria judged the final six rounds.
“What’s most impressive about Diageo World Class is how every aspect of the craft of bartending is tested by the challenges and judges. You need to be creative, thorough and skilled – it’s daunting… These 21st Century bartenders are the pioneers of a new golden age of the craft,” said DeGroff.
Erik is every inch World Class, from his winning smile, to his expert handling of the journalists and their questions, through to the signature long pour on his Tanq 10 martini (which better aerates the beverage) not to mention the finickity approach to zesting the drink so only the lighter aromatics flavour the drink.
The contest has obviously been a big step up for the young man, Peter Dorelli has hired him to front the American Bar at the Savoy in London, which is where you’ll have to go if you want a long poured martini of your own.
I wonder how long it will be until the best in the world come to Australia. My money is on pretty soon…