Adrián Michalčík has been named as the world’s top bartender at a contest which culminated last night, September 15, at the Sydney Four Seasons Hotel.

The Norwegian bartender, who works as Bar Manager of Pier 42 at Amerikalinjen Hotel in Oslo, picked up three awards in total, also triumphing in the Don Julio ‘Pour Amor’ Challenge, and the Singleton ‘New Modern Classic’ Challenge.

After being announced as Global Bartender of the Year, Michalčík appeared overcome by emotion, and said: “Wow, I can’t believe I’ve just won the biggest bartender competition in the world! The last few years have been incredibly tough for me and for our industry.”

Winners were revealed after a series of challenges which concluded on the night with the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ speed round.

This final challenge saw contestants spin a pair of wheels to reveal two mystery ingredients which they had to use in two of three cocktails that were then presented to judges. Competitors had one minute to set up their bars, and five minutes to produce three separate drinks, in front of hundreds of spectators from the global hospitality community.

The World Class competition has lasted months, and previous challenges have included designing a cordial using surplus fresh ingredients, to creating the perfect highball with Johnnie Walker blended Scotch whisky, and stirring up an innovative take on the Tanqueray No. Ten Martini.

“Just to get the chance to compete here, in real life, against some truly amazing bartenders, feels like the start of a new chapter. There were moments I wasn’t sure I’d make the next round let alone win the title,” Michalčík continued.

Dominik Oswald from Austria picked up the Bartender’s Choice Award, while Danish bartender Mathias Klausen Broksø won the Ketel One ‘Garnished With Good’ Challenge. The Tanqueray No. Ten ‘Artisan’s Twist’ Challenge was won by Japan’s Yui Ogata.

Australian Nick Tesar, from Melbourne’s Bar Liberty, who was previously crowned World Class Australian Bartender of the Year, was a popular competitor amongst the crowd, and won the Johnnie Walker ‘Surplus Highballs’ Challenge.

Adrián Michalčík, representing Norway, is awarded the title of world’s best bartender at the Diageo World Class Global Bartender of the Year 2022 competition in Sydney, Australia

Marissa Johnston, Global Head of Diageo World Class reflected on the quality of the contest as a whole.

“This year’s competition has truly blown me away. Our finalists have taken their craft to the next level and Adrián stood out as a giant among giants. He is a very worthy winner and I’m really looking forward to working with him in the year ahead,” Johnston said.

The contest and awards ceremony was the climax of a wider festival, that included a series of collaborations, takeovers and events with venues around Sydney, with competition judges and hospitality legends Ago Perrone, Monica Berg and Ryan Chetiyawardana all involved. Food truck pioneer, Roy Choi, hosted the Don Julio Food Truck Fiesta, which continues until Saturday, September 17.

For Michalčík, this was the latest in a series of awards triumphs across his career, including achieving a ‘golden hat-trick’ of Best Bartender of Norway wins, and a previous Top Six placement in the World Class competition in 2016.

The Sydney ceremony was the first time the World Class event had been held in person since 2019, having been cancelled in 2020, and held virtually in 2021. Tim Philips-Johansson and Myffy Rigby hosted the evening’s festivities. Diageo World Class will return for 2023, when it will be held in São Paulo.

Michalčík will be serving up his creations at Hickson House Distilling Co, The Rocks, from 5:30pm tonight (16 September).

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *