By Rebecca Harris in London
A Greek bartender has taken out the inaugural Diageo Reserve Brands World Class Bartender of the Year competition held in London last week (Jul 14-16).
Aristotelis Papadopoulos beat 17 other finalists, including Australia’s Adi Ruiz from Sweatshop in Melbourne to claim the top prize.
Dubbed the ‘Liquid Oscars’, the competition attracted over 6000 entries from 24 countries, with each country each hosting their own cocktail challenges to find one finalist to send to the London World Finals.
Using brands from Diageo’s premium Reserve Brands Portfolio – Ketel One vodka, Ciroc vodka, Tanqueray No. Ten gin, Don Julio tequila, Zacapa rum and Johnnie Walker Gold Label and Blue Label whiskies – the finalists competed in six challenges, including canapé matching, a speed test and a market challenge.
Judge and renowned cocktail expert Gary Regan told TheShout that the competition was “hands-down” one of the greatest to date.
“Overall, the quality was fabulous,” he said. “These twenty-first century bartenders are so much more creative than I ever was and I feel privileged to watch them here today.”