MHB’s Kelly Siew and headed over to Zeta Bar on 20 April 2015 for the Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS™, the industry’s most prestigious and respected mixology competition. Now I’m not one who’s much into cocktails as I feel most cocktails in Malaysia are either too sweet or sour and lacks in balance therefore I attended with quite some hesitation. By the end of the night however, I would change my mind about how I feel about cocktails after sampling some of the finest cocktails available in the country.
The competition aims to redefine fine drinking experiences through its ground-breaking programme training over 15,000 bartenders around the globe. The six month initiative educates the country’s best bartenders to innovate and experiment in mixology using some of the finest spirits from the Diageo Reserve luxury collection.
This year, the most talented bartenders from across Malaysia will show off their skills and compete for the title of Malaysia’s best bartender. The top finalists from Malaysia will then advance to the 2015 Regional Finals in Bangkok and Global Finals in South Africa.
After a journey of qualifiers and heats at national and regional levels, the Global Finals will see more than 50 of the best bartenders in the world showcase innovative cocktails and compete in a series of unique and unparalleled challenges to be named WORLD CLASS™ Global Bartender of the Year.
Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS™ was launched back in 2009, and is synonymous with sophistication, impeccable service and pushing the boundaries of contemporary and experimental cocktail culture with tradition and modernity as a common thread. Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS™ assists in building careers in the industry and has been instrumental in changing the lives of the next generation of bartending talents.
The fifteen mixologists vying for the title of Best Bartender in Malaysia were:
- Arsenio Mariano Jr. – Nobu
- Daniel Eman – Las Caretas
- Dedi Pranata – Souled Out
- Edward Tang – Skybar
- Hafiz Hisham – Chamber’s Bar
- M.Hanafi – Qba
- Insan Sharily – Tate
- Jeffri Sulaiman – Mr. Brooks
- Joel Timis – The View
- John Yap – Majestic Hotel
- Khir Johari – CuBen
- Naresh Kumar – Qba
- Osmund Illah – Hubba Hubba
- Samuel Mesol – Hubba Hubba
- Shawn Chong – Omakase+Appreciate
Colin Chia, Regional Commercial Manager of Diageo Southeast Asia said, “Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS™ is a true celebration of the world’s best bartenders and fine drinking experiences. We are proud to see the local competition expand across the country and hope to inspire a new generation of mixologists whilst helping raise the profile of bartenders within Malaysia. By understanding how ingredients truly complement cocktails, the valuable experience gained will advance the bartenders as they apply the knowledge at the competition and work performance.”
The fifteen mixologists will compete on two fundamental challenges using the collection of fine spirits from the Diageo Reserve luxury portfolio before moving on to the Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS™ Malaysia finalé. The first challenge, Fundamentals of Flavour tasks the mixologists with creating an iconic cocktail using the JOHNNIE WALKER ® Gold Label Reserve™ Blended Scotch Whisky while the second challenge, A History of London tasks the mixologists with creating an iconic cocktail using the TANQUERAY® No. TEN™ Gin. The finalists selected to represent Malaysia at the 2015 Regional Finals in Bangkok will be selected based on the best overall scores on the two challenges and finalé. The judging criteria will cover aroma, flavour, presentation, techniques and use of the spirits.
Throughout the initiative, the skill and talent of Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS™ bartenders are honed using the collection of fine spirits from the Diageo Reserve luxury portfolio – JOHNNIE WALKER® Blue Label™ Blended Scotch Whisky, JOHNNIE WALKER ® Platinum Label™ Blended Scotch Whisky, JOHNNIE WALKER ® Gold Label Reserve™ Blended Scotch Whisky, The SINGLETON™ Single Malt Scotch Whisky, CÎROC® Vodka, KETEL ONE® Vodka, TANQUERAY® No. TEN™ Gin, DON JULIO® Tequila, ZACAPA® Rum, Bulleit® Bourbon, Talisker Single Malt Scotch Whisky and HAIG CLUB.
For videos of the current world’s best bartenders showing you how to make WORLD CLASS cocktails at home, visit http://www.youtube.com/worldclass
For inspiration on more recipes, visit http://www.thebar.com
To learn more about what, where and how to drink, visit http://www.definitivedrinkingguide.com
Follow the competition on Facebook at the ‘Global WORLD CLASS™ Finals’ page http://www.facebook.com/WorldClass.