DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS- presents the Singapore National Final in the global search for the Bartender of the Year
The WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year is a global undertaking by Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks company and owner of an impressive assemblage of brands including Johnnie Walker, Guinness, Smirnoff, Tanqueray, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Cuervo, and many others. At the pinnacle of the brand collection are the premium DIAGEO RESERVE brands- Johnnie Walker Gold Label Blended Scotch Whisky, Ketel One vodka, Zacapa rum, Don Julio tequila, Cîroc vodka and Tanqueray No. Ten gin.
The DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year concept has been operating globally for the past four years and encompasses a program of both training and national competitions, with over 10,000 bartenders from 40 countries participating this year. The national champions from each country will compete at the Global Finals event to be held in Rio De Janerio, Brazil in July.
The five Singapore finalists presented before the panel of judges prior to the competition
This year DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS in Singapore conducted an intensive six month long series of four training sessions and subsequent Challenges for bartenders from leading cocktail bars in Singapore. Each challenge focused on a spirit category, represented by a Diageo Reserve brand, and an aspect of luxury bartending – an examination, a Tanqueray No. Ten Gentleman’s Tipple, a Mystery Box Challenge, and a Service Ritual Challenge. The end result of the Challenges was selection of the finalist bartenders - Akihiro Eguchi, the reigning World Class Singapore National Champion 2011 from Waku Ghin, Raveen Misra from Nektar, Zachary de Git from Tippling Club, Caryn Cheah and Karen Heng from BarKode. The series of Challenges represented 40% of the overall assessment score, while the Final accounted for 60%, with 40% for the cocktail presentation, and 20% for the taste and speed challenge.
The Singapore WORLD CLASS Final was held recently within the function facilities of the Equinox / New Asia Bar complex on the 71st floor of the Swissotel The Stamford. The finalists presented their bartending skills in front of a panel of senior Diageo representatives and industry judges – comprising Hidetsugu Ueno, Global World Class Guru Judge; Siobhan Hamilton, Managing Director, Diageo Singapore Malaysia Indonesia; Mark Barnard, Chief Commercial Officer, Diageo Asia Pacific; Lam Chi Mun, Diageo Bar Academy Director, Asia Pacific; Richard Gillam, Beverage Operations Manager, Swissotel The Stamford, and Regional World Class Champion 2010; and Aubrey Sim, Head Bartender at B28 and winner of World Class Singapore 2009.
At the completion of the final Speed and Taste challenge, the judges announced that Akihiro Eguchi, the champion from 2011, had successfully retained his title, with a narrow margin over runner up Raveen Misra. As the Singapore Champion 2012, Akihiro Eguchi will be flying to Rio de Janerio in July to participate in the Global Final.
The Singapore Finalist’s cocktail creations- Single Malt Whisky Challenge
Champion- Akihiro Eguchi (Waku Ghin)– name of cocktail “Indulge in the Skye”- featuring Talisker 10 YO
Dark Chocolate infused Talisker, Guinness Foreign Stout syrup, freshly squeezed lime juice, egg white, shake all the ingredients with orange zest and pour into rock glass with orange flavor ice. Garnish with peat smoked cocoa nibs.
1st Runner up – Raveen Misra (Nektar)- Name of Cocktail: “Dalwhinnie Sours”- featuring Dalwhinnie 15YO
Dalwhinnie 15YO, fresh lemon juice, fresh grapefruit juice, reduced poached apple syrup, half an egg white, wild heather, tincture, served with poached apples as garnish on the side. Shake and strain first 5 ingredients into a well-chilled coupe. Wild heather tincture is then sprayed onto cocktail.
2nd Runner up – Zachary de Git (Tippling Club)- Name of cocktail: “The Pastures of Islay”- featuring Lagavulin 16 YO
Lagavulin 16 YO, Punt e Mes, Nebbiolo Reduction ( casa fresco la signora, castor sugar, white creme de cacao). Shake hard with one small orange peel in tin shaker. Double strain into fish bowl glass.
3rd Runner up – Caryn Cheah (BarKode)- Name of Cocktail: “The Single Formula”- featuring The Singleton of Glen Ord 12 YO
Singleton of Glen Ord 12 years, Antica formula, fresh vanilla pods with apple syrup made of stewed apples with cinnamon and allspice. Shaken, poured over metal ice cubes and serve with a vanilla straw.
4th Runner up – Karen Heng (BarKode)- Name of Cocktail: Craggan’s Creek- featuring Cragganmore 12YO
Flame thyme and orange peel, cover with overturned serving glass and let smoke rise into serving glass. Cragganmore 12 YO, Chamomile tea syrup, fresh thyme, fresh lemon juice. Shake and strain into serving glass. Garnish with fresh thyme, clove, lemon peel and chamomile flowers.
The Speed and Taste Challenge
The finalists had to prepare five classic cocktails in the fastest time – a Scotch Mint Julep, a Margarita, a Cosmopolitan, an Old Fashioned, and a Tanqueray No. Ten Tonic.
Panelist judge- Hidetsugu Ueno, Master Japanese Bartender, observing carefully the preparations of contestant Akihiro Eguchi
Contestant Caryn Cheah mixing under the watchful eye of Panelist judge- Hidetsugu Ueno
Panelist judges Hidetsugu Ueno (L) and Lam Chi Mun (R) monitoring contestant Raveen Misra as he completes his five cocktails
Presentations on the 73rd floor rooftop Helipad of the Swissotel
Commencement of the prizes presentation- introducing the finalists
The First Prize presentation to Akihiro Eguchi
The “pop-up” bar on the Helipad- serving cocktails to guests
Drinks served on the rooftop Helipad at Swissotel Singapore
WORLD CLASS Global Finals Facebook Page
WORLD CLASS Singapore, Malaysia & Indonesia Facebook Page
DIAGEO RESERVE BRANDS- more information here
CIROC VODKA* KETEL ONE VODKA * JOHNNIE WALKER GOLD RESERVE *
TANQUERAY No TEN GIN * THE SINGELTON * RON ZACAPA RUM * DON JULIO TEQUILA
Venue : Equinox Complex, Level 71, Swissotel The Stamford, 2 Stamford Road, Singapore.
Tel. +65. 6338 8585 Website: www.swissotel.com/singapore-stamford