July 2nd, 2012


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 over 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 WORLD CLASS Hong Kong National Finals 2012 were conducted recently at the bar of LILY & BLOOM in Central Hong Kong. Eight finalists had been selected from a series of earlier challenges held in the preceding months.


The Hong Kong Finalists

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Venus Lau from Salon de Ning, at The Peninsula Hong Kong- and her “Classic with a Twist” cocktail-  titled “Lolita”

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Rai Suvas from Lily & Bloom – and his signature cocktail- titled “Labour of Love”

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Rajendra Limbu from 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana – “Johnnie Walker® Gold Label Reserve™ Ritual Bottle Serve- titled “Organic Golden

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Ricky Lau from Mamoz Bar – and his “Johnnie Walker® Gold Label Reserve™ Ritual Bottle Serve- titled “The Core”

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Tom Wood of Wyndham the 4th – preparing his “Johnnie Walker® Gold Label Reserve™ Ritual Bottle Serve”- titled “A Blended Experience”

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Roshan Shetty from 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombanawith his “Classic with a Twist” cocktail- titled ” Aruba Martini” 

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Dave Lam from FoFo by el Willy – with his signature cocktail- titled “White Summer”

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Bryan Chan from Angel’s Share – with his signature cocktail – titled “Solera Journey”

The judging panel comprised international industry experts and representatives of local media –

Manabu OhtakeDIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year 2011

Austin Fry, Head Chef of Brickhouse Restaurant

Maurizio Galli, Business Development Manager of Flying Wine Maker

Dorothy So, Food & Bar Editor, Timeout Hong Kong

The competitors started the day with a written exam, and a blind tasting.  Each finalist then had to complete three bartending challenges in front of the judging panel- “Classic with a Twist”;  their original creation ” Signature Serve / Cocktail”;  and the “Johnnie Walker® Gold Label Reserve™ Ritual Bottle Serve”.

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 The judging panel at the bar of Lily & Bloom

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Each finalist faced a close-up examination of their bartending skills

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Preparing a cocktail in front of the judges

The Presentation of the Hong Kong Champion Bartender

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Tom Wood of  Wyndham the 4th (c) is named Hong Kong Champion Bartender 2012 – with Adam Brewer , Diageo Brand Ambassador (l) and Manabu Ohtake (r),  DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS Global Bartender of the Year 2011

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1st Runner Up Prize presented to Ricky Lau of Mamoz

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2nd Runner Up Prize was awarded to Roshan Shetty from 8 ½ Otto e Mezzo Bombana

Hong Kong Champion Bartender 2012, Tom Wood now will represent Hong Kong at the DIAGEO RESERVE World Class Bartender of the Year Global Finals in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil from the 5th – 12th July.


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DIAGEO WORLD CLASS Global Finals Facebook Page

DIAGEO WORLD CLASS Hong Kong Facebook Page

DIAGEO RESERVE BRANDS-   more information here




Selected cocktail photos courtesy QNM Communications, Hong Kong