Diageo Reserve names World Class Bartender of the Year 2011

INTERNATIONAL. Manabu Ohtake from Tower’s Bar Bellovisto, Japan, has been crowned Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2011, beating 33 other finalists from across the globe.

Over the past 11 months, 10,000 contenders from bars worldwide have been competing in regional heats for a spot in the Global Final in New Delhi, India. Just 34 were selected to go head to head in front of a judging panel comprising leading names in the cocktail industry – Dale DeGroff, Salvatore Calabrese, Peter Dorelli, Gary Regan, Hidetsugu Ueno and Daniel Estremadoyro.

Diageo Reserve Managing Director Rudy Paoli said: “World Class is an international celebration of the flair, creativity and skill of the bartender and the appreciation of great spirit brands. Manabu represents the very pinnacle of bartending excellence, and has refined his craft through the World Class programme.

“Diageo Reserve is proud to nurture the talent of such visionaries who are creating the most exceptional rituals, perfect serves and fine drinking experiences the industry has seen,” Paoli added.

Manabu Ohtake from Tower’s Bar Bellovisto, Japan, has been crowned Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year

World Class Judge Dale DeGroff commented: “Diageo Reserve World Class tests every aspect of the bartending profession. To succeed, you need creativity, precision, theatre and an innate ability to connect with the customer. Each year I am inspired by my fellow gurus and the contestants, who together, push the boundaries of cocktail innovation to the next level creating new global trends which transcend to the best bars around the world. These 21st century bartenders are the pioneers of a new golden age of the craft.”

Ohtake, the winner, said: “It is an honour to win the most prestigious award in the industry and be judged by icons such as Salvatore Calabrese, Dale DeGroff and Hidetsugu Ueno. I am really excited about the year ahead, publishing my first cocktail book and travelling the world with Diageo Reserve to inspire and attract new talent to the profession.”

Using the luxury spirits from the Diageo Reserve portfolio РKetel One vodka, C̨roc vodka, Tanqueray No.Ten gin, Don Julio tequila, Zacapa rum and Johnnie Walker Gold Label and Blue Label Blended Scotch Whisky Рbartenders took on the World Class challenges which tested their ingenuity, skill and knowledge of spirits.

Reflecting current trends, the challenges required bartenders to explore themes including Asian-inspired food matching, classic and vintage drinks with a twist, female-inspired cocktails and gentleman’s drinks.

See the latest from the competition on Facebook at the “˜Global World Class Finals’ page at www.facebook.com/GlobalWorldClassFinals

Manabu Ohtake takes to the throne at the Diageo Reserve World Class awards ceremony in New Delhi


Asia Pacific: Manabu Ohtake, The Tower’s Bar Bellovisto, Japan

Europe: Heinz Kaiser, Dino’s American Bar, Vienna, Austria

Latin America & The Caribbean: Jesus Cabrera, Mexico


Spice Market
A test of ingenuity and ability to adapt. Bartenders had one hour to pick fresh exotic ingredients from Asian and international delicatessens and markets to create two contrasting drinks.

Winner: Mickey Lee, Woo Bar, Seoul, South Korea
Judged by: Salvatore Calabrese

Asia Food Pairing
This food-pairing challenge featured cuisine from across Asia. Each bartender chose two different dishes from a selection of contrasting flavours and then created matching drinks.

Winner: Thorsten Spuhn, Modern Masters Bar, Erfurt, Germany
Judged by: Daniel Estremadoyro

Cocktails Against the Clock
Employing their speed and skill, finalists created a round of their favourite Reserve cocktails within five minutes. They were required to use the full array of mixology methods: building, muddling, stirring. The drinks were sampled to ensure correct balance of flavours.

Winner: Heinz Kaiser, Dino’s American Bar, Vienna, Austria
Judged by: Dale DeGroff

Classic and Vintage Drinks with a Twist
Bartenders made three drinks that reflect the foundations of cocktail creativity. Two of the cocktails were called on the spot by the judges, featuring one classic and one lesser known vintage. The final cocktail was a twist on a classic created and prepared according to the bartender’s choice.

Winner: Hemant Pathak, Blue Bar, Delhi, India
Judged by: Hidetsugu Ueno

Cocktail Theatre and the Stars
The bartender had to create one signature bottle table serve that entertained his guests, plus a signature cocktail inspired by a legendary female star of the stage or film. The spirits of choice were Zacapa rum and Johnnie Walker Blue Label Blended Scotch Whisky.

Winner: Alberto Pizarro, Bobby Gin, Barcelona, Spain
Judged by: Peter Dorrelli

Gentlemen’s Drinks and Fancy Tipples
Each of the competitors demonstrated their command of one spirit category: a Gentleman’s drink in a Classical style and something “extravagantly different”.

Winner: Mark Huang, Marquee Restaurant and Lounge, Taipei, Taiwan
Judged by: Gary Regan

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