Judge appeals to jury as Virgin Voyages bartender wows in Diageo World Class Cruise contest

Danny Judge will take part in the Diageo World Class Global finals in São Paulo later this year

Diageo Global Travel has announced Virgin Voyages’ Danny Judge as the World Class Cruise 2023 winner. He was one of five finalists working on cruise ships who showcased their mixology skills in Miami last month.

Judge won the title with his three-cocktail menu crafted with Diageo Reserve brands. He will go on to compete alongside global peers from bars and restaurants at the World Class Global São Paulo finals.

In Miami, Judge presented a three-cocktail menu with Diageo Reserve brands

The World Class Bartender of the Year competition has been taking place for the past 14 years. Diageo noted the programme has been instrumental in transforming cocktail culture. Over the years it has trained more than 400,000 bartenders from across the world.

Diageo Global Travel Head of Cruise and Airlines Emily Lively commented: “There is so much talent on board that is often unknown. Behind the bars of some of the most exciting cruise ships around the world there are bartenders working to delight their travellers with truly delicious cocktails. We are delighted that World Class gives those stars onboard a chance to shine off the ship and showcase their talent. 

“For us in the world of Diageo Global Travel, mixologists are vital. They bring our brands to life and demonstrate how our expressions can be enjoyed, through both their remarkable new cocktail creations as well as the classics.

“They contribute more than anything to the experience and underline the role a well-made drink plays in the enjoyment of any holiday, particularly onboard a cruise. Celebrating their talent and what they do through World Class, particularly as cruise ships set sail after a long gap, is remarkable to see.” 

Virgin Voyages Director of F&B, Experiences & Strategic Partnerships Charles Steadman said, “Virgin Voyages’ partnership with Diageo and the World Class bartending competition enhances our beverage programme and elevates our bartending team’s skills. Our sailors can expect outstanding cocktails and an unforgettable onboard drinking experience.”

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