The highly anticipated World Class Competition 2017 has begun as Diageo brings together international and local mixology experts teaming up with Lebanese Star Chefs to partake in the industry’s most exciting event. This year, Burst 1 and Burst 2 took place consecutively on May 10 and May 11, in Sapa and Garcia’s. Those were good occasions for bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts to participate in this year’s WorldClass.
“Like every year, the World Class Competition redefines the standards of mixology,” explains Ertan Engin, Whisky Mentor and World Class Ambassador Turkey, and one of this year’s judges. “Every cocktail created pushed this year’s theme, “Make It World Class”, into new and unexpected areas.”
Participants from many bars in Lebanon competed in creating cocktails that highlight the flavors of Diageo’s luxury portfolio of Reserve Brands, including Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Gold Label Reserve, Platinum Label, Ketel One, Zacapa, Don Julio, Cîroc, and Tanqueray No. Ten. Contestants were judged based on the creativity, expression of World Class Spirit, taste and balance, presentation, technique, and name of their creations.
“The cocktails we tasted over the last couple of days were really unique and some had the potential to win the global title,” said Alistair Reynolds, Luxury Brand Ambassador UK, World Class Global 2015 Finalist, and one of this year’s judges.
The winners from the initial two rounds, Moe Naanaa from Jackie O, Gerrard Aalam from The Tipplers, Hady Harmanani from Bistro Bar Hamra, Mike Kassabian from SAPA, Sally Sabeh from Trainstation and Wael Kossaifi from Discotek, now move on to the final round to select Lebanon’s 2017 WorldClass Champion. Lebanon’s best mixologist will then represent the country in the global event taking place in Mexico in August 2017.
“It is thrilling to see so much local talent,” said Hussein Hadid, a renowned Chef and Founder of Hussein Hadid, and the third judge in this year’s competition. “I am excited to be one of Worldclass 2017 judges and to discover the next generation bartending talents while adding a culinary edge to the competition.”