Hello WS Readers!
How have you been? I am sure by now you’ll know that the USP of Wardrobe Secrets is that each time it offers something new & interesting to its readers. So recently when I got the privilege of attending the biggest & most prestigious bartending competition “Diageo Reserve World Class – India” which took place at the St. Regis on 6th June, 2017, I knew that I had to share this experience with you. World Class is an internationally recognized platform which helps the local talent to emerge as influencers and creators of fine drinking experiences world over.
Now in its 9th edition, 12 mixologists were shortlisted from India’s leading hotels & bars through a series of rigorous written & technical test over a period of 6 months. The winner of the finale will head to Mexico to represent India at the Global finals of Diageo Reserve World Class.
On the day of the Indian finale, these top 12 bartenders were judged by an expert panel consisting of Donald Colville, Diageo Global Scotch Ambassador – Malts, Nicholas Ord, Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador and Nikhil Agarwal, Sommelier & CEO, All Things Nice.
The competition began with Round 1 where each of these 12 mixologists got 10 minutes to prepare 2 cocktails – 1 After dark & 1 Al fresco. Each one of them presented their cocktails with utmost creativity and confidence. The contestants experienced using luxurious liquids such as Singleton of Glen Ord 12yo Single Malt Scotch Whisky, Cîroc Vodka, Tanqueray No. 10 Gin, and the cocktails created ranged from traditional Rajasthani drinks to Classic Cocktails
In the end of Round 1, top 6 mixologists were selected by the judges who moved on to round 2 which was the “The Speed Round” where each of the top 6 contestants got 6 mins to prepare 8 cocktails. It was amazing watching each of them giving their very best to reach the global finals in Mexico. No doubt that this round must have been extremely stressful, the judges gave a standing ovation to the contestants that were able to complete this challenge.
In the end of round 2, top 3 mixologist were shortlisted who competed against each other in the “The Mystery Box” round. The contestants were each given 30 minutes to decide the cocktails they wanted to create with 12 minutes to create the cocktails. – Can we add a little more detail on how this round tested the creativity of our contestants, challenged them to come up with innovative recipes etc
Finally, we had our winner in Rohan Rege, from Paasha – JW Marriott, Pune who won the title of the India Bartender of the Year at Diageo Reserve World Class 2017 which will take place in Mexico.
Rohan Rege impressed the judges with his speed, creativity, confidence and well executed cocktails.
Runners up Jitender Singh Rana from Perch, Delhi and Kevin Dias from Hakkasan, Mumbai too impressed the judges and the attendees with their innovative cocktails and craftsmanship, thus earning them the second and third position respectively.
Mr Nitesh Chhapru, Head of Marketing – Premium Core & Luxury Portfolio, Diageo India announced the winner and said, “Diageo Reserve World Class competition is an internationally recognised platform, which aims to nurture the potential talent of local bartenders and trains them to perform at a global stage.
Donald Colville, Global Ambassador for Diageo Malts and judge for the competition added, “Being my first visit to India, I was pleasantly surprised by all the emerging local bartending talent we were able to witness. We hope to continue on this journey of education and discovery for many more years to come.”
Brought on board as external jury, Nikhil Agarwal, Sommelier & CEO, All Things Nice said, “It was a pleasure being part of the jury for the Diageo Reserve World Class Finals and all the finalists exhibited tremendous passion, craft and skill in showcasing their creations. I applaud Diageo for taking on this initiative of providing local talent with a global platform to showcase & nurture their skills.”
Sharing his big win, Rohan Rege added, “The entire experience has been so surreal and overwhelming. It feels fantastic to know that all the hard work has paid off. I’m tremendously thankful to Diageo Reserve World Class for providing me with this platform and I’m now eagerly looking forward to competing at the Global Finals in Mexico.”
Rohan will now take on the world’s best bartenders at Diageo’s ninth annual Global Diageo World Class Competition that will be held in Mexico in August, 2017, where the Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year will be announced.
Hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed writing it for you. I would like to end this post on this important note – ‘Drink Responsibly and Be Safe’
Until Next time,