Global spirits brand Diageo has revealed the three bartenders who have been chosen to compete in the Australian finals for World Class 2021.
Evan Stroeve (RE, Sydney), Kayla Saito (Leonardo’s Pizza Palace, Melbourne) and David Aznar (Rosella’s, Gold Coast) were selected from hundreds of bartending superstars and will now compete in the Australian finals on Tuesday 27th April.
The 2021 Australian competition saw bartenders compete in a new digital format, where they lodged their drinks via the Diageo Bar Academy. Bartenders competed in a series of challenges with flavour, balance and creativity, across Diageo Reserve Brands: Don Julio tequila, Ketel One vodka, Tanqueray No.TEN gin, and Johnnie Walker Black Label blended Scotch whisky.
On 27th April, the World Class Australian finals will take place at the home of World Class Cocktail Festival, Paramount House Golden Age Bar, where the finalists will go head to head across three separate challenges in the fight to be crowned this year’s Australian World Class Bartender of the Year.
The challenges will include:
Challenge 1 – Future proof, sustainably bottled – This challenge asks the finalists to draw inspiration from the past in order to create a meaningful impact for our future by creating a bottles cocktail using Ketel One Vodka with minimal waste and maximum flavour.
Challenge 2 – Land & sea, mystery box – This challenge will ask the finalists to create a mystery box serve that embodies the land or sea using either Talisker 10 Year Old or Don Julio, with a small pantry of classic bar ingredients.
Challenge 3 – Speed round – To finish, the finalists will take their place on the Main Stage at the Golden Age Bar with music and a live audience, for an energetic speed round to test their skills using the Diageo Reserve Portfolio.
The winner will represent Australia virtually at the World Class Bartender of the Year finals in July.
“World Class is a phenomenal cocktail competition that each year reaffirms just how impressive our bar industry is,” said Krystal Hart, Australia’s World Class Ambassador. “The challenges are designed to not only test how the bartenders use the Diageo Reserve brands to experiment with flavour and balance but also how they showcase their personality and story behind their serve.
“After 2020, it has been incredible to see first-hand the resilience and creativity from all of the entries across Australia. Our top three have fought a fierce fight and we can’t wait to see these extremely talented cocktail leaders battle it out to be crowned this year’s Australian World Class Bartender of the year.”
To celebrate the crowning of this year’s winner, Diageo will present the World Class Cocktail Festival. Running for five days from Wednesday 28th April, the Festival will come alive with bespoke cocktails, live entertainment, pop-up events, immersive brand experiences and dining collaborations, all championing the very best of Sydney’s diverse bar scene. For more information, go to worldclasscocktailfestival.com.