Above: The World Class GB finalists, 2018

Bartenders, who’s up for some World Class action? And by action, we mean all the insider info that you’ll need if you’re thinking about entering World Class in 2019.

Perhaps you’ve put yourself forward previously and didn’t quite make the cut. Hey, guess what? This year could just well be the one. Perhaps you’re fuelled by the fact that our boy Daniel Warren came oh-so-close to winning the title in Berlin last year – who’s to say that this time it won’t be you who gets that vital point that nudges you to the top? Or maybe you’re just plain old curious. You might be gearing up for entering next year but want to get the inside scoop on how it works. The why isn’t the question, the answer is always the same: sign up for one of the World Class Studio sessions.

It costs nothing to do and if you have ambitions to raise your game in the cocktail world, the rewards are priceless. Here’s why… First off, each of the six sessions taking place around the UK is your chance to get an insight into emerging drinks trends whilst bringing the (quite frankly awesome) spirits in the Diageo Reserve portfolio to life. Second, you’ll get a chance to hang out with the Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassadors including Jack Sotti, Jason Clark, Ali Reynolds, Kate Jackson, Jenna Ba and Joe Tivey, not to mention a bevy of the world’s best bartenders, drinks professionals and creatives. And of course, you’ll get the lowdown on how you can up the ante in this year’s competition. You’ll need it, too. The format and content has had a refresh as World Class enters its eleventh year, so even if you’ve entered before, you’ll need to attend to find out what’s in store.

The Diageo Reserve portfolio

Want a head’s up? We’re here to help. What you need to know is whether you sign up for one of the key events (complete with after party) in Glasgow, Manchester or London, or you’re closer to one of the smaller satellite activations scheduled for Edinburgh, Liverpool, Leeds and Birmingham, each session has been put together to excite, delight and motivate everyone who attends.

There are four key themes behind the training drive, each focusing on the production, history or ethos behind one of the spirits. There’s ‘Single Ingredients’ (heroing Ketel One Vodka), ‘Tartan Tiki’ (zoning in on Talisker), ‘Tech Tonics’ (looking at Tanqueray No. TEN) and ‘Science of Smoke’ (spotlight on Johnnie Walker Blue Label). Two of these will be specifically tailored to this year’s World Class competition entry challenge, due to open in March with in-bar judging in May.

“2019 marks a step change in the World Class programme. Now in its 11thyear, we’ve seen an array of personalities share their talent whilst participating in the competitions and have watched the competition develop year by year, each time tapping into today’s trends and cocktail culture”, says Jack Sotti, World Class Ambassador. “The World Class studios are an amazing way for us to get out there and work incredibly closely with both new and established talent nationwide to help build new skills, grow our World Class community and share a wealth of knowledge and insight. We can’t wait to hit the road to start recruiting and spreading the word for yet another exciting World Class year, this year kicking the competition off with a series of challenges encompassing everything which makes up todays bartending scene.” Exciting times indeed.

Fancy your chances? Sessions will take place at Revolution venues across the country – check below for dates and see worldclassgb.events.idloom.com for further details.

Diaries at the ready folks! (And good luck!)

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