Australia’s top 20 bartenders were chosen from a list of more than 480 entries, with the finalists to compete in the Australian Grand Final of Diageo Reserve World Class in Sydney on 5 and 6 June.

Australia’s Top 20 Bartenders for 2019 have been revealed. The finalists for international bartending competition Diageo World Class were selected from 100 bartenders.

The World Class Bartender of the Year competition has supported, educated and inspired more than 300,000 bartenders over the course of it’s 11-year history. Each year, more than 10,000 bartenders enter the competition, which now extends its reach across 60 countries, with its training and advocacy program playing a key role in transforming cocktail culture around the globe.

The 2019 Australian competition saw bartenders around the country create a cocktail using spirits from Diageo’s reserve portfolio — Ketel One Vodka, Tanqueray No. 10 Gin and Talisker 10-Year-Old Single Malt Whisky. After they introduced the cocktail their bar’s menu, the Top 100 were judged on quality, presentation, service and how they promoted the libation to their clientele. The Top 20 were chosen for their ability to demonstrate the talent, creativity and innovation driving Australia’s vibrant bar industry.

Taking out 11 places on the shortlist, Melbourne and Sydney have maintained their reputation as a serious breeding ground for young bartenders this year. However, new talent is emerging around the country with Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Hobart also represented on the list.

The Top 20 list also reflects another trend, with several bartenders from highly-regarded restaurants making the cut — a testament to the intrinsic link between food and drink culture.

They will now compete in the Australian finals in July, before the winner represents the country in the global finals held in Glasgow later this year.

“The challenges are designed to not only test how the bartenders use the reserve brands to experiment with flavour and balance, but also how they showcase their personality and story behind their serve,”says Krystal Hart, Australia’s World Class Ambassador. “Our Top 20 fought a fierce competition, proving to be inspiring and innovative cocktail leaders, and we cannot wait to see what they have in store for the Australian finals next month.”

Championed by a mentor team of Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassadors, the Australian competition is recognised as one of the best in the world, producing two global champions — Tim Phillips (2012) and Orlando Marzo (2018) — in the past decade.

The Australian Finals will be held 7–9 July 2019 in Sydney. The final challenge will be designed to showcase the competitors’ speed and ability to engage with an audience.

Diageo World Class Top 20 Australian Bartenders for 2019 are

Alex Boon — Mjølner, Melbourne

Alex Gondzioulis — Bulletin Place, Sydney

Antonello Arzedi — Scout, Sydney

Darren Leaney — Capitano, Melbourne

Dean Buchanan — Long Chim, Perth

Ellery Low — Maker, Brisbane

Elliot Pascoe — Death & Taxes, Brisbane

Evan Stroeve — Bulletin Place, Sydney

Joseph Chisholm — Boom Boom Room, Brisbane

Joshua Reynolds — Scout, Sydney

Jim Sauerbier — Boilermaker House, Melbourne

Kaden Pool — Long Chim, Perth

Kayla Grigoriou — Bar Torino, Adelaide

Lachlan Gunner — Grandma’s, Sydney

Mark White — Mechanics’ Institute, Perth

Nick Tesar — Bar Liberty, Melbourne

Rohan Massie — Rude Boy, Hobart

Samuel Tripet — Death & Taxes, Brisbane

Stefano Canova — Eau de Vie, Melbourne

Wei Christine Lam — Employees Only, Sydney

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