The top five Australian finalists for the Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year competition have been announced in anticipation for the World Class Global Finals in September.

Samuel Cocks (Bar Rogue,WA), Sarah Proietti (Maybe Sammy, NSW), NickTesar (Bar Liberty, VIC), Eduardo Conde (No.92 GPR, NSW) and Kayla Saito (Black Pearl, VIC) were selected out of the top bartenders that entered the competition.

“As Australia’s cocktail culture continues to boom, so too does the level of bartending talent,” says Australian Worlds Class Ambassador Krystal Hart.

“We’ve been blown away by the skill of all entrants, but the top five really took it to the next level with their creativity, innovation and focus on sustainability.”

The finalists excelled in the competition with their cocktails in the initial competition round which required them to complete two challenges.

One of them involved creating an original and sustainable highball using Johnnie
Walker Black Label whisky while the other tasked them with creating a cocktail using The Singleton plus and include two components inspired by deli culture.

The next phase of the competition will be held in Sydney from 3-6 July where the finalists will carry out three challenges.

The chosen national bartenders will be asked to reinvent “the stirred down brown” with Johnnie Walker Blue Label.

Finalists from that round will then go onto the speed round where they will be asked to make six drinks in five minutes, without knowing the drinks one prior.

The mystery box challenge will then be the decider, where contestants will be given minimal equipment and ingredients to create a Talisker Ritual that takes inspiration from the ocean.

The overall winner will be announced live on 6 July and will represent Australia in the global finals.