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NZ's Finest to Show Flair at World Class National Final

New Zealand’s Finest to Show Flair at World Class National Final

Auckland, 19 June 2014 - Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS, the search for the world’s best bartender, is returning to New Zealand with the national final set to take place this Monday 23 June.

The competition returns after New Zealand’s successful foray into the competition last year where national titleholder, Jason Clark, earned an impressive fourth place at a star-studded global final in the Mediterranean.

2014’s finalists are:

• Cameron Timmins of Ostro, Auckland (Elite)

• James Millar of Ebisu, Auckland (Elite)

• Jason Clark of Bedford Soda and Liquor, Auckland (Elite)

• Ray Letoa of Roxy Cinema Miramar, Wellington (Elite)

• Shannon Sanderson of Lalaland Lounge Bar, Wanaka (Apprentice)

On Monday, the top five will compete in the following three categories, each with a 33% score rating:

• Speed Round - judged by internationally-renowned bartender Tim Etherington -Judge, Lion Luxury Spirits Ambassador Frankie Walker and esteemed hospitality consultant, Poni Sula, to be held at Revelry Bar, Ponsonby

• Signature Serve – judged by 2014 Restaurateur of the Year Michael Dearth, Tim Etherington-Judge & Frankie Walker at a private venue

• People’s Choice – judged by 100 invited guests at premium central city venue, Roxy

The winning bartender, who will be recognised as New Zealand’s World Class Bartender for 2014, will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS Global Final which is set to be held in Great Britain in late July.

At that competition, they will compete against approximately 50 other national titleholders over a period of five days in a bid to win the coveted title of Diageo WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year 2014.

Celebrating cocktail culture and the art of bartending, Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS is the most esteemed mixology competition on the globe with approximately 15,000 mixologists from some of the world’s most prestigious bars entering each.

Frankie Walker, Lion Luxury Spirits Ambassador, says “More than just a showcase of the world’s best bartenders and their craft, Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS tests every aspect of the bartending profession and represents the pinnacle of excellence within the industry.”

“New Zealand is home to a number of exceptional bartenders – Jason’s result at the 2013 Global Final is testament to this. We are looking forward to Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS 2014 where we hope to once again put our national titleholder, and New Zealand, on the global map,” says Walker.

New Zealand’s introduction to Diageo Reserve World Class 2014 began in February when 40 of New Zealand’s best mixologists received training before embarking on three challenges designed to showcase their business acumen and bartending skills.

Using some of the finest spirits from the Diageo Reserve luxury portfolio – Ketel One and Ciroc vodkas; Tanqueray and Tanqueray Ten gins; Johnnie Walker Black, Johnnie Walker Double Black, Gold Reserve, Platinum and Blue Label Blended Scotch Whisky and the Classic Malts selection – the bartenders have been tested on their ingenuity, skill and knowledge of spirits whilst exploring competition themes including Mid-Century Mediterranean and Tea & Tonic.

For further information, please visit


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