*Pictured is Evert de Jong, Johannesburg regional finalist in the Diageo World Class SA competition

The Diageo World Class SA 2018 bartending competition is back, with regional finalists set to take part in the National finals to see who’ll represent the country in the global finals.

The three bartenders who’ll be competing in the national finals were selected after regional competitions in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Mixologists were judged by Julian Short (2017 winner of World Class), Dom Walsh (a World Class winner back in 2016) and Haroon Haffajee (an industry expert) who all tasted and graded each cocktail on various criteria including visual appeal, complexity, balance and expression of spirit used.

“It is so humbling to continuously experience such talent from all 3 selected provinces. The adrenaline and the energy emancipated within the bartenders competing is so captivating with so much creativity being displayed. As an ambassador for the Reserve Portfolio at Diageo having gone through the same process myself, I am motivated to embrace this journey and its legendary long-term objective.” Says Dom De Lorenzo Reserve Ambassador at Diageo.

Brent Perremore, from Crush Mobile bar, won the Cape Town leg of the competition, while Nicholas Crouse from Lucky Shaker bar will be representing Durban and Evert de Jong from Molecular Bars came out tops in the Johannesburg regionals. All 3 bartenders will be competing in the World Class National Finals three day competition which will take place from the 25th – 27th of June 2018 in Cape Town.

“Now in its 9th year, the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year competition is the industry’s most prestigious mixology event and aims to elevate the skill and craft of the bartending profession, setting global trends and standards in the service industry. The winner will be launched into the limelight as a paragon of professionalism and artistry,” concludes De Lorenzo