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Oregonian Wins World Class Bartending Title

Oregonian Wins World Class Bartending Title



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It's not every day you're named to be one of the best bartenders of the U.S., much less the world. So when Ricky Gomez was named the first-ever Diageo World Class United States Ambassador this Tuesday, after competing for the title against 20 highly skilled bartenders, he knew he would carry a big responsibility from here on out.

Gomez and other bartenders from the U.S. Bartenders Guild competed Tuesday in a four-part competition, creating some seriously fancy cocktails — some on the spot — for some of the industry's very best: Jim Meehan, Tony Abou-Ganim, Julie Reiner, Steve Olson, and more. In two weeks, Gomez will head to Brazil to compete against bartenders from 47 other countries in a worldwide cocktail competition — no pressure, or anything. Gomez spoke to The Daily Meal about the big win, the reaction from his friends and family back home, and how he stole the crown. (And don't worry, we've got his recipe for his Two Cities Skirmish cocktail).

The Daily Meal: How does it feel to be the first ever World Class champion?

Ricky Gomez: I feel deeply honored. The judges [were] industry luminaries; to be selected out of those amazing bartenders, it really is truly an honor. Now I have the task of representing the U.S. well; it’s a little bit of responsibility on my shoulders now. It’s a little bit of excitement, and a little bit of pressure. I’m just hoping I do well, and I want to do well.

TDM: Describe to me your day at the competition. How were you feeling when you first got there? Did you ever feel intimidated or nervous in the moment?

RG: A lot of anxiety. I’ve done many competitions before, but I don’t think it gets easier as you go along. I was definitely feeling nervous, and some anxiety — some of these judges are tough, you want to impress them because they’re your mentors. And these young bartenders are making great drinks and doing well. So there was a little bit of anxiety when we first got there, but being able to sit down and relax — it was a long day, and there was bit of waiting around — it actually calmed my nerves a little bit. I got to go over my notes, look over the cocktails I had prepared.

TDM: What were the prepared cocktail recipes you came into the competition with?

RG: There were two prepared parts of the cocktail competition and two on the fly. For the prepared part there was a Classic with a Twist portion, judged by Jim Meehan. We were given a list of classic cocktails, and told to make a twist on that cocktail. I chose the Mai Tai, a classic American tiki cocktail, and made a twist on it. It’s a traditional rum tiki cocktail; my variation was taking out the rum and using tequila and gin. It’s a combination a lot of people don’t think about, but when I did a blind tasting of the spirits separately, there’s a lot of flavor descriptors that overlap. There’s a layering in the drink; a tiki cocktail has a lot of flavor in the beginning, middle, and end. So it worked well in bringing out the predominant flavors of the tequila and gin out first, and then a lighter, and dryer finish than a traditional Mai Tai made with rum. (Try his Two Cities Skirmish cocktail at home.)

The second prepared part was the Theater Presentation; we come out with a presentation based on American icon. I chose Mark Twain as my American icon; he was the first great American author out there. So we had to we had to present either Johnnie Walker Blue or rom ?? around this icon. I began reading and diving more into Mark Twain, [and learned] he grew up in Missouri, he was a river boat captain at one point. And I’m from New Orleans, so that had a real personal connection to me. And the entire time I was reading about Mark Twain and thinking about ideas of what to pair scotch with, and when Mark Twain was in the Northeast, he frequented a bar that’s famous for their oysters, and famous in New Orleans as well. So I used real Kumamoto oysters as a complement to the scotch; I used a granulated salt on one, a malted balsamic salt on one, and a mushroom salt on one. When I blind-taste scotch, those are what I identify with scotch, salt and earth. They paired really well with the oysters and with the Johnnie Walker. During the presentation I was shucking oysters and talking about Mark Twain; he has such amazing quotes and so many. He was probably America’s first stand-up comedian.

TDM: Were you nervous at all during the presentation?

RG: I was nervous before, absolutely. But once you get in there, you become relaxed. I felt prepared; once you start talking, it all flows from there.

TDM: And tell me about the on-the-fly portions of the competition.

RG: Those were some you try not to worry about because there’s nothing you can do to prepare.
The first was the food pairing; the judges gave us three dishes, two savory and one sweet, and we got to sample them all. Then, after sampling, we had to pick one and prepare a cocktail for that dish. I picked the sweet dish; it was a malt chocolate dish with a candied orange and with salt on top. I instantly grabed the ?? rum, because I think they make an amazing marriage together. When I think dessert I think really a rich cocktail, so I made a Flip: [it’s made with] Zacapa Rum, port, Canton ginger liqueur, egg yolk, a little bit of sugar, and a pinch of salt. I shook it all together, strained it into a lowball glass, and grated fresh cinnamon on top. That paired really well with the chocolate, and gave balance to the dessert. I was really happy with that one. I walked out with that feeling like I had made a really good cocktail.

The last one was with two mystery boxes; we had to select one box, which was filled with Asian-inspired ingredients. Mine had lychee, pear, lemongrass, and tea that I couldn’t identify. We had to pick at least one of the ingredients to make a cocktail. I chose the pear, and grabbed some Don Julio tequila. When I blind-tasted the tequila I could taste some apple, so it was a really easy match to make. I took two pears and muddled them, and added lemon juice to that, Don Julio blanco tequila, dry vermouth, Saint-Germain, simple syrup, and shook that all together and then strained in to a Collins glass and topped with tonic. It’s basically a tequila and tonic — an Asian tequila and tonic. It’s summertime, I wanted to make a drink that someone would want to drink now.


Jennifer Le Nechet wins World Class 2016 competition

France’s Jennifer Le Nechet has been crowned the world’s best bartender at the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Global Final 2016. She becomes the first female bartender to claim the title. Following a four-day battle in Miami, she triumphed over the world’s greatest talents in cocktail making.

The French bartender, usually found crafting drinks and charming customers behind the bar at Café Moderne in Paris wowed the judges by creating a spectacular range of vibrant drinksat her Steampunk themed pop-up bar.

2016 marks the eighth year of Diageo’s WORLD CLASS competition, and the biggest yet, with nearly 10,000 bartenders entering. 56 of them made it to Miami. Next year will see Mexico City play host to the final.

Jennifer Le Nechet - Speed round

Each challenge turned the spotlight on a different skill in the bartender’s armoury: technique, personality, spirits knowledge and how well they perform under pressure.

Selecting top brands from Diageo’s Reserve portfolio including Ketel One vodka, Cîroc, Don Julio, Tanqueray No TEN, Bulleit, Zacapa rum and Johnnie Walker Blue Label Blended Scotch Whisky, the bartenders crafted classic cocktails and created their own recipes. They also went up against the clock to mix eight quintessential drinks in just 10 minutes.

Jennifer Le Nechet - Shape of cocktails to come round

Jennifer Le Nechet, the first female bartender to claim the title, said: “I’m completely blown away – it’s such an honour to take home the title of World’s Best Bartender – especially when competing against such talent from around the world. This week has inspired me to continue pushing the boundaries of flavours and to explore how all the senses can be engaged through cocktails. I can’t wait for the experience ahead!”

Le Nechet is set for an action-packed year as a Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador, and can expect to travel the world judging competitions and making bespoke drinks in far-flung and glamorous locations. She will also join a roll call of the industry’s finest, becoming the eighth member of the WORLD CLASS Hall of Fame.

Jennifer Le Nechet with previous World Class Bartender of the Year winners

Johanna Dalley, World Class Director, Diageo Reserve said: “WORLD CLASS is continuing on a stellar trajectory – since we launched in 2009 the number of countries participating has tripled from 18 to 56, and the programme has reached and inspired more than 250,000 bartenders around the globe. We are proud to bring you this year’s crop of the world’s most skilled bartenders, and to learn about the newest and greatest drinks experiences on offer. Jennifer is the deserved winner, and we are delighted to have a female winner for the first time, but the five runners up were all worthy contenders.”

At the Awards evening, Mexico City was also revealed as the location for the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Global Final 2017.

World Class 2016 Final 12 Contestants

Dalley continued, “This year, WORLD CLASS will take cocktail culture to a new level in Mexico City, and there could be no better place for this, since for many years, this city been developing into one of the most vibrant capitals for food, drink and culture.”

Diageo’s WORLD CLASS programme is at the leading edge of the drinks industry – aside from hosting the competition it offers support and training to bar staff, and invests in research which will underpin how the trade evolves in the future.


Jennifer Le Nechet wins World Class 2016 competition

France’s Jennifer Le Nechet has been crowned the world’s best bartender at the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Global Final 2016. She becomes the first female bartender to claim the title. Following a four-day battle in Miami, she triumphed over the world’s greatest talents in cocktail making.

The French bartender, usually found crafting drinks and charming customers behind the bar at Café Moderne in Paris wowed the judges by creating a spectacular range of vibrant drinksat her Steampunk themed pop-up bar.

2016 marks the eighth year of Diageo’s WORLD CLASS competition, and the biggest yet, with nearly 10,000 bartenders entering. 56 of them made it to Miami. Next year will see Mexico City play host to the final.

Jennifer Le Nechet - Speed round

Each challenge turned the spotlight on a different skill in the bartender’s armoury: technique, personality, spirits knowledge and how well they perform under pressure.

Selecting top brands from Diageo’s Reserve portfolio including Ketel One vodka, Cîroc, Don Julio, Tanqueray No TEN, Bulleit, Zacapa rum and Johnnie Walker Blue Label Blended Scotch Whisky, the bartenders crafted classic cocktails and created their own recipes. They also went up against the clock to mix eight quintessential drinks in just 10 minutes.

Jennifer Le Nechet - Shape of cocktails to come round

Jennifer Le Nechet, the first female bartender to claim the title, said: “I’m completely blown away – it’s such an honour to take home the title of World’s Best Bartender – especially when competing against such talent from around the world. This week has inspired me to continue pushing the boundaries of flavours and to explore how all the senses can be engaged through cocktails. I can’t wait for the experience ahead!”

Le Nechet is set for an action-packed year as a Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador, and can expect to travel the world judging competitions and making bespoke drinks in far-flung and glamorous locations. She will also join a roll call of the industry’s finest, becoming the eighth member of the WORLD CLASS Hall of Fame.

Jennifer Le Nechet with previous World Class Bartender of the Year winners

Johanna Dalley, World Class Director, Diageo Reserve said: “WORLD CLASS is continuing on a stellar trajectory – since we launched in 2009 the number of countries participating has tripled from 18 to 56, and the programme has reached and inspired more than 250,000 bartenders around the globe. We are proud to bring you this year’s crop of the world’s most skilled bartenders, and to learn about the newest and greatest drinks experiences on offer. Jennifer is the deserved winner, and we are delighted to have a female winner for the first time, but the five runners up were all worthy contenders.”

At the Awards evening, Mexico City was also revealed as the location for the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Global Final 2017.

World Class 2016 Final 12 Contestants

Dalley continued, “This year, WORLD CLASS will take cocktail culture to a new level in Mexico City, and there could be no better place for this, since for many years, this city been developing into one of the most vibrant capitals for food, drink and culture.”

Diageo’s WORLD CLASS programme is at the leading edge of the drinks industry – aside from hosting the competition it offers support and training to bar staff, and invests in research which will underpin how the trade evolves in the future.


Jennifer Le Nechet wins World Class 2016 competition

France’s Jennifer Le Nechet has been crowned the world’s best bartender at the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Global Final 2016. She becomes the first female bartender to claim the title. Following a four-day battle in Miami, she triumphed over the world’s greatest talents in cocktail making.

The French bartender, usually found crafting drinks and charming customers behind the bar at Café Moderne in Paris wowed the judges by creating a spectacular range of vibrant drinksat her Steampunk themed pop-up bar.

2016 marks the eighth year of Diageo’s WORLD CLASS competition, and the biggest yet, with nearly 10,000 bartenders entering. 56 of them made it to Miami. Next year will see Mexico City play host to the final.

Jennifer Le Nechet - Speed round

Each challenge turned the spotlight on a different skill in the bartender’s armoury: technique, personality, spirits knowledge and how well they perform under pressure.

Selecting top brands from Diageo’s Reserve portfolio including Ketel One vodka, Cîroc, Don Julio, Tanqueray No TEN, Bulleit, Zacapa rum and Johnnie Walker Blue Label Blended Scotch Whisky, the bartenders crafted classic cocktails and created their own recipes. They also went up against the clock to mix eight quintessential drinks in just 10 minutes.

Jennifer Le Nechet - Shape of cocktails to come round

Jennifer Le Nechet, the first female bartender to claim the title, said: “I’m completely blown away – it’s such an honour to take home the title of World’s Best Bartender – especially when competing against such talent from around the world. This week has inspired me to continue pushing the boundaries of flavours and to explore how all the senses can be engaged through cocktails. I can’t wait for the experience ahead!”

Le Nechet is set for an action-packed year as a Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador, and can expect to travel the world judging competitions and making bespoke drinks in far-flung and glamorous locations. She will also join a roll call of the industry’s finest, becoming the eighth member of the WORLD CLASS Hall of Fame.

Jennifer Le Nechet with previous World Class Bartender of the Year winners

Johanna Dalley, World Class Director, Diageo Reserve said: “WORLD CLASS is continuing on a stellar trajectory – since we launched in 2009 the number of countries participating has tripled from 18 to 56, and the programme has reached and inspired more than 250,000 bartenders around the globe. We are proud to bring you this year’s crop of the world’s most skilled bartenders, and to learn about the newest and greatest drinks experiences on offer. Jennifer is the deserved winner, and we are delighted to have a female winner for the first time, but the five runners up were all worthy contenders.”

At the Awards evening, Mexico City was also revealed as the location for the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Global Final 2017.

World Class 2016 Final 12 Contestants

Dalley continued, “This year, WORLD CLASS will take cocktail culture to a new level in Mexico City, and there could be no better place for this, since for many years, this city been developing into one of the most vibrant capitals for food, drink and culture.”

Diageo’s WORLD CLASS programme is at the leading edge of the drinks industry – aside from hosting the competition it offers support and training to bar staff, and invests in research which will underpin how the trade evolves in the future.


Jennifer Le Nechet wins World Class 2016 competition

France’s Jennifer Le Nechet has been crowned the world’s best bartender at the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Global Final 2016. She becomes the first female bartender to claim the title. Following a four-day battle in Miami, she triumphed over the world’s greatest talents in cocktail making.

The French bartender, usually found crafting drinks and charming customers behind the bar at Café Moderne in Paris wowed the judges by creating a spectacular range of vibrant drinksat her Steampunk themed pop-up bar.

2016 marks the eighth year of Diageo’s WORLD CLASS competition, and the biggest yet, with nearly 10,000 bartenders entering. 56 of them made it to Miami. Next year will see Mexico City play host to the final.

Jennifer Le Nechet - Speed round

Each challenge turned the spotlight on a different skill in the bartender’s armoury: technique, personality, spirits knowledge and how well they perform under pressure.

Selecting top brands from Diageo’s Reserve portfolio including Ketel One vodka, Cîroc, Don Julio, Tanqueray No TEN, Bulleit, Zacapa rum and Johnnie Walker Blue Label Blended Scotch Whisky, the bartenders crafted classic cocktails and created their own recipes. They also went up against the clock to mix eight quintessential drinks in just 10 minutes.

Jennifer Le Nechet - Shape of cocktails to come round

Jennifer Le Nechet, the first female bartender to claim the title, said: “I’m completely blown away – it’s such an honour to take home the title of World’s Best Bartender – especially when competing against such talent from around the world. This week has inspired me to continue pushing the boundaries of flavours and to explore how all the senses can be engaged through cocktails. I can’t wait for the experience ahead!”

Le Nechet is set for an action-packed year as a Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador, and can expect to travel the world judging competitions and making bespoke drinks in far-flung and glamorous locations. She will also join a roll call of the industry’s finest, becoming the eighth member of the WORLD CLASS Hall of Fame.

Jennifer Le Nechet with previous World Class Bartender of the Year winners

Johanna Dalley, World Class Director, Diageo Reserve said: “WORLD CLASS is continuing on a stellar trajectory – since we launched in 2009 the number of countries participating has tripled from 18 to 56, and the programme has reached and inspired more than 250,000 bartenders around the globe. We are proud to bring you this year’s crop of the world’s most skilled bartenders, and to learn about the newest and greatest drinks experiences on offer. Jennifer is the deserved winner, and we are delighted to have a female winner for the first time, but the five runners up were all worthy contenders.”

At the Awards evening, Mexico City was also revealed as the location for the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Global Final 2017.

World Class 2016 Final 12 Contestants

Dalley continued, “This year, WORLD CLASS will take cocktail culture to a new level in Mexico City, and there could be no better place for this, since for many years, this city been developing into one of the most vibrant capitals for food, drink and culture.”

Diageo’s WORLD CLASS programme is at the leading edge of the drinks industry – aside from hosting the competition it offers support and training to bar staff, and invests in research which will underpin how the trade evolves in the future.


Jennifer Le Nechet wins World Class 2016 competition

France’s Jennifer Le Nechet has been crowned the world’s best bartender at the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Global Final 2016. She becomes the first female bartender to claim the title. Following a four-day battle in Miami, she triumphed over the world’s greatest talents in cocktail making.

The French bartender, usually found crafting drinks and charming customers behind the bar at Café Moderne in Paris wowed the judges by creating a spectacular range of vibrant drinksat her Steampunk themed pop-up bar.

2016 marks the eighth year of Diageo’s WORLD CLASS competition, and the biggest yet, with nearly 10,000 bartenders entering. 56 of them made it to Miami. Next year will see Mexico City play host to the final.

Jennifer Le Nechet - Speed round

Each challenge turned the spotlight on a different skill in the bartender’s armoury: technique, personality, spirits knowledge and how well they perform under pressure.

Selecting top brands from Diageo’s Reserve portfolio including Ketel One vodka, Cîroc, Don Julio, Tanqueray No TEN, Bulleit, Zacapa rum and Johnnie Walker Blue Label Blended Scotch Whisky, the bartenders crafted classic cocktails and created their own recipes. They also went up against the clock to mix eight quintessential drinks in just 10 minutes.

Jennifer Le Nechet - Shape of cocktails to come round

Jennifer Le Nechet, the first female bartender to claim the title, said: “I’m completely blown away – it’s such an honour to take home the title of World’s Best Bartender – especially when competing against such talent from around the world. This week has inspired me to continue pushing the boundaries of flavours and to explore how all the senses can be engaged through cocktails. I can’t wait for the experience ahead!”

Le Nechet is set for an action-packed year as a Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador, and can expect to travel the world judging competitions and making bespoke drinks in far-flung and glamorous locations. She will also join a roll call of the industry’s finest, becoming the eighth member of the WORLD CLASS Hall of Fame.

Jennifer Le Nechet with previous World Class Bartender of the Year winners

Johanna Dalley, World Class Director, Diageo Reserve said: “WORLD CLASS is continuing on a stellar trajectory – since we launched in 2009 the number of countries participating has tripled from 18 to 56, and the programme has reached and inspired more than 250,000 bartenders around the globe. We are proud to bring you this year’s crop of the world’s most skilled bartenders, and to learn about the newest and greatest drinks experiences on offer. Jennifer is the deserved winner, and we are delighted to have a female winner for the first time, but the five runners up were all worthy contenders.”

At the Awards evening, Mexico City was also revealed as the location for the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Global Final 2017.

World Class 2016 Final 12 Contestants

Dalley continued, “This year, WORLD CLASS will take cocktail culture to a new level in Mexico City, and there could be no better place for this, since for many years, this city been developing into one of the most vibrant capitals for food, drink and culture.”

Diageo’s WORLD CLASS programme is at the leading edge of the drinks industry – aside from hosting the competition it offers support and training to bar staff, and invests in research which will underpin how the trade evolves in the future.


Jennifer Le Nechet wins World Class 2016 competition

France’s Jennifer Le Nechet has been crowned the world’s best bartender at the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Global Final 2016. She becomes the first female bartender to claim the title. Following a four-day battle in Miami, she triumphed over the world’s greatest talents in cocktail making.

The French bartender, usually found crafting drinks and charming customers behind the bar at Café Moderne in Paris wowed the judges by creating a spectacular range of vibrant drinksat her Steampunk themed pop-up bar.

2016 marks the eighth year of Diageo’s WORLD CLASS competition, and the biggest yet, with nearly 10,000 bartenders entering. 56 of them made it to Miami. Next year will see Mexico City play host to the final.

Jennifer Le Nechet - Speed round

Each challenge turned the spotlight on a different skill in the bartender’s armoury: technique, personality, spirits knowledge and how well they perform under pressure.

Selecting top brands from Diageo’s Reserve portfolio including Ketel One vodka, Cîroc, Don Julio, Tanqueray No TEN, Bulleit, Zacapa rum and Johnnie Walker Blue Label Blended Scotch Whisky, the bartenders crafted classic cocktails and created their own recipes. They also went up against the clock to mix eight quintessential drinks in just 10 minutes.

Jennifer Le Nechet - Shape of cocktails to come round

Jennifer Le Nechet, the first female bartender to claim the title, said: “I’m completely blown away – it’s such an honour to take home the title of World’s Best Bartender – especially when competing against such talent from around the world. This week has inspired me to continue pushing the boundaries of flavours and to explore how all the senses can be engaged through cocktails. I can’t wait for the experience ahead!”

Le Nechet is set for an action-packed year as a Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador, and can expect to travel the world judging competitions and making bespoke drinks in far-flung and glamorous locations. She will also join a roll call of the industry’s finest, becoming the eighth member of the WORLD CLASS Hall of Fame.

Jennifer Le Nechet with previous World Class Bartender of the Year winners

Johanna Dalley, World Class Director, Diageo Reserve said: “WORLD CLASS is continuing on a stellar trajectory – since we launched in 2009 the number of countries participating has tripled from 18 to 56, and the programme has reached and inspired more than 250,000 bartenders around the globe. We are proud to bring you this year’s crop of the world’s most skilled bartenders, and to learn about the newest and greatest drinks experiences on offer. Jennifer is the deserved winner, and we are delighted to have a female winner for the first time, but the five runners up were all worthy contenders.”

At the Awards evening, Mexico City was also revealed as the location for the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Global Final 2017.

World Class 2016 Final 12 Contestants

Dalley continued, “This year, WORLD CLASS will take cocktail culture to a new level in Mexico City, and there could be no better place for this, since for many years, this city been developing into one of the most vibrant capitals for food, drink and culture.”

Diageo’s WORLD CLASS programme is at the leading edge of the drinks industry – aside from hosting the competition it offers support and training to bar staff, and invests in research which will underpin how the trade evolves in the future.


Jennifer Le Nechet wins World Class 2016 competition

France’s Jennifer Le Nechet has been crowned the world’s best bartender at the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Global Final 2016. She becomes the first female bartender to claim the title. Following a four-day battle in Miami, she triumphed over the world’s greatest talents in cocktail making.

The French bartender, usually found crafting drinks and charming customers behind the bar at Café Moderne in Paris wowed the judges by creating a spectacular range of vibrant drinksat her Steampunk themed pop-up bar.

2016 marks the eighth year of Diageo’s WORLD CLASS competition, and the biggest yet, with nearly 10,000 bartenders entering. 56 of them made it to Miami. Next year will see Mexico City play host to the final.

Jennifer Le Nechet - Speed round

Each challenge turned the spotlight on a different skill in the bartender’s armoury: technique, personality, spirits knowledge and how well they perform under pressure.

Selecting top brands from Diageo’s Reserve portfolio including Ketel One vodka, Cîroc, Don Julio, Tanqueray No TEN, Bulleit, Zacapa rum and Johnnie Walker Blue Label Blended Scotch Whisky, the bartenders crafted classic cocktails and created their own recipes. They also went up against the clock to mix eight quintessential drinks in just 10 minutes.

Jennifer Le Nechet - Shape of cocktails to come round

Jennifer Le Nechet, the first female bartender to claim the title, said: “I’m completely blown away – it’s such an honour to take home the title of World’s Best Bartender – especially when competing against such talent from around the world. This week has inspired me to continue pushing the boundaries of flavours and to explore how all the senses can be engaged through cocktails. I can’t wait for the experience ahead!”

Le Nechet is set for an action-packed year as a Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador, and can expect to travel the world judging competitions and making bespoke drinks in far-flung and glamorous locations. She will also join a roll call of the industry’s finest, becoming the eighth member of the WORLD CLASS Hall of Fame.

Jennifer Le Nechet with previous World Class Bartender of the Year winners

Johanna Dalley, World Class Director, Diageo Reserve said: “WORLD CLASS is continuing on a stellar trajectory – since we launched in 2009 the number of countries participating has tripled from 18 to 56, and the programme has reached and inspired more than 250,000 bartenders around the globe. We are proud to bring you this year’s crop of the world’s most skilled bartenders, and to learn about the newest and greatest drinks experiences on offer. Jennifer is the deserved winner, and we are delighted to have a female winner for the first time, but the five runners up were all worthy contenders.”

At the Awards evening, Mexico City was also revealed as the location for the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Global Final 2017.

World Class 2016 Final 12 Contestants

Dalley continued, “This year, WORLD CLASS will take cocktail culture to a new level in Mexico City, and there could be no better place for this, since for many years, this city been developing into one of the most vibrant capitals for food, drink and culture.”

Diageo’s WORLD CLASS programme is at the leading edge of the drinks industry – aside from hosting the competition it offers support and training to bar staff, and invests in research which will underpin how the trade evolves in the future.


Jennifer Le Nechet wins World Class 2016 competition

France’s Jennifer Le Nechet has been crowned the world’s best bartender at the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Global Final 2016. She becomes the first female bartender to claim the title. Following a four-day battle in Miami, she triumphed over the world’s greatest talents in cocktail making.

The French bartender, usually found crafting drinks and charming customers behind the bar at Café Moderne in Paris wowed the judges by creating a spectacular range of vibrant drinksat her Steampunk themed pop-up bar.

2016 marks the eighth year of Diageo’s WORLD CLASS competition, and the biggest yet, with nearly 10,000 bartenders entering. 56 of them made it to Miami. Next year will see Mexico City play host to the final.

Jennifer Le Nechet - Speed round

Each challenge turned the spotlight on a different skill in the bartender’s armoury: technique, personality, spirits knowledge and how well they perform under pressure.

Selecting top brands from Diageo’s Reserve portfolio including Ketel One vodka, Cîroc, Don Julio, Tanqueray No TEN, Bulleit, Zacapa rum and Johnnie Walker Blue Label Blended Scotch Whisky, the bartenders crafted classic cocktails and created their own recipes. They also went up against the clock to mix eight quintessential drinks in just 10 minutes.

Jennifer Le Nechet - Shape of cocktails to come round

Jennifer Le Nechet, the first female bartender to claim the title, said: “I’m completely blown away – it’s such an honour to take home the title of World’s Best Bartender – especially when competing against such talent from around the world. This week has inspired me to continue pushing the boundaries of flavours and to explore how all the senses can be engaged through cocktails. I can’t wait for the experience ahead!”

Le Nechet is set for an action-packed year as a Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador, and can expect to travel the world judging competitions and making bespoke drinks in far-flung and glamorous locations. She will also join a roll call of the industry’s finest, becoming the eighth member of the WORLD CLASS Hall of Fame.

Jennifer Le Nechet with previous World Class Bartender of the Year winners

Johanna Dalley, World Class Director, Diageo Reserve said: “WORLD CLASS is continuing on a stellar trajectory – since we launched in 2009 the number of countries participating has tripled from 18 to 56, and the programme has reached and inspired more than 250,000 bartenders around the globe. We are proud to bring you this year’s crop of the world’s most skilled bartenders, and to learn about the newest and greatest drinks experiences on offer. Jennifer is the deserved winner, and we are delighted to have a female winner for the first time, but the five runners up were all worthy contenders.”

At the Awards evening, Mexico City was also revealed as the location for the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Global Final 2017.

World Class 2016 Final 12 Contestants

Dalley continued, “This year, WORLD CLASS will take cocktail culture to a new level in Mexico City, and there could be no better place for this, since for many years, this city been developing into one of the most vibrant capitals for food, drink and culture.”

Diageo’s WORLD CLASS programme is at the leading edge of the drinks industry – aside from hosting the competition it offers support and training to bar staff, and invests in research which will underpin how the trade evolves in the future.


Jennifer Le Nechet wins World Class 2016 competition

France’s Jennifer Le Nechet has been crowned the world’s best bartender at the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Global Final 2016. She becomes the first female bartender to claim the title. Following a four-day battle in Miami, she triumphed over the world’s greatest talents in cocktail making.

The French bartender, usually found crafting drinks and charming customers behind the bar at Café Moderne in Paris wowed the judges by creating a spectacular range of vibrant drinksat her Steampunk themed pop-up bar.

2016 marks the eighth year of Diageo’s WORLD CLASS competition, and the biggest yet, with nearly 10,000 bartenders entering. 56 of them made it to Miami. Next year will see Mexico City play host to the final.

Jennifer Le Nechet - Speed round

Each challenge turned the spotlight on a different skill in the bartender’s armoury: technique, personality, spirits knowledge and how well they perform under pressure.

Selecting top brands from Diageo’s Reserve portfolio including Ketel One vodka, Cîroc, Don Julio, Tanqueray No TEN, Bulleit, Zacapa rum and Johnnie Walker Blue Label Blended Scotch Whisky, the bartenders crafted classic cocktails and created their own recipes. They also went up against the clock to mix eight quintessential drinks in just 10 minutes.

Jennifer Le Nechet - Shape of cocktails to come round

Jennifer Le Nechet, the first female bartender to claim the title, said: “I’m completely blown away – it’s such an honour to take home the title of World’s Best Bartender – especially when competing against such talent from around the world. This week has inspired me to continue pushing the boundaries of flavours and to explore how all the senses can be engaged through cocktails. I can’t wait for the experience ahead!”

Le Nechet is set for an action-packed year as a Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador, and can expect to travel the world judging competitions and making bespoke drinks in far-flung and glamorous locations. She will also join a roll call of the industry’s finest, becoming the eighth member of the WORLD CLASS Hall of Fame.

Jennifer Le Nechet with previous World Class Bartender of the Year winners

Johanna Dalley, World Class Director, Diageo Reserve said: “WORLD CLASS is continuing on a stellar trajectory – since we launched in 2009 the number of countries participating has tripled from 18 to 56, and the programme has reached and inspired more than 250,000 bartenders around the globe. We are proud to bring you this year’s crop of the world’s most skilled bartenders, and to learn about the newest and greatest drinks experiences on offer. Jennifer is the deserved winner, and we are delighted to have a female winner for the first time, but the five runners up were all worthy contenders.”

At the Awards evening, Mexico City was also revealed as the location for the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Global Final 2017.

World Class 2016 Final 12 Contestants

Dalley continued, “This year, WORLD CLASS will take cocktail culture to a new level in Mexico City, and there could be no better place for this, since for many years, this city been developing into one of the most vibrant capitals for food, drink and culture.”

Diageo’s WORLD CLASS programme is at the leading edge of the drinks industry – aside from hosting the competition it offers support and training to bar staff, and invests in research which will underpin how the trade evolves in the future.


Jennifer Le Nechet wins World Class 2016 competition

France’s Jennifer Le Nechet has been crowned the world’s best bartender at the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Global Final 2016. She becomes the first female bartender to claim the title. Following a four-day battle in Miami, she triumphed over the world’s greatest talents in cocktail making.

The French bartender, usually found crafting drinks and charming customers behind the bar at Café Moderne in Paris wowed the judges by creating a spectacular range of vibrant drinksat her Steampunk themed pop-up bar.

2016 marks the eighth year of Diageo’s WORLD CLASS competition, and the biggest yet, with nearly 10,000 bartenders entering. 56 of them made it to Miami. Next year will see Mexico City play host to the final.

Jennifer Le Nechet - Speed round

Each challenge turned the spotlight on a different skill in the bartender’s armoury: technique, personality, spirits knowledge and how well they perform under pressure.

Selecting top brands from Diageo’s Reserve portfolio including Ketel One vodka, Cîroc, Don Julio, Tanqueray No TEN, Bulleit, Zacapa rum and Johnnie Walker Blue Label Blended Scotch Whisky, the bartenders crafted classic cocktails and created their own recipes. They also went up against the clock to mix eight quintessential drinks in just 10 minutes.

Jennifer Le Nechet - Shape of cocktails to come round

Jennifer Le Nechet, the first female bartender to claim the title, said: “I’m completely blown away – it’s such an honour to take home the title of World’s Best Bartender – especially when competing against such talent from around the world. This week has inspired me to continue pushing the boundaries of flavours and to explore how all the senses can be engaged through cocktails. I can’t wait for the experience ahead!”

Le Nechet is set for an action-packed year as a Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador, and can expect to travel the world judging competitions and making bespoke drinks in far-flung and glamorous locations. She will also join a roll call of the industry’s finest, becoming the eighth member of the WORLD CLASS Hall of Fame.

Jennifer Le Nechet with previous World Class Bartender of the Year winners

Johanna Dalley, World Class Director, Diageo Reserve said: “WORLD CLASS is continuing on a stellar trajectory – since we launched in 2009 the number of countries participating has tripled from 18 to 56, and the programme has reached and inspired more than 250,000 bartenders around the globe. We are proud to bring you this year’s crop of the world’s most skilled bartenders, and to learn about the newest and greatest drinks experiences on offer. Jennifer is the deserved winner, and we are delighted to have a female winner for the first time, but the five runners up were all worthy contenders.”

At the Awards evening, Mexico City was also revealed as the location for the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Global Final 2017.

World Class 2016 Final 12 Contestants

Dalley continued, “This year, WORLD CLASS will take cocktail culture to a new level in Mexico City, and there could be no better place for this, since for many years, this city been developing into one of the most vibrant capitals for food, drink and culture.”

Diageo’s WORLD CLASS programme is at the leading edge of the drinks industry – aside from hosting the competition it offers support and training to bar staff, and invests in research which will underpin how the trade evolves in the future.


Watch the video: World Class Bartender of the Year 2019: Day 1 Glasgow