Lebanon’s leading mixologists gathered on April 1, 2015, to participate in first burst of the Diageo World Class Competition held at Caprice, bringing together talent and taste under the theme “the Fundamentals of Flavor”. Diageo partnered with international and local mixology and hospitality gurus selected as WorldClass Lebanon 2015 judges bringing their exceptional craftsmanship and mixology knowledge to support the industry’s most credible investment in the luxury on trade.
15 contestants from across Lebanon had to create cocktails that accentuate the flavors of Diageo’s luxury portfolio of Reserve Brands. Judges for this first round were Erik Lorencz, head bartender of American Bar at The Savoy Hotel in London and Global Winner of World Class 2010, David Rios, Global World Class Winner 2013, and Chef Maroun Chedid, renown celebrity Lebanese chef and expert in hospitality in the MENA region. Contestants were assessed for their creative skills, expression of World Class Spirit, cocktail taste and balance, presentation, technique, and cocktail name.
“This unique event allows mixologists to innovate and move beyond traditional drinks and mixology techniques and really create sensory experiences through some of the world’s most luxurious brands,” explained Lorencz. “The talent displayed here showed impressive potential, which I am eager to see blossom all the way to the finals in South Africa.”
The event concluded with Johnny Mansour, from Junkyard, Ahmad el Saghir, from BistroBar, and Refaat Ghostine, from Central Station, all three winners of this round were deemed qualified to compete in the local final round in June, where competition will be even more intense, and expectations will enliven the experience for all, as one of them will be crowned Lebanon’s World Class Champion 2015. The winner will also represent Lebanon in South Africa, competing against leading bartenders from around the globe in the 7th annual Diageo Reserve World Class Global Final 2015, the bartending industry’s most prestigious cocktail competition.