There’s 18 Scots in the running for top bartender title

Diageo Reserve has announced its 2019 World Class Top 100 bartenders – with almost a fifth of the top contestants from Scotland.

The digital entry stage this year attracted a record number with a 50 per cent increase from the 2018 GB competition.

The following competitors have all been chosen as the top 100 and will now be invited to submit their next entry online before 1 May for the in-bar judging process when judges will travel across the UK to taste-test each entry drink.

This entry stage is a ‘Tartan Tiki’ serve, integrating Talisker 10 Year Old into a tiki-style serve, demonstrating inspiration from Britain and showcasing British flavours.

Following the in-bar judging, the top 100 will be whittled down to 20, who will then come together to compete for the crown – GB World Class Bartender of the Year 2019 – before representing GB in the World Class Global Final hosted in Glasgow later this year.

The Scots Diageo Reserve GB World Class Top 100 Bartenders finalists are:

Alex Palumbo, Fazenda, Edinburgh; Andrew Gray, The Finnieston Bar & Restaurant, Glasgow; Benjamin Higginson, The Barologist, Edinburgh; Conor Moncrieff, Cail Bruich, Glasgow; James Rawcliffe, Tigerlily, Edinburgh; Jamie Moran, Wheesht, Glasgow; Jonathan Arthur, Bramble Bar, Edinburgh; Leigh Donaldson, Brewhemia, Edinburgh; Liam Scott, The Corinthian Club, Glasgow; Liam Grogan, Tiki Bar & Kitsch Inn, Glasgow; Matthew Cusworth, Hoot the Redeemer, Edinburgh; Matthew Galloway, Tigerlily, Edinburgh; Ross Edwin, Montieths, Edinburgh; Ryan Snedden, Lucky Liquor Co., Edinburgh; Sam Baxendale, KIN, Edinburgh; Stefano Frau, Tigerlily, Edinburgh; Tom Wishart, The Amsterdam, Glasgow; Vasili Panagopoulos, Kelvingrove Cafe, Glasgow.

Those competitors in the top 100 listed above must submit their ‘Tartan Tiki’ serve online at the and post a picture of the drink to social media using #WorldClassGB2019 before 1 May.

Cocktails must be in the form of a highball and include at least 30ml of Talisker 10 Year Old as a base spirit.

The winner of the GB World Class 2019 Competition will win a prize package consisting of:

• A trip to Glasgow to represent your country in the World Class Global Finals 2019;
• A tour of a selection of key Diageo owned distilleries covering the four corners of Scotland;
• A guest bartending shift at a European city;
• Cocktail Kingdom bar tools and equipment;
• Offers for paid event work with Diageo GB leading up until next year’s competition;
• Nationwide exposure and dedicated PR for the World Class GB Winner and their bar throughout the year;
• Professional signature serve and profile photo shoot with top industry photographer.