Following the first challenge all guests and bar tenders were transported to Edinburgh for the Johnnie Walker event at Mansfield Traquair. This event marked the opening of World Class 2014 with the presentation of the 48 finalists and launch of the new Johnnie Walker Blue Label film featuring Jude Law.
On Tuesday, everyone boarded the Belmond train to London. Guests were given the opportunity to relax and TBA worked with Mortlach to create a bespoke tasting experience for everyone on board. The train came into St Pancras where the third challenge was waiting. Eight competition bars were built along the upper concourse and Searcy’s champagne bar was re-branded to the WORLD CLASS bar from which past winners’ punch was served to both guests and consumers. The Tale of Two Martinis ensued which tested the bar tenders on their Martini knowledge. They were tasked with creating one retro Martini dedicated to it’s traditions and history and one future Martini, inspired by wherever they thought this illustrious cocktail is going. As rush hour got in full swing, commuters stopped to watch the action and enjoy the atmosphere.
With the competition in full swing by Thursday, BTs were tested to their limits with the Market challenge in the morning. They had thirty minutes to purchase ingredients from Borough Market and then made their way to Aqua in the Shard where they had to create the perfect Bloody Mary with Ketel One. Also that morning, the Zacapa gastronomy challenge took place at Oblix restaurant where the bar tenders had to pair cocktails with food dishes created by head chef Rainer Becker. The third challenge of the day was Against the Clock at Vinopolis where the competitors had to make 8 punches in 8 minutes. After another elimination there were only the final six left.
Want to know more? Check out the New York Daily News Article around the Winner, Charles Joly - http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/eats/chicago-mixologist-named-international-bartender-year-article-1.1891386