Spain’s David Rios wins Diageo World Class 2013By Becky Paskin
Spanish bartender David Rios has been named the champion at Diageo World Class 2013, in a gruelling six-day final held aboard a cruise ship in the Mediterranean.
Rios, of Jigger Cocktail & Disco Bar in Ciudadela on the island of Minorca, beat off competition from 43 other global finalists to win the prestigious title.
The bartenders were tasked with competing in several unique challenges, each designed to test a different aspect of their skills and personalities as a bartender. They included Cocktails Against the Clock (a speed round), Punch and Glass (a punch cocktail using any Diageo Reserve brand), Whisky Mystery (a mystery basket round) and Sensorium (creating a cocktail that appeals to all senses using one of The Singleton whiskies).
Their skills were tested in front of an esteemed judging panel, which included the likes of Salvatore Calabrese, Peter Dorelli, Dale DeGroff, Gary Regan, Julie Reiner, Hidetsugu Ueno, Arturo Savage, Steve Olson and Aristotelis Papadopoulos.
James Thompson, managing director Global Reserve, said: “David Rios is a true Diageo Reserve World Class bartender: innovative, creative, charismatic and most importantly, passionate about the industry. Winning the title of Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year will set David on a life-changing journey, championing the art and craft of the bartender by educating and inspiring new talent, participating in international high-profile events and transforming fine drinking and cocktail culture.
“We look to David to bring about a tidal wave of change in getting discerning consumers all over the world to settle only for the best fine-drinking experiences – be it through the best venues, the best skills behind the bar, or the best drinks.”
Rios follows in the footsteps of last year’s winner Tim Philips from Sydney, Australia, as well as the likes of Erik Lorincz, Manabu Ohtake and Aristotelis Papadopoulos.
“I am thrilled and humbled to be awarded Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year amongst the incredibly talented group of bartenders at the Global Final,” Rios said. “I have been truly inspired this week by the unequivocally high standards and limitless talent at the Global Final. I look forward to the year ahead, travelling the world as an ambassador for the programme, meeting my peers, educating new talent, and learning about new cocktail cultures and trends around the globe.”
Rips will now work with Diageo as an ambassador for World Class for the next 12 months, honing his own skills while encouraging other bartenders to apply for the annual bartending competition.
The Diageo Reserve World Class competition was filmed this year for a new TV programme charting the different stages of the competition and featuring behind-the-scenes footage of the event. It is due to be screened across 100 countries over the next few months. In addition, Diageo will be launching the World Class 50: A Definitive Drinking Guide, which will contain the most iconic drinking experiences crested by the 2013 finalists.