Singapore bartender wins Diageo World Class 2019By Amy Hopkins
Singapore-based bartender Bannie Kang has been named Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year after going head to head with some of the world’s top mixologists.
Kang, who works at the Anti-Dote bar at Singapore’s Fairmont hotel, triumphed in the final leg of Diageo’s World Class cocktail competition, which ended in Glasgow last week.
Thousands of bartenders from six continents entered the competition and following a series of national heats, 53 were put through to the final.
The group took part in a number of challenges at the Ketel One Distillery in the Netherlands and the Talisker Distillery in Scotland over the course of four days.
In Schiedam, the finalists were tasked with creating cocktails that had a positive impact on the environment, while on the Isle of Skye they were presented with a mystery box of ingredients and bar tools to create a Talisker serve.
The week ended in Glasgow, were the finalists endeavoured to create cocktails that showcased The Singleton single malt Scotch, devise a cocktail flight that enhanced the flavours of Tanqueray No. Ten, create a Johnnie Walker ‘highball in a can’; and take part in a fast-paced speed round.
‘Most competitive’ year yet
“This year’s competition was one of the most competitive we’ve ever had,” said Simon Earley, head of Diageo World Class. “The skill and talent of the bartenders battling it out across all the different challenges was awe-inspiring.
“Bannie Kang is a worthy winner and her technique, temperament, and artisanship really stood out across the four days.”
Kang was selected as the competition’s winner by the panel of judges that included former winners, award-winning bartenders, and drinks writers and journalists.
“This has been an incredible experience. It’s been a lot of fun and a lot of hard work – a real whirlwind,” said Kang.
“I’d like to say well done to all the finalists – there were so many incredible drinks created this week it could have been any of us who won.
“I’ve learnt a lot and made some friends for life. It was a privilege to spend the last five days with these guys, working with these incredible spirits brands, at the best bartending competition in the world. To have won is the cherry on the cake.”
The 12th annual Diageo World Class competition will take place in Sydney, Australia next year.