Close Menu

Jacob Martin wins Diageo World Class 2023

Diageo World Class has crowned Jacob Martin of Canada as the 2023 Global Bartender of the Year.

World Class 2023
Martin shook off competition from more than 10,000 bartenders in this year’s ‘Everest of bartending’

Following a year of regional challenges that saw more than 10,000 elite mixologists across the globe compete for the title, Canada’s Jacob Martin was named the winner of the Diageo-sponsored competition at the global finals hosted in São Paulo, Brazil, on 28 September.

The top bartenders from 55 countries competed in the finals, which featured a series of challenges designed to test the finalists’ cocktail prowess, knowledge and creativity.

The four days of ‘intense’ bartending challenges saw the finalists tasked with elevating classic cocktails ‘to a ten’ using Tanqueray No. Ten and creating a Ketel One ‘Garnished with Good’ cocktail.

The global finals were judged by world-renowned bartenders including Monica Berg of London’s Tayēr + Elementary, Giacomo Giannotti of Paradiso in Barcelona, and Ago Perrone of The Connaught Bar in London.

Marissa Johnston, global head of Diageo World Class, said: “Following last year’s World Class in Sydney was always going to be a big ask, but the World Class teams around the world, the Brazil team and, of course, our amazing 54 competitors have all stepped up to the plate and knocked it out the park. The level of energy on the ground here [in São Paolo] is incredible and after so many months of planning, it’s been such a thrill to see it all come together like this. It’s so exciting to see a city come alive with great drinks and great experiences.

“Jacob has truly taken this competition to the next level – he excelled across the board and the feedback from the judges has been incredible. Jacob is such a deserving winner and I can’t wait to work with him over the next 12 months – he’ll go far.”

Jacob martin World Class
Jacob Martin participated in a series of challenges over four days

Martin said that winning World Class is an “unbelievable honour – not just because it’s the pinnacle of the industry, but also because of the giants I’ve had the privilege of competing with this week.

“Bartending is an amazing community, and this week has constantly reminded me of that. We have all pushed each other, learned from each other and fed off the amazing energy from this fantastic city. The standard of the competition was out of this world.”

World Class Top 100

As the 2023 World Class Global program comes to a close, the next chapter of the competition has already commenced in partnership with the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG).

Within the US, applications for the 2024 USBG Presents World Class Sponsored By Diageo program have opened.

Each year, the program draws applications from ‘diverse and talented’ bartenders nationwide who will compete in a series of challenges inspired by the latest industry trends.

“We’re excited to kick off the 12th season of the USBG Presents World Class Sponsored by Diageo with the creative and driven bartenders who will embark on this best-in-class program with us,” said USBG executive director Aaron Gregory Smith.

“We’re proud to be expanding our World Class community with incredibly skilled and dedicated bartenders year after year, and to share in their continued growth and success.”

Cassandra Ericson, manager of on-premise channel marketing at Diageo North America, added: “As the World Class program continues to evolve year after year, we’re incredibly excited to welcome returning and new competitors into the World Class community.

“We are proud of the growth and success of these highly talented hospitality professionals as they embark on this unique journey and hope that the online resources from Diageo Bar Academy and mentorship offered will encourage bartenders of all levels and backgrounds to join us in 2024.”

Bartenders of all skill levels are encouraged to showcase one unique cocktail creation and submit by 16 October 2023, 11:59pm PST, via for the chance to become a World Class Top 100 Bartender.

Last year, we sat down with the 2022 World Class winner Adrián Michalčík to chat about his experience in the global competition.

Earlier this year, a new feature documentary about Diageo’s World Class competition aired on Amazon Prime, promising to ‘change the way we think about cocktails forever’.

In the September issue of The Spirits Business magazine, we spoke to Marissa Johnston about this year’s competition.

It looks like you're in Asia, would you like to be redirected to the Drinks Business Asia edition?

Yes, take me to the Asia edition No