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Danilo Frigulti wins Diageo World Class GB

Diageo has crowned Italian bartender Danilo Frigulti, of London’s Viajante87 bar, the winner of its World Class GB final.

Frigulti is a bartender at Viajante87 in Notting Hill

The two-day competition saw Frigulti fend off 22 other finalists in a series of challenges, culminating in a ceremony at Koko in London last night (4 June).

The challenges included ‘Don Julio: Outside the Box’, where bartenders were tasked with creating any style of cocktail with unknown ingredients presented to them in a mystery box. There was also ‘Walker of the World’, where finalists created country-inspired cocktails using Johnnie Walker Blue and Black Label.

The final 10 contestants then took part in a speed round where they created four cocktails in four minutes.

The finals were judged by last year’s winner, Matt Arnold, and industry veterans Erik Lorincz and Sandrae Lawrence.

On his triumph, Frigulti said: “Wow, this is incredible. I’ve worked in this amazing industry for five years now and I’m so proud to be recognised like this for a career and industry I feel so lucky to be part of.

“Thank you so much to my team and mentors for being so generous with their time and wisdom – you’ve all helped me get to this point and I can’t wait to represent Great Britain in Shanghai.”

Frigulti began his London bartending journey in 2018, first as a barback at The London Edition, followed by three years at the Nomad Hotel, where he rose to head bartender. He has been part of the team at Viajante87 for the past six months.

Asked what sets World Class apart as a bartending competition, Frigulti said: “The World Class family, without any doubt. It might sound easy now because I got the trophy, but it’s not just about the trophy – it’s the incredible relationship and connection among every single participant.”

And his favourite cocktail? “It’s probably the one I make the most – the Margarita.”

Frigulti will now advance to the Diageo World Class Global Final – held in Shanghai from 9-13 September 2024 – where he will represent Great Britain.

Last year’s global winner was Jacob Martin of Canada.

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