Now in its seventh edition, Diageo Reserve World Class brought together twenty mixologists from India’s leading hotels and bars to compete for the title at the Grand Hyatt Hotel. Alfonso Del Portillo, from Drinks on MG, Bangalore was conferred the title of the India Bartender of the Year at Diageo Reserve World Class 2015. The winner will represent India and compete with the world’s best bartenders at Diageo Reserve World Class Global Finals to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, in September, 2015. Portillo edged his competitors and swayed the judges with his speed, meticulous execution and balanced cocktails at the India final. Runner up Bensan Varghese from Arola, JW Marriott, Mumbai and Second Runner up Mayur Marne from Hakkasan Mumbai too impressed the judges and the attendees with their creativity and craftsmanship, thus earning them the second and third position respectively.
Over the last six months, the contenders from the most prominent bars in India competed in multiple regional levels before descending in Mumbai for the national finals. Top 20 bartenders were judged by an expert panel consisting of Bhavesh Somaya -Head of Luxury, United Spirits Ltd - a Diageo Group company; Will Thompson - Global Brand Ambassador, Don Julio; Alex Sanchez -Executive Chef, The Table; Zbigniew Zapert - Reserve Brand Ambassador India and Nicholas Ord - Reserve Brand Ambassador India. The selected 20 bartenders exhibited originality and all the right skills throughout the competition that judged them on various parameters to test their ingenuity. Of the 20 talented challengers, Alfonso emerged as the winner for mastering these pre-requites and displaying unparalleled skills with utmost passion.
Announcing the winner, Bhavesh Somaya, Head of Luxury, United Spirits Ltd - a Diageo Group company said, “Diageo Reserve World Class is a celebration of flair and creativity in the craft of bartending. It is a testament to Diageo Reserve’s longstanding commitment of transforming fine drinking experiences and cocktail culture around the world. After triumphing the multi-layered competition, the India Champion will now contend with some of the most talented bartenders from around the world at the Global Final. It will be the ultimate test of skill, craft and mettle. ”
Sharing his big win, Alfonso Del Portillo, added, “It’s a real honour to be the Diageo Reserve World Class India Bartender of the Year 2015. The platform gave me an opportunity to learn from the best in the industry and I can confidently say that I have grown enormously as a professional through this journey. It feels extremely rewarding to compete with the best bartenders in the world and represent India at the Global Finals in South Africa. I can’t wait to experiment and show some innovative ideas!”
(Excerpt from a Press Release)
Diageo Reserve World Class, the industry’s biggest and most prestigious bartending competition, today announced the 20 finalists who will compete with each other at the India National Finals to be held in Mumbai. The winner further gets an opportunity to represent India at the Global Diageo Reserve World Class Competition.
Diageo Reserve World Class is recognized as a unique global platform that nurture the talent of local bartenders, enable them with the right knowledge and prepares them for some of the best bars in the world. In its seventh edition, the competition witnessed an outstanding participation of 275 entrants from 100 outlets. Compared to last year, the competition witnessed an increase of 22%, thus reaffirming the growing popularity of this marquee platform.
A team of judges comprising of Zbigniew Zapert (Reserve Brand Ambassador) and Nicholas Ord (Reserve Brand Ambassador), carefully handpicked the top 20 contenders who were scored on their knowledge artistry, innovation, balance, technique and visual aesthetic.
World Class will see bartenders competing for the title of the India Bartender of the Year of Diageo Reserve World Class 2015 edition. The Judges will include of Zbigniew Zapert , Nicholas Ord, Will Thompson (Global Brand Ambassador, Don Julio), Alex Sanchez (Executive Chef, The Table) and Bhavesh Somaya (Head of Luxury, United Spirits- a Diageo Group company). The winner and India Champion will ultimately take on the world’s best bartenders at Diageo’s seventh annual Global Diageo World Class Competition to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, in September, 2015.
DIAGEO WORLD CLASS 2015 TOP 20:
Mayur Marne, Mumbai
Raghuvender Singh, Delhi
Akash Singh, Mumbai
Yogesh Kumar, Delhi
Garrimella Venkat, Mumbai
Rahul Chettri, Delhi
Tejas Pradip, Mumbai
Dilbar Rawat, Delhi
Bensan Varghese, Mumbai
Lovely Miglani, Delhi
Abhijit Kotkar, Pune
Gaurav Dhyani, Delhi
Bipeen Kekan, Pune
Vikram K.U, Delhi
Abhishek Shevade, Pune
Aman Dua, Gurgaon
Dushyant Tanwar, Kolkata
Arnold Hou, Gurgaon
Dibyendu Chaki, Kolkata
Alfonso Valdes, Bangalore
(Excerpt from a press release dated 22nd June 2015)
United Breweries Limited has launched Kingfisher Ultra MAX, a higher-alcohol variant of its hugely successful premium beer brand Kingfisher ULTRA, catering to Indian beer drinkers’ evolving taste for a refined premium strong beer. Kingfisher Ultra MAX, undergoes a slow-brewing process and a prolonged maturation, using fine imported pilsen malts to produce a smooth, crisp and refined strong beer, with a distinct and pleasant malty note.
Each facet of the brand offering ranging from its unique taste to contemporary packaging spells class, elegance and sophistication. Kingfisher Ultra MAX stands out with striking black and gold graphics, designed by the London-based Claessens International, featuring the iconic kingfisher bird soaring skywards. The brand will be available in 650ml and 330ml bottles with the added convenience of a ring-pull cap. A 500ml can will complete the SKU offering in the launch phase. In line with its premium positioning, world-class brew and distinct packaging, Kingfisher Ultra MAX will be priced at the top end of the beer pyramid, making it the most premium strong beer brand in the country. In Bangalore, the brand retails at Rs 150, Rs 120 and Rs 90 for the 650ml, 500ml and 330ml SKUs respectively.
Commenting on the launch, Samar Singh Sheikhawat, Senior Vice-President (Marketing), United Breweries Limited, said, “The market for higher alcohol beers has been growing consistently over the years, and continues to develop both in terms of volume and salience to the total market. The Indian Beer drinker today is seeking differentiation in terms of a more refined taste and palate, and is willing to pay for this added value. Re-enforcing our commitment to providing the best to our consumers, we have launched Kingfisher Ultra MAX as an extension of our hugely successful Kingfisher ULTRA brand, and now the Indian beer drinker, can enjoy a distinctive, refined beer packed with a punch.”
(Excerpt from a press release)