Singapore-based bartender Bannie Kang was crowned the victor of the global final of the World Class Competition 2019, held from 22 to 26 September in Glasgow.
Since its launch in 2009, World Class, backed by Diageo Reserve, has become one of the world’s most important and biggest bartending competitions. Reaching its 11th edition, the competition this year kicked off in the Ketel One Distillery in the Netherlands and continued in Scotland.
In the home of Scotch, 55 contestants around the world were challenged to devise spectacular cocktails using designated spirits from the Diageo portfolio, including Talisker, The Singleton and Tanqueray gin.
The top eight contestants were Hiroki Yoshida (Japan), Cameron Attfield (Great Britain), Bannie Kang (Singapore), Tony Lin (Taiwan), Won Woo Choi (Korea), Shelley Tai (Hong Kong), Alex Remoundos (Denmark) and Jeff Savage (Canada). They proceeded to the final speed round where they were judged by industry legends on the quality of their cocktail-making under immense time pressure.
Excelling in both rounds of challenges, Bannie Kang took top spot of this year. The head bartender of Anti:dote in Fairmont Singapore said: “This has been an incredible experience. It’s been a lot of fun and a lot of hard work – a real whirlwind. 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.”
She will spend the next 12 months as a global ambassador for Diageo’s Reserve brands, travelling the world and judging World Class national heats.
The global competition is now in over 60 countries, and has supported, educated and inspired over 250,000 bartenders through its training and advocacy programme.
It was also revealed that next year’s global final will take place in Sydney. Andrew Oughton, Diageo Australia’s marketing and innovation director, said: “It’s going to be a brilliant celebration of Australian hospitality and our diverse and innovative drinks culture. I can’t wait!”