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Diageo World Class Canada Announces James Grant as Bartender of the Year 2021

2021-03-31 09:25 ET - News Release

Diageo World Class Canada Announces James Grant as Bartender of the Year 2021

Canada NewsWire

Diageo World Class Canada Bartender of the Year heads to Madrid, Spain to represent Canada at the World Class Global Finals

TORONTO, March 31, 2021 /CNW/ - WORLD CLASS CANADA showcases top bartenders from across the country who compete for the opportunity to represent Canada at the WORLD CLASS Global Finals in Madrid, Spain later this year. After a series of virtual regional challenges from across the country, 11 immensely talented bartenders were shortlisted to battle it out for the winning title in the WORLD CLASS CANADA National Finals from March 28-30, 2021 in Toronto, Ontario.

All candidates were judged on their bartending and hosting techniques by previous WORLD CLASS CANADA winners, including Jeff Savage, Chris Enns, Kaitlyn Stewart, Shane Mulvany and Grant Sceney, in addition to Lauren Mote, Diageo Reserve and WORLD CLASS Global Cocktailian (and 2015 WORLD CLASS CANADA Bartender of the Year), David Ríos, 2013 WORLD CLASS Global Bartender of the Year, Dan Morrow, Senior Vice President of Food and Beverage at Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE), and Rebecca Felgate, Toronto-based digital content creator. With a commitment to facilitating a safe environment during the competition, all participants, judges and organizers adhered to local government requirements as well as additional guidelines to ensure a safe and comfortable experience for everyone involved.  

After the final round of fierce competition, WORLD CLASS CANADA crowned James Grant from Edmonton, Alberta as its Bartender of the Year 2021. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, James is currently a bartender at Little Hong Kong in Edmonton.

"Winning World Class Canada Bartender of the Year is an honour to represent the Canadian bartending community and compete on the global stage," said James Grant, WORLD CLASS CANADA Bartender of the Year 2021. "It's been an incredible five-year journey and I can't wait to showcase my passion and creativity at the Global Finals this summer."

Both the winner and runner-up of the WORLD CLASS CANADA National Finals will attend an educational trip to Edinburgh, Scotland, home of Johnnie Walker Princes Street, an upcoming whisky experience for visitors.

James Grant will compete against top bartenders from across the globe in July at the WORLD CLASS Global Finals in Madrid, Spain. James will create cocktails with luxury spirits, such as Johnnie Walker Blended Scotch Whisky, Tanqueray No. Ten Gin, Bulleit Bourbon, Don Julio Tequila, Ketel One Vodka and more. James will be contending for the highly regarded title of WORLD CLASS Global Bartender of the Year 2021.

Since 2009, over 325,000 bartenders across 60 countries have brought their passion, culture, flavour and personal stories to the world through the World Class program.

"World Class plays an important role in driving the industry forward with education and tools to help bartenders achieve their goals and transform fine drinking and cocktail culture," said Michael Armistead, WORLD CLASS CANADA lead with Diageo Canada. "As one of the most prestigious bartending contests in the world, World Class continues its mission to inspire people to drink better and create unforgettable experiences in the process. We're excited for James as he prepares for the Global Final in Madrid, Spain and represents Canada."

In addition to the WORLD CLASS CANADA National Finals, WORLD CLASS Cocktail Festival Toronto kicked off on March 28 and runs until April 2, offering up an array of virtual pairings, tastings and masterclasses, led by some of Canada's top bartenders. For more information, visit www.worldclasscocktailfestival.com.

When experimenting with your own mixology skills or enjoying award-winning cocktails from your favourite local bartender, WORLD CLASS CANADA reminds you to drink responsibly.

For additional information about the program and for details on the upcoming global competition, follow @WorldClassCa on Twitter, @WorldClassCanada on Instagram, use the hashtag #WorldClass and visit Facebook.com/WorldClassCanada.

About Diageo

Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan's whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness. Diageo is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com. Visit Diageo's global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives and ways to share best practice.

Follow us on Twitter for news and information about Diageo North America: @Diageo_NA.

About Diageo WORLD CLASS

Diageo WORLD CLASS is transforming fine drinking experiences and cocktail culture around the world and in the home. The industry's largest, most credible investment in the luxury on trade, it discovers the next generation of bartending talent who set the latest mixology trends and bring these to the best bars worldwide. At the core is an outstanding, global training program and internationally recognized platform that elevates the craft of the bartender and builds careers in the industry culminating in an annual luxury landmark week where the Diageo WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year is announced. Launched in 2009, over 300,000 bartenders have been inspired and educated in the craft of mixology using the finest spirits in the Diageo Reserve collection. A partnership and collaboration with gurus, media, partners and owners, Diageo WORLD CLASS is widely recognized as a mark of sophistication and distinction of international fine drinking culture by bartenders and customers alike.

SOURCE Diageo Canada

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Chris Dionne, North Strategic (for Diageo Canada), 416-500-3802, chris.dionne@northstrategic.com

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