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Kaitlyn Stewart wins DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year 2017

World Class is the world’s biggest and most reputable cocktail competition and is the ultimate test of bartending skill. At every stage of the competition you can create cutting-edge cocktails, make great contacts and face amazing new challenges. A total of 55 bartenders were selected to go through to the final in Mexico City, in the summer of 2017, while the big prize was awarded to Canadian bartender Kaitlyn Stewart.

Kaitlyn has seen off challenges which tested every single skill that makes a bartender truly great. She battled it out in the Lucha Libre ring, going head-to-head with her opponents to create her best classic cocktail. She survived the fire of the “Heat of the Moment” challenge as she showed how to break boundaries in cocktail making by incorporating the best of culinary techniques. And as global environmental awareness rises, the Canadian took on the Mex ECO challenge to show how bartenders can look for new ways to create the ultimate green cocktail.

Guests at the WORLD CLASS competition witnessed the pinnacle of bartending creations, the setting of new trends, and the parameters of cocktail making pushed further than ever before. Whilst all the WORLD CLASS Finalists were outstanding, Kaitlyn truly stood out as the best of the best, able to master the Diageo Reserve luxury portfolio to create ground-breaking results.

 “I’m so incredibly amazed and shocked to have been named the world’s best bartender,” she said. “It’s been a gruelling week, taking on the toughest challenges against some of most skilled bartenders I’ve ever met.

“Participating in the finals was amazing enough but to finish the week as winner… I’m so delighted. Cocktails are on the up now more than ever and to be at the forefront of that, pushing forward the idea of using better ingredients and better recipes to create even better cocktails is something I’m really passionate about and I’ve loved every moment of this experience.”

More than 10,000 bartenders from 57 countries entered the latest Diageo World Class, making it the biggest cocktail and bartending competition in the world.

Diageo World Class will host its 10th global final in Berlin next year.