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Silviu Popa, the winner of Diageo Reserve World Class 2017, will represent Romania in the Mexico City final

Diageo Reserve World Class, the competition dedicated to bartenders passionate about mixology, has chosen its great winner in the Romanian finals, in an event that took place between June 7 and 8 2017 at Interbelic Cocktail Bar and Linea - Closer to the Moon, in Bucharest. After two days of testing, the big prize was awarded to Silviu Popa, bartender at Charlie Pub, Cluj-Napoca. He will represent Romania in the international final of the competition, which will take place between August 20th and 25th, in Mexico.

The fourth edition of the Diageo Reserve World Class has brought together the most talented bartenders across the country with a common goal: to demonstrate that they deserve the title of the best bartender and to represent Romania at the international finals of the contest, which will take place at the end of August, in Mexico. The finals brought together ten participants: Florin Traistaru, Andra Dragan, Teodora Tataru, Ciprian Stefan, Silviu Popa, Mihai Todosi, Doina Bunea, Alexandru Crismariu, Emanuel Magda and Mario Josim from cities like Cluj-Napoca and Constanta, proving that Romania has strong strengths in the area of ​​mixology.

The first day of the contest brought three challenges for the 10 bartenders in the final stage – „Aperitif & Starter”, „A couple walks in” and „American Classics” - who inspired the finalists to create cocktails based on the Reserve products from the super-premium Diageo Drinks Portfolio. The next day, the top four bartenders left had to compete to create a pop-up bar in just 24 hours to capture the essence of their bartending style. The three samples were Judges Championship serve, Guest Signature serve and Reserve Punch. Silviu Popa managed to convince the jury that he can represent Romania in the grand finale, creating a cosmopolitan pop-up bar, Mexican inspiration, and vibrant cocktails that brought him the coveted prize.

In both days of competition, the contestants were courted by Will Thompson, World Class Manager for European Partner Markets, and Spike Marchant, Global Brand Manager World Class, hospitality industry experts and globally recognized for their experience. This year they played an important role in the jury decision and public preference.

With 7 years of experience behind the bar, Silviu Popa is a lucky man because he pursues his passion every day. Moving through numerous competitions and experiences, Silviu Popa is currently working at Charlie Pub, in Cluj-Napoca, with over 200 whiskey brands available to make incredible cocktails. Lucian Turcu, Diageo Reserve brand ambassador, said about the winner: "„Silviu Popa surprised us this year, succeeding to conquer both the public and the jury through his passion and creativity. He is a representative figure for the Romanian bartending, being a very talented bartender that participated also at the other editions of World Class in Romania, each year becoming better and better”.