Diageo Reserve World Class India Finals 2016 Winner Jitender Singh from Gurgaon


Bangalore, June 1st 2016, Invited me to 7th edition, Diageo Reserve World Class India level bartender competition. Diageo Reserve World Class continues to transform fine drinking experiences and cocktail culture around the world. 

A unique platform, which aims to nurture the potential talent of local bartenders and enable them with the right knowledge. Bringing together 20 mixologists from India’s leading hotels and bars to compete for the title at the Shangri la Hotel, Jitender Singh , from Story, Gurgaon was conferred the title of the India Bartender of the Year at Diageo Reserve World Class 2016. 

The winner will now represent India and compete with the world’s best bartenders at Diageo Reserve World Class Global Finals to be held in Miami in September, 2016.

The industry’s biggest and most prestigious bartending competition –now in its 7th edition offers a gamut of luxury spirits from the Diageo Reserve portfolio namely Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, Johnnie Walker Platinum Label 18, Talisker, Tanqueray 10, CÎROC, KetelOne, Don Julio and the Singleton of Glen Ord 12YO. The contestants were judged on the basis of three rounds – The Pantry Round, The Speed Round and The Mystery Box Round. Each bartender went through a rigorous training procedure to survive till the end and had their eyes firmly set on the global finals in Miami!



Jitender edged his competitors and swayed the judges with his speed, meticulous execution and balanced cocktails at the Indian final. Runner up Vikram Ku and Runner Dilbar Singh from Delhi/Noida 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 Bangalore for the national finals. Top 20 bartenders were judged by an expert panel consisting of Feroze Merchant, Head of Luxury, USL Diageo, Nicholas Ord, USL Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador, Jamie Walker, USL Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador, Serhan Kusakisizoglu, Director of Corporate Projects, Shangri La, Nicole Faria, ex Miss Earth 2010 and Manu Chandra, Chef Partner Toast & Tonic (Bangalore), Monkey Bar (Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai), The Fatty Bao (Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai), and Executive Chef Olive Beach, Bangalore. The selected bartenders exhibited originality and all the right skills throughout the competition that they were judged on to test their ingenuity. Of the 20 talented challengers, Jitender emerged as the winner for mastering these pre-requites and displaying unparalleled skills with utmost passion.

Announcing the winner, Feroze Merchant, Head of Luxury, United Spirits Ltd - a Diageo Group company said, “Diageo Reserve World Class is considered one of the most respected bartender competitions both in India and globally. The competition celebrates the best bartenders who set industry trends and standards. We have inspired the bartender community and every year have participants from the best outlets in India. A unique platform, which aims to nurture the potential talent of local bartenders and enable them with the right knowledge, craft and skill. Diageo Reserve World Class aims at transforming fine drinking experiences and cocktail culture which encourages people to drink better and responsibly. ”

Sharing his big win, Jitender added, “It’s a real honour to be the Diageo Reserve World Class India Bartender of the Year 2016. The platform has given 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 Miami. I can’t wait to bring the Global title back to India!”


The winner and India finalist, Jitender will now take on the world’s best bartenders at Diageo’s eighth annual Global Diageo World Class Competition that will be held in Miami in September, 2015.
About Diageo Reserve World Class

Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS is transforming fine drinking experiences and cocktail culture around the world. 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 Reserve WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year is announced. 

Launched in 2009, over 15,000 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 Reserve WORLD CLASS is widely recognized as a mark of sophistication and distinction of international fine drinking culture by bartenders and customers alike.

The Diageo Bar Academy Program reinforces the company's commitment to the bartending community. Since launching the program in 2006, more than 5,500 training sessions have been hosted with over 55,000 bartenders trained. The acclaimed program takes an innovative and fresh approach to training, offering interactive and informative sessions led by the industry’s best.

Diageo Reserve World Class – India Competition
A unique platform, which aims to nurture the potential talent of local bartenders and enable them with the right knowledge. In the past Diageo Reserve World Class India has successfully helped local talent emerge as influencers and creators of fine drinking experiences the world over.

The industry’s biggest and most prestigious bartending competition –now in its 7th edition offers a gamut of luxury spirits from the Diageo Reserve portfolio namely Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, Johnnie Walker Platinum Label 18, Talisker , Tanqueray 10, CÎROC, KetelOne, Don Julio and the Singleton of Glen Ord 12YO.

Over the last 6 months, our International Brand Ambassadors have trained & mentored over 200 bartenders across the top 120 luxury accounts in India, on our Reserve Portfolio as well as modules on global cocktail trends such as Fundamentals of Flavor, Asian Flavors, Classics with a Twist and Fruits & Plants.The contenders have competed in multiple regional levels before descending in Bangalore for the national finals. Each bartender went through a rigorous training procedure to survive till the end of the competition and only the top 20 made it to the Finale.

The contestants were judged on the basis of three rounds – The Pantry Round, The Speed Round and The Mystery Box Round. The winner will head to Miami to represent India at the Global finals.

About United Spirits Limited
USL is a subsidiary of Diageo plc which is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands across spirits, beer and wine categories. In 2013-14, Diageo plc acquired a 54.8% shareholding in USL making India one of its largest markets.

Founded in 1826, USL is the largest Indian spirits company, selling around 120 mn cases annually, involved in the manufacture, sale and distribution of beverage alcohol. USL produces and sells Scotch whisky, IMFL whisky, brandy, rum, vodka, gin and wine. Its portfolio includes much-loved brands such as McDowell's No.1, Royal Challenge, Signature and Antiquity. USL also imports, manufactures and sells Diageo’s iconic brands such as Johnnie Walker, VAT 69, Black & White, Smirnoff and Ciroc in India. 

The company also successfully operates strong brand extensions like Johnnie Walker The Journey, Black Dog Sparkling Water, Smirnoff Experience, Royal Challenge Sports Drink, McDowell’s No.1 Soda and Bagpiper Soda among others.

The company is listed on the BSE Limited (Bombay Stock Exchange) and National Stock Exchange of India Limited (National Stock Exchange). For more information about USL, our people, vision, brands, and performance visit us at www.unitedspirits.in.

~ Jitender Singh from Gurgaon wins the Diageo Reserve World Class India Finals 2016 and gears up for the Global Finals in Miami ~

‘Drink Responsibly’

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