The contestants were as follows-
The spirits used-
1. Johnnie Walker gold label reserve
2. Johnnie Walker platinum label 18 YO
3. The Singleton on Glen Ord 12 YO
4. Ketel One vodka
5. Croc Snap Frost Vodka
6. Tanqueray No. 10 gin
The competition was judged by a panel of esteemed judges- Donald Colville- Diageo Global Scotch Ambassador- Malts, Nicholas Ord-Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador, Nikhil Agarwal- Sommelier and CEO, All Things Nice.
The first round, the blind tasting round began at 11 am in the morning and went on till early evening where all 12 contestants battled it out. Each contestant was given 5 minutes prep time and 10 minutes creation time, where they had to make 2 cocktails for the judges- an Al fresco and an After dark. In this round each bartender came up with crazy concoctions. Someone served with truffle edmame dumplings, someone made it Rajasthani style and some created magic and garden type setups. It was visually appealing and lip smacking. Check out the contestants in action-
At 5.00 the top 6 winners from the first round were announced-
1- Devi Singh Bhati from goa
2- Rohan Rege from JW Marriott Pune.
3. Jitender Singh Rana Perch, Delhi
4. Vedant Mehra Bootlegger, Bangalore
5. Kevin Dias- Hakkasan, Mumbai
6. Yogesh Kumar- Lodhi, Delhi.
These 6 contestants then went on to battle it out in the next round which was a speed round. In this round, the contestants were given 5 minutes of prep time, 6 minutes for making and they had to make 8 classic cocktails for judges. Cocktails like- Cosmopolitan, Martini, Moscow mule, Whiskey sour, Whiskey soda, Mint julep, Old fashioned were created. Check out the action-
This speed round saw a lot of pulse racing action and lot of stress, excitement and nervousness in the contenders, as the audience cheered and judges gave standing ovations to the people who managed to complete the round. This kept us on toes till the last second. After this round 3 winners emerged, to battle it out in the final round. The winners-
Rohan Rege, Jitender Singh Rana and Kevin Dias emerged winners and battled out in the final and the most difficult round – the mystery box challenge. All the previous ambassadors came together and created this nasty mystery box. Contestants had to create 2 cocktails from the ingredients of the mystery box and one cocktail of their choice. Each contestant had 30 minutes to decide what to make, 5 minutes of prep time and 12 minutes making time.
The mystery box consisted of- litchi, fresh carrot juice, jamun, grapefruit, raw mangoes, sage, black sesame, soy sauce, chickpeas, selection of jams, white chocolate, Roselle flowers, gooseberries and Apple cider vinegar. This round saw some crazy cocktails and some sheer genius thinking.
The winner to take home the title finally after 12 hrs of battling it out was ROHAN REGE from JW Marriott Pune.
He was titled India Bartender of the Year at Diageo Reserve World Class 2017. He now gets to take on the world’s best bartenders at Diageo’s annual Global Diageo World Class Competition that will be held in Mexico in August, 2017.
With a new generation of bartending superstars to look up to, Diageo Reserve World Class is doing a phenomenol job of helping restore the role of the bartender, making it an attractive and aspirational career.
Watch out for the Mexico finals!!!!