Well today is the day that we announce the winner of the Don Julio leg of the WORLD CLASS competition. What an outstanding month of skill, enthusiasm, innovation and originality, a massive well done to our top 5 for putting up a very difficult judging session yesterday!
As you know all contestants had to participate in a Tequila category training in which they were introduced to the brand, DON JULIO REPOSADO TEQUILA. The training was finished off with an advanced mixology module in which the trainee’s were shown what was expected of them for the WORLD CLASS competition. Each contestant had to submit a “Signature Serve” recipe containing Don Julio Tequila. This challenge allowed our local mixologists to go completely out of the box. As you can see from the photos attached we had espresso, we had syringes, we had Himalayan Salt crusts, we had elderflower sorbets and we also had sangrita!
But as we all know, we can only have one winner. And as you can see from the points below, winning by 0.3% from the Oyster Box Hotel…
- In 1st place we have Kwanele Sydney Mkhize making a “Gonzalez Café” winning himself R1000 cash, a spot in the regional finals and an addition R10,000 event budget for his venue.
- In 2nd Place we have Mathew James Low from Harveys Restaurant making a “Mayahuels Jestor” winning himself R700.
- In 3rd Place we have Mo Therese from Unity bar making a “Classico” winning himself R300.
- In 4th Place we have Andy Ngbobo from 9th Avenue Bistro making a “DJ Mango Margarita”.
- In 5th place we have Warwick Flanagan from Harveys Restaurant making a “Don Julio Flower”.
Garnish: Orange Zest
Pair: White Lindt chocolate balls
- 50ml Don Julio Reposado
- 25ml Agave Necter
- 30ml Espresso
- Dash of Fee brothers orange bitters
Method: Add all ingredients into a mixing glass with ice and shake vigorously. Fine strain into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with an orange zest. Pair on a white dish with white chocolate.
World Class Winner for March - Tequila Category
As we all know the month of March was dedicated to the category of Tequila which meant all bartenders had to undergo a category training session and submit a World Class recipe containing either Jose Cuervo® Black or Don Julio® Reposado Tequila. I am so impressed by the skills that are being shown in these submissions, not to mention the drastic improvement month on month. The judges, Ryan Duvenage and Severyn Bang from Barcode, commented that these bartenders are coming up with really unique and original concepts which shows their understanding of the brands. We received a total of 22 recipes and it was a tough job narrowing these down to the top 10.
So, there can only be one winner, and earning himself a spot in the regional finals in June…. From the Fairmont Hotel at Zimbali Resort, I am very proud to announce the winner of World Class for the month of March;
Siyanda Sokhela making:
COCKTAIL NAME: Don Picante Del Agua
GARNISH: Lemon Zest rolled around a cinnamon stick with fresh Chilli
METHOD: Shake and Fine Strain
- 50ml Don Julio Tequila
- 12.5ml Grand Marnier
- 25ml Cinnamon Syrup
- 25ml Fresh Lemon Juice Slice Red Chilli
- 50ml Gingerale
The Runner up was Selvan Govender from the Oyster Box Hotel dazzling us with his recipe called the “Tequila Royale”:
COCKTAIL NAME: Tequila Royale
GLASS: Brandy Balloon
GARNISH: Apple Wedge
METHOD: Shake and Fine Strain
- 35ml Don Julio Tequila
- 20ml Calvados V.S.O.P
- 5ml Apple Syrup
- 50ml Cloudy Apple Juice
- 1 Egg White
- 10ml Sugar Syrup
The rest of the top 10 rankings are as follows:
- 3rd Place – Thobani Khoza (Oyster Box Hotel)
- 4th Place – John Shabalala (Oyster Box Hotel)
- 5th Place – Bheki Maqwaza (Fairmont Hotel)
- 6th Place – Douglas Shandu (Oyster Box Hotel)
- 7th Place – Siyanda N. Maqwaza (Oyster Box Hotel)
- 8th Place – Dube Meluluke (Fairmont Hotel)
- 9th Place – Bazil Nsinganu (Havana Grill)
- 10th Place – Kelly John Bauwer (Oyster Box Hotel)
Well Done everyone, I look forward to the Month of April ahead with some creative recipes using Johnnie Walker® Gold Label™ and Johnnie Walker® Blue Label™.
Diageo World Class Recipes
Don Julio Tequila is the result of one man’s dream and passion, Don Julio González Estrada. Made from agave grown in the Los Altos region of Mexico, where particular climatic and soil conditions maximize sweetness and flavour. This has helped to define Don Julio’s distinctive soft and smooth ‘suave’ style and make it the best selling super-premium tequila in Mexico.
The month of March is dedicated to the Tequila Category, and this is my recipe using Don Julio Reposado;
Method: Shake and Fine Strain
Garnish: Salt/Sugar/grated Orange zest rim with a lime wheel
- 50ml Don Julio Reposado
- 25ml Mandarine Napoleon
- 25ml Lime Juice
- 12.5ml Habanera Lime Syrup
- 10ml Maraschino syrup
- 1 Dash Angustura Bitters
The Launch of the Lamborghini Aventador with World Class and IBV South Africa
0 to 100km/h in 2.9s!
Yesterday I was lucky enough to be involved in the Launch of the new Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 which was hosted by the International Bank Vaults in Gateway. Roughly 1 year ago the IBV started a Super Car Club consisting of members who own Luxury cars valued at 1 million rand or more. The idea is for them to come together to discuss business, cars and basically show off their amazing toys. Last night was the showcase of the first of 6 Aventadors to come to South Africa. With sponsors such as Louis Vuitton, Vernon White and Chanel, it was definitely the playground for the Reserve brands of Diageo; Ciroc© Vodka, Tanqueray© No.Ten™ Gin, Don Julio© Tequila and Johnnie Walker© Gold Label™. I put together a “masterclass” concept to showcase these brands and how one could use them in their own homes. With loads of interest coming through, it was clearly a very successful evening!
The Cocktail menu consisted of 3 Recipes;
- The Lambo’Tini - Vodka Based with white wine and fresh grapes
- The Blush (@mixwithmike) - Gin Based with egg white and elderflower syrup
- El Diablo - Tequila Based with Frankies fiery ginger beer
Finally, it is here! The Diageo Reserve World Class competition has landed in South Africa. Coming in as the 49th Country in the 4th year of existence, this has to be one of the biggest bartending competitions South Africa has ever seen. In conjunction with super Luxury brands such as Johnnie Walker® Blue Label™, Gold Label™, Ciroc Vodka, Tanqueray No. Ten Gin, Don Julio Reposado Tequila, and many more, this competition is considered nothing less than ultra deluxe.
The program first started in 2009 in the renowned city of London. The first winner to take home the title of World Class Champion was a Greek bartender, Aristotelis Papadopoulos. In 2010 the finals of the competition moved to Greece, and took place in the town of Athens where London bartender Eric Lorincz took first place. In 2011 the finals were hosted in New Delhi, India of which a very talented Japanese bartender, Manabu Ohtake was crowned World Class Champion. And now in 2012 the finals will take place in Rio, Brazil and is going to be bigger and better than ever before. With a total of 49 countries competing and over 11,000 bartenders being trained, this is truly a global sensation. Not only does the program challenge the bartenders in every aspect of bartending, but it enables them to become a star on a global platform. There is a surplus of knowledge, skills, techniques and flair brought together to highlight the standard of which these spirit brands represent. Industry legends such as Dale DeGroff, Salvatore Calabrese, Peter Dorelli, Gary Regan, Hidetsugu Ueno and Daniel Estremadoyro come together to impart their skills and try identify a true World Class winner. The overall winner this year will take home the following;
• Publish a cocktail book, co-written by Simon Difford and distributed globally.
• Act as global representative for World Class, traveling to every continent as “The World’s Best Bartender” over the course of 9 months.
• Be the face of the World Class retail campaign in High End Stores all over the world.
• Become a recognized global media spokesperson for the art of mixology.
• Have an open invitation to visit the Reserve Brand distilleries, meet the distillers (all expenses paid).
• Become part of the World Class Guru family and take part each year in the Global World Class Final as a mentor/judge.
The Launch preparation
The launch took place over 3 days in the magnificent Crowne Royal Plaza Hotel in Rosebank of Johannesburg. Global World Class Ambassador/creator, Spike Marchant, flew in from London to be the spokesperson and representative of the program. Day 1 and 2 were for the employees of Diageo/Brandhouse and day 3 was the official launch of the Competition to the South African Trade.
Day 1 was all about category knowledge training and brand positioning with much focus on each of the spirit categories; Vodka, Whisk(e)y, Rum, Gin, Tequila, Cognac, Vermouth, Liqueurs and Creams. This was finished with a comparative tasting to understand the differences in production methods.
Day 2 was all about mixability and how the program puts a strong emphasis on Vintage and Classic cocktails and the importance of twisting them with a unique and innovative method. Each of the global delegates/mixologists spent a couple hours using the tools and ingredients to create world class recipes. This was all in preparation for the Trade launch taking place on day 3.
The Official Trade Launch
The official Launch started at noon with customers and bartenders flying in from all over South Africa. 20 selected outlets were invited to undergo an afternoon of sheer luxury. The afternoon started off with a presentation by Spike Marchant, followed by lunch. The second session started off with a tandem flair show put together by the Shaker bartenders Anil Sabharwal and Pieter Oosthuizen, which then went into the Launchpad Challenge. Teams of 5 had to work together to prepare a classic/vintage cocktail as well as a twist. The teams had to name their recipes and were judged on Taste/Presentation/aroma. The winning team members each got a bottle of Johnnie Walker® Gold Label™. The afternoon was finished off with a perfect serve demonstration of Johnnie Walker® Blue Label™ performed by myself.
Throughout the day we showcased some of our own World Class recipes that we had designed over the past couple of years to show our guests the level of sophistication we are looking to achieve. These recipes were briefed to the Shaker bartenders and were available all afternoon in the Circle bar of the Hotel. The recipes were as follows;
- JW Blue Label™ x 40ml
- Oloroso Sherry x 20ml
- Pedro Ximenez sherry x 20ml (a raisin(y) richly flavoured local sherry)
- Orange bitters x 2 dashes
- Garnish: Spray with an orange zest and discard
- Glass: Martini
- Tanqueray No.Ten x 50ml
- Lemon juice x 25ml
- Elderflower syrup x 25ml
- Cranberry juice x 50ml
- 2 dashes orange bitters
- 1 egg white
- Garnish: Orange zest
- Glass: Served in a tumbler
Four Floors Margarita
- Don Julio Reposado x 50ml
- Campari x 10ml
- Pink Grapefruit x 15ml
- Lime juice x 10ml
- Agave syrup x 10ml
- Garnish: Orange sugar/salt (orange rinds rubbed into a 2/3rd salt, 1/3rd sugar mix)
- Glass: Martini
- Ciroc Vodka x 50ml
- Pineapple mix x 35ml
- Grenadine x 5ml
- Maraschino/Kirsch liqueur x 5ml
- Lime juice x 15ml
- Garnish: Pomegranate foam with pomegranate seeds and a pineapple leaf string.
- Glass: Martini
*Pineapple Mix: Caramelize pineapple – pan fried with sugar and Ciroc until browned and blended until pureed.
*Pomegranate foam: 50% pomegranate Juice, 50% Pomegranate syrup, agar agar, egg white, dash of lime juice. N20 cartridge. Served chilled from a cream gun.
The competition has now begun and the countdown to find South Africa’s best mixologist is underway. In six months time we will be sending a bartender to Brazil all expenses paid to experience one of the toughest bartending competitions in the world. It up to us as the Diageo Mixologists to train and develop the guys to level in which they stand a possible chance of taking the title as World Class Bartender of the Year. Good Luck!
From the best mixologists in the world, the Don Julio Luxury Drop™ combines the highest quality ingredients with a social ritual, served in a refined shot glass. This is my idea of World Class bartending and of course everyone has their own ideas but if I were to create a luxury drop, I would do it as follows;
- 45ml Don Julio Reposado
- 10ml Espresso Syrup (Home made)
- 1 tbsp of coffee creamer
- 5ml After Shock Liqueur
Combine all ingredients in a gold plated 3 piece shaker with ice and shake vigorously. Pour into sexy shot glasses and serve with the ritual of a “high 5”!