A Classic evening with Diageo Reserve World Class India Champion Alfonso

Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS is a property of Diageo Reserve which looks at transforming fine drinking experiences and cocktail culture around the world and in the home.

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It is a unique platform, Diageo Reserve World Class aims to nurture the potential talent of local bartenders and enable them with the right knowledge. In the past, it has successfully helped local talent emerge as influencers and creators of fine drinking experiences the world over. Diageo Reserve World Class – the industry’s biggest and most prestigious bartending competition –for its seventh edition offered 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, CÎROC, Grand Marnier.

It discovers the next generation of bartending talent who set the latest mixology trends and bring these to the best bars worldwide.It was 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.

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The all-India regional rounds were conducted in 9 cities of Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune,
Gurgaon, Noida, Hyderabad and Kolkata.

We were invited to spend the evening with Alfonso,the India Champion and to know his Diageo Reserve World Class Journey.Portillo edged his competitors and swayed the judges with his speed, meticulous execution and balanced cocktails in Mumbai at the India finals to emerge as the India Bartender of the Year.

We arrived at Bangalore’s Drinks on MG Road to interact with Alfonso who wanted to showcase his winning concoctions – Atlantic Martini, Mayor of London and Botanical Heritage.A perfect masterclass session with Alfonso.

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Nicholas Ord, Reserve Brand Ambassador India curated an interactive session with Alfonso Del Portillo
and took the guests on a pleasant flavor trial with delectable signature cocktails, paired with delicious starter.

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Alfonso set the mood for the evening with Atlantic Martini made with the Talisker, Tanqueray No Ten,
orange, grapefruit powder and served in an elegant coupette. This was followed by Mayor of London a
concoction made of Ron Zacapa, orange blossom water, grapefruit bitters served in an old-fashioned
glass, garnished with a dried apricot.

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The evening concluded with unique CIROC vodka cocktail; Botanical Heritage which was presented in a
Chai tea clay pot. It was infused with green apples, tomatoes, basil, chardonnay syrup and a dash of
Licorice syrup. Nicholas surprised the guests by preparing a classic Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve
cocktail which was showcased at the Diageo Reserve World Class 2013 finale. He prepared the Golden
Flip (Created by Theodoros Pirillos who represented Greece at the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender
of the Year final, 2013) which is a delectably creamy and sweet creation. The Golden Flip is a rich
mixture of Greek wildflower honey and tahini infused Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, dash of
apricot brandy and a spritz of orange zest.

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During the session, Alfonso shared special insights into the rigorous World Class programme, training
under World Class experts and provided key tips on the artistry of cocktail-making along with latest
industry trends. The interactive and engaging session allowed everyone to appreciate a fine-drinking
experience.

Alfonso will now represent India and compete with the world’s best bartenders at the Diageo Reserve
World Class Global Finals, to be held in Cape Town, South Africa, in September, 2015.

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