Diageo Reserve, through the World Class programme, are the people who have taken it upon themselves to look after everyone who has a bit of a penchant for enjoying a cocktail whenever the situation presents itself. To make sure that South African enjoyers of alcohol aren’t left behind, Brandhouse is now aiming to adapt the “World Class” program which has been running internationally for 2 years to take place right here in our backyard.
The cocktail culture overseas is pretty massive with bartenders playing a fairly big role in how cocktails and drinks are prepared and enjoyed in bars and nightclubs. In South Africa, for the most part, when you think of a bar it conjures up mental images of old Afrikaaners in shorts and cheap brandy- and this is what this programme aims to change. By training and upskilling our bartenders, Brandhouse hopes that in turn they will be able to influence consumer culture by transforming the current consumer experience in premium bars into one that encourages patrons to buy premium quality spirits (whether at the bar or afterwards when they’re pretending to famous at home).
The programme is aimed at educating and empowering bartenders who are motivated to learn, progress and be “famous” for their trade. Three Mixologists will travel across South Africa imparting the necessary skills and knowledge a bartender would require to operate at an international level and compete with other bartenders for the World Class Title. Training will cover bartending skills as well as intrinsic information about the liquid of each brand.
The brands that form part of the Reserve Portfolio are: Johnny Walker Blue Label, Johnny Walker Gold Label, full Classic Malts Collection, Don Julio, Ciroc, Zacapa and Tanqueray- meaning that all the drinks that these peeps learn to make are going to be highest quality. 34 Key Outlets have been identified in SA to participate in the Diageo Bar Academy which means that there will already be quite an impact on how many of our local bartenders are able to perform at an International level within a couple of months.
Bartenders are required to submit their entries (cocktail recipe) with the best bartender walking away with the SA title as well as the opportunity to compete internationally for
the World Class Title, which takes place in Mexico 2012 (June). The eventual winner of The World Class Title becomes somewhat of a celebrity and really has the opportunity to see the world spreading the gospel of good mixing. There will also be a chance for the public to “win a deluxe cocktail experience for you and your friends – with a value of R5k”
For more details on the World Class Programme check out their Facebook fanpage and follow as they give weekly tips on how to make the best drinks with the World’s most Premium Alcohol brands with the help of the lovely Liezl van der Westhuizen.