The country’s best mixologists were recently judged for their competence and flair across a multitude of challenges showcasing innovation and cocktail storytelling. Sahil Essani, Bar Manager, Taj Mahal Palace, New Delhi, was crowned the Diageo Reserve World Class 2022 India winner for pushing the boundaries of innovation when it comes to cocktails and mixology. Set to represent Indian hospitality at the Global Finals in Sydney in September 2022, Sahil displayed a sound understanding of spirits, woven into creative mixology, and amplified with liquid storytelling. The World Class Finale was held at The Quorum, Mumbai, and showcased a varied array of talent in cocktail-making by the top 13 finalists.
(L-R) Jenna Ba, Ashish Kapur, Shatbhi Basu, Chef Manu Chandra - World Class 2022 Jury
The World Class top 13 contenders were judged by an esteemed panel of experts, including Shatbhi Basu – Director of the Stir Academy of Bartenders, Ashish Kapur – entrepreneur and restaurateur, Manu Chandra – distinguished Chef and Diageo Craft Council Member, and Jenna Ba – Global Brand Ambassador. Through innovation, flair, and skill in the art of cocktail-making, Sahil showcased his knowledge in mixology through his use of unique flavour infusions and excellent expertise in layering cocktail ingredients. Along with his enthusiasm, Sahil’s vision of redefining the cocktail culture through quality serves showcased his synergies with #AGlassOfWorldClass and contributed to his victory and a chance to represent India at the World Class Global in September 2022.
“Diageo has always stood together with the global bar community across platforms,” says Shweta Jain, Chief Business Development Officer: Luxury, Reserve & Craft – India & South Asia, Diageo.“World Class is iconic for its remarkable platform that encourages the local bar community and promotes industry excellence worldwide. The Indian Bar community has been witnessing a transformation over the past few years with the emergence of fresh new talent, ideas, innovations, and techniques in bartending. The finale of World Class 2022 showcased the Top 13 talent across Indian bars and cities to exhibit their vision and ready to rise to be the very best in the world. Congratulations to all finalists and Sahil Essani - we are looking forward to his upping the India ante at the global finale in Sydney.’’
“It is a privilege to be titled the winner of the World Class Bartender of the Year from India and I would like to share this success with my wonderful community who has been a huge support through this journey,” says Sahil Essani, Diageo Reserve World Class 2022 India Winner, who created the Attraversiamo, which is inspired by the Italian phrase that means ‘Let’s Cross Over’. “World Class is a phenomenal platform for budding bartenders to showcase their passion, skill, and knowledge of the art of cocktail-making. In the past year, cocktail culture in India has reached a whole new level on the back of radical innovations in cocktail flavours, the use of local ingredients, and so on.”
Sahil Essani is currently being mentored by Diageo India Brand Ambassadors to advance to the Global World Class Finals. 60 national winners from across the globe will battle it out in the four-day championship, moving to greater lengths.
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