June 22–When it comes to day drinking, nothing changes your mood from happy to ecstatic like a well-made drink. A good cocktail is like a gift from the gods—rare, sweet and always on time. Diageo Global Travel knows this and didn’t waste a second inviting Miami’s media for an evening of cocktail tasting as part of their Best Bartender of the Year in World Class Global Travel Semi-Final competition.
While guests arrived at Diageo Bar 396 in Coral Gables ready to whet their palettes, no one was more prepared then head mixologist Marc McArthur, 28, of Norwegian Cruise Line. The South African stole the competition with a simple drink that earned him the #1 spot in the semi-finals of the best bartender competition. Marc’s winning cocktail was The Autumn Dram made of Haig Club.
The next step for him is battling it out against 56 of the world’s other best bartenders for the coveted World Class Bartender of the Year title.
“I believe winning the competition takes profound practice and education,” Marc said after making ‘Smoke and Fire’ featuring Don Julio Blanco, ‘Marilyn Monroe’ featuring Tanqueray Ten and ‘Sherry Martini’ featuring Tanqueray Ten.
This isn’t Marc’s first time at the rodeo. In fact, this is the second time he’s been selected as a semi-finalist to highlight some of the world’s finest spirits.
Billed as “the champion of the world’s best cocktail experiences,” the competition also focuses on the mixologists’ craftsmanship.
The competing bartenders were the creme de la creme of their field, having already been recognized for their spectacular drinks through the cruise industry.
Quality was not spared as the contestants made unique cocktails with outstanding product from the Diageo Reserve which included Tanqueray No. TEN, Tanqueray London Dry gins, Johnnie Walker Blue Label and Gold Label Reserve Scotch whiskies. Mixologists used alcohol such as Tequila Don Julio, Zacapa rum, Ketel One vodka, Ciroc vodka, Bulleit Bourbon, Talisker and Singleton single malt whiskies to make tasty elixirs.
Two other finalists represented Celebrity Cruise and Seaborn Cruise Line also competed for the title of the of the Best Bartender in World Class Global Travel Semi-Final. Portugal native Claudio Santos Liberia, 32, made a tasty drink inspired by cherry blossom trees he saw during his travels to Japan. A bartender on-board Seabourn Cruise Line’s Seabourn Sojourn, Claudio’s cocktail, Sherry Blossom, is a medley of Bulleit Rye and Bulleit Bourbon. While Serbian Lazar Milosavljevic, 28, senior bartender on-board Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Reflection, made a signature serve comprised of CIROC Ocean Peach.
The next leg of the competition takes place in Mexico City between August 20 and 24.