Kaitlyn Stewart of Royal Dinette in Vancouver took home the crown last night as the 2017 World Class Bartender of the Year, Diageo’s annual cocktail competition.
During the weeklong competition in Mexico city, Stewart bested 55 other bartenders in various mixology events, including incorporating culinary techniques into drinks, eco-concious mixology and crafting the best classic cocktail.
The World Class Bartender of the Year competition in 2017 included 10,000 bartenders from 57 countries in preliminary rounds before whittling down to the final 55. From there the final four competed in the finals.
Having won, Stewart will travel the world as a Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador, making bespoke drinks in far-flung locations and judging competitions. She will also become the ninth member of the World Class Hall of Fame.
“I’m so incredibly amazed and shocked to have been named the world’s best bartender,” Stewart says. “It’s been a grueling week, taking on the toughest challenges against some of most skilled bartenders I’ve ever met.”
“Participating in the finals was amazing enough but to finish the week as winner… I’m so delighted!” she adds. “Cocktails are on the up now more than ever and to be at the forefront of that, pushing forward the idea of using better ingredients and better recipes to create even better cocktails is something I’m really passionate about and I’ve loved every moment of this experience.”
World Class will hold its 10th annual competition next year in Berlin.