MIAMI, July 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- After months of competition, eight of the most talented bartenders from Latin America & the Caribbean will be travelling to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to represent their countries in the DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS Global Final from July 8-13. An international competition run across 50 countries, WORLD CLASS aims to educate and inspire bartenders to create exceptional cocktails and experiences. More than 10,000 contenders from across the globe have battled their way to the Global Final to win the acclaimed title of "Bartender of the Year."
Vying from Latin America & the Caribbean are: Costa Rica's Adrian Vega Arguedas, from the Marriott Hotel in San Jose; Puerto Rico's Leslie Cofresi, from Santaella in San Juan; the Dominican Republic's Pavol Kazimir, from Pat'e Palo European Brasserie in Santo Domingo; Panama's Luis Rafael Franco, from Isabella in Panama City; Trinidad & Tobago's Stephon Scott, from On Deck in Port of Spain; Colombia's Juan Valderrama, from Magnolio in Bogota; Mexico's Ricardo Nava, from Licoreria Limantour in Mexico City; and Brazil's Paulo Freitas, from Bar do Copa in Rio de Janeiro.
Now in its fourth year, WORLD CLASS has selected Latin America & the Caribbean to host the Global Final for the first time. Rio de Janeiro was chosen as the Americas' first host city, following in the footsteps of London, Athens and New Delhi.
"WORLD CLASS is the only global event that recognizes the craft of the bartender, discovers new talent and previews the latest fine drinking trends," stated Randy Millian, President of DIAGEO Latin America & the Caribbean. "Given the continuous growth of the luxury sector driven by emerging markets, Brazil was a clear choice for the 2012 Global Final."
Throughout the year, WORLD CLASS bartenders are trained with some of the finest spirits from the DIAGEO Reserve luxury portfolio -- KETEL ONE® and CIROC® vodkas, TANQUERAY® No.TEN™ gin, DON JULIO® tequila, ZACAPA® rum, and JOHNNIE WALKER® BLUE LABEL® blended Scotch whisky -- to create the most exceptional rituals, perfect serves and fine drinking experiences the industry has seen.
Mitchell Nover, Dialogue