The drink industry’s most esteemed bartending competition, Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS, has revealed the Australian winner for 2019; Alex Boon from Mjølner in Melbourne.
Beating hundreds of bartenders from across the nation, Boon will now head to Scotland on24 – 26 September to fly the flag for Australia and compete against 55 other nations for the title of Global Bartender of the Year 2019.
Alex Boon is a Melbourne based bartender currently working at the Speakeasy Group’s illustrious Mjølner bar and restaurant. Prior to this, Alex spent over 10 years crafting his skills as a bartender and host in many cocktail bars and restaurants throughout Brisbane, working for companies that include The Bowery, Finney Isles, Seymour’s Cocktails and Oysters and Jahh Tiger to name a few. One thing Alex truly cares about is giving guests a memorable experience through his cocktails using his imagination and passion for flavour and feels strongly that a great bartender is someone that can host a room. Boon marked his 4th year entering the competition with this exceptional win, demonstrating unique flair, passion and creativity during the event.
The 2019 Australian competition challenged professional bartenders across the country to create a unique cocktail using spirits from Diageo’s Reserve portfolio – Ketel One Vodka, Tanqueray No. TEN Gin and Talisker 10-Year-Old Single Malt Whisky. For the grand final the Top 20 were put through their paces at a two day event hosted at The Dolphin & Scout Bar in Sydney, by a panel of industry experts, judged on quality, presentation, service and of course, taste
“I am so honoured to have competed alongside the best bartenders in the country and to have been named the Diageo WORLD CLASS Australian best bartender – this really is a momentous moment in my career…I’m still letting it sink in!” Boon said upon winning. “It was a tough final – the level of talent in the competition was incredibly high and I am just so delighted and proud to have been awarded the title. It really is a huge acclaim, not only for me but also for Melbourne.
After four years competing in WORLD CLASS I’ve had the opportunity to grow and hone my skills and creativity. Throughout the competition we used Diageo’s Reserve portfolio; Ketel One Vodka, Tanqueray No. TEN Gin and Talisker 10-Year-Old Single Malt Whisky, a collection of sublime liquids to create some never-before-seen flavour combinations and true cocktail masterpieces. I’ve been so impressed and inspired by what I’ve seen and learnt. I’d urge any bartenders thinking about taking part next year to go for it! Although it’s a competition, It’s a hugely supportive environment which nurtures and brings out the best in all of the participants.
Now I look forward to representing my country in the global competition in Glasgow. Bring it on!’
Krystal Hart, Australia’s WORLD CLASS Ambassador, added: “This year was highly competitive and a showcase of extraordinary talent. It’s exciting to see how innovative Australia’s bar industry has become. Alex impressed us early on, and his continued sense of creativity and attention to detail really shone through in the judge’s eyes. Once again the competition has inspired us with new ideas and we can’t wait to touchdown in Glasgow where Alex will demonstrate what Australia has to offer.”
Currently in its 11th year, the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year competition continues to support, educate and inspire, more than 350,000 bartenders through its advocacy programs. Now spanning more than 60 countries, with more than 10,000 bartenders entering the competition each year it continues to be instrumental in transforming fine drinking and cocktail culture around the world.
The Global Finals will be held 24 – 26 September in Glasgow, Scotland. Those interested in finding out more about WORLD CLASS Global Bartender Competition can visit www.theworldclassclub.com or the WORLD CLASS Facebook community.