Shaking your way to the top 12 best bartenders of the world in less than 2 years is not an easy feat, especially not in a Competition like World Class. Hannah Van Ongevalle (The Pharmacy, Knokke, Belgium) did it, not to mention as 1 of the only 2 remaining women in the Top 12. Below you can see 3 movies of the different challenges in the competition.
Blend Of Worlds
The competitors had to show their own personal cocktail statement blending the traditions of whiskey, their own country, identity and heritage. This is filmed in the beautiful Gleneagles Hotel in Schotland.
Five Star Classics
The bartenders had to choose 3 cocktails out of a list of 8 classics. They are allowed to interpret and craft their own variant. One of the cocktails has to reflect London, either its history or cocktail culture. This challenge took place in some of London’s most famous five star luxury hotels. Hannah was lucky, she was assigned the Savoy. This means she would be the first woman in about 90 years to stand behind the bar of the famous Savoy. Before her, there was famous Ada “Coley” Coleman, who had invented the Hanky Panky in the Savoy. Shaking in the Savoy, Hannah enjoyed this to the fullest!
This challenge was to test the bartender’s ability to pair cocktails with food. They had to make two cocktails to pair with a preselected dish, one of them had to be made with Zacapa rum. Any style of cocktail could be chosen, but the candidates had to show versatility and were advised to go for contrasting types.
This was filmed in the Shard, tallest building of Europe. The elevator didn’t go down, it just fell…in a controlled manner. At least that’s how it feels. Going up on the other hand was more like being launched from Cape Canaveral. The location was a bliss for the already very nervous, smoking bartenders. Each time they wanted a smoke they had to go down, because there wasn’t a terrace (it would have blown you away, both by panorama and the fierce wind). After 3 cigarettes however, your brain was in your shoes and your feet got stuck in your ears.