The celebrations were in full swing last weekend as Carl D’Alton from Cork’s Cask cocktail bar was crowned World Class Irish Bartender of the Year 2018.
Competitors battled it out in front of a live audience and renowned judges at Taste of Dublin. This is another win for Cask as Carl takes the title from colleague Andy Ferreira, who won the 2017 competition. Carl will now represent Ireland in the World Class Global Final in Berlin this October.
This year’s judging panel consisted of some of Ireland’s most influential media members, including TheTaste.ie’s very own Keith Mahon, along with current World Class Global Champion Kaitlyn Stewart, Tom Soden of London’s Sweet & Chilli, Global Cocktailian Lauren Mote, Dennis Tamse from Ketel One Vodka and of course, Ireland’s previous winner Andy Ferreira.
Also competing for the title was Alan Petrovic from Urchin in Dublin and Barney O’Kane from One Goose Entry in Belfast. Throughout the competition, each of the three finalists took part in a series of challenges designed to fully test them on every aspect of bartending.
The pressure was on for each contestant to showcase his passion, technique and creativity, while a live audience looked on. The three bartenders managed to skilfully create six unique cocktails in just six minutes.
Speaking about the competition, Diageo Reserve & World Class Ireland Brand Ambassador Nial Molloy commented: “This year’s World Class has left us in absolute awe. Our new champion, Carl, is one of the most talented, humble and creative bartenders on the scene. He brings local Irish and seasonal ingredients to life in ways we’ve never known were possible. He is at the top of his game. He makes us proud to be Irish. We truly feel he’s got what it takes to take the global title.”
Since its launch in 2009, World Class has become the most prestigious mixology programme, supporting and educating over 250,000 bartenders. Each year the competition brings together the best bartenders from around the globe to crown one the world’s best.
Commenting on his win, Carl D’Alton said: “I’m lost for words. For me this is literally the best moment of my career. I just want to bring the spirit of Irish hospitality and Irish ingredients to the global stage. World Class is the dream. I have the chance to bring all of this to life; to bring our bartending culture and Cask’s ethos to life on a global stage. And Cork too! I’m going to really go for it. It’s such an honour. Bring on Berlin!”