World Class 2014 Burst 1has kicked off!

World Class 2014 has kicked off and I was heading up the launch in Italy of Burst 1 of World Class Training and outlining below what took place during a couple of great sessions in Rome and Sicily.

So here we are with the exciting new burst 1 of World Class Training, showcasing some amazing content for you to get inspiration from.

We’ve been in the beautiful city of Catania in Sicily followed by Rome ‘the Eternal City’.

After Federico Berlingieri opened the day by explaining terms and conditions – as well as the important deadlines for the competition, our great Franco Gasparri and Fabrizio Fischione started the session with a fantastic journey into our Reserve Portfolio, focusing on Ketel One Vodka, Zacapa and the Johnnie Walker Super Deluxe Range that includes Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, Platinum and the prestigious Blue Label.

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Then it was time to explain the two exciting Challenges of this first burst:

• Mediterranean Mastery, where Ketel One brings to life the concept of a ritual and Zacapa introduces us to the fantastic world of food pairing, both taking inspiration from the influence of the Mediterranean on the food and drink culture during the 1950s and 60s.

• The Flavour Challenge, which is an intriguing way to incorporate the fantastic world of Johnnie Walker into mixology.

I followed these first two sessions with a demonstration, helping the bartenders to better understand the concepts behind the Challenges.

Then we talked through the importance of a drinking ritual, how to apply it to Bartending and to World Class, followed by a fantastic Ketel One ‘Dali’s Moustache’ Cocktail using the beautiful new ‘Copper Kettles’ to bring some emotions, elements, ingredients and icons that would relate to the Mediterranean Mastery Challenge.


It was then time for The Flavour Challenge with a Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve ‘Sailing to Sicily’ Cocktail. This was to recreate the legendary journey of the Walkers who exported it worldwide, making the captains of ships the true ambassadors of their brand.

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This cocktail is simple but intriguing, with the creaminess and honeyed notes of Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve fitting harmoniously with Pedro Ximenez sherry, all perfectly balanced by the elegance of pear liqueur to create a refined after-dinner drink with a surprisingly delicate finish. It managed to showcase the real character of Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve whisky.

The drink is then served with an old sailing ship and a world map customised with the Johnnie Walker logo and the name of the cocktail in order for guests to experience not only the atmosphere of the journey undertaken from the Walkers, but an amazing journey of discovery of exciting new flavours!

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After the Brands and Challenges sessions in Rome, our Southern Italy winner from last year Daniele Gentili talked about his experience at the European Final in Madrid, and took Bartenders through the steps needed to prepare for a competition like World Class. He captivated the audience with his charm and knowledge, giving a tour behind the scenes of the World Class competition.

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They were two really exciting sessions and the interest that we generated and the motivation we felt at the end was outstanding in the two different cities.

Stay tuned for the next posts!
Celebrate life every day, everywhere
Max La Rocca