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DIAGEO and PPD Romania introduce for the first time in Romania DIAGEO Reserve WORLD CLASS, the world’s most elite bartenders’ program

Diageo, the world’s leading premium drinks company and PPD Romania, the leading distributor of premium spirits on the local market, launch for the first time in Romania the DIAGEO Reserve WORLD CLASS program and WORLD CLASS Competition. The DIAGEO Reserve WORLD CLASS is the spirits industry’s largest cocktail education program and the most important bartender competition worldwide, an outstanding global training program for the world’s best bartenders. Romania’s best bartenders are invited to take part in the cocktail education program and compete for the prestigious title of DIAGEO Reserve WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year 2014.

Launched in 2009 by the largest spirits company in the world, DIAGEO Reserve WORLD CLASS is the most respected luxury on-trade education program that elevates the craft of the bartenders and builds careers in the on-trade. Since its inception, over 15.000 bartenders from 50 countries have been educated on the craft of mixology, bringing exceptional service and valued fine drinking experiences to consumers.

The bartenders from Romania are invited to register online on the dedicated website www.TheReserveBar.ro, by filling out a short quiz and submitting a video with their original signature cocktails, using exclusively DIAGEO Reserve portfolio. Following a series of local competitions, the best bartender will be chosen to represent Romania in the final global competition, one of the most coveted events in the industry, and have the chance to win the prestigious title of DIAGEO Reserve WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year 2014. WORLD CLASS bartenders are synonymous with sophistication, impeccable service and pushing the boundaries of contemporary and experiential cocktail culture.

“This year, for the first time in Romania, we are introducing the amazing WORLD CLASS platform, offering the unique opportunity to the best local bartenders to participate in the world’s ultimate bartending competition and become part of the global elite. Recognizing the craft of the bartender, through its brief five-year history, WORLD CLASS is a 360 program that delivers for the customer by educating and inspiring bartenders around the world. It expands on their knowledge, skills and ability, truly elevating the craft of the profession,” said Nikolas Xystouris, General Manager PPD Romania.

“As one of DIAGEO’s most significant investment in the luxury on trade globally, WORLD CLASS has become a permanent fixture in the diary for mixology heavyweights of the luxury drinks industry. What began as a bartending training program has become an internationally recognized platform and mark of distinction for mixology. We are proud to introduce the program and the competition to Romania and, together with our partner, PPD Romania, drive to become the advocate of the mark of sophistication and distinction of fine drinking culture,” said Viorel Ognean, Reserve Brands & Sales Development Director Eastern Europe, DIAGEO.

Diageo Reserve represents the luxury division of Diageo, including the multi-award winning portfolio of fine spirits rich in heritage, craftsmanship and innovation. Throughout the annual program, WORLD CLASS bartenders are trained using the collection of fine spirits from the Diageo Reserve luxury portfolio – KETEL ONE® vodka, CÎROC® vodka, TANQUERAY® No.TEN™ gin, DON JULIO® tequila, ZACAPA® rum and JOHNNIE WALKER® GOLD LABEL RESERVE™ Blended Scotch Whisky, JOHNNIE WALKER® PLATINUM LABEL™ Blended Scotch Whisky and JOHNNIE WALKER® BLUE LABEL™ Blended Scotch Whisky. WORLD CLASS Competition is transforming fine drinking experiences and cocktail culture around the world and is an internationally recognized mark of endorsement representing excellence in fine drinking.

Aristotelis Papadopoulos, the first winner of World Class Competition, Bartender of the Year 2009, present at the official launch event in Romania said: “Winning the first edition of DIAGEO Reserve WORLD CLASS Competition was an incredible honor. It’s inspiring to compete and study alongside bartenders that are as passionate about their craft as I am. In addition, it’s gratifying to be recognized by the world’s most prestigious mixology competition, but even more to see the bartending industry develop and receive the global recognition and respect it deserves. This program can change the lives of participants and can be a powerful catalyst for their career defining opportunities worldwide, this is why I encourage Romanian bartenders to join the competition”.