Lester Ligon from ABV landed the third spot in this final challenge. In his sea-inspired cocktail named “Ex Fide Fortis,” Ligon combined escargot and salmon gravlax infused apple brandy, homemade apple ginger syrup, egg whites, lemon juice, and celery bitters. To anchor this luxe cocktail, Ligon used Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve.
For his reiteration of a savory cocktail, Lloyd Misagal from ABV turned to a comfort food staple: pizza. To emulate the flavors of pizza, Masigal infused Lagavulin 16 with pepperoni, blended it with homemade tomato consommé and lemon juice. It is then topped with mozzarella foam. Called “Papa John’s”, it is a well-balanced cocktail with a tangy sweetness from the tomato, saltiness from the mozzarella, and a smoky flavor from the Lagavulin 16.
The winning cocktail of this challenge is Ian Osillo of the Exit Bar. His “Manong Pangga” cocktail is a play on the classic whisky sour. It plays on a beloved Pinoy pairing: bagoong (fermented shrimp paste) and green mango. Osillo used Lagavulin 16 as his base and mixed it with green mango juice, pepper sauce, grilled bell pepper, and cucumber, topped with roasted bagoong. Needless to say, “Manong Pangga” is a burst of bright flavor.
Will Thompson then revealed the top 4 bartenders who will move on to the regional finals in Bali, Indonesia from May 30 to June 3. Representing the Philippines in the regional finals are:
- Lester Ligon from ABV
- Niño Cruz from the City of Dreams
- Michael Tubera from Rambla
- Jay Natividad of Solaire Resort and Casino.
They also received premium prizes from Diageo and BevTools. The top 4 semi-finalists will battle it out in a series of innovative challenges, created to test their talent and creativity all whilst being judged by a panel of industry experts. The winners of the regional finals will then go on to compete in the Global Finals in Miami, Florida, where they will have the opportunity to learn from the industry’s most renowned figures and gain access to exclusive World Class tools and workshops.
Every year, Diageo Reserve World Class continues to grow, with more and more countries adapting the training program and joining the World Class Bartender of the Year Competition. Now on its eighth year globally, World Class continues to elevate the craft, innovation, and creativity within the cocktail industry. This is the fourth year the Philippines is participating with the biggest batch thus far with contenders hailing from Manila’s finest bars.
Source: Press Release