Cal goes on to represent Ireland at the fully virtual World Class Bartender of the Year Global Finals in Madrid from July the 5th to the 8th, the first-ever fully virtual broadcast for the competition, competing with bartenders from across the globe.
The Irish Final – broadcast live – took place at the Vision X Studio in Dublin where five finalists battled it out across two challenges.
The finalists were first charged with creating a Whiskey Tiki Cocktail using brands such as Bulleit Bourbon, Roe & Co Irish Whiskey and Talisker 10-Year-Old Scotch, which took inspiration from the tropical regions of the South Pacific. This was followed by The Spanish Showdown speed challenge with each bartender attempting to make six classic cocktails in six minutes.
The challenge aimed to test the efficiency and precision of the contestants – Emmy Pip Knight from Ohana Tiki Bar, Ali Hayes from the Exchequer Bar, Ken Herlihy from House and Fergus O’Leary from The Mayson Hotel and Cal Byrne of The Blind Pig – giving them the opportunity to showcase the skills acquired from working in busy cocktail bars.
Each finalist had gone through a rigorous process with an initial World Class expert panel reviewing over 60 entrants.
The panel selected its top 12 candidates and after two separate challenges to test their capabilities, the selection was whittled down to the top five.
“We were delighted to run the World Class programme this year even whilst our trade is on hold,” said Nial Molloy, World Class Ireland Lead at Diageo.
The five-day spectacle will be packed full of immersive opportunities for people to both watch the competition and engage with virtual and interactive experiences.
Cal will be competing virtually from Ireland against the other worldwide finalists as they sip, shake and stir their way through a series of challenges.
In the meantime, as winner of the Irish leg, Cal also wins a prize package worth €20,000 consisting of:
- €1,000-worth of cocktail equipment
- €4,000-worth of educational programmes
- A minimum of five paid World Class events in 2021/22
- PR & media support
- Three months bespoke training & support from the Nial Molloy Consultancy