Will Lynch from BAR 1661 to represent Ireland at World Class Bartender of the Year finals
The National Final of Diageo Reserve’s World Class Bartender of the Year 2023 Ireland took place in Café en Seine, Dublin on Monday night where Will Lynch from BAR 1661 in Dublin was crowned the winner.
Lynch faced off against Emily Doherty from the Merchant Hotel in Belfast, Oisín Wolfe from Paladar, Cork and Adeline Valdiva from Three Storey Dublin in three rounds of challenges, with his Mystery Challenge cocktail, comprised of Roe & Co and rooibos, almond and coconut tea, topped with orange zest cream and ground chocolate barley highlighted as a favourite among the judges.
Lynch will go on to represent Ireland at the World Class Bartender of the Year Global Finals in São Paulo, Brazil, in September where they will demonstrate their innovative approach to cocktail creation on a globally renowned stage, competing with over 54 bartenders from around the world.
The first of the challenges at the final, the Johnnie Walker Black Aperitif Highball challenge, was created by renowned Chef and Diageo Chef in Residence Mark Moriarty (RTE Beyond the menu, Cook-In & Off Duty Chef). The challenge was designed to test their skills at pairing their creations against a starter curated by Mark, using Johnnie Walker Black. Next, the finalists were tasked to reinvent their Highball from the previous challenge with Roe & Co as the base in a mystery challenge. Finally, the finalists were tasked with a speed round, creating six drinks in six minutes from a deck of 18 drinks sent in advance.
The rounds were judged by an esteemed panel of food and drink connoisseurs, including 2022 Diageo World Class Global champion, Oslo- based Adrián Michalčík, 2021 Diageo World Class Global champion, Toronto’s James Grant, Tanqueray Global Brand Ambassador and World Class Great Britain winner Pippa Guy and renowned Chef Mark Moriarty.
“It’s such a huge accolade to have won the Irish Final before heading to the Global finals in São Paulo, Brazil,” said Lynch. “The competition is such a fantastic test of skill and passion, and challenges us to think about the art of hospitality. I’m delighted to have gotten this far given the level of talent in the room and very much looking forward to the finals and so proud to be representing both BAR 1661 and Ireland on the Global stage!”
Olso based Slovakian bartender Adrián Michalčík, director of mixology at Pier 42 Oslo, won the 2022 Diageo World Class Global in Sydney, Australia.
Michalčík said: “Winning the competition was one of the best moments of my life, especially as I had entered in 2016 and put my all into my 2022 entry. Winning has enabled me to travel and explore other cultures and experiences, which has helped build my knowledge and challenge me even further. I’m so grateful to the Diageo World Class competition for this experience.”
Hilary Quinn, marketing director, Diageo Ireland added: “The World Class programme fosters innovation and creativity, with our challengers’ creations becoming more impressive year after year. Adrián Michalčík is a true testament to the opportunity the competition represents and how we can elevate the cocktail experience even further. Congratulations to all the finalists and we look forward to supporting Will in the global final!”
Lynch will move on to the World Class Cocktail Festival and Global Finals, taking place in São Paulo, Brazil from the 25 to 28 September. There the Irish finalist will demonstrate their innovative approach to cocktail creation on a globally renowned stage, competing with bartenders from around the world. The five-day event will be jam-packed with immersive opportunities for spectators to observe the action as well as participate in incredible World Class Brand experiences.