The battle to become one of the world’s best bartenders is on and last night at a glamourous event in Miami, Andrej Malic of Celebrity Cruises saw off competition from thousands of cruise line bartenders from three of the world’s leading cruise lines to be crowned one of the best bartenders at sea.
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Andrej, 27, from Bosnia and Herzegovina, will now go forward to represent cruise liners at one of the leading and most respected bartender competitions in the world – WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Competition in Miami on September 25th – 29th. Here he will battle it out against 59 of the world’s best bartenders for the coveted ‘World Class Bartender of the Year’ title. Last year’s winner, Michito Kaneko from Japan, has experienced a life-changing journey and now enjoys travelling the world, judging the finals of top bartender competitions in some incredible locations.
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All of the cruise line bartenders who took part in the competition were put through a series of heats in what was the biggest year yet for WORLD CLASS, before the final three finalists mixed it up in the deluxe Diageo 396 Bar in Miami last night. Judged by a panel of the industry’s elite experts including Julio Cabrera, Master Mixologist, David Molina, Head Mixologist for Diageo BAR 396 and Marcy Rudershausen, Senior Master of Whisky for Diageo.
Andrej prevailed throughout the competition with his outstanding showmanship and innovative cocktail creation and technique, particularly with his signature serve ‘Old Spice Fashion’ featuring BULLEIT Bourbon.
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Andrej Malic, a leading bartender onboard Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Millennium, said: “This is without doubt the best moment of my career to date. I’m hugely delighted and grateful to be recognised by the WORLD CLASS competition and to have won. I’ve been inspired and challenged by many talented bartenders over the last few weeks and I’m really looking forward to using the skills and knowledge that I’ve developed to represent Celebrity Cruises and all cruise line bartenders at the grand final of the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Competition.”
Sandra Vaucher, Director Global Cruise and Airlines at Diageo said: “WORLD CLASS is on a mission to inspire people to drink better, and it’s fantastic that we can offer this experience on-board our partner’s ships. This competition allows us to recognise and champion the skills and craftsmanship of our cruise line bartenders and last night was extremely exciting with a very high standard displayed by all the competitors. We want to congratulate all of our finalists and wish Andrej the very best of luck at the WORLD CLASS Global Final in September.”
Cornelius Gallagher, Associate Vice President of Food and Beverage Operations, Celebrity Cruises, said: “We are extremely proud to have Andrej as a leading bartender of the Celebrity Cruises’ team and thrilled with his triumph at last night’s prestigious competition. We have witnessed the most exquisite display of first class mixology in the past few weeks. We would like to thank WORLD CLASS for including us on this journey and for training our bartenders in the art and science of creating unique, moment-defining drinks, using award-winning spirits from the DIAGEO RESERVE collection. Our partnership ensures that we provide our guests with amazing on-board fine drinking experiences.”