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Awards and Recognition, Restaurants

One of the best bartenders worldwide: Rohan Rege from Paasha – JW Marriott, Pune

Profile Photo By: Carsten Hennig
June 7, 2017

One of the best bartenders worldwide: Rohan Rege from Paasha – JW Marriott, Pune

Mumbai, India – 7 June 2017 –
In its 9th edition, Diageo Reserve World Class continues to transform fine drinking experiences and cocktail culture around the world. A unique platform, which aims to nurture the potential talent of local bartenders and enable them with the right knowledge. Bringing together 12 mixologists from India’s leading hotels and bars to compete for the title at the St. Regis Hotel, Rohan Rege, from Paasha – JW Marriott, Pune was conferred the title of the India Bartender of the Year at Diageo Reserve World Class 2017.

Winner Rohan Rege with his winning drink at Diageo Reserve World Class 2017 (Photo: Diageo Reserve World Class 2017)
Winner Rohan Rege with his winning drink at Diageo Reserve World Class 2017 (Photo: Diageo Reserve World Class 2017)

The industry’s biggest and most prestigious bartending competition offers a gamut of luxury spirits from the Diageo Reserve portfolio namely Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, Johnnie Walker Platinum Label 18, Talisker 10YO, the Singleton of Glen Ord 12YO, Tanqueray 10, CÎROC and Ketel One. The contestants were judged on the basis of three rounds – The Blind Tasting Round, The Speed Round and The Mystery Box Round. Each bartender went through a rigorous training procedure to survive till the end and had their eyes firmly set on the global finals in Mexico!

Rohan edged his competitors and swayed the judges with his speed, meticulous execution and balanced cocktails at the Indian final. Runners up Jitender Singh Rana from Perch, Delhi and Kevin Dias from Hakkasan, Mumbai too impressed the judges and the attendees with their creativity and craftsmanship, thus earning them the second and third position respectively.

Over the last six months, the contenders from the most prominent bars in India competed in multiple regional levels before descending in Bangalore for the national finals. Top 12 bartenders were judged by an expert panel consisting of Donald Colville, Diageo Global Scotch Ambassador – Malts, Nicholas Ord, Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador and Nikhil Agarwal, Sommelier & CEO, All Things Nice. The selected bartenders exhibited originality and all the right skills throughout the competition that they were judged on to test their ingenuity. Of the 12 talented challengers, Rohan emerged as the winner for mastering these pre-requites and displaying unparalleled skills with utmost passion.

Announcing the winner, Nitesh Chhapru, Head of Marketing – Premium Core & Luxury Portfolio, Diageo India said, “Diageo Reserve World Class is a celebration of flair and creativity in the craft of bartending. The competition is a unique platform, which aims to nurture the potential talent of local bartenders and enable them with the right knowledge, craft and skill to perform at a global stage. Diageo Reserve World Class aims at transforming fine drinking experiences and cocktail culture which encourages people to drink better and responsibly.”

Donald Colville, Global Ambassador for Diageo Malts and judge for the competition added, “Being my first visit to India, I was pleasantly surprised by all the emerging local bartending talent we were able to witness. Now in its 9th edition, our endeavor with World Class continues to be encouraging and supporting bartending as a career. We hope to continue on this journey of education and discovery for many more years to come.”

Brought on board as external jury, Nikhil Agarwal, Sommelier & CEO, All Things Nice said, “It was a pleasure being part of the jury for the Diageo Reserve World Class Finals. All the finalists exhibited tremendous passion, craft and skill in showcasing their creations and I applaud Diageo for taking on this initiative of providing local talent with a global platform to hone their skills further.”

Sharing his big win, Rohan Rege added, “The entire experience has been so surreal and overwhelming. It feels fantastic to know that all the sleepless nights and hard work has paid off. I’m tremendously thankful to Diageo Reserve World Class for providing me with this platform and I’m now eagerly looking forward to competing at the Global Finals in Mexico.”

Rohan will now take on the world’s best bartenders at Diageo’s ninth annual Global Diageo World Class Competition that will be held in Mexico in August, 2017.

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