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Meet Gaurav Dhyani, the Indian Bartender of the Year

Gaurav Dhyani from Perch Wine & Coffee Bar, New Delhi, was crowned the Indian Bartender of the Year at the prestigious World Class India Finals.

Gaurav Dhyani

More than 250 bartenders participated in the XX-month-long competition, undergoing grueling rounds that tested their creativity, ingenuity and speed. Gaurav stood first among top 11 finalists who were handpicked from India’s leading hotels and bars.

Rohan Rege from Paasha at JW Marriott, Pune and Jitender Singh Rana from Arth, Mumbai, were awarded 1st and 2nd runners up respectively.

Each contender was tasked to undergo rigorous training in preparation for the final event. The contestants had a raft of luxury spirits from the Diageo Reserve portfolio at their disposal -- Talisker 10YO, Tanqueray No. 10, Ketel One and Johnnie Walker 18YO.

They were judged based on four rounds – The Blind Tasting Round, Signature Serve, The Speed Round and The Mystery Box Round.

Gaurav’s innovative blends, meticulous execution and thorough knowledge of varied consumer palette dominated every round in the competition. The judges also appreciated the creative skills and novel ideas showcased by the runners up.

Announcing the winner, Shweta Jain, – Diageo India’s Vice President, Key Accounts, Luxury Commercial said, “We are thrilled to have Gaurav represent us at the global finals in Berlin. World Class is the industry’s biggest and most prestigious bartending competition.” She said the platform aims to nurture our vibrant Indian bartender community and empower them to learn and collaborate with the very best globally.

Gaurav described how thrilled he was to see his hard work and determination paid off.  “I am extremely grateful to Diageo Reserve World Class for providing this unique platform for us to showcase our skills. I have grown in leaps and bounds under the mentorship of world renowned industry experts and mentors. The reality of winning the title is still sinking in as I now keenly prepare for competing at the Global Finals in Berlin.”

The judges panel comprised Lauren Mote, Diageo Global Reserve Brand Ambassador; Varun Sudhakar, Head of Innovation & Operations – Beverage for Pizza Express Gourmet Investments and Andrew Young, Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador.

The final competition also saw renowned industry stalwarts who were brought on as external jury: Joaquim Boadas De Quintana, Secretary General of the International Nightlife Association; Riyaaz Amlani, CEO of Impresario Entertainment & Hospitality Pvt Ltd.; and Rahul Singh, President – NRAI and Founder & CEO – The Beer Café.