Brent Perremore of Orphanage Cocktail Emporium in Cape Town was crowned South Africa's national World Class champion on Thursday after a mix-off against six competitors at the World Class National Final, held at the World Class Mansion at Cape Town's Marly Hotel.
Runners-up were Haroon Haffajee from Harry's Cocktail Bar in Durban, and wild-card entrant Marson Strydom from Buena Vista Social Café, R44, Cape Town.
Brent Perremore will now go on to represent South Africa in one of the world's most prestigious mixology competitions, the Diageo Reserve World Class Global Final to be held in the UK later this month.
Now in its sixth year, the compeition is as prestigious as they come, with over 50 of the world's best bartenders competing in a series of innovative challenges that push their abilities to the limit. World Class elevates the skill and craft of the bartending profession, and sets international standards and trends in the cocktail world, with winners being propelled into the global limelight as the world's bartending elite.
This year's Global Final, which takes place in Scotland and London from 28th July – 1st August, promises to be the most impressive yet, with the creation of WORLD CLASS™ LIVE, including the takeover of an iconic London landmark and presenting the contenders with literary-inspired cocktail challenges.
"Winning the opportunity to compete in the Global Final is a great honour. World Class is about elevating the standard of mixology across the world, and I am very excited to represent South Africa in London and Scotland," says Brent Perremore.
His performance was judged best at the National Finals by a panel of esteemed judges, including 2012's World Class Champion Tim D Philips and celebrity Chef Pete Goffe-Wood, who ranked him in the top spot over the four timed challenges.
"During all challenges, Brent displayed exemplary understanding and knowledge of spirits; lively interaction with the judges; originality and entertainment value; and his aromatics, flavour balance and overall presentation were superb. His performance at the Global Final will undoubtedly be exceptional," says Tim D Philips.
Brent stunned the judges with his signature style, innovation and attention to detail across all four challenges. In the first, "Al Fresco," Brent created the fresh "King Alfonso's Summer Punch" featuring Tanqueray No. TEN, and in the second challenge, "After Dark," he presented the theatrical Alfred Hitchcock-inspired "Night Flight" with Caol Ila 12 YO, replete with an accompanying crow to compliment his theme.
In Day 2's "The Real McCoy" challenge, Brent impressed judges with "Mama Kuru's Lucky Pot Pie" featuring Ron Zacapa Centenario, and in the "Tribute to a South African Icon" challenge, Brent presented a tribute to his father with "Beyond the Pines" featuring Johnnie Walker Blue and Gold Label Reserve.
The skills and talent of World class bartenders are honed using the collection of fine spirits from the Diageo Reserve luxury portfolio – JOHNNIE WALKER® BLUE LABEL™ Blended Scotch Whisky, JOHNNIE WALKER® PLATINUM LABEL™ Blended Scotch Whisky, JOHNNIE WALKER® GOLD LABEL RESERVE™ Blended Scotch Whisky, The SINGLETON™ Single Malt Scotch Whisky, CÎROC® Ultra-Premium Vodka, KETEL ONE® Vodka, TANQUERAY® No. TEN™ Gin, DON JULIO® Tequila, RON ZACAPA® Rum, Bulleit® Bourbon, CAOL ILA™ Islay Single Malt Whisky, LAGAVULIN™ Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky and Talisker Single Malt Scotch Whisky.