Cape Town has been announced as the official host city for the World Class Global Finals 2015, the first time that the event will take place in Africa.
The announcement was made at the World Class Global Final in London on August 1 where bartenders from 48 countries competed for the title of the World's Best mixologist.
Cape Town Executive Mayor, Patricia de Lille said, "As the City of Cape Town we welcome the Global Finals as another addition to our events calendar as part of our efforts to secure Cape Town as the events capital of Africa. The Global Finals have been hosted by many major cities in the world and Cape Town is proud to be ranked among the best in the world. We look forward to hosting the many dynamic talents that will take part in the event."
"It's a great honour for Cape Town to host the World Class Global Final 2015, an event of high international calibre which underscores the city's intention to be the events capital of Africa," says Cllr Garreth Bloor, Head of Tourism, Events and Marketing in the City of Cape Town, who accepted the award in London on behalf of the City.
Since its launch in 2009, Diageo Reserve World Class has been recognised as one of the world's leading mixology competition and luxury drinks training programme, elevating the craft of bartending. Over its six year history it is credited with setting international standards and trends in the cocktail world, with winners being propelled into the global limelight as they become part of the bartending elite.
The awarding of Cape Town as host city for World Class 2015 comes after a number of recent accolades for the city, including having been named World Design Capital for 2014, and as the World's Top Travel Destination by The New York Times.
The city has also become Africa's creative capital, with thriving design, tourism, lifestyle and art sectors.
"World Class is all about anticipating trends, being at the forefront of fine drinking culture and always looking for new and exciting innovations in our industry. These are the key criteria we look at when we select the location of the Global Finals. Africa ticks all these boxes and more; it is a booming and ever-changing continent and we see it as a new frontier with huge potential. When we bring the World Class global final to a location, it has the ability to fundamentally step change the fine drinking scene and we strongly believe this will be the case in 2015," commented Matteo Fantacchiotti, Global Vice President Commercial, Diageo Reserve.
"We always want to imbue the Global Final with the local flavour, taking inspiration from local trends and culture which is why we are so excited about World Class 2015 in Cape Town – not only is it the World Design Capital but in 2015, it will be the World Class Cocktail Capital as well," added Matteo.
In previous years, the Global Final has been hosted by iconic cities and venues, with 2014's event travelling from Scotland's opulent Gleneagles Hotel to celebrated venues across London including the Savoy and Dorchester hotels. In 2013, the Global Finals action took place aboard the luxurious Azamara Journey cruise liner, as it travelled around the Mediterranean, from Nice to Barcelona.
The Diageo Reserve World Class Global Finals will take place in Cape Town in September 2015.