When he reigns, he pours.  Matias Grosso, bartender-extraordinaire from the Star Princess, is one of a chosen few traveling to Rio de Janeiro next month to compete in the prestigious Diageo Reserve World Class finale. At stake is the title of Bartender of the Year, edging out over 10,000 bartenders worldwide throughout the competition.

Matias Grosso heads to Bartender of the Year CompetitionThe winning cocktail that placed Grosso to compete in the finals is his creation of  “Spring Dew.”  The unique, perfectly paired amalgam of ingredients includes Ciroc vodka, Gewürztraminer wine, seedless red grapes, orange flower water and a small rose petal. Says Grosso, “The initial idea was to work on aromas and flavors from the garden or countryside. Moreover, I wanted to place emphasis on the characteristics of the main spirits and enhance then with the Gewürztraminer bouquet.”

Diageo Brand Ambassadors operate an international bartending training class creating luxury drinks with such top-shelf brands as KETEL ONE® vodka, CÎROC® vodka and DON JULIO® tequila.  Gradually over four years, the bartender competition has evolved into the global bartending event of the year; Diageo Reserve World Class.

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Princess Cruises is the only cruise line to take part in this prestigious event with winning recipes created by the finalists showcased aboard Princess ships throughout 2012.

“We’re so proud of Matias for making it to the finals, and are thrilled to be the first cruise line to participate in Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS,” said Peter Tobler, vice president of food and beverage operations for Princess Cruises. “Our bartenders value the recognition of their talent and look forward to bringing our passengers the new and unique cocktail offerings they are concocting.”

In addition to Grosso, the other Princess Cruises bartenders who participated in the competition semifinals are Deepakkumar Chahuan, Grand Princess, Jennifer Agbuya, Sapphire Princess, and Edgardo Pszemiarower, Ruby Princess.

The four finalists were asked to participate in a series of  timed cocktail challenges to test their knowledge, innovation and creativity, as well as presentation and technique.  The distinguished panel of judges represented a cross-section of industry experts and included:

  • Marcy Rudershausen, Diageo’s Senior Master of Whisky for Global Duty Free Americas and  inducted into Keepers of the Quaich in Scotland in 2010.
  • Spike Marchant, World Class Global Brand Ambassador.
  • Julie Reiner, renowned mixologist and owner of New York’s Clover Club and consulting firm Mixtress llc, honored in 2011 with a James Beard nomination for spirits professional of the year.
Talented and innovative bartenders from around the world will attend the Global Final Week in Rio de Janeiro, July 8-12, competing for the most coveted award in the bartending industry; the title of Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year.
Photo credit: Princess Cruises, Diageo Reserve
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