Jennifer Le Nechet Crowned World’s Best Bartender

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Jennifer Le Nechet has been newly crowned the world’s best bartender at Miami’s World Class Bartender of the Year 2016. The French bartender impressed judges with her series of vivacious drinks at her Steampunk themed pop-up bar at Paris’ Café Moderne. The Awards evening also revealed Mexico City as the location for next year’s World Class Bartender of the Year Global Final.

While almost 10,000 bartenders from around the world entered the competition, only 56 were selected to represent their country at the Miami finals. The final round saw a grand total of only six, challenging the elite group to create a pop-up bar within 24 hours. The bartenders performed under pressure, showcasing their skills across each challenge in the ultimate battle of technique, personality and knowledge of spirits.

Top brands from Diageo’s Reserve portfolio were selected, including Ketel One vodka, Cîroc, Don Julio, Tanqueray No TEN, Bulleit, Zacapa rum and Johnnie Walker Blue Label Blended Scotch Whisky, where bartenders conceived their own creations with classic cocktails. Against the clock running just 10 minutes, the bartenders mixed up to fourteen signature drinks.

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“I’m completely blown away,” says Le Nechet, the first female bartender to claim the title. “It’s such an honor to take home the title of World’s Best Bartender – especially when competing against such talent from around the world. This week has inspired me to continue pushing the boundaries of flavors and to explore how all the senses can be engaged through cocktails. I can’t wait for the experience ahead.”

The new title will have Le Nechet off for a year of adventure, from traveling the world as a Diageo Reserve Brand Ambassador and judging competitions, to crafting up bespoke drinks in exotic, far-flung locations.

“The standard this year has been absolutely phenomenal. It’s been just so difficult to choose between these bartenders,” said Alex Kratena, former Head Bartender of Artesian London.

Kratena, who is a judge at this year’s Miami Final, added, “Jennifer just nailed it in the Superstar Pool Party showing all the skills you could want in a bartender, and her pop-up bar blew us all away with its cool Stempunk theme and twist on classic cocktails with homemade emulsions, cola and organic ingredients.  These bartenders really are at the top of their game and the five runners up were worthy contenders. Not only can they pull off all the classics flawlessly, but they are developing new and exciting techniques every step of the way.”

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