Carl D’Alton from Cask in Cork was announced as the World Class Irish Bartender of the Year 2018 at Sunday night’s Irish Final, which took place in front of a live audience and a stellar line-up of international and local judges at the World Class Bar at Taste of Dublin. This is two in a row for Cask, as Carl takes the coveted title from his colleague and mentor, Andy Ferreira, who was the 2017 winner. Carl will go on to represent Ireland in the World Class Global Final 2018, which will take place in Berlin this coming October.
World Class is the world’s most prestigious and respected mixology programme, committed to celebrating and elevating the craft of bartending. This global competition brings together the best bars, the most talented bartenders and the most exquisite spirits from around the world, including Tanqueray No. TEN gin, Ketel One Vodka, Roe & Co Irish whiskey and Bulleit Bourbon.
To determine Ireland’s best bartender, some of the industry’s most influential figures joined this year’s judging panel, including Current World Class Global Champion Kaitlyn Stewart, Global Cocktailian Lauren Mote, Tom Soden of Sweet & Chilli, Dennis Tamse from Ketel One Vodka and 2017 Ireland Winner Andy Ferreira. The judging panel also included a number of influential media and tastemakers, who oversaw the finalists in action throughout the weekend in Dublin’s spectacular Iveagh Gardens.
Competing alongside Carl were Barney O’Kane from One Goose Entry in Belfast and Alan Petrovic from Urchin in Dublin. All three finalists competed head-to-head in a series of complex challenges throughout the weekend, testing them on all aspects of the craft of bartending where they had to demonstrate skill, passion, innovation, creativity and ambition, all in front of a live audience.
Speaking at the event, Niall Molloy, Diageo Reserve & World Class Ireland Brand Ambassador, commented: “This year’s World Class has left us in absolute awe. Ireland is standing up to the world and shining in talent and hospitality. The skills we’ve seen on show, not only this week but throughout this year, are right up there with the best in the world.
“Our new champion Carl is one of the most talented, humble and creative bartenders on the scene. He brings local Irish and seasonal ingredients to life in ways we’ve never known were possible. He is at the top of his game. He makes us proud to be Irish. And we’re both extremely proud and excited to bring him to Berlin to represent us against the best in the world. We truly feel he’s got what it takes to take the global title.”
On being announced as the World Class Irish Bartender of the Year 2018 Carl D’Alton commented: “I’m lost for words. For me this is literally the best moment of my career. I just want to bring the spirit of Irish hospitality and Irish ingredients to the global stage. That’s what we do at our bar, Cask, in Cork. We love our environment and all the unknown produce and fauna that’s within a walk and a forage away from us. Then we bring them to life in our drinks and food. Simple, really. World Class is the dream. I have the chance to bring all of this to life; to bring our bartending culture and Cask’s ethos to life on a global stage. And Cork too! I’m going to really go for it. It’s such an honour. Bring on Berlin!”