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After 12 months of national and regional heats involving nearly 10,000 entrants across the globe, the 56 most talented bartenders have tounched down in Miami, ready to unleash their skills as they battle it out for the most coveted crown in the world of cocktails – World Class Bartender of the Year.

The week started with a thrilling launch party which took place on the famous Miami South Beach shoreline. Spectacular levels of creativity were displayed on the first day of challenges when the best spirits came together with the most innovative talent in the industry. The bartenders are being tested like never before as they are judged by the new line up of the world’s most respected tastemakers, chefs, mixologists and industry experts including a celebrity chef and former GQ ‘Man of the Year’.

Spike Marchant, Global Ambassador for WORLD CLASS, comments: “Bartenders must exhibit originality, precision, showmanship and the ability to connect with the people who will be drinking their drinks. Bartenders are being tested to their limits – working under pressure to create not only beautiful drinks, but also memorable experiences. Each year I am astounded and inspired by the level of talent, skill and innovation the participants bring to the competition.”

The competition will now heat up as the 56 challengers are wittled down to the final one, but who will be crowned World Class Bartender of the Year 2016 at the glittering awards ceremony on Thursday 29th September? Watch this space!