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It’s been an exhilarating week so far at the World Class finals in Miami as the 56 finalists aimed to dazzle the judging panel with a host of spectacular flavours and cocktail theatrics.

The competition has been fierce with all bartenders exhibiting originality, precision and showmanship as they sought to create memorable experiences for those drinking their drinks. Bartenders faced four challenges in the first round of competition: Before and After; The Shape of Things to Come; Pool Party; and the Blending Room. The judges had a difficult job of narrowing 56 bartenders down to 12 finalists.

Congratulations to:

Dries Botty, Belgium
Shane Mulvany, Canada
Adrian Michalcik, Czech Republic
Jonas Anderson, Denmark
Jennifer Le Nechet, France
Adriana Chia, Spain
Johan Evers, Sweden
Nick Wu, Taiwan
Aidan Bowie, UK
Ryu Fujii, Japan
Mica Rousseau, Mexico
Kevin Kroon, The Netherlands

With the pool of 56 competitors now whittled down to 12 for the final round, two challenges remain: one will test contestants’ knowledge of classic American cocktails in the high-pressure Against the Clock challenge, and following that elimination, the final challenge Miami Shakedown requires the remaining six to design and run their own pop-up bars.

It’s still all to play for at the World Class Bartender of the Year Competition.