After a week of fierce competition Charles Joly from The Aviary in Chicago beat 47 of the best mixologists from around the globe to be crowned the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2014.
Diageo reports that Charles mesmerized the judges from the very first cocktail but it was his unique and show-stopping signature serve that will help cement his name in cocktail history. His signature cocktail Above the Clouds, crafted for the final Punch and Glass challenge, is what impressed judges most.
“Wow, I just feel totally overawed by this," Joly says. "I know it sounds like a cliché but to be announced as the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year is like a dream—I half expect to wake up at any moment. The other finalists really are the best bartenders in the world today so for the judges to pick me as the winner is incredible.”
Matteo Fantacchiotti, global vice president commercial, Diageo Reserve, says: “Right from the beginning Charles’ passion, creativity and unrivalled mixology skills blew the judges away. His desire to create unique serves that combined sophisticated tastes with innovative modern twists never faltered at any stage of the competition. It’s a real honor to have Charles as our 2014 Diageo Reserve World Class ambassador, and I look forward to working with him in the future. Together we hope to inspire a new generation of mixology talent across the world, helping raise the profile of bartenders to where chefs are today.”
Joly becomes the sixth bartender to be awarded the World Class Bartender of The Year title, following in the footsteps of mixologists giants who have gone on to influence cocktail culture around the world, including David Rios, Tim Philips, Manabu Ohtake, Erik Lorincz and Aristotelis Papadopoulos.