Andrew Dickey from the Merchant Hotel has just been crowned ‘World Class Irish Bartender of The Year.’

World Class is renowned as the industry’s most prestigious and respected mixology competition, committed to celebrating and elevating the craft of bartending.

To discover the next generation of world class bartending talent, some of the most revered names in the industry came to Dublin to judge the competition.

Influential chef and co-host of MasterChef UK, John Torode

Influential chef and co-host of MasterChef UK, John Torode

Influential chef and co-host of MasterChef UK, John Torode joined the judging panel alongside industry experts Max La Rocca, European World Class Ambassador, Anna Walsh, World Class Ireland Winner 2015 and Ewan Gunn, The global BA for Haig Club.

Synonymous with sophistication and impeccable service, World Class bartenders are constantly pushing the boundaries of contemporary and experimental cocktail culture.

Mixologist Andrew Dickey

Mixologist Andrew Dickey from The Merchant’s Cocktail Bar

This year, the six finalists were put through their paces more than ever, with complex challenges designed to test them on all aspects of bartending including brand knowledge, precision, sensory, hosting and creativity.

Competing alongside Andrew Dickey was Meath native Adam Walsh from Zozimus in Dublin; Croatian born, Ivana Sabljak of House Dublin; Clondalkin born Darren Geraghty who represented The Candlelight Bar in Dundrum, Dublin; Stephanie Shen, bar manager of The Meeting House, Dublin and Alan Petrovic, from Croatia who works as a bartender in KOH Restaurant and Cocktail Lounge in Dublin.

Andrew Dickey representing The Merchant Hotel's Cocktail Bar in Belfast was crowned as the World Class Irish Bartender of the Year 2016 at the World Class Irish Final which took place in The Kings Inns

Andrew Dickey representing The Merchant Hotel’s Cocktail Bar in Belfast was crowned as the World Class Irish Bartender of the Year 2016 at the World Class Irish Final which took place in The Kings Inns

The bartenders competing are encouraged to innovate and experiment using the Diageo Reserve portfolio of the world’s finest spirits – which includes: Ketel One vodka, Cîroc vodka, Ron Zacapa rum, Tanqueray gin, Tanqueray No. TEN gin, Bulleit Bourbon, Don Julio Tequila, Johnnie Walker Gold Label and Blue Label whisky and scotch whisky’s Cardhu, Singleton and Talisker.

Rhe Merchant Hotel is evidently host to some pretty amazing bartenders - owners of The Dead Rabbit bar in NYC met here before starting their own bar. It's now famous across the world

The Merchant Hotel is evidently host to some pretty amazing bartenders – owners of The Dead Rabbit bar in NYC met here before starting their own bar. It’s now famous across the world

Chef and celebrity judge John Torode commented; “It has been amazing to witness the level of passion, creativity and outstanding skill here today. I was particularly impressed by their ability to combine and balance unique flavour profiles – a cocktail is a dish in itself!

“These bartenders really are world class. Andrew Dickey is a very deserving winner and I wish him the very best of luck in the Global Final in Miami in September.”

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