James Grant from Edmonton has won the World’s Best Bartender Award beating 49 other bartenders from across the world.
Earlier in March, the 36-year-old won the National award, Bartender of the Year, besting 10 other fellow Canadians to win World Class Canada Finals enabling him to compete in the global finals of the world’s biggest, most prestigious cocktail competition.
The 2021 international competition, Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year Global Finals, originally scheduled to take place in Madrid, Spain, was moved online due to COVID-19.
A virtual competition didn’t mean the challenges were any less ambitious with the finalists tasked to create a Johnnie Walker highball that reflected the flavours and culture of their home city, host a masterclass for making a World-Class Tanqueray No. Ten cocktail at home, design a Ketel One vodka cocktail that had a positive environmental impact and a sense of community at its core, and produce an original subterranean-inspired Don Julio serve.
The week was rounded off with a special edition ‘Malts’ speed round challenge using The Singleton and Talisker, that not only tested the finalists’ efficiency but also the quality and design of their cocktails.
James Grant currently works at Baijiu restaurant‘s cocktail bar, Little Hong Kong in Edmonton.
James is the twelfth bartender to enter the World Class Hall of Fame.