04.05.2022 13:15

Massimo Zitti takes honourable title of Diageo World Class Canada Bartender of the Year 2022


The Canadian winner will represent their country at the Diageo World Class Global competition in Sydney, Australia this coming September

TORONTO, May 4, 2022 /CNW/ - WORLD CLASS CANADA has crowned Massimo Zitti as the World Class Canada Bartender of the Year 2022. After demonstrating his bartending prowess in six unique challenges across a three-day competition hosted at The Ritz-Carlton in Montreal, Quebec, Massimo Zitti from Mother cocktail bar in Toronto proved that his style of hospitality set him apart, edging out nine other top bartenders from across the country. Following this thrilling win, Massimo will go on to represent Canada at the WORLD CLASS Global competition, in Sydney, Australia this September. This year's winner of the global competition will take the reins from Canada's very own James Grant of Edmonton, Alta, who won the 2021 WORLD CLASS Global competition.

James Grant, Diageo World Class Canada and Global Bartender of the Year 2021 winner congratulates Massimo Zitti as he wins the title of Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year 2022 last night in Montreal. (CNW Group/Diageo)

"These last few years have been incredibly challenging in the bar industry, but it's also been a great opportunity to really delve into the craft of cocktailing and stretch my creativity," said Massimo Zitti, WORLD CLASS CANADA Bartender of the Year 2022. "I'm grateful that Diageo gives bartenders the opportunity to showcase their skill and elevate the craft of bartending. It's an honour to join the outstanding group of World Class bartenders in Canada."

Diageo's WORLD CLASS challenges are crafted to showcase the five key characteristics it takes to be a World Class bartender: hosting, craft, flavour analysis, knowledge and World Class advocacy. With each challenge, judges are not just looking for a beautiful cocktail, but also a masterful display of storytelling that embodies these five pillars.

Inspired by the latest industry trends, each challenge requires the use of specific spirits in the Diageo portfolio and are designed to showcase different skills in a bartender's toolkit. Some of this year's challenges included a Tanqueray No. TEN tableside serve to highlight hospitality and presentation, and a Garden Party challenge to showcase non-alcoholic and low-ABV options using Seedlip, Tanqueray 0.0, Ketel One Botanicals and Pimm's No.1. Only four contenders advanced to the sixth and final challenge - a speed round where they're required to craft six classic cocktails using the entire Diageo Reserve portfolio in the fastest time possible.

This year's WORLD CLASS CANADA competition was judged by a panel of past WORLD CLASS CANADA winners including Global winners James Grant (2021) and Kaitlyn Stewart (2017), and Global runner up, Jeff Savage (2019). The judging panel also included guest judges Ago Perrone, beverage director at the Connaught Hotel in London; Dennis Tamse, Ketel One's global distillery ambassador; Lynnette Marrero, an award winning New York bartender and founder of Speedtrack; and last but certainly not least, special guest judge, and Tanqueray No. TEN partner, Stanley Tucci.

"Diageo WORLD CLASS exists to help people care about what, how and where they drink, in the same way they do about food," said Michael Armistead, Diageo Canada's National Reserve and Sponsorship Manager. "The bartending community, in Canada and around the world, has suffered over the last few years. It's more important than ever to get people excited about our industry by recognizing and celebrating the very best of bartending talent. WORLD CLASS is about highlighting all the aspects of hospitality - you need to go above and beyond making great drinks by also creating memorable experiences for guests. Massimo showed great passion for his craft and the whole team is looking forward to supporting him in preparing for the Global Final."

When experimenting with your own mixology skills or enjoying award-winning cocktails from your favourite local bartender, WORLD CLASS CANADA reminds you to drink responsibly.

For additional information about the program and for details on the upcoming global competition, follow @WorldClassCa on Twitter, @WorldClassCanada on Instagram, use the hashtag #WorldClass and visit Facebook.com/WorldClassCanada.

About Diageo

Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan's whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Don Julio, Tanqueray and Guinness. Diageo is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com.

Visit Diageo's global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives and ways to share best practice.

Follow us on Twitter for news and information about Diageo North America: @Diageo_NA.

About Diageo WORLD CLASS

Diageo WORLD CLASS is transforming fine drinking experiences and cocktail culture around the world and in the home. The industry's largest, most credible investment in the luxury on trade, it discovers the next generation of bartending talent who set the latest mixology trends and bring these to the best bars worldwide. At the core is an outstanding, global training program and internationally recognized platform that elevates the craft of the bartender and builds careers in the industry culminating in an annual luxury landmark week where the Diageo WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year is announced. Launched in 2009, over 400,000 bartenders have been inspired and educated in the craft of mixology using the finest spirits in the Diageo Reserve collection. A partnership and collaboration with gurus, media, partners and owners, Diageo WORLD CLASS is widely recognized as a mark of sophistication and distinction of international fine drinking culture by bartenders and customers alike.

Massimo Zitti is hoisted up in a congratulatory cheer as he announced the winner of the title of Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year 2022 last night in Montreal. (CNW Group/Diageo)


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