​Michito Kaneko, from Japan, has won the first ever World Class mixology competition held in Africa

​The event, now in its seventh year, took place in Cape Town and Johannesburg – the first time the finals have ever been held in Africa.


Johnnie walker Blue label bottle

The competition – the biggest World Class competition yet – took place over four days, with bartenders from over 50 countries, including more female finalists than ever before. Participants took part in a range of challenges designed to test their skills, including working against the clock to create a great cocktail and setting up a "World Class" pop-up bar in less than 24 hours.

The World Class competition forms an important part of our broader strategy to grow the luxury spirits market by engaging with customers and consumers and encourage them to drink better. Our aim is to inspire fine-drinking evangelists around the world to enable people to enjoy better-quality drinks made with the finest spirits in bars, restaurants, and at home.

The event was judged by the world's most respected mixology and taste experts and attended by editors, industry experts, renowned bar owners, and a selection of respected guest judges.