Charles Joly of The Aviary and Crafthouse Cocktails has been named the world’s best bartender at the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2014 competition.
Joly competed in a week-long competition hosted by Diageo in London, where he beat 47 of the best mixologists from around the world.
"Wow, I just feel totally overawed by this. I know it sounds like a cliché but to be announced as the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2014 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" said Joly.
He went on to say, "This journey didn't start today at the ceremony, this week at the finals, or even last year when I entered the heats - it started many years ago when I first started working in a local bar. The flavors, the smells, the sounds, the techniques, the history, the theatre - I realized I did not want to create just another drink. I make drinks with my heart and it makes me happy to see customers happy. The possibilities open to a bartender are limitless, not just in terms of your career but your creations - the only limit is your imagination.”
To win the title he proved his winning credentials to a panel of judges that included legends and luminaries of the cocktail scene such as Dale DeGroff, Salvatore Calabrese, Julie Reiner, Steve Olsen and Gaz Regan.
Joly is the sixth bartender to be awarded the revered World Class Bartender of The Year title and will now become a global ambassador for Diageo Reserve World Class™. The role will see him travel the world, educating and inspiring new talent whilst developing his own skills and knowledge through the different tastes and techniques they experiences along the way.