Dear Bartenders, colleagues and friends,

do you want to get booked for seminars, presentations and workshops all over the world, get amazing career opportunities and have your profession really sky rock?

But I have to warn you! You might run the risk of HAVING TO TRAVEL THE WORLD..that’s what happened to me after I won WORLD CLASS

The way I experienced it, World Class has never been a competition but an OPPORTUNITY TO GROW – It is only about the thinking!

Start changing your thoughts, as different thoughts will lead to different actions, that will lead to different results, the right results you ask of yourselves!



I don’t remember ONE situation (AT LEAST ) in my life where I was COMPLETELY..100% ready for something, DO YOU??

When I competed in World Class, it was my very first competition and I came 3rd in the world, and also for a lot of World Class winners, it was their first competition ever.

You never know what my happen if you don’t try it.

I didn’t compete only for myself but for my team, for my Bar and for my guests, I owed them this. the game of life, do you want to be only a SPECTATOR or do yo want to be A PLAYER??

My favourite quote is “JUMP AND THE NET WILL APPEAR”

Maybe some of you are thinking something like “even if I go through the Country Finals, am I going to be good enough to win it Globally”?
Let me mention, as an example, the great Bartenders in the picture above, who have had amazing results through perseverance and desire to grow both personally and professionally, they have also competed and believed in World Class and although these incredible persons have not necessarily won a Global Final, their World Class experience, alongside the opportunity to share with others and the chance to be part of a great community, have all been precious things that have opened a lot of doors and also contributed in a way to achieve incredible results, in their bars, with their teams and for their customers.
So as you can see, World Class really IS a journey and not just the final destination, it’s not only about winning but about LEARNING & GROWING !

The World Class People who kindly agreed to share  this message with you all, are (from top left to bottom right of the picture above):
Simone Caporale, Alex Kratena, Monica Berg, Sean Muldoon, Ryan Chetyawardana, Jimmy Barrat, Andrew Nicholls, Dennis Zoppi, Max La Rocca

If you’re question now is..what do I win?
Here’s a list of the amazing prizes that are waiting for you:
IF YOU BECOME THE WORLD CLASS WINNER 2017 FOR YOUR COUNTRY YOU WILL GET:1. Luxurious hand made Trophy – symbol of guarantee of high quality standards

2. A one-year contract to inspire your peers and guests alongside with the WORLD CLASS Team in events, workshops and bespoke activities

3. An amazing PR plan to promote your win and give you massive visibility

4. Access to the European WORLD CLASS 3-day Bootcamp to help you prepare for the Global Finals

5. Flight to Mexico to represent your Country in the Global Finals

6. Trip to Schiedam to the Ketel One distillery

7. A Bespoke Whisky trip to Scotland



8. Become a Global Ambassador of the WORLD CLASS programme, travelling the world, educating and inspiring new talents.

9. Support as judge and mentor in future Global Finals editions

10. Get the global superstar status!
So as I said before..start changing your thoughts, as different thoughts will lead to different actions, that will lead to different results.
Take action now and subscribe to WORLD CLASS 2017 on



Max La Rocca


If you haven’t already, please take a minute to JOIN HERE the ListenToTheIce Tribe to access exclusive content that will take your career and your establishment to the next level!

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You can also connect with me on FacebookInstagramTwitterLinkedIn, and watch my Youtube Channel


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Miami it’s one of the most exciting cities in the world, boasting sun drenched beaches, cutting edge cuisine and bustling nightlife. Miami is the place to be in 2016.

The World Class Bartender of the Year Global Final is rolling into town from September 26th, inspiring the best in the industry to a week of taxing challenges and fierce competition, guaranteeing the greatest show of bartender flair and creativity in the world.

In addition to this amazing Competition, our Hospitality experts, the Diageo Brand Ambassadors coming from over 50 different countries, we will be taking over the coolest neighbourhood in Miami – Wynwood – with some of Miami’s best Cocktail Bars!!

(Youtube Video Link)


Please join us Wednesday 28th September from 8.30pm to 12am in the following Bars:
Wynwood Diner
Beaker & Gray
Wood Tavern
El Patio
The Bar Next Door
The Butcher Shop


Only some of the fantastic #Tanqueray Gin and #Ketelone Vodka cocktails being featured Wednesday 28th September from 8.30pm to 12am at #wynwooddiner in Miami for our #getworldclasswynwood night !
#getmixedup  #WorldClass2016 #TrueSpirit

Be sure to stop by to enjoy amazing cocktails made by the world’s top Bartenders and experts from ‪Tanqueray‬ Gin and Ketel One Vodka.

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The big moment has arrived: WORLD CLASS 2015!


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Dear European Bartenders the big moment has arrived!!

Join us on HERE to read what the 1st Challenge of the year will be and how to ENTER the WORLD CLASS Competition!

Don’t forget to watch the video blow

Explore also THE WORLD CLASS CLUB the brand new platform created exclusively for you to keep you up to date on all the bartender news, competitions and inspiration.


And see you in Capetown for the WORLD CLASS Global Final!

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WORLD CLASS 2014 Global Winner- Charles Joly – USA

Charles Joly_USA

Charles Joly from USA serves up a week of magnificent mixes to be named the World’s Best Bartender

Charles Joly beats 47 peers to be crowned the Diageo Reserve World Class™ Bartender of the Year 2014

FRIDAY 1 AUGUST 2014, LONDON: After a week of fierce competition, incredible craftsmanship, unrivalled creativity and exceptional cocktails, Charles Joly from The Aviary in Chicago, USA, beat 47 of the best mixologists from around the globe to be crowned the DIAGEO RESERVE WORLD CLASS™ Bartender of the Year 2014.

Charles mesmerised the judges from the very first cocktail but it was his unique and show-stopping signature serve that will help cement his name in cocktail history. His signature cocktail Above the Clouds, crafted for the final Punch and Glass challenge, blew the judges away. Throughout the week Charles consistently proved his winning credentials to the esteemed 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.

“Wow, I just feel totally overawed by this. I know it sounds like a cliché but to be announced as theDIAGEO 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.

“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 flavours, 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.”

Matteo Fantacchiotti, Global Vice President Commercial, DIAGEO RESERVE, said: “Right from the beginning Charles’ passion, creativity and unrivalled mixology skills blew the judges away. His desire to create unique serves that combined sophisticated tastes with innovative modern twists never faltered at any stage of the competition. It’s a real honor to have Charles as our 2014 Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS™ ambassador, and I look forward to working with him in the future. Together we hope to inspire a new generation of mixology talent across the world, helping raise the profile of bartenders to where chefs are today.”

Charles Joly becomes the sixth bartender to be awarded the revered WORLD CLASS™ Bartender of The Year title, following in the footsteps of mixologists giants who have gone on to influence cocktail culture around the world, including David Rios, Tim Philips, Manabu Ohtake, Erik Lorincz and Aristotelis Papadopoulos.

The 48 bartenders that reached the WORLD CLASS™ Global Final 2014 had already demonstrated unwavering commitment to their craft after conquering a year-long journey of qualifiers, earning them the right to represent their country and compete against the best bartenders in the world in the industry’s most prestigious and respected mixology competition.

Charles Joly will now become a global ambassador for Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS™, a role which 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.

The 2014 WORLD CLASS™ Finals consisted of a series of innovative challenges staged around Great Britain, starting in Gleneagles, Scotland, before travelling via the iconic Orient Express to London. Discovery was at the heart of the competition, a theme brought to life by the series of innovative challenges that immersed the 48 finalists in Great British culture and inspired them to create premium serves, using the world’s finest spirits, that told stories of places, people and the local history of this year’s host nation – the birthplace of WORLD CLASS™ over six year ago.

This year, for the first time ever, consumers were also invited to participate in the WORLD CLASS™ Global Final and discover a world of fine drinking culture at the WORLD CLASS™ House. Set over five floors of a beautiful townhouse, this exclusive pop-up experience was created to coincide with Finals week, providing hands-on mixology masterclasses run by world-renowned bartenders, unique cocktails and food tasting sessions that made the WORLD CLASS™ House, the spiritual home of fine drinking experiences this summer.

In 2015, the WORLD CLASS Global Final will travel to Africa for the first time, and take place in 2014’s World Design Capital; Cape Town. This iconic city was voted the World’s Top Travel Destination by The New York Times, and boasts an abundance of natural beauty and cultural diversity. With a vibrant and cosmopolitan mixology culture, as well as thriving creative sectors, Cape Town is set to provide all the inspiration the contenders will need to thrive in 2015’s Global Final.


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World Class 2014 Burst 1has kicked off!

World Class 2014 has kicked off and I was heading up the launch in Italy of Burst 1 of World Class Training and outlining below what took place during a couple of great sessions in Rome and Sicily.

So here we are with the exciting new burst 1 of World Class Training, showcasing some amazing content for you to get inspiration from.

We’ve been in the beautiful city of Catania in Sicily followed by Rome ‘the Eternal City’.

After Federico Berlingieri opened the day by explaining terms and conditions – as well as the important deadlines for the competition, our great Franco Gasparri and Fabrizio Fischione started the session with a fantastic journey into our Reserve Portfolio, focusing on Ketel One Vodka, Zacapa and the Johnnie Walker Super Deluxe Range that includes Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, Platinum and the prestigious Blue Label.

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Then it was time to explain the two exciting Challenges of this first burst:

• Mediterranean Mastery, where Ketel One brings to life the concept of a ritual and Zacapa introduces us to the fantastic world of food pairing, both taking inspiration from the influence of the Mediterranean on the food and drink culture during the 1950s and 60s.

• The Flavour Challenge, which is an intriguing way to incorporate the fantastic world of Johnnie Walker into mixology.

I followed these first two sessions with a demonstration, helping the bartenders to better understand the concepts behind the Challenges.

Then we talked through the importance of a drinking ritual, how to apply it to Bartending and to World Class, followed by a fantastic Ketel One ‘Dali’s Moustache’ Cocktail using the beautiful new ‘Copper Kettles’ to bring some emotions, elements, ingredients and icons that would relate to the Mediterranean Mastery Challenge.


It was then time for The Flavour Challenge with a Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve ‘Sailing to Sicily’ Cocktail. This was to recreate the legendary journey of the Walkers who exported it worldwide, making the captains of ships the true ambassadors of their brand.

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This cocktail is simple but intriguing, with the creaminess and honeyed notes of Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve fitting harmoniously with Pedro Ximenez sherry, all perfectly balanced by the elegance of pear liqueur to create a refined after-dinner drink with a surprisingly delicate finish. It managed to showcase the real character of Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve whisky.

The drink is then served with an old sailing ship and a world map customised with the Johnnie Walker logo and the name of the cocktail in order for guests to experience not only the atmosphere of the journey undertaken from the Walkers, but an amazing journey of discovery of exciting new flavours!

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trio telefono

After the Brands and Challenges sessions in Rome, our Southern Italy winner from last year Daniele Gentili talked about his experience at the European Final in Madrid, and took Bartenders through the steps needed to prepare for a competition like World Class. He captivated the audience with his charm and knowledge, giving a tour behind the scenes of the World Class competition.

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Daniele ok

They were two really exciting sessions and the interest that we generated and the motivation we felt at the end was outstanding in the two different cities.

Stay tuned for the next posts!
Celebrate life every day, everywhere
Max La Rocca

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Diageo World Class Global Final 2013 – Azamara Cruise – David Rios (Spain) Winner!!

Aboard the boutique Azamara Club Cruise’s ship, Azamara Journey, contestants from 44 countries participated with finalists to showcase their creations in front of some of the most revered names in the industry – Salvatore Calabrese, Peter Dorelli, Dale DeGroff, Gary Regan, Julie Reiner, Hidetsugu Ueno, Arturo Savage, Steve Olson and Aristotelis Papadopoulos.


Congratulations to Mr David Rios from Jigger Cocktail & Disco Bar in Spain that has claimed the prestigious title of Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year 2013!!!!

After a 12-month search for a star, the victory was announced at a glittering ceremony in Barcelona’s iconic bullring. It marked the end of a landmark week, with intense competition, spectacular events amidst the gathering of the industry’s elite, along with international celebrities and global figures in the world of bartending.

Diageo Reserve World Class Global Ambassador Spike Marchant commented: “David Rios stood above the rest of the 43 finalists. His cocktails and appreciation of flavour were consistently outstanding, his technical precision was jaw dropping, and he maintained his composure under extreme pressure.”

Winning the title of Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year will set David on a life-changing journey, championing the art and craft of the bartender.”

( Edited from the source: TheReserveClub)

Red Carpet – Gareth Evans, Great Britain
Mediterranean Mastery – Zachary de Git, Singapore
Time to Play – Kirill Runkov, Russia
St Tropez Market Challenge – Laura Schacht, Switzerland
Kings of Flavour – Tsuyoshi Miyazaki, Japan
Punch & Glass – David Rios, Spain
Tapas Table – Jason Clark, New Zealand and Luke Ashton, Australia
Cocktails Against the Clock – Jeff Bell, USA

Europe – David Rios (Spain)
Asia Pacific – Tsuyoshi Miyazaki (Japan)
Latin America & the Caribbean – Mario Seijo (Puerto Rico)
Northern America & Rest of the World – Jeff Bell (USA)

A personal wish for a great professional and a sincere and humble person:

May your new journey be full of passion, love, excitement, personal growth and motivation while maintaining your roots, your principles and remaining authentic and unique, that’s to say, the David we all know…here and now”

This is a great beginning, NOT a destination..
From a Bartender to a (great) Bartender
Max La Rocca


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