Vancouver's Kaitlyn Stewart wins World Class Bartender of the Year at international competition

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      A local bartender has earned the coveted title of World Class Bartender of the Year at one of the industry’s largest—and most prestigious—mixology competitions.

      Kaitlyn Stewart, bar director at Royal Dinette (905 Dunsmuir Street), earned the designation, which is otherwise known as the world’s best bartender, following a multi-day contest from August 20 to 25 in Mexico City as part of the Diageo World Class Global Final. There, she showcased her skills behind the bar in events that tasked her with concocting everything from classic and boundary-pushing cocktails to “green” drinks that boast an eco-conscious slant.

      Stewart beat out 55 other mixologists from countries as far away as Argentina, Russia, and South Korea. In May, Stewart was crowned Bartender of the Year at the Diageo World Class Canada competition in Toronto, after which she was able to advance to the final in the Mexican capital.

      “Cocktails are on the up now more than ever,” said Stewart in a press statement, “and to be at the forefront of that, pushing forward the idea of using better ingredients and better recipes to create even better cocktails is something I’m really passionate about and I’ve loved every moment of this experience.”

      As the result of her win, Stewart will have the chance to travel the world as a Diageo Reserve brand ambassador over the next year. In this role, she will craft drinks, judge competitions, and become the ninth member of the World Class Hall of Fame.

      The World Class Bartender of the Year competition is billed as the world’s largest mixology showdown, with over 10,000 bartenders from 57 countries having participated at some point. The event is organized by Diageo, a London-based alcoholic beverage company  whose portfolio includes brands like Smirnoff, Crown Royal, Don Julio, and Johnnie Walker.