Contrary to popular belief, bartending is so much more than just pouring vodka sodas. It’s an art form and like most realms of talent, there is actually a major contest where people compete to prove that they’re the best! The annual World Class Bartender of the Year awards see mixologists from all over the globe as they go head to head in hopes of taking home the title and wouldn’t you know it, a Canadian just came out on top!

After winning Canada’s Bartender of the year, James Grant of Edmonton, Alberta went on to represent the Great White North as one of 50 participants, which included the best from everywhere from Ukraine to Australia.

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Judged on creativity, hosting techniques and, of course, their ability to tend bar, contestants had to impress a pretty tough crowd of the world’s best and most respected experts including last year’s competition winner, Bannie King. Impressive, no?

In the initial round, all 50 competitors had to battle it out three different ways; The Ketel One Hive Collective Challenge, Johnnie Walker Hidden City High Ball Challenge, Tanqueray No Ten Alive with Freshness Masterclass and Don Julio Subterranean Serve.

Grant, along with nine other competitors, made it through that round to get to the final test, ‘A Tale of Two Malts featuring Talisker & Singleton’. Lo and behold, Edmonton’s own James Grant topped the group to win gold and the title of World Class Bartender of the Year.

Do you live in the Edmonton area? Why not grab a drink where it all began! Grant currently works at Little Hong Kong in Edmonton, which coincidentally has also been named one of the best bars in the country. Huh, we wonder why? 

Anywho, congrats James and be proud Canada! Bartenders make the world go round and if we have the best – we’d consider that a collective win.