forbes.com: local santa fe bartender competes in world's largest cocktail program
After months of searching for the nation’s best talent behind the bar, local Santa Fe mixologist, Alexander Velez, has been selected to compete against 19 of his peers in the USBG and Diageo World Class U.S. Finale. On June 19th, Alex will travel to New York City where his culinary creativity and mixology craftsmanship will be put to the test in four challenges judged by the world’s top cocktail luminaries. The overall winner will be named the first ever World Class U.S. Ambassador and will journey to Brazil in July to compete against 47 international bartenders for a chance to become the Diageo World Class Global Ambassador.
Combine two parts wisdom and one part charm, add a dash of hospitality and garnish with a friendly smile – this is the recipe for a great bartender. Diageo has honored 20 bartenders and mixologists by debuting the renowned Diageo World Class program in the United States in conjunction with the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG). This unique, international cocktail training program will champion the art of the crafted cocktail and name one talented bartender the first-ever World Class U.S. Ambassador, who will represent the United States at the Diageo World Class Global Final in Brazil this coming July.
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To see a complete list of the finalists visit, Forbes.com.