– Partnerships set to transform your future drinks experiences revealed at Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year Finals 2019
In Glasgow’s West End, fifty-three of the world’s best bartenders are joined by drinks-making royalty and movers and shakers from the industry at an interactive innovation zone dedicated to showcasing the future of cocktail culture.
Simon Earley, Head of Diageo World Class, said: “We are committed to investing in the experience economy and “what’s next” in global cocktail culture. That’s why we asked some of our most progressive partners to join us here at the World Class Bartender of the Year Finals.
“For the first time we’ve created an interactive space – ‘A Taste of the Future’ – where, in conjunction with partners like Spotify, Crucible and ChargedUp, we reveal some of the things we believe will shape the future of drinks experiences worldwide.”
A key partnership on show includes a pioneering initiative between Diageo’s Futures team and Spotify, the world’s most popular audio streaming subscription service. To drive innovation within the drinking occasion, Diageo utilised social data to collate information and keywords related to specific Diageo Reserve brand cocktails. From there, these insights were provided to Spotify who created a unique method to identify key tracks and music that best encapsulated the mood and spirit of the cocktail.
This partnership resulted in six data-driven playlists curated for Diageo Reserve brand’s signature cocktails, including Johnnie Walker, that bring to life the mood of each drink. Innovation is at the heart of this collaboration, as each playlist is created to enhance the drinking occasion by allowing consumers on-site and around the world to both taste and hear their favourite cocktails.
Rak Patel, Head of U.K. Sales at Spotify said: “Spotify listeners come to our platform for an experience that is unique to them — from the music in their Discover Weekly to podcast recommendations and so much more. We’re able to deliver this thanks to our streaming intelligence, our understanding of the context and moments that people are streaming. Together with Diageo, we’re tapping into these insights to set the mood as they sip their favourite cocktails while creating a delightful and impactful connection with the brands they love.”
Also on show was a headset linked to a sensory experiment that could be the answer for gin lovers unsure what to mix their Tanqueray No. Ten with The Head vs Heart activation recommended personalised perfect serves based on the results from the EEG sensors.
Benjamin Lickfett, Diageo’s Head of Futures (Europe), said: “Consumers are increasingly seeking out personalised and immersive experiences in our category. Head vs Heart is just one example of an emerging technology enabling consumers to explore their own taste preferences and the flavours of our award-winning Tanqueray No. 10 as part of an engaging, sensory and surprising experience.”
And flavour enthusiasts were able to hear from Stu Bale, Director of London’s experimental creative bartending hub ‘Crucible’. It saw the drinks maverick demonstrate the use of ‘weird machines’ like rotavaps, centrifuges, and ultrasonics to express different aspects of flavour and texture. Stu and his team used these cutting-edge techniques to create three incredible drinks experiences using some of the world’s greatest spirits brands including Zacapa Rum, Talisker and Don Julio.
Stu said: “At Crucible, we always describe flavour as a universal language. Diageo World Class has always been at the cutting edge of drinks culture and experimentation, but no matter how much smoke and mirrors surrounds the mystery of developing drinks, it’s just about what’s tasty at the end of the day. This is an attitude that we share with World Class and it’s central to what we’re doing with ‘A Taste of the Future’. Whilst flavour is constant, technology is continually evolving – as is our understanding of how flavour works. We have a load of ways of extracting, developing and showcasing delicious flavour based on that knowledge and via a bunch of weird machines. It’s going to be pretty wild doing that on home territory in Glasgow. I can’t wait! Yaldo!”
Since its launch in 2009, Diageo World Class has played a significant role in transforming fine drinking cocktail culture around the world. Over 300,000 bartenders across the globe have been supported, trained and inspired by World Class since its inception.