Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS™ is the industry’s most prestigious and respected mixology competition and was hosted in South Africa during August & September 2015. Alongside the competition was WORLD CLASS™ House, a pop‐up consumer facing event and venue, was open to the public to showcase experiences from World Class Spirits through a series of boutique cocktail bars, cantinas and a series of intimate and engaging master class experiences.
For three weeks our studios were completely taken over and renovated to create this WORLD CLASS™ House. After each studio had been transformed by a team of set builders even we had a hard time recognising our studios. It was absolutely incredible what they created in each of our different spaces.
Experiences included intimate tastings of premium whiskies such as Bulleit and exclusive digital mentoring from Johnnie Walker Blue Label. Seven brands were represented in the house and each had its own space and experiential activity to entertain guests.
Guests started their experience in our Church Studio, passing through the double doors on Roodebloem Road and starting at the WORLD CLASS™ Bar, a stylish cocktail bar showcasing the best that the Reserve Brand has to offer.
From here they could make their way through a doorway to meet the maker Tom Bulleit in a modern-day twist of his home, a Kentucky Hunting Lodge.
The Johnnie Walker Blue Label ‘Symphony In Blue’ lounge was set up in our Gallery space. Here visitors were taken through an intimately personal mentored tasting of the 6 main flavours of this amazing whisky with led by Johnnie Walker Global Brand Ambassador, Tom Jones. Using an innovative combination of theatre and cutting edge digital technology, the lounge allowed visitors the unique opportunity to step inside the extraordinary rare world of Johnnie Walker Blue Label through a rich blend of animation and live action film.
Between the Church and Hall studios is the courtyard which was covered with a canvas tarpaulin to create a cosy food court serviced by the Jack Rabbit mobile kitchen.
In one of the most striking changes, Tanqueray transformed our Hall Studio reliving the glamour and excitement of the roaring 1920s. Their resident barkeep Tom Aske was crafting martinis from the world’s best gin, Tanqueray No. TEN, while the mesmerising Tanqueray Imperial Shaker added a twist to visitors Gin Fizz.
A pop‐up Cantina inspired by the region of Jalisco, the home of Tequila Don Julio, was erected in our parking lot and outside curve area. An authentic and luxurious experience pairing TDJ cocktails with Mexican street food served from the El Burro food truck.
For the Zacapa Room, our daylight Drive-In Studio was completely blacked-out to create a multi-sensory experience designed to bring to life the iconic home of the brand in Guatemala. Hosted by Zacapa Master Blender Lorena Vasquez and Global Brand Ambassador Rebecca Quinonez, guests will explore first-hand the sights, sounds and tastes of the place where Zacapa is aged and blended, 2,300 metres above sea level.
Upstairs in our Jett Studio was the of Ketel One Vodka experience – a journey through the Bloody Mary. Visitors got to come and explore this classic cocktail, exploring its key ingredients and flavour components. Having been walked through the building blocks of this iconic serve, guests got the chance to use their senses, defying the norm and created their very own bespoke Bloody Mary cocktail.
If you weren’t fortunate enough to visit the WORLD CLASS House and want to see what it was like then take a look at this video put together by News24 on the opening night.