50 Top Bartenders Participated in a Prestigious Competition to Send One Competitor to the Global Finals in Madrid

/PRNewswire/ — The first-ever entirely digital version of the United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG) Presents World Class sponsored by Diageo tested the strength and talent of the nation’s top 50 bartenders to name Adam Fournier as the 2021 U.S. Bartender of the Year. Over the five-day, four-challenge competition, Fournier impressed judges with his innovative creations, keen attention to detail and creative showmanship to earn himself the honor of representing the U.S. in the global finals later this year in Madrid, Spain.

“It’s an incredible honor to be named U.S. Bartender of the Year. This success is not only my own, it’s a result of the amazing community around me, my World Class Collective,” said Adam Fournier. “After entering my first USBG Presents World Class sponsored by Diageo program five years ago, it has been part of my life ever since. The changes this year made it one of my favorite iterations of the competition because it allowed me to watch all of the amazing work that went into it. The level of talent from my fellow competitors was truly inspiring and helps me appreciate this win even more and want to represent them well as I continue my journey to the Global Finals.”

The USBG’s mission is to unite the hospitality industry to advance professional bartending, and the World Class program in the U.S. brings together bartenders from across the country to elevate the craft. The ninth year of this acclaimed program adapted to the realities of today’s climate and allowed each competitor to virtually showcase their incredible depth of knowledge and impeccable craft. The regional finals kicked off with the “Underground Agriculture” challenge that tested competitors’ bartending and storytelling skills. The “Batched and Ready To-Go Challenge” had competitors create and demonstrate batched cocktails for at-home enjoyment. The Top 10 finalists competed in the “Menu Challenge” where they created a menu of seven cocktails for an assigned bar or restaurant. Lastly, the “Speed Round” had the Top 5 finalists preparing five classic cocktails in under five minutes using spirits from the Diageo Reserve Portfolio. 

“The evolution of this USBG World Class program has been amazing to witness, especially this year as we hosted the first-ever virtual edition of the competition,” said Aaron Gregory Smith, Executive Director of the USBG. “The growing skill, dedication and integrity in this group leave me in awe and we are so proud of the success and support that this program helps to provide for the bartending community.”

Cassandra Ericson, Manager of On Premise Channel Marketing at Diageo North America adds, “The growing excitement and passion in the this tight-knit community is inspiring. As a past competitor in the USBG Presents World Class sponsored by Diageo program, it’s astonishing to see how this program has evolved and been able to adapt to meet the needs of the industry today. The spirit and dedication we see in this competition is unparalleled.”

Wondering what it takes to earn the title of U.S. Bartender of the Year? See below for some of Adam Fournier’s recipes created during the competition that helped take him to the top.

Created by 2021 U.S. Bartender of the Year Adam Fournier


  • 1 oz. Tanqueray 10
  • 1 oz. Fino Sherry
  • 1 oz. Almond Milk
  • 1 oz. Concord Grape Juice
  • 0.75 oz. Saba
  • 0.5 oz. Fresh Lemon Juice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker tin. Whip with three ice cubes. Double strain over crushed ice in a 13.25 oz. Poco style glass. Garnish with a mint plouche and straw. Cap with more crushed ice and finish with three carbonated grapes.

Ideal Serve: 13.25 oz. Acopa Poco glass

Created by 2021 U.S. Bartender of the Year Adam Fournier


  • 1.5 oz. Johnnie Walker Black Label
  • 0.25 oz. Honey Syrup (2:1)
  • 0.25 oz. Ginger Syrup (1:1)
  • 0.5 oz. Fresh Lemon
  • 0.5 oz. Fresh Pineapple Juice

Combine all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Shake with ice until fully diluted and aerated. Double strain over fresh ice. Using a spray bottle, mist the top of the drink with Lagavulin 16. Garnish with two trimmed pineapple fronds.

Ideal Serve: Rocks glass

Cocktails created for the duration of this year’s competition can be found on Instagram using the handle @WorldClassUS. When showcasing your own mixology or sampling award-winning recipes from this year’s competitors, USBG World Class Sponsored by Diageo reminds you to do so responsibly.

For additional information about the program and for details on the upcoming global competition, follow hashtags #worldclassus, #worldclass2021 and #roadtomadrid on Twitter and Instagram, and check us out online at http://worldclass.usbg.org and http://usbg.org.

About USBG

Founded in 1948, the United States Bartenders’ Guild®️ is a non-profit professional society of bartenders and other hospitality professionals uniting the hospitality community to advance professional bartending. The USBG believes that every US bartender achieves greater personal and professional success by connecting to diverse local and national hospitality communities. Through our network of over 40 communities nationwide, the USBG connects members with peer-to-peer learning, expert instruction, community service projects, and skills-based competition.

About Diageo

Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan’s whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Casamigos and Don Julio tequilas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world. For more information about Diageo, our people, our brands, and performance, visit us at www.diageo.com. Visit Diageo’s global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.

Follow us on Twitter for news and information about Diageo North America: @Diageo_NA.

Have a look at how the first-ever virtual USBG Presents World Class sponsored by Diageo was created.