The definitive guide to the finest drinking experiences

The World Class 50: The Definitive Drinking Guide features 50 of the most innovative and talented bartenders from across the globe. Each bartender showcases the perfect location, the most inventive cocktail and the finest of ingredients and spirits that define the 'must have' fine drinking experience in their city.

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New kid on the block, James Fowler from the Larder House Bar in Bournemouth, has been crowned the World Class UK Bartender Of The Year 2014, following a landmark week of intense competition and was announced the winner on board British Airways flight BA26 from Hong Kong.

Actress Anna Friel who added some Mad Men sixties glamour and waved off the finalists, said: “I’m very much looking forward to sampling the winner’s cocktail next time I fly with British Airways.”

The World Class UK Final was no easy feat to win and comprised of challenges spread across two countries. These ranged from the ‘East Meets West’ challenge held at 35,000 feet on board a British Airways A380 flight to Hong Kong, to a chef’s challenge set by Jason Atherton in his new tapas bar Ham & Sherry in Hong Kong.

Over the past ten months, contenders from the most esteemed bars around the world have competed in local and regional heats, each aspiring to attain a coveted place at the World Class UK Final. Fowler will now go onto represent his country in the Global Finals at the end of July. Held on home ground this year at amazing locations across Scotland and London, participants from over 50 countries will showcase their creations in front of some of the most revered names in the industry, including Salvatore Calabrese, Peter Dorelli and Dale DeGroff.

World Class UK Bartender of the Year 2014, James Fowler, said: “I’m overwhelmed to be crowned World Class UK Bartender of the Year 2014 and delighted to know that my winning cocktail will be served to First class customers on British Airways flights.