World Class Bartender of the Year is from Alberta

Canadian bartender, James Grant is the 2021 Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year. After reining in his title, James went on to represent Canada at the first fully virtual World Class Global Final event; celebrating some of the most talented bartenders in the world.

The World Class Global Final brought together bartenders from 50 countries, including finalists from Australia, Great Britain, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, Portugal, Ukraine, The Netherlands, Canada, and The United States. Since 2009, over 400,000 bartenders across 60 countries have brought their passion, culture, flavour, and personal stories to the world through the World Class program.

Originally from Melbourne, Australia, James settled in Edmonton at the age of 13. He currently works at Little Hong Kong, a 16-seat speakeasy tucked behind Baijiu restaurant in the Ice District. “It was an incredible honour to represent Canada on the global stage this summer and show the bartending community the incredible hospitality that makes Canada special,” said James. “It’s been an incredible journey, and I hope to continue to make the Canadian bartending community proud.”

James competed in the four-day competition, taking home gold after winning the final challenge on July 8 with his “Tale of Two Malts” signature cocktails, featuring Talisker 10-Year-Old and The Singleton of Dufftown 12-Year-Old.

A Little About Talisker 10-Year-Old

Produced at the oldest distillery on the Isle of Skye, Talisker Single Malt Scotch Whisky has been made by the sea since 1830; with its smell and taste instantly connecting you to its rugged maritime home. Every sip is a taste of the Isle of Skye itself, one of the most remote, windswept yet beautiful landscapes in Scotland. Talisker 10-Year-Old, the stalwart of the Talisker family, is a powerful single malt whisky, with a sea-salty nose, spicy complexity, smoky-sweet character, and signature peppery finish: like a warm welcome from a wild sea.

The Talisker, Soda and Pepper

I wanted to bring you a fun, refreshing, and tasty alternative serve for Talisker 10-Year-Old, that will bring out its delicious peppery finish and is perfect for warm summer days.



  1. Pour Talisker 10-Year-Old into a Collins glass over ice
  2. Top with soda water and stir
  3. Garnish with fresh cracked pepper

By Juan Bolivar, Reserve Activation Manager, Breakthru Beverage Canada

IG: @reservejuan