Winners Of 2015 Diplomático World Tournament Announced

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Sai Hamsala Takes Home Grand Prize at the 2015 World Tournament Bartender Competition

Rum Diplomático announced winners of the 2015 Diplomático World Tournament Finals. Sai Hamsala (New Zealand) trumped his twenty-seven competitors and took first place with his sophisticated cocktail, Just In Time, brought home the grand prize of $10,000 and prestigious title of Diplomático’s World Best Bartender. Orlando Marzo (Australia) took 2nd place winning $5,000 and José Luis León (Mexico) came in 3rd place earning a prize of $2,500. This is the 2nd installment of the biennial competition sponsored by the award-winning Venezuelan rum and was hosted again by Ian Burrell, renowned global rum ambassador.

“I have always dreamt of winning a global cocktail world tournament. I feel that I have achieved something very big thanks to all the passion and work I have put into bartending for the past 8 years,” said first place winner Sai Hamsala. Contestants underwent three final rounds and were judged on their original cocktail creations based upon three main criteria of technique, presentation, décor and garnish and organoleptic subjects (such as taste, texture, aroma and balance). Finalists were also tested on their knowledge of Diplomático and the rum category as a whole. All finalists participated in a distillery tour, guided tastings led by Master Blender Tito Cordero and had an opportunity to visit the beautiful Morrocoy National Park.

“We are thrilled to have hosted the Diplomático World Tournament for a second time in Barquisimeto, Venezuela, Diplomático’s hometown. To see all this talent from individuals all over the world is truly a joy!,” José R. Ballesteros M., President of Diplomático Rum proclaimed. “We congratulate Sai on winning the 2015 Diplomático World Tournament as it was well deserved. We also look forward to future tournaments and experiencing first hand all the innovation that can be found in the cocktail industry,” added Mr. Ballesteros.

Founded in 2012, the Diplomático World Tournament was developed to honor the bartender community worldwide with 1,000+ bartenders having participated to date. Participants compete first in a regional qualifying round, winners advance on to the country final where they then compete for a spot in the World Finals hosted by Diplomático in Venezuela. Rum Diplomático continually strives for excellence and innovation with in the category and is currently the only Venezuelan rum producing an event of this nature.

*Note: photography available upon request

About Rum Diplomático (
Rum Diplomático, a brand inspired by the character of Don Juancho Nieto Melendez, is a super-premium rum hailing from Venezuela. Located at the foot of the Andes Mountain, the Diplomácito Distillery (producing top-quality spirits since 1959) combines traditional methods with modern technology to produce the finest of rums. The production area boasts great conditions for sugar production including fertile lands, abundant water and favorable weather. Award-winning Master Blender Tito Cordero, twice awarded "Rum Blender of the Year" at the London Rum Barrel Awards in 2011 and 2013, works diligently to create unique and complex rums. The product range consists of the Classic Line: Añejo (aged up to 4 years), Blanco (aged up to 6 years), Reserva (aged up to 8 years) and Reserva Exclusiva (aged up to 12 years), and the Prestige Line: Single Vintage 2000 and Ambassador, both are aged 12 years and finished in sherry casks for one and two years respectively.

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Sara Gorelick

Lia Giachino
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