Sustainable practices will be the key to a good bar program in 2018
By : | August 3, 2018

Lauren Mote, Diageo’s Global Cocktailian, who is travelling the world judging local editions of World Class Best Bartender of the Year 2018, writes on what it takes to create a more environment-friendly bar program  and the use of root-to-tips of a plant to create cocktails. Mote won World Class Canada back in 2015. The 2018 winners will go on to compete in Berlin later this year.


Lauren Mote, Diageo Global World Brand Ambassador


I was in India recently, to judge the Indian edition of World Class Best Bartender of the Year. We chose Gaurav Dhyani from Gurugram who will go on to compete in the global World Class Bartender of the Year 2018 at Berlin in October.

The contestants were given a theme—Resourceful Bartending. Sustainability is the foundation of this theme. Resourceful Bartending means you’re looking at every ingredient, every move and every service thoughtfully. Bartenders see more people on a daily basis than almost any other industry, and we shouldn’t underestimate the impact we can have in our bars, with our guests and in our community. We form part of a global network—along with chefs, artisan producers and farmers—that play a principal role in reducing waste and single-use plastics, such as straws and cups, and challenging where our food and produce come from.


Gaurav Dhyani – Indian Bartender of the year – World Class 2018

Bartenders have a truly unique position—we touch the lives of well-travelled, well-dined and well-educated people each day on both sides of the bar with the power of stories and flavour. Identifying sustainability issues within our immediate environment and finding solutions to those challenges becomes the key to being resourceful.

How do you ensure sustainability while bartending 

There are several things that you can do to implement resourceful bartending. Think of interesting touch points that might connect with the concept of your bar. Others might not appreciate that they’re cost saving or more environmentally-friendly choices, but you and your staff will definitely know! Here are some I would put down:


  • At some point during the evening, switch from light bulbs to candles. Try making your own with liquid candle oil that is refilled each night in glass holders. This will in turn reduce your carbon footprint and provide an excellent opportunity to differentiate yourself from other venues. Create a community garden with other bars, populated with seeds from a nursery or horticulturalist. The produce can later be used in your venue and it offers bartenders an opportunity to learn how to grow their own ingredients and appreciate the lifespan of each product.
  • Community hives: Work with a local beekeeper or apiary to create new habitats for honey bees and develop a system to create honey for the bar community. It might take a bit more effort, but this acts as a great connection to nature and also provides another “specialty” product for your venue—with great opportunities for story-telling!
  • Root to flower or root to tip: Develop a cocktail, or even a list, focused on using every single part of one ingredient in the most efficient (and delicious) way possible. This is a great way to unleash a bartender’s ingenuity and innovation as well as being a much more environmentally-friendly way to create drinks.
  • Go local: Look around your area and think of ways you can champion local produce and talent. Choosing local, seasonal produce will reduce your carbon footprint and support your community. Include bar and food teams, and perhaps blend with other industries to create more impact. After all, being resourceful isn’t just about food and drink; it’s about life and communities.

At the World Class Bartender of the Year global finals in 2017, I had the opportunity to present a trends seminar alongside other important figures in our global industry, including Dre Masso, Matt Preston, Alex Kratena and Charles Joly. Among the key trends we identified, sustainability topped the list. The world is waking up to the impact their choices have on the environment and sustainable practices and ingredients are becoming increasingly important. Mixologists who embrace this new reality are the ones who will flourish and there is an opportunity for the industry to get behind some ‘easy to execute’ initiatives.

Gaurav Dhyani, Winner of World Class India 2018 preparing Indulge


The creation of a good bar program 

I have always found the bar manager role to be the most challenging (and also the most gratifying)—it’s one-part business, one-part hospitality, and one-part creativity. We have many things to consider when building a bar and bar program—the bar concept, the demographic, the ideal cocktail vs. other beverage offering split, the relationships you have with certain suppliers, price point and food concept. All these factors come into play to create a cohesive, concise and exciting program that all makes sense when it comes together. That is a difficult challenge, and one that takes time and attention to develop perfectly.

There have been a few amazing bars and places that I’ve been in the world, and all for different reasons. We hosted the World Class Colombia Finals after party at a club called Bolivar in Medellin, where we danced to reggaetón all night with the bartending community. We had similar moments with the teams in Sao Paulo, Brazil at La Guilhotina and Sub Astor Bars. I loved spending time at Coldroom in Montreal, Canada and Herbs & Rye in Las Vegas before heading over to the Stratosphere amusement park and rollercoasters on the old Vegas Strip. Each city and country I visit has a different vibe, and the bartenders are all into different things, so I would rather leave it up to them to show me a great time! I think it’s important to have a balance of entertainment, quality time and chat, and great drinks, of course.

Reverence By Gone created by Gaurav Dhyani, Winner of World Class India 2018

 We are in the second “Belle Époque” (golden era) of cocktail culture right now. Never before have we had access to as many spirits, categories and flavors in as many countries! The average consumer didn’t realize the first Belle Époque (or Golden Age) of cocktails was happening—we are changing that. We want the world to know that they have the ability to drink better, make better choices on ingredients and spirits, how to use them, who to drink and dine with, where to do so, and when those moments are. It’s an incredible time for cocktail culture across the globe and it’s only going to get better.

 World Class offers a great platform to bartenders

World Class has provided so many connections and opportunities that I never would have had if I had not been involved. In 2017, I was announced as the Global Cocktailian—the first role of its kind in the world. Each day is a new experience with a different agenda—judging competitions, developing and delivering seminars and educational content for bartenders, bar/restaurant events for special guests, and working in the Diageo offices around the world, inspiring the teams that work within our World Class and Reserve families.


World Class National Finalist Rohan Rege with Diageo India Brand Ambassador Jamie Walker

 World Class is an incredibly rich platform that encourages both bartenders and consumers to take more care and consideration with what they drink and how they create these experiences. Since 2009, the World Class Program alone has developed and worked with over 300,000 bartenders across 60 countries. The education, inspiration and creativity that the program provides offer real opportunities to develop as a professional bartender in our global industry.

Opportunities to develop beautiful cocktails, work alongside and learn from the best in the business and create a global network of bartenders remains the spirit of the program. At the heart of the World Class Program are the Diageo Reserve brands—the world’s leading luxury portfolio—that include household names such as Johnnie Walker, Tanqueray NO. Ten Gin, Ketel One Vodka, Bulleit Frontier Whiskey, Cîroc Vodka, Don Julio Tequila and Zacapa Rum.

(L-R) Varun Sudhakar, Head of Innovation & Operations – Beverage for PizzaExpress- Gourmet, Diageo Global Brand Ambassador, Lauren Mote, Diageo India Brand Ambassadors

In my role as Global Cocktailian, I am currently travelling around the global World Class countries, educating bartenders at all levels, creating events and seminars for our customers and guests, and judging the local stages of the competition. So far, I have been all over Asia, Europe, and the Americas (North, Central, South) and I have been blown away by the incredible diversity of flavors, stories, personalities and emotions. I love working with and mentoring up-and-coming bartenders and having an international platform to champion my three passion points; sustainability, diversity and innovation within the drinks industry.

As told to Deepali Nandwani

Lauren Mote is global cocktailarian for Diageo who was in India recently to judge the Diageo World Class bartender of the year 2018