The Urban Spirit team are proud to work with some of the best bartenders in the country, always keen to celebrate those enhancing the bar experience. This week, we were thrilled to see the winner of TGI Fridays World Bartender Championships announced, crowning Yorkshire professional, Russ Ward, as the King of Cocktails.
Declared UK Bartender Champion in a competition run for bar staff at TGI Fridays, the 35-year-old from Rotherham romped home in the grand final in Birmingham. Coming up trumps for the fifth time in a row, Russ will now qualify for the US leg of the competition, in the running to win a tremendous £7,500 cash prize. Having previously finished in second place in the global competition, Russ is understandably confident that this year’s competition belongs to him.
With a variety of impressive bartender moves, he has wooed the judges with a series of performances. Russ has wowed judges by catching cherries on a cocktail stick in his mouth to pouring drinks behind his back. His cool and collected demeanour has proven rather beneficial.
Russ said: “With the world finals in just two months there really is no time to pause. I’ll be practising for three or four hours a day, perfecting my routine so that come February I can finally walk away with the world championship trophy that I’ve been working so hard over the years to win.
“My Fridays family have been so supportive throughout my bartending career and this year will be flying me out early to practise on American soil so that I can bring the trophy home. I can’t wait to do my family and Fridays family proud.”
We at Urban Spirit would like to say a huge congratulations to Russ; flying the flag for bar excellence in the UK.