The country’s Top 30 Bartenders competed in a series of challenges for one competitor to represent the U.S. at the Global Finals in Shanghai, China


NEW YORK, NY, June 5, 2024 –The United States Bartenders’ Guild (USBG) Presents World Class Sponsored By DIAGEO crowned Jonathan Stanyard of Seattle, Washington as the 2024 U.S. Bartender of the Year in its twelfth season. Hosted in Denver, CO, Jonathan Stanyard was named champion following three days and five bartending challenges and craft cocktail showmanship. The renowned competition brought together the country’s Top 30 Competitors from the USBG’s West, Central and East regions to put their skills, senses, and agility to the test. Jonathan Stanyard ultimately took home the crown as he impressed judges with his cocktail creativity while demonstrating his passion and knowledge about the craft of bartending. Following Jonathan Stanyard’s breakout bartending performance, he will now represent the U.S. at the Global Finals in Shanghai, China this September.

Jonathan Stanyard has over 22 years of experience perfecting the art of hospitality and bartending craft. Over the years, he has grasped how to maximize the potential of raw ingredients in creating exceptionally delicious cocktails that are built into menus across the country.

“It’s an incredible feeling to be named the 2024 US Bartender of the Year as this has been a mountain I’ve been climbing since I first embarked on my World Class journey five years ago,” says Jonathan Stanyard. “I’ve gained so much invaluable knowledge, skills and camaraderie from this program and I hope to inspire others to achieve their dreams - whether it's at World Class, in their bars or any hospitality program they are developing. I’m thrilled to be representing our country at the Global Finals in Shanghai and am thankful for the outstanding support of this community behind me.”

The U.S. Finals took place over two days at a combined event where the country’s Top 30 bartenders competed in three challenges testing their ability to create elevated cocktail experiences and to execute craft cocktails with speed and agility. From there, the Top 10 Finalists were selected and faced off in the Johnnie Walker and DIAGEO Reserve Brands challenges as the two final showdown events of the competition. Jonathan Stanyard ultimately came out on top and was crowned champion after creating the Apples For Whales and Such Great Heights cocktails that impressed the judges.

“We are so proud of all the competitors who competed in this year’s U.S. Finals and look forward to growing and evolving the World Class US program as we close out the twelfth season and enter into the next,” said USBG Executive Director Aaron Gregory Smith. “Seeing the positive impact this program has made in our hospitality community has been truly rewarding as we aim for every bartender to succeed at their craft.”

Cassandra Ericson, Manager of On Premise Channel Marketing at DIAGEO North America shared, “I am thrilled to witness the diverse talent and innovation displayed at this year's World Class US competition. Our commitment to nurturing bartending excellence is reflected in the spectacular display cocktails and skills showcased. We believe in empowering bartenders with the resources and education they need to grow personally and professionally, and DiageoBarAcademy.com stands as a testament to this dedication. The success of our finalists and the growth of the program are a source of great pride for me, and I look forward to the continued evolution of World Class as a beacon of the future of cocktail culture.”

For those interested in competing for the title of U.S. Bartender of the Year, prospective applicants are encouraged to apply for the 2025 USBG Presents World Class Sponsored By DIAGEO program. Follow @WorldClassUS on Instagram or visit worldclass.usbg.org to learn more and be alerted when applications open this summer.

Here are Jonathan Stanyard’s recipes that helped earn his title as U.S. Bartender Of The Year and to inspire your next cocktail creation:

Apples For Whales

  • Ingredients
    • 1 ½ oz Apple infused Ketel One Family Made Vodka
    • 1 oz Apple Cordial
    • ½ oz Clarified Apple Juice
    • 1 drop of Celery-Cardamom Bitters
    • Stirred with Clarified Apple Juice Ice Cubes
    • Garnish: Bee pollen granules
  • Preparation:
    • Apple infused Ketel One Vodka: Place discards from apples (core, solids, etc) into a vessel with 375ml Ketel One Family Made Vodka and let infuse in refrigerator for 48 hours. Fine strain and keep in airtight container in refrigerator until use.
    • In a mixing glass, add Apple infused Ketel One Vodka, apple cordial, clarified apple juice, celery-cardamom bitters and clarified apple juice ice cubes.
    • Stir thoroughly and pour into a coupe glass
    • Garnish with bee pollen granules dusted on top

Such Great Heights

  • Ingredients
    • ¾ oz Ron Zacapa Rum Edicion Negra
    • ¾ oz Coconut Cold Brew
    • ⅓ oz Pineapple Amaro Liqueur
    • ⅓ oz Sherry
    • Garnish: Coffee Ground Sugar Dust
  • Preparation:
    • Coconut Cold Brew: Combine 1:4 coconut water with freshly ground coffee beans and let saturate overnight. Finely strain through paper filter.
    • Combine Ron Zacapa Rum Edicion Negra, Coconut Cold Brew, Pineapple Amaro Liqueur and Sherry into a shaking tin with ice.
    • Shake thoroughly and strain into a martini glass

Cocktails created for the duration of this year's competition can be found on Instagram using the handle @WorldClassUS. When showcasing your own mixology or sampling award-winning recipes from this year's competitors, USBG and DIAGEO remind you to do so responsibly.

For additional information about the program and for details on the upcoming global competition, follow hashtags #worldclassus and #worldclass2025 on Twitter and Instagram, and check us out online at https://worldclass.usbg.org and https://www.usbg.org/.

About USBG

Founded in 1948, the United States Bartenders' Guild®️ is the national, member-led not-for-profit association of bartenders and other hospitality professionals that unites and elevates the bar industry through education, community, and advocacy. Through its network, the USBG connects members with peer-to-peer learning, expert instruction, service projects, and skills-based competition, all while fostering a fun and healthy environment and reinforcing the importance of the ‘third place’ in neighborhoods across the country.


Diageo is a global leader in beverage alcohol with an outstanding collection of brands including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Bulleit and Buchanan’s whiskies, Smirnoff, Cîroc and Ketel One vodkas, Casamigos, DeLeon and Don Julio tequilas, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo is listed on both the New York Stock Exchange (DEO) and the London Stock Exchange (DGE) and our products are sold in more than 180 countries around the world.
For more information about Diageo, their people, brands, and performance, visit www.diageo.com. Visit Diageo's global responsible drinking resource, www.DRINKiQ.com, for information, initiatives, and ways to share best practice.

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