Mother Mercy Bartender named as one of the Top 100 in the UK

Mother Mercy Bartender named as one of the Top 100 in the UK

Mother Mercy Bartender named as one of the Top 100 in the UK in Global Cocktail Competition, Diageo World Class

Luke Riley, the talented mixologist from Mother Mercy, has been selected to compete in the next round of the world’s most prestigious cocktail competitions—Diageo World Class GB Bartender of the Year 2024. Luke’s exceptional mixology skills and dedication to his craft has earned him a well-deserved spot among top bartenders across the UK. 

The Diageo World Class competition stands as one of the most renowned platforms for bartenders worldwide, challenging them to highlight their creativity, passion, and skills. Luke’s recognition by the judges for this competition is a testament to his exceptional talent which shines through when delivering cocktail experiences at Mother Mercy in the city centre.  

The first stage of the competition required bartenders from across the UK to submit a maximum of two serves, for the chance of being placed in the top 100. Luke’s submission saw him through to the next round and is one of only two bartenders in Newcastle upon Tyne to do so, alongside Angus Mason from Solstice who will also be joining him in round two—testament to the calibre of talent that exists within Newcastle’s vibrant bar scene. 

In the second phase of the competition, the top 100 will be tasked to create a World Class Cocktail Festival menu consisting of three drinks which they will showcase between 9th March to 30th April. The three-drink special will include the ultimate No. TEN Gin welcome drink to showcase the bars personal style, the Spirit of the Singleton to highlight the flavours of Singleton whiskey and represent the bartender’s personal style and finally, Drink Interesting utilising the alcohol free Seedlip.  

The Diageo World Class competition presents an opportunity for bartenders to represent Great Britain in the World Class Global Finals taking place in Shanghai, China, in September 2024, and for the first time in the competition’s history, all bartenders who make it to the top 100 will automatically have their bars entered into the World Class Cocktail Festival. This new festival, open to the public will run throughout Great Britain between 9th March to 30th April. The GB grand final will take place in June. 

Reflecting on succeeding to the next round, Luke Riley expressed his gratitude, saying, “This is the biggest competition in the world, and it’s really humbling to be associated with some of the best bartenders in the country.” 

Mother Mercy extends its full support to Luke as he continues his journey in the Diageo World Class GB Bartender of the Year competition, representing not only the bar but also the vibrant spirit of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Luke Riley has been running the trendy, award-winning bar at Mother Mercy, hidden underneath Newcastle’s Old George Yard, since it opened its doors in November 2019.  Luke is full to the brim with knowledge and passion and there isn’t a stone he’ll leave unturned when developing cocktails for Mother Mercy. He’s comfortable in every scenario behind the bar whether it be fine-dining or a wild Saturday night just off the Bigg Market, making classic cocktails or pulling out all the stops with his delicious originals. 

Luke’s experience includes making guest appearances at some of the best bars in the country, most notably Swift in Soho and includes former positions as bar manager at House of Tides, lead bartender at Shilling and head bartender at Popolo.

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