Cal Byrne, Diageo Reserve’s World Class Bartender of the Year Ireland, has been appointed Group Beverage Manager with The Mercantile Group.

Cal was awarded the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2021 Ireland and placed in the top ten in the Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year Global Finals in July, a first for an Irish bartender.

As part of the new role, Cal will develop and lead a training program with The Mercantile Group’s mixologists, as well as curating cocktail menus.

David Murray, Manager of Cafe en Seine, said: “This is an evolving industry and having the support of suppliers such as Diageo ensures that companies such as ourselves allows a trade to grow and nurture its talent. We are a driven business who appreciate the level of professionalism that people like Cal bring to the industry, a quality The Mercantile Group stands for.”

“Cal’s understanding and appreciation for all aspects of the hospitality and entertainment business made him a natural fit for us in developing the business together. As a team we are conscious of meeting the needs of an ever-discerning customer across the range of venues within the group,” added John Melia Manager of Opium.

Most recently Cal demonstrated his creative talent developing a bespoke cocktail to celebrate the launch of the Roe & Co Japanese Sugi Irish Whiskey at the Roe & Co Distillery in Dublin 8.

Cal Byrne said: “I am thrilled to be joining the team at The Mercantile Group and see huge opportunity for our industry. I want to help create a new space for bartending and creativity in mixology by merging the two skills. Having the freedom within the Group and having access to the quality ingredients that Diageo Reserve provides, inspires me and allows me to thrive, and I am excited by that.”

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