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Chicago Is Home To The World's Best Bartender

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Aug 4, 2014 7:45PM

2012_6_28_Joly.jpg While we were out Lollapaloozing, catching multiple screenings of “Guardians of the Galaxy,” biking, barbequing, day drinking or whatever, Charles Joly, the acclaimed head of The Aviary’s bar program, won the Diageo World Class 2014 bartender competition in London.

A panel of bartending and spirits experts named Joly the winner of the competition over 48 other bartenders from around the world. Joly earned the nod to represent America in the competition in May after a spirited (get it?) fight over other notable bartenders such as Drumbar’s Alex Renshaw, Hum Spirits Adam Seger and Gallery Bar’s Francisco Soto. He won the world competition with a tiki-themed drink called Above the Clouds, which was served as a punch in a dry ice-filled treasure chest with a Chicago flag pinned inside the lid.

Joly earned his initial propers at The Drawing Room before he was tapped by Grant Achatz and Nick Kokonas to replace Craig Schoettler at The Aviary two years ago. Joly’s profile has only risen since. He was named the best bartender in America at last year's Tales of the Cocktail and launched Crafthouse, a line of bottled cocktails focusing on fresh ingredients that are the antithesis of Gasolina sangria.