By Sacha Delfosse
Top bartenders from Australia and New Zealand this week gathered in the Hunter Valley in NSW to showcase their skills in the Oceania finals of the Angostura Cocktail Challenge, staged by island2island Beverage Company.
Competitors had to sit a short written test as well as deliver an impromptu speech on the first day.
The following day they headed to Goldfish Hunter Valley where they had seven minutes to make and present their two signature cocktails for the judges.
All seven competing bartenders delivered a high standard of drinks and showed their professionalism through their presentations.
In the end it was New Zealand's Jake Searell who took the lead and first place, earning himself $2000 and a spot in the global finals that will be held in Trinidad in February 2013.
Second place went to Jessica Arnott from NSW, while Perryn Collier from Queensland took third place.
Also competing were Jeremy Aubert (SA), Amelia Caroline (WA), James Goggin (NZ) and Kash Wall (VIC).