Australian Distilling Co (ADC) will conclude its search for Adelaide’s best bartender with a competition held on June 21, 2022.

In its inaugural year, the competition will see entrants judged on the flavour, skill and creativity involved in creating original cocktails. Finalists in the competition hail from some of Adelaide’s most renowned bars, including Haines & Co, Memphis and Bank Street Social.

Michael Hickinbotham, founder of ADC, said: “After a tough couple of years for the industry, it is great to be back in bars again where you can see the passion, the creativity and the skills of Adelaide’s best bartenders on display.”

“The Originals Competition is designed to showcase the talents of the city’s bartenders but we also want to give back to the industry.”

Split into two rounds, bartenders will first get the chance to present their drink to a panel of judges on home turf – in the bar where they work. The final round then takes place on neutral territory, with the finalists heading to Adelaide’s Bank Street Social. 

The final will be judged by a panel of industry heavyweights including Lee Potter Cavanagh, founder of Bondi’s Rosenbaum & Fuller.

“The great thing about the two-round format is we can try many of the round one entries in person and take the time to give proper feedback. Then there is the opportunity for the top Originals to really refine their presentation for the final round,” Cavanagh said. 

“While taste will be paramount, we are also looking forward to celebrating in-person Australian hospitality that we have missed over the past couple of years.”

First prize is $5000 for the leading bartender, plus 10-litres of Adelaide gin for the winner’s bar, second prize is $1000 and third prize is $500.

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