Australian Distilling Co (ADC) is aiming to put itself on the cocktail competition circuit with the launch of Originals, a competition described as ‘a platform for local bartenders to demonstrate their creative talents’.

Entries for the competition are now opening and will close on Monday 10 January, 2022 and the competition is open to bartenders from Adelaide bars stocking two or more products from the ADC portfolio.

Duncan McRae, ADC’s Marketing Manager, told The Shout: “We want to provide a platform for Adelaide’s bartenders to showcase their talents and celebrate the role they play as part of Adelaide’s thriving food and drink culture.

“It’s been a tough period for hospitality venues, and in shining a light on the important role bartenders play in creating experiences, we want to showcase a style of hospitality that people can’t recreate at home.

“The Originals Competition is a platform that celebrates the craft of the cocktail itself.  It aims to remind people how fortunate we are to live in a city with a vibrant and talented bar scene, which needs our support.”

ADC has assembled an expert panel of judges from different areas of the industry, and Duncan added: “Adelaide is often overlooked within the cocktail competition circuit, and yet they form a valuable development program for talent.

“We’re judging the first round of the competition in the entrant’s home bar – which we hope will lower the barrier to entry and encourage a wider range of bartender (experience wise) to enter because the idea of making a drink for a panel of judges in the bar you work in 40 hours/week isn’t as daunting as travelling to somewhere unfamiliar.  

“The final will be judged by a panel including Tom Lark, original founder of KI Spirits, Antimo Iannella – Adelaide Confidential and Lifestyle Editor, NewsCorp. There will be one other interstate VIP ‘head judge’, who we’ll announce before the final.”

He told The Shout: “Ultimately, we are looking for an original drink that tastes amazing. The two-round format of the competition allows us the opportunity to feedback on more than the drink, which we felt was important given the wider objective of supporting the development of the trade here.

“As such, competitors will be assessed on a wide range of criteria with proportional scores being allocated across technique, drink concept, execution, and presentation – with taste being the most important.

“What we’re most excited about is the final evening. Having 16 of Adelaide’s finest bartenders shaking drinks in front of their peers for the chance to win $5000 first prize will create a remarkable atmosphere and a memorable evening that celebrates all that is great about hospitality and cocktails.”

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.

Full details are available at the competition website. And ADC said all entrants to read these as part of their entry process so that they understand what the judges will be looking for at each stage of the competition.

Simply head to the Australian Distilling Co Originals website for all the details on how to enter.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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