By James Atkinson
A Sydney bar was ordered to cancel a Friday night promotion that aimed to break the Guinness World Record for the most mojito cocktails made in one hour.
The licensee of Club 21 trading as No Vacancy at Kings Cross, Poata Okeroa, was ordered to cancel the "Mojito Motel" promotion.
Promotion of the event on the bar's Facebook page promised there would be "2000 mojitos waiting to be downed at the start of the night" and told patrons "we'll be waiting at the bar ready to get legless with all of you".
OLGR issued a warning notice to Okeroa that the promotion would breach liquor laws by encouraging the misuse and abuse of alcohol and could result in a $5,500 fine, prompting him to cancel the event.
OLGR director of compliance Paul Newson said the Club 21 promotion was blatantly reckless, promoted excessive and rapid drinking and drunkenness, and raised serious questions about the venue's compliance with responsible service of alcohol laws.
"Irresponsible liquor promotions like this significantly increase the risk of intoxication and associated community impacts such as violence, anti-social behaviour and neighbourhood disturbance," he said.
"Not only was this reckless promotion planned in high risk Kings Cross but on the same day that a raft of new regulations were brought into effect for the precinct."
Australian Hotels Association (NSW) CEO Paul Nicolaou slammed the licensee over the incident.
"This is a reckless promotion that brings the entire industry into disrepute in an area now subject to a raft of new government relations. We totally condemn this sort of promotion – when will rogue venues get the message?"
OLGR publishes Liquor Promotion Guidelines for licensees, which are available here.
Representatives of Mojito Motel sponsor Bacardi Superior Rum were unavailable for comment, but there is no suggestion whatsoever that the brand was implicated in the inappropriate promotion.