By Sacha Delfosse

The NSW state finals for this year’s Angostura Cocktail Challenge were held at La Bodeguita Del Medio in Sydney on Monday (Aug 22) with ten top bartenders battling it out in front of loud and lively crowd of over 100 supporters.

The finalists had six minutes to prepare and present two different original cocktails, with all of them displaying a great deal of skill and professionalism.

In the end, Neilsen Braid from Rockpool Bar and Grill’s emerged as the winner, with Ben Blair from The Corner House and Kat Ford from Hilton’s Glass Bar receiving an honourable mention.

Coming up:

Eddie Lai from Velvet Bar, Kyle Aitken from Byblos Bar & Restaurant, Jason Lindsay from Vue De Monde, Shelby Richardson from Star Bar, Owen Westman from The Collection Bar, Brad Cooke from Chin Chin, Nathan Beasley from Black Pearl and Merlin Jerebine from Melbourne Bars United will be competing in the Victorian state finals that will be held at Byblos Bar & Restaurant on August 29.

Simon Hough from Luxe Bar, Ian Loh from Helvetica, Caleb Baker from Greenhouse, Joe Sinagra from Clarences, Ashley Stocker from The Brisbane Hotel, Cal Stoddart from Rockpool Bar & Grill, Bill Bewsher from 399 and James Connolly from Defectors will be battling out at the Western Australian state finals on September 5 at Malt Supper Club.

Joshua Dolman from Mesa Lunga, Erin Shaw from Cushdy, Darren Leaney from Grace The Establishment, Daniel O’Connell from Stamford Plaza, and Monnie Place from Cushdy, Simon Sleep from Palais Hotel, Dan Waterman from Elysium Lounge and Nitin Tewari from Stamford Plaza will be competing at Union Hotel on September 19 for the South Australian state finals.

Lauren Besse from Siana Valley, Perryn Collier from The Laneway, Ewen Davies from Salon Lounge, Tony Falkner from Uber Cocktail Lounge, Krystal Hart from Canvas Club, Carlos Hurworth from Dowse Bar, Karel Reyes from Zuri and Tara Steele from Laruche Bar & Supper Club will make up the list of Queensland state finalist who will compete on September 26 at Brisbane’s Byblos Bar & Restaurant.

To watch an interview with Braid taken on the night, click below.

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The Shout Team

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