By Sacha Delfosse, editor bars&clubs

Double the number of venues participated in this year's Hendrick's Hot Gin Punch Tournament culminating in the final held at Thredbo earlier this month.

The competition tasked bartenders with creating an original hot gin punch made with Hendrick's, which they had to then serve in their venue throughout the month of June. Bartenders were provided with a hot plate and pot as well as 11 botanicals found in Hendrick's.

In addition, competitors had to create a video showcasing their hot gin punch recipe, which resulted in some unusual, entertaining and creative entries. [continued below] 

Bartenders at the Thredbo final

The top entrants were chosen to visit Thredbo with two friends for three days of snowboarding, skiing and a range of unusual challenges such as a left-handed snow ball battle, an intriguing snow man competition and a more serious blind tasting.

The eleven finalists were: Julius Yates from Knightsbridge Penthouse (ACT), John Sharman from the Denman Hotel (NSW), Samuel Tripet from Byblos (QLD), Martin Lange from Cobbler (QLD), Perryn Collier from Alfred & Constance (QLD), Krystal Hart from the Walrus Club (QLD), Dominique Cacioli from Saigon Sally (VIC), Alexandre Raclet from Pelicano (NSW),  Eoghan O'Neill from Casablabla (SA), Andrew Bennett from The Classroom (WA), and  Ben Tua from Mechanics' Institute (WA), along with New Zealand's Hiroaki Teraoka from Ancestral bar in Wellington, who was the winner of the NZ round. [continued below]

L-R: Hendrick's brand ambassador Sebastien Derbomez with winner Perryn Collier

A surprise final round required each competitor to create an original punch, but this time served cold, using one homemade ingredient and others sourced from a 'Hendrick's pantry'.  

After three days of fun and challenges, Perryn Collier was declared 'the master of all punches', earning himself a trip to the UK in October to visit the Hendrick's gin distillery, as well as attending  London Bar Week and an exclusive Hendrick's event. 

"The Hendrick's Hot Gin Punch Tournament was a chance for us to engage with the trade in an unusual manner, the same way we craft our gin. I wanted to reward the finalists with an intriguing and inspiring experience, not only focusing on the final prize," said Hendrick's brand ambassador Sebastien Derbomez.

"The bar community is a special one, a real fraternity, we wanted everyone to fell like a winner at the end, having fun, challenging themselves and sharing a journey they will never forget. And what better place to share some hot gin punch that on top of a snow field." 

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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