By Sacha Delfosse

Tales of the Cocktail has announced the finalists for its Official Cocktail Competition, with the winning bartender’s cocktail recipe becoming the premier concoction of the event and featured throughout the five day festival of cocktails, cuisine and culture.

The 10 finalists: Chad Amholt, Cole Apodaca, Cameron Bogue, Kyle Ford, Lynn House, Brandon King, Tommy Klus, Eric Simpkins, Jonathan Smolensky and Alyssa Wilhite, had to tackle the Ramos Gin Fizz, and create an original twist on it using creator Henry Ramos’ formula as the template.

The finalist shook things up and came up with a range of inspiring variations on this New Orleans classic, with many opting to use home-made ingredients and veering from the normal ingredients but still maintaining a good balance of prescribed measurements.

“After reading through the various inspirations and explanations, it was not only evident that many of the bartenders have a conscious awareness of which flavours pair optimally together, but that a number of them stepped out of the box with gutsy, intriguing combination,” explained judge Audrey Saunders.

“In all honesty, I’m almost relieved that I judged these recipes ‘blind’. After submitting my picks, I finally took a look at the participant list. This was a tough room with a lot of contenders, but the pleasant surprise was seeing all the fresh faces that came out on top.”

The winner will be announced tomorrow (March 31), and will receive $1,250 cash on top of the honour of having award-winning mixologists, authors, bartenders, chefs and bar industry professionals imbibing their creation.

The Shout Team

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

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