By Sacha Delfosse
Melbourne bartender Chris Stock has won the first ever Australian Disaronno Mixing Star cocktail competition, winning a luxury trip to Los Angeles.
Stock, from Melbourne's Kumo Izakaya and 13 other finalists were flown to Sydney last month for the finals at Cruise Bar.
In the final round, each competitor had to produce both a single serving of a Disaronno Sour, as well as four servings of their original Disaronno cocktail entry for the three judges, while being filmed and interviewed about their cocktail and themselves.
Club Suntory's Nigel Weisbaum, Disaronno Global Marketing Manager Paola Dalla Mora and Sydney radio personality Maude Garrett judged the cocktails on presentation, technique and taste.
"Some were professionals, while this was the first cocktail competition final for others so a special commendation goes to Sean Chow from Brisbane's Cloudland, who did exceptionally well, despite only tending bar for nine months," Weisbaum said.
Stock won the competition with his cocktail, The Alan Smithee, with Ben McKew from Melbourne's 1806 and Owen Merriman from Perth's 399 coming in second and third place respectively.
"Everyone put huge amounts of effort and preparation into their drinks and presentations, which made them all winners," Weisbaum said.