By Sacha Delfosse – editor bars&clubs
Nine of Australia’s leading bartenders battled it out at the 2013 Glenfiddich Pioneers Cocktail Competition national final on Monday (September 9) for a chance to win a trip to Scotland.
The competition, held by William Grant & Sons, tasked bartenders across the country to draw inspiration from their favourite pioneering individuals to create two signature cocktails using Glenfiddich. From there, the top entrants were chosen to compete in the national final, which was held one of the country’s oldest pubs, The Settlers Arms, in St. Alban on the NSW Central Coast.
The nine finalists – Adam Bastow from Black Coffee Lyrics (QLD), Evan Stanley from Black Pearl (VIC), Eoghan O'Neill from Casablabla, (SA), Blake Schill from Ravesis (NSW), Christopher Amon from New Gold Mountain (VIC), Chad Hanson from Eden (SA), Ev Liong from Whisky and Alement (VIC), Phoenix Naman from Palmer and Co. (NSW) and Daniel Monk from Toff of the Town (VIC) – had to recreate their two cocktails, and explain the connection between their drinks and the pioneering character that inspired them, to a panel of judges that also included other contestants.
After the presentations were concluded, the judges and contestants were flown back to Sydney’s by helicopter to attend the official finale event, held at Old Growler in Sydney’s Kings Cross, were guests had the chance to sample some of the finalists' cocktails while awaiting the announcement of the winners.
First place went to Stanley (pictured), with second place going to Bastow, with both bartenders earning themselves an adventurous trip to Scotland that will include a visit to the Glenfiddich distillery as well as a Loch Ness winter cruise, a dog sledding tour through the Scottish Highlands, and an Edinburgh bar crawl.
Third and fourth place went to Hanson and Naman, respectively, with both bartenders earning themselves a trip to central Australia, were they will be exploring the outback on quad bikes. The drink recipes of all the finalists will also be included in a Glenfiddich Pioneers cocktail booklet that will be released as a gift-with-purchase (GWP) with Glenfiddich 12 Year Old over the Christmas trading period.