By Sacha Delfosse

The national finals for the Domaine de Canton Bartender of the Year Competition were held on May 20 at Sydney’s Assembly bar, with over 50 members of the  local bar community heading down to watch the action.

To enter, local bartenders were asked to submit an original Domaine de Canton cocktail recipe and footage of themselves making the drink.

Think Spirits’ trade marketing manager, John Gakuru, then recreated all the drink entries and the top six bartenders, out of 70 entries, were chosen to compete in the finals along with one bartender from New Zealand.

Battling it out for a place in the international finals was Reece Griffiths (pictured) from Low 302 (NSW), Luke Redington from Eau-de-Vie (NSW), Andy Penney from The Anchor (NSW), Dave Chick from Rendezvous Hotel (VIC), James Connolly from El Público (WA), Sean Chow from The Press Club (QLD) and Dany Dentith from No. 1 High St Bar (NZ).

Judging the finals were Patrick Borg – Think Spirits managing director, Ralph Chalmers – Think Spirits national sales manager, Brian Geraghty – The Roosevelt executive chef, Alejandro Saravia – Morena co-owner and executive chef, and Jason Williams, Keystone group cocktail manager.

Griffiths won the competition with his drink, The Outcast, and will be heading to St Martin on in the Caribbean June 10  to compete against the national winners from countries across the globe, for the chance to be crowned the Domaine de Canton International Bartender of the Year and take home $US10,000 in prize money.

"We really wanted the Australian winner to bring back the global prize so we were looking for a drink that can stand up against anyone else’s in the world," Gakuru said.

"I really think Reece has a really good chance of winning. The reason why I think he has a good chance is because his cocktail is commercially viable i.e. every bar can make it and it is going to play really well on the beach in the Caribbean."

The Shout Team

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

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