By Rebecca Harris

Bartenders from Queensland and Victoria have won the recent De Kuyper cocktail competition.

Lauren Bonkowski from Madame Brussels in Melbourne and Josh Agostino from Heritage bar in Townsville were named the winners in the unique competition that called for bartenders to help select which new De Kuyper flavour will be launched into the Australian market.

Choosing from strawberry, crème de menthe, crème de bananes, mango, melon, cherry, passionfruit and advocaat, entrants were then required to submit a cocktail using that flavour.

Bonkowski’s winning drink – Cherry Pop Punch – made use of the cherry flavour, along with rose liqueur, pomegranate molasses and topped up with soda water and sparkling wine.

“It’s a super, super girly drink, which suits the style of Madame Brussels,” she said. “I chose the cherry flavour, as there are really not that many cherry liqueurs around.”

Bonkowski and Agostino – who’s Passionista cocktail used the passionfruit flavour – will now fly to The Netherlands to visit the De Kuyper Distillery in Schiedam and attend “De Kuyper Works” – an international knowledge centre for cocktails.

“We were amazed at the number of high-quality entries we received from leading bartenders from all over Australia and it’s should be clear from the two winning drinks that it was a very difficult competition to judge,” De Kuyper senior brand manager Demetrius Giouzelis said.

“Josh’s drink… had a beautiful aroma with fresh zesty notes and was simply delicious, while the flavours in Lauren’s were unique and surprising, inspired by the Middle East and Turkey. I would also like to thank every bartender who went to the trouble of entering the competition and would like to give special mention to AJ from Hugos Lounge in Sydney, Adam Bowler from Santiago in Glenelg and Hugo Burton from Hippo Bar in ACT who rounded out the top five.”

Giouzelis will soon be announcing which of the six flavours will be joining the existing De Kuyper range.


The Shout Team

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