By Sacha Delfosse – editor bars&clubs
A large industry crowd gathered on Monday night at Newtown's Miss Peaches bar to watch some of Sydney's best bartenders face off in the NSW state final of the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge, compered by Jason Crawley.
The six state finalists – Mike Tomasic (The Wild Rover), Cristiano Beretta (The Rook), Ed Loveday (The Passage), Jay Gray (The Lobo Plantation), Luke Redington (Hello Sailor), and Simon McGoram (Neighbourhood) – had seven minutes to prepare and present two signature cocktails for the judges, which included Drink & Dine's Jamie Wirth and Time Out's Michael Rodrigues.
Despite the close competition, Redington was crowned the NSW champion, with Tomasic coming in second and Beretta in third place.
"The NSW finalists have definitely set the bar high. It was tough to separate the top three contestants, but in the end Luke demonstrated his skills while putting together the best performance of the night," said Auriane Bourdin, Angostura brand manager.
"We chose Luke because his cocktails were perfectly balanced, tasted delicious and he showed an excellent understanding of how the flavours and aromas mix. Luke managed to do all this as well as keeping us thoroughly entertained."