By Rebecca Harris
The Queensland State Final of the Appleton Estate Tiki Cocktail Competition was won last week by a novice bartender from the Sunshine Coast.
Lauren Borger of Coconut Grove Bar and Bistro took out first place after winning the Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast heat, before taking out the Queensland final at her first cocktail competition entry.
Judges said Borger won because she had the best tasting drink and excellent product knowledge. She also performed very well in the Tiki quiz.
Each contestant had to use a minimum of 30ml of Appleton Estate Jamaica Rum (V/X, Reserve or Extra), with the cocktails were judged on taste, presentation, balance and ‘Tikiness’. Each drink was served in the special 420ml Tiki mug.
Along with cash prizes, winners received a bottle of a special blend of Appleton Estate Rum personally selected for the competition by Master Blender Joy Spence.
More than 70 bartenders turned up to watch the final, which was held on the rooftop at the new Limes Boutique Hotel in Fortitude Valley.
The Appleton Estate Tiki Cocktail Competition is being held in response to a huge resurgence in Tiki culture, made famous in the US in the 1950s.
State finals will also be held in Victoria and NSW over the coming weeks. Entries to the Victorian finals have now closed.
The NSW entries remain open until October 5.