By Rebecca Harris

The winner of the 2010 Club Suntory Ultrapour Professional competition was announced in a glamorous VIP event on Monday night (June 21).

More than 200 guests flocked to Sydney’s Kit and Kaboodle nightclub to see Andy Griffiths of Cookie, Melbourne, take out the top prize ahead of Wizey Baleitavuki, Railway Hotel, VIC; Neilsen Braid, Zeta, NSW; Tristan Allen, Blu Horizon, NSW; and Justine Millsom, Glass bar, QLD.

The five finalists were selected from an elite pool of 32 of the nation’s finest bartenders to battle it out for the top prize, which included a VIP trip to Europe to visit some of the continent’s finest distilleries, along with $1000 spending money.

Competitors were judged over three months on criteria such as their signature cocktail, service, style, and professionalism. Roaming judges included local Club Suntory brand ambassadors Matt Barnett, Dom O’Brien and Mick Formosa, as well as mystery shoppers.

Griffiths’ winning drink, the ‘Samurai Sui’ was made from Suntory Yamazaki 12YO, sake, Japanese cherry blossom-infused green tea, peach bitters, fig jam, lemon juice and egg white.

The judging panel for the final was comprised of industry figures Chris Hysted and Giles Merry, along with Sun Herald social writer, Amy Cooper.

Hysted described the evening as a 'superbly-run event'.

“With Suntory championing to raise the profile of professional bartending, I can’t wait until next year,” he added.

Merry agreed, adding that "with this standard of bartender talent, and such great development opportunities, the industry will continue to grow and inspire both the trade and our ever important customers."

"Well done the Suntory Ultrapour team and all the contestants who really challenged their professional boundaries."

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The Shout Team

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

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