Last night saw the running of the 2nd Annual Sydney Brewery Cider Cocktail Competition, held at The Cidery in World Square.
Entries were received from over 20 bartenders, with a finalist list of 8 bartenders selected to compete in the final.
Their challenge was to create a cocktail and include an Australian inspired ingredient to marry with the crisp acidity of the Sydney Cider, Agave Ginger Cider or the Manly Perry cider.
The 8 finalists represented a mix of some experienced bartenders with a few that were competing for their very first time.
Head judge was our very own Drinks Curator at Drinks World, with one of the best palates in the industry, Ben Davidson, joined by Corinne Mossati from Cocktails & Bars, as well as respected bartender Max Greco, owner of Sydney rock’n’roll bar, Vasco.
Jangling Jacks’ Dan Noble took out the competition with the wittily named cocktail Easy Like a Cider Morning – a homage to enjoying a ‘remedial’ cocktail when waking up on a Sunday morning at a mates place. The drink contained Calvados, clove infused munuka honey, fresh lime juice, a dash of Hellfire bitters and topped with Sydney Cider, served straight up with sea-salt rim. It was the unanimous choice of the judges to take out the crown.
In second place was Natalie Ng from Door Knock, who knocked up a delicious twist on a citrus spritz, combining a homemade bitter citrus cordial, fresh lemon juice and topped with Sydney Cider and finished with an atomised saline solution, proclaiming she is Proud to be a Sydney Cider.
Rounding out the podium in third place was Nicola Morra from Sydney’s original small bar – Grasshopper, with a suitably inspired long drink combining pandan, lemon myrtle, Plantation rum, fig liqueur and topped with Manly Perry cider, in a drink he called My Fizz Mate.
Ben Davidson noted that, “All the finalists were of a very high calibre and it was impressive to see the dedication applied to creating and presenting their beautiful drinks.”
Morgan Karlsson – The Duke of Clarence
Francisco Navarrete – Nel Restaurant
Atlanta Pahulu – Ramblin Rascal Tavern
Daniel Hilton – Lobo Plantation
Samuel Reilly – Mamasan Surry Hills
The Brand owner and competition organiser, Richard Feyn, was suitably impressed by the efforts put in by all the bartenders and said, “The level of quality on display tonight was so high that I couldn’t de-cider on a winner.”