Moutai, the most revered spirit in China, revealed their top ten ‘Enter The Dragon’ cocktail competition finalists at an industry reveal party at Handpicked Wines Cellar Door in Sydney last night.
Now in its second year, Enter The Dragon broadened its scope to include not only Australian hopefuls but New Zealand’s elite, making this a truly trans-Tasman competition. Competitors were also tasked with using Australian native flavours in their cocktail creations.
Follow 10 of the country’s top bartenders as they battle it out with a mysterious spirit unlike any other. ‘Enter the Dragon’ will push their creativity, focus and technique to new levels… with some giant icesaws for good measure!
Jason Crawley of The Drink Cabinet, said, “We’ve been overwhelmed by the calibre of this year’s entrants, with an inspiring mix of well-established and hotly tipped bartenders entering the competition, including three finalists from this year’s Australian Bartender of the Year”.
The ‘Enter The Dragon’ top ten finalists and their cocktails are:
• Kevin Peters, Garden State Hotel, VIC – ‘Year of The Snake’
• Jono Carr, Kittyhawk, NSW – ‘It’s Always Sunny in Guizhou Province’
• Joe Singara. Halford, WA – ‘Lucky 8’
• Quynh Van Nguyen, Charlie Parker’s, NSW – ‘It’s Native Fizz Thyme’
• Tom Kearney, Mechanics Institute, WA – ‘The End of The Dragon’
• Phillip Weber, El Grotto, WA – ‘Shaolin Sour’
• Ray Letoa, Roxy Cinema, NZ – ‘Descendants Elixir’
• Jack Krzywdzinski, The 18th Amendment, VIC – ‘Honorary Native’
• Thomas Egan, New Gold Mountain VIC – ‘Xiao Long’
• Benjamin Parton, The Barlow Room SA – ‘Shuang Fizz’
Jenny Chiu, Moutai’s Brand Manager, said:
“It is inspiring to see so many bartenders appreciating the broad spectrum and uniqueness of Moutai flavours. The competition has showcased that top-flight bartenders can tie Moutai with native flavours, and use their creative genius to produce meaningful cocktails that the Australian market both understands and enjoys”.
The final cocktail combat will take place on 13 November at QT Melbourne, where one lucky bartender will become the next reining Moutai master and win the once-in-a-lifetime trip to China.
*All images were taken by Kai Leishman