The National Cocktail Championships & Bartender Awards took place on Tuesday 6th & Wednesday 7th February at Food & Bev Live in Citywest, Dublin.
This annual event is organised by the Bartenders Association of Ireland and sponsored by Edward Dillon & Co. Ltd.
Forty-two bartenders competed out of an entry of fifty-one recipes received for the championships.
Ariel will represent Ireland at the World Cocktail Championships in Tallinn, Estonia, 1st-6th October 2018. He previously represented Ireland at the World Cocktail Championships in Tokyo, Japan in 2016 where he won a Silver Medal.
John Cassidy, Commercial Director, Edward Dillon & Co. Ltd. was on hand to present all the awards to the winning bartenders accompanied by Alan Kavanagh, Brands Advocacy Manager, Edward Dillon & Co. Ltd.
This year the Bartenders Association of Ireland invited Mr. Hidetsugu Ueno from Bar High Five, Ginza, Tokyo in Japan to judge the National Cocktail Championships at Food & Bev Live.
Hidetsugu won the title of International Bartender of the Year at Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, USA. He is famous for his diamonds carved from ice and his unique Japanese style of bartending.
On closing the championships, Mr. Declan Byrne, President made a special presentation to Mr. Hidetsugu Ueno in appreciation of his visit to Ireland.
Finishing in 2nd & 3rd place at the National Cocktail Championships 2018 were Federico Destro, The Blind Pig Speakeasy and Oisin Kelly, The Little Pig Speakeasy, Dublin.
The Bartenders Association of Ireland (BAI) was founded in 1972 to promote bartenders and provide opportunities of progression within industry. We are a voluntary group of bartenders helping other bartenders.
Our primary focus is to ensure Ireland is represented at the World Cocktail Championships organised annually by the International Bartenders Association.
The BAI became an independent member of the International Bartenders Association (IBA) in 1972.
In 2017, the format of the National Cocktail Championships was changed to include the Bartender Awards. Scores obtained in Round 1 are used to calculate bartender award winners. The highest scoring six bartenders then compete again in a final to determine the top three.
These Bartender Awards are the only awards in Ireland organised by bartenders for bartenders.
It is only possible to win an award through participation in the National Cocktail Championships. Points are awarded for personality, professionalism, style & technique and for the originality of the cocktail as well as presentation, aroma and taste.
The National Cocktail Championships & Bartender Awards are OPEN to all bartenders in the Republic of Ireland. It is not a requirement to become a member of the Bartenders Association. However, only a BAI member may represent Ireland at the World Cocktail Championships. This is a requirement of the International Bartenders Association.
This is the 9th year in succession that the National Cocktail Championships have been sponsored by Edward Dillon & Co. Ltd.
Full List of Award Winners & Recipes
1st Place - Ariel Sanecki, Adare Manor, Limerick
40ml Star of Bombay Gin
20ml Matcha Green Tea Syrup
10ml Yuzu Puree
20ml Fresh Lime Juice
50ml Rice Milk
2nd Place - Frederico Destro, The Blind Pig Speakeasy, Dublin
40ml Bacardi Carta Blanca Rum
15ml Amaretto Liqueur
15ml Basil Syrup
15ml Lemon Juice
10ml Egg White
Dash Plum Bitters
3rd Place - Oisin Kelly, The Little Pig Speakeasy, Dublin
All Year Round
20ml Bacardi Carta Oro
20ml Fresh Lemon Juice
Best Hotel Bartender Award
Ariel Sanecki, Adare Manor, Limerick
Best Restaurant Bartender Award
Oisin Kelly, The Little Pig Speakeasy, Dublin
Best Pub/Gastro Pub Bartender Award
Andrew Kennedy, Carrolls Pub, Lucan, Dublin
Best New Bartender Award (Junior)
Skirmantas Lelys, Adare Manor, Limerick
Best New Bartender Award (Senior)
Daniel Savan, Sidecar Bar, Westbury Hotel, Dublin
Best Technical Bartender Award
Ariel Sanecki, Adare Manor, Limerick
Best Art Deco Bartender Award
Finbar Collins, Adare Manor, Limerick
Best D.N.A. Bartender Award
Shane McCrann, The Blind Tiger, Sligo
Best Social Media Bartender Award
Aaron Mulligan, Russell's Saloon & Gin Emporium, Dundalk, Co. Louth
Best Hospitality Student Award
Mina, Bao Minh Ngoc Le, Shannon College of Hotel Management, Clare