Rick Marson wins the VIC Suntory Cup state final


Unless you’re living under a rock, you would know the Suntory Cup 2014 is in full swing touring around Australia.  The long-running Suntory Cup cocktail competition which in its 27th year, and returning bigger than previous years, had its third stated final held in Victoria on Monday 11th August at The Savoy Tavern, Melbourne.

In his first cocktail competition ever, Rick Marson, from Le Bon Ton, has been crowned  as the VIC Suntory Cup state final winner with his ‘Daybreak Heartache’, scoring for himself not only a shot at the top prize but bragging rights and a selection of spirits from the Suntory Portfolio. Club Suntory saw the closest second position scoring in history which was awarded to Kari Chambers, from  Eau De Vie with her ‘Charlestown Times’ cocktail, with Damien Kos from Bended with ‘The Gamekeepers Knockoff’  being awarded 3rd place.  Kari and Damien scored themselves selections from the extensive Suntory portfolio.

Siren awards

Winner:  Rick Marson
Cocktail: Daybreak heartache
Venue: Le Bon Ton


2nd Place: Kari Chambers
Cocktail: Charlestown Times
Venue:  Eau De Vie
3rd Place:  Damien Kos
Cocktail:  The Gamekeepers knockoff
Venue:  Bended

On the day, finalists were put through their paces with a series of technical challenges before they had the opportunity to flaunt their bartending chops in their final presentation of their signature creation. The finalists each had to partake in a knowledge test and blind tasting, all which weighted toward their final score which would inevitably reveal the state winner.

Club Suntory Ambassadors and Guest Judge Andy Griffiths, were in attendance to keep a close eye on the action, assessing each bartender on their cocktail demonstration of their Suntory Cup cocktail entry in front of the invited guests. All while the rather awesome Savoy Tavern staff pumped out  delicious Suntory cocktails for thirsty punters, including Disaronno sours, Russian Mules, Midori Bursts, Little Drippa Mount Gay Espresso Martini’s, Cointreau fizzes, and AppleZu’s.

To get to this point, competitors were tasked back in April with creating an original cocktail using a minimum of 45mls from Suntory’s ever-diverse portfolio and submitting it online at www.clubsuntory.com. Judges then blind tasted the 633 individual entries, assessing the appearance, taste and aroma, without knowledge of the entrant’s name or place of work, making for a truly level playing field where the best-tasting drinks are those chosen.

State finalists have been chosen from VIC, WA, QLD, SA and NSW to contest the national final consumer event in Sydney, Cocktail Connoisseur, and a chance to win the top prize of the ultimate bartender’s fantasy trip to Japan visiting cocktail bars and distilleries with $1000 spending money!

Stay tuned for more updates as all the state finals action unfolds over the coming weeks. In the meantime, want to try the winning cocktail ‘ Daybreak Heartache’’ by Melbourne’s Rick Marson  for yourself? 

Daybreak Heartache 

Glass: Crystal Coupette / Martini Glass
Garnish: Lime Zest
Method: Shaken and double strained

20ml Bowmore 12 yr
20ml Pavan Muscat grape Liqueur
10ml Yellow Chartreuse
30ml Fresh Lime juice
10ml Orgeat Syrup


Our full complement of competitors for the VIC Suntory Cup 2014:

Kari Chambers, Charlestown Times, Eau De Vie

Harley Whittingham, Sakuru Sour, Crown Casino

Damien Kos, The Gamekeeper’s Knockoff, Bended

Rick Marson, Daybreak Heartache, Le Bon Ton


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