Inject some steroids into The Suntory Cup, by making a few modifications to the format, insert some new brands into the portfolio, offer an extraordinary prize and you have yourself The Perfect Blend Competition.
It’s the perfect blend ( pun intended) of recognising the entire bartending community, rewarding each individual by taking them on a journey and engaging them with the brands. It’s an event whereby bartenders can let their hair down, cheer on their fellow comrades and those lucky enough to be selected to compete are able to show off their bartending talents.
2015 launched The Perfect Blend Cocktail competition with receiving just over 300 entries nationwide.
2016 The Blend team will tour around the country hosting State finals, with WA being the first state to kick off the competition.
On the 16th Feb, the stage was set at Blue Flamingos Bar in Leederville with The Blend members turning up in their droves to cheer on the 10 bartending contenders ( 5 each in both the Apprentice and Professional categories), all vying for their chance to compete at the National final held in a secret location later this year.
Previous to competition day finalists were instructed they had to promote their signature creations within their respective venues for a total of 6 weeks, whereby they would be ‘mystery shopped’. Points toward their final scores were awarded if this task was completed.
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 front of a live audience, the 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 winners.
As well as the gregarious WA Exchange Ambassador Bill Bewsher, guest judges were in attendance to keep a close eye on the action, assessing each bartender on their individual cocktail demonstration of their submission to The Perfect Blend, in front of the invited guests. Guest judges included Jess Arnott, a flavour extraordinaire whose impressive professional resume consists of working in several awarded bars across the nation, and a notable time in UK and then proving her impeccable culinary knowledge, coming second in Australia’s Masterchef. Third on the bench was Simon Hough aka The Hoff, an industry veteran and reputable contributor to the WA hospitality Scene, now managing the impressive new Flour Factory. Lastly Max Veenhuyzen an industry expert, who makes his voice heard among all things media related across Perth, writing for Sunday Times, Gourmet Traveller, Qantas, Broadsheet Perth, just to name a few.
All while the rather awesome Blue Flamingo’s bar staff pumped out delicious Beam Suntory cocktails for thirsty punters, including Midori Moshi Moshi’s, Jim Beam Clermont Sours, Suntory Whisky Kakubin Highballs and Canadian Club Apple Slings.
After the judges deliberated, and scores were in, the WA State finals winners were announced to the packed house that Josh Nicolson (Apprentice category) from Mechanics’ Institute and Tom Kearney (Professional category) from Dominion League as the The Perfect Blend WA state final winners.
Josh and Tom will now proceed to the National final held in a secret location with the 8 other state finalist winners yet to be announced.
WA FINALISTS ( In no particular order)
Brendon Robson- Enriques’ School for to Bullfighting
Josh Nicholson – Mechanics’ Institute
Claudia Morgan- Dominion League
Shannon Hennessy – Double Double
James Pennefather – Bobeche
James Connolly – Long Chim
Jessica Page — Late Night Valentines/ Helvetica
Leighton Smith — Lost Society
Chris Ford — Clarences
Tom Kearney – Dominion League
JOSH NICHOLSON- Smoke on the Water
Smoked and caramelised Pineapple wedge ( Pineapple has been rested listening to ‘Smoke on the water’).
Shake and strain, top with crushed ice and float Laphroaig 10 yr old.
50ml Knob Creek Rye
15ml Fresh Pineapple Juice
15ml Fresh lemon juice
Dash of Pimento Bitters
Laphroaig 10 yr old float
TOM KEARNEY- Old Habits Die Hard
Stemmed rocks glass
Orange twist and Dominion League Jerky
Shake and double strain
45ml Bakers Bourbon
15ml Cocci Americano
30ml Nectarine Shrub
20ml Fresh lemon juice
15ml Strong Irish Tea
15ml Burnt Orange and Vanilla syrup
Want further details on the comp? Log on to www.the-blend.com.au or contact Hayley.email@example.com.