These six top bartenders from Australia & New Zealand are through to the Oceania final of the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge

Daniel Gregory won the last instalment of the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge. Photo: Gourmantic

On Monday 16 September, six of Australia and New Zealand’s top bartenders will go head-to-head in the Oceania region (ANZ) final of the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge. Held every second year, it’s considered to one of the toughest competitions on the circuit.

Selected by world famous bartender and spirits expert, Philip Duff, the six finalists are Rohan Massie (Rude Boy, Hobart), Jordan Davies (Los Banditos, Wellington), Storm Evans, (Cobbler, Brisbane), Andrea Marseglia (Madame George, Auckland), Taylor Matthews (Beneath Driver Lane, Melbourne) and Campbell Nichol (also from Rude Boy, Hobart). They will stand off against each other as they each prepare two drinks that showcase the iconic Angostura aromatic bitters, Angostura orange bitters, Angostura Rums and Amaro di Angostura in a cocktail competition like no other. 

The winner of the Oceana final will collect AU$10,000 as well as a year’s contract as the Oceania Angostura Brand Ambassador. They will then travel to Trinidad to compete in the global final of the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge 2020 in Trinidad and Tobago in February 2020, where they’ll enjoy the experience of a lifetime at T&T’s famous Carnival.

The ultimate winner of the global final takes home an additional cash prize of US$10,000, the title of “Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge Champion 2020,” and a two-year contract as Angostura’s Global Brand Ambassador, representing the full portfolio.  

The judging panel for the Oceania Final will include Bartender Magazine editor, Sam Bygrave; current Australian winner, Dan Gregory; Australia’s Rum Expert, Tom Bulmer; and 2010 Australian/2011 Global winner, Andy Griffiths, who is flying in from Singapore for the night.

Tanya Mah, Angostura Brand Manager, says, “At this stage of the competition, the final six will have to demonstrate their capacity to create well-balanced and creative cocktails to stand out from others. 

“Given its high profile, the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge has proven to be an effective means of increasing international exposure for its winners, so the final six will also need to bear in mind we are looking for someone to represent Angostura as an ambassador and we’re looking to send our very best bartender to Trinidad to compete.”

The six finalists include:

Rohan Massie from Rude Boy in Hobart – No stranger to the comp circuit, Rohan frequently places in some of the best known competitions in the region. As venue manager of Rum bar, Rude Boy in Hobart for the last three years, his knowledge of Angostura Rum will stand him in good stead. Rohan is our most experienced finalist having worked in hospitality over 15 years. 

Jordan Davies from Los Banditos in Wellington – Jordan is currently bar manager of Los Banditos in Wellington but has worked in bars all over the world for the past six years. His passion is storytelling through the art of cocktail creation. His experience as a writer and YouTuber in his spare time, will make his presentation one to watch.

Storm Evans from Cobbler in Brisbane – Although he has won numerous local comps, Storm is relatively new to larger competitions and this is his first national challenge. As head bartender at top Brisbane bar, Cobbler, he knows a thing or two about how to make a cocktail and is ready to show us what he’s made of.

Andrea Marseglia from Madame George in Auckland – Andrea’s expertise in Amaro could be a huge advantage in this competition. Although he will be flying the NZ flag, his extensive training in high level cocktails has been gained in various well known cocktail institutions in Melbourne. His impressive comp track record proves he has what it takes to win.

Taylor Matthews from Beneath Driver Lane in Melbourne – Not only is Taylor an accomplished bartender, but he is also an award winning actor. He loves to take to the stage and to present, so coupled with his proven cocktail making skills, he is a massive player in this comp. 

Campbell Nichol also from Rude Boy in Hobart – Campbell has been in the hospitality industry for over 12 years and has developed an excellent palate over the years through the spirit tasting education work he does. He is currently bar manager of Rum bar, Rude Boy in Hobart, where he focuses on balancing classic cocktails and creating boundary pushing drink options which will serve him well in the final.

The Oceania final of the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge will be held during Bar Week at Smoke at Barangaroo in Sydney on Monday, 16 September from 5pm. 

To RSVP, click here ASAP. 

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