WA take the double! Max Giudice & Jac Landmark have WON The Perfect Blend Cocktail Competition 2024.

Earlier this month, The Blend hosted 12 Grand Finalists across AU & NZ in Queenstown, the adventure capital of the world, with a four-day action-packed itinerary full of new challenges, great outdoors adventures, educational tasting sessions and… a whole lot of fun, friendship and some frrresh temps!

Having launched the anticipated comeback of the popular cocktail competition at last year’s Bar Week, taking the title of the last Apprentice Winner (pre-COVID) back in 2019; Max Giudice (Republic of Fremantle Distillery) was crowned the Professional Category Winner, alongside Jac Landmark (Frisk Small Bar) the Apprentice Winner 2024.

With a blind tasting and written exam to kick things off, Max and Jac tickled the judges’ taste buds and presented with punch and personality(!) to earn their positions at the top of the podium. They took to the tins across two new challenges. First up, a mystery box ‘Retro Apres-Ski’ serve using hero spirits Midori and Canadian Club, where they were tasked to use 3 of 5 ingredients in their given box (with random Kiwi-treats thrown in for good measure); and secondly, inviting them to create their own twist on a ‘HOT or COLD’ serve to enjoy in the winter wonderland surrounds (for their pre-prepared challenge).

On 30th June, the duo will jet to the… UK BABY! Experiencing Beam Suntory’s world-famous distilleries, located in Islay, the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, and experience some of the world’s best bars, meeting the people behind them along the way… with visits to London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Glasgow… no rest for the wicked!

Max commented; “It was such an incredible experience being part of The Perfect Blend and such a beautiful full circle moment after winning the previous (pre-COVID!) National Final as an Apprentice. It was incredible to fly to the stunning Queenstown, to compete against some of the best hospitality professionals around. Some of which I have followed and admired for years. I made some amazing connections and friendships over the competition, and I can’t wait to travel to the venues they work at and see them crushing it! The competition was fierce, and everyone performed so well, so I was beyond belief and just so excited to have taken out the prize! From the jet boating, the gorgeous, serene views from the accommodation, the freezing cold lake morning plunges, and seeing all the competitors express themselves through presenting, there truly wasn’t a moment I didn’t love!”

Jac said; “I am beyond grateful to have been part of The Perfect Blend, what a week! So incredibly action packed from the moment we touched down, but in the best possible way. The biggest highlight for me, without a doubt, is getting to meet all the other incredibly talented and lovely people on the trip. It didn’t feel like a competition, with how much we were supporting and uplifting each other. I’ll never forget the generosity and encouragement of the other Apprentices who really teamed up to make sure we all crossed the finish line together. The real prize was the friendships we made along the way. The Blend team did a fantastic job at making sure we were all comfortable, confident, and supported. I’ve never had a comp like this before and I look forward to seeing everyone again soon!

The Perfect Blend was open to all levels of hospitality members across Australia and New Zealand and the cocktail competition goes above and beyond to make it so much more than just making a drink; but supporting one another, the community, education, career growth and self-development for all those that enter. Whittled down to 139 State Finalists, across March & April, two-day events were held in five Australian States and in Auckland, NZ, resulting in our final 12 jumping aboard a flight to Queenstown and given the experience of a lifetime!

In the words of the Jim Beam brand house; ‘people are good for you…. come as friends, leave as family’ and that’s exactly what they did!

Here’s a sneak peek of all the goings on and the winner announcement:


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Roll on 2024/25….