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It was standing room only on Monday evening when Ireland’s top Mixologists battled it out to impress the judges at the finals of Stillgarden Distillery’s inaugural cocktail competition and the official launch of their Irish Chartreuse-styled herbal Liqueurs.

Entrants were challenged with creating a cocktail containing either Glas 55 or Buí 43 and incorporating components indicative of the distillery’s 3 core pillars of ‘Science, Nature & Community’.

There was stiff competition to even be shortlisted, with an unprecedented number of entries some coming from afar with some of the best cocktail bars in Europe vying to reach the final. Hosted in Stillgarden’s creative hub – Lab 8 Speakeasy, the contest saw a multitude of inspired and unique creations presented to the panel of judges. In front of a buzzing crowd the 6 finalists displayed their insane mixology skills and showed an unprecedented depth of knowledge to the independent panel of beverage industry judges.

The 6 finalists were; Stefi Fletcher (Bar 1661) winner of the Campari Red Hand competition 2023, Conor Levesley (Hawksmoor), Alex Debhin (The Liberty Bar Cork), Hal Dunne (Bonobo), Pat Thomas (The Little Pig Speakeasy), and Darren Geraghty (Hawksmoor).

So close was the decision, that the final two took part in a high pressure, mystery box ‘Mix-off’, with Darren Geraghty (Hawksmoor) rising to the top, taking 1st place. Pat Thomas from Little Pig Speakeasy came a very close 2nd.

Right: Darren Geraghty from Hawksmoor.
Left: Pat Thomas from the little pig speakeasy.

“Hats off to all involved. It was a fantastic & energy filled evening. We were delighted to have such strong engagement and support across the industry. A big thank you to all those who entered and especially the amazing finalists. Their skills were sublime, and the judges had a very difficult decision indeed. We were entertained, enraptured and genuinely blown away by the quality of the finalists and their creations.” Viki Baird MD.

Due to the success of the competition, Stillgarden are creating a digital cocktail book, which will list and recognise all the entrants and their cocktails. This will be available for download from the Distilleries website: stillgardendistillery.com from the 1st March.

Photography by Kristy from Tumbler & Rye (Instagram: tumblerandrye)
Imagery & video from the evening is available by emailing: info@stillgardendistillery.com