Bartenders being given a shot at world-class training

, Frankie Cosgrove, Roisin McErlean and Nathaniel McAuley
, Frankie Cosgrove, Roisin McErlean and Nathaniel McAuley

A world famous drinks brand is on the hunt for Northern Ireland’s best bartenders.

With less than a week to go before entries close The Hennessy Connoisseurs Challenge is back for the second year offering bartenders across the country the chance to win a prestigious training scholarship.

The training, with iconic cognac brand Hennessy, will give winners the chance to work with some of the most prestigious names in the business.

Searching for stars of the local cocktail scene, final calls are now being made with the entry deadline fast approaching on Sunday July 24.

Drinks brand Dillon Bass - owners of the Hennessy brand in Northern Ireland – are hoping to uncover NI’s top mixology talent.

Last year Frankie Cosgrove from sixty6 Belfast, Nathaniel McAuley from Muriel’s Café Bar and Roisin McErlean from Sweet Afton beat off stiff competition to be named Hennessy Connoisseurs. The trio won an impressive money can’t buy prize package courtesy of Dillon Bass, which included a VIP all expenses paid trip to Cognac to visit Maison Hennessy and Chateau Bagnolet, where they received one-on-one training, including a tasting with Hennessy’s master blender.

This once in a lifetime immersive training experience is up for grabs once again where the three winning Connoisseurs will also have their signature drinks showcased on Hennessy digital platforms.

The international judging panel includes Vincent Borjon-Prive from Hennessy, Julie Dupouy, Brand Ambassador for Moet-Hennessy, recently named as one of the world’s top three sommeliers and Joel Neill from Hospitality Ulster.

Laura Blair, brand manager for Hennessy at Dillon Bass, said: “Building on the incredible success of our Hennessy Connoisseurs Challenge in 2015, we are proud to once again offer local bartenders an incredible opportunity to win this incredible training scholarship with Hennessy.

“Our Hennessy Connoisseurs Challenge was designed to discover Northern Ireland’s finest and most talented mixologists, who can embody the spirit of Hennessy. In 2015 we did just this and our three Hennessy Connoisseurs, Frankie, Roisin and Nathaniel have gone on to make their mark on the local mixology scene.

“Given the exceptionally high standard of entries last year, we anticipate that our international judging panel will once again have their work cut out for them.”

Entries for the Dillon Bass Hennessy Connoisseurs Challenge can be submitted through the Hennessy NI Facebook page, facebook.com/HennessyNI Entries close at midnight on Sunday July 24. The final will take place at Ox Cave on Monday August 15.