NSW Central Coast celebrates its best bartenders

Photo credit Jeremy Hudson

Earlier this month more than 80 bartenders and hospitality enthusiasts descended on Pocket Bar in Terrigal to celebrate the NSW Central Coast’s finest bartenders at the third Central Coast Cocktail Cup.

The evening saw 11 finalists representing eight venues from across the region, with competitors required to create and present two new drinks using Hickson Rd. Gins and Steinbok Liqueurs.

For the first drink they created a twist on a classic cocktail using any product from the Hickson Rd. range, and for the second they created a completely new, imaginative and great tasting cocktail using any product from Steinbok Liqueur range.

To put added pressure on the finalists the judging panel comprised Gavin Yates, CEO of Steinbok Liqueurs, and the Head Distiller from Hickson House Distilling Co. Tim Stones, himself a cocktail competition veteran. In addition the bartenders had to impress Jordan Berger from Hickson Rd., and the Founder and CEO of Meraki Group, Tara Senam, who owns and runs 5 successful venues on the Coast.

By a fair margin the winner was Victoria Samways from Little Miss Mezza in West Gosford, with these drinks:

New Not so York Sour


  • 45ml Hickson Rd. London Dry Gin
  • 1 egg white
  • 30ml lemon juice
  • 15ml sugar syrup
  • 20ml Red wine float (Cab Sav Shiraz blend)


  1. Shaken and served in a Rocks Glass
  2. Garnish with orange twist w/ cherry

Tori’s Turkish Delight


  • 45ml Hickson Rd. London Dry Gin
  • 22ml Steinbok Parfait Amour
  • 15ml Steinbok Elderflower
  • 1 raspberry (muddled)
  • 15ml lemon juice
  • 30ml sugar syrup
  • 22ml rose water
  • 30ml egg white


  1. Shaken and strained into a Coupe
  2. Garnish with small cube of Turkish Delight on a skewer

Second place went to Olivia Schoots from Pocket Bar, Terrigal and Sarah Overton from Frankie’s Rooftop Bar, Woy Woy, took out third place.

Tim said of the competition: “It was incredible, most [of the drinks] were bangers. It was a challenge to pick a winner.”

The event was founded by industry stalwart, Nigel Weisbaum, who said: “This is an event run by bartenders for bartenders and to have three women place top three in a male dominated industry is hopefully a great sign of things to come for our industry.

“One of our main objectives is to create a close knit community which inspires, supports and grows together. However, the proximity to each other’s venues here is challenging, we are stretched out over 80kms of stunning coastline on the Central Coast. It makes it harder for us all to get together often.

“Therefore, I’d like to thank everyone who helped make this happen – Our Sponsors, Hickson Rd. Gins, Steinbok Liquors, Uber Bar Tools, the competitors, venue owners, our judges and the team at Pocket Bar, who put on a great event.”

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