What an event! The first annual Falls Creek Cocktail Competition wrapped up last Monday with the finale at Stingray lounge QT. Firstly a huge thank you to the participating venues; Oshii-go (Silverski lodge), Astra lodge and Stingray lounge (QT resort). It was incredible to see venues on the mountain working together to showcase what Falls Creek has to offer. Also a special thanks to our Major sponsors G.H. Mumm for providing prizes and inspiration for some innovative and exquisite G.H. Mumm champagne cocktails.
Congratulations to all of our competitors; Dave Thompson and Tom Mayer, Astra; Taryn Perret and Tasha Autio, Oshii Go; and Olivia Aylward-Tarten and Tara Yensch, Stingray Lounge. The cocktails created and presented by these bartenders were some of the most innovative, creative and flavorsome drinks ever seen.
Thank you to our judges! Marnie Searles, Kilimanjaro Lodge; Francis Jackson, Falls Creek Ski Lifts; and Steve Lee, Back Country Tours with Steve Lee. It was a tough job judging six cocktails each week of the event, and with the standard of cocktails rising with each and every drink, their task only became tougher. The competition would not have been as successful if it wasn’t for the judges, not only for there professional attitude towards their judging duties but also to there enormous contribution on the final night towards the final prizes.
Week one at Oshii-Go!! The first night of the competition was more successful than could ever have been expected, with a turn out of around 50 people, the standard was set for the weeks to come. The competitors shook off the pre-comp nerves and delivered some spectacular cocktails. A special mention to Dave from Astra’s cocktail, “Dave at 5 in the morning,” presenting his drink to the judges in a freshly cut pineapple cup and Olivia from Stingray’s master-class on the ingredients she used. In the end the competition was extremely tight with Astra and Stingray sharing 1st place and Oshii following very closely behind. Needless to say the winner had to be decided by dance-off and I think the crowd was the only winner of this one.
Week two at Astra! With week one being so closely contested all teams came well prepared, especially team Oshii who had a point to prove. The highlight cocktail of the week ended up being the judges overall favourite cocktail of the competition. Taryn and Tasha from Oshii’s “Cornetto”, made with a house-made Chambord infused chocolate Ganache rim topped with a perfectly balanced raspberry, salted caramel and vanilla mix, the judges were speechless. Tara from Stingray also wowed the judges with her fire mixing, all of a sudden the Astra lights were out and she was juggling flames behind the bar. With an almost perfect score Taryn and Tasha from Oshii took out 1st place, putting them right back in the competition with Astra coming a very close second and Stingray following up in third.
The finale at Stingray Lounge! With all teams within a few points of each other, the finale was sure to see a new standard set for the competition. The teams did not disappoint! Dave from Astra’s “Muddle of Nervous words” mixed roasted beetroot, pomegranate molasses, green apple and limoncello. Oshii’s innovative G.H. Mumm and watermelon infused sorbet was sampled by the crowd and became an instant favourite. Olivia form Stingray’s Caramel popcorn infused Sailor Jerry’s rum was indescribably flavorsome.
With all cocktails on the night be scored the highest of the competition it was going to come down to the finest of details to decide the winners. And with the late prizes thrown in of Season Lift passes, Free Back Country Ski Tours and a weekends accommodation at Kilimanjaro Lodge, on top of the bottle of G.H Mumm Vintage Champagne, the stakes were higher than anyone expected with around $4000 worth in prizes.
The results! Coming in a very close runner up was Dave Thompson and Tom Mayer from Astra lodge. Congratulations boys, we look forward to seeing you as favourites for next years competition.
The biggest twist of the night was the announcement of the winners, tied in 1st place was Taryn Perret and Tasha Autio from Oshii Go and Olivia Aylward-Tarten and Tara Yensch, Stingray Lounge. Congratulations girls! After three weeks of competition, 18 different cocktails judged and only 2 points separating all teams at the completion is a testament to the quality and presentation of the cocktails produced by all teams.
The talent shown through out the Falls Creek Cocktail Competition goes to show that the boutique venues we have here at Falls Creek, rival any in Australia and abroad. We look forward to the competitions in the coming years and hope to expand to have more venues participating. In the mean time get down to Oshii from 4pm for their daily Happy hour, drop in and see the boys at Astra from 3pm for a cocktail and delicious bite from there bar menu or stop in at Stingray Lounge anytime of the day for bit of lunch and an afternoon a few cocktails.