The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Success for TEA-TAILS cocktail competition

Winner, Ray Letoa.

Wellington bartender Ray Letoa has won the inaugural TEA-TAILS cocktail competition at the grand final event at Auckland’s Mr Toms.

The competition, which began in February, asked mixologists and bartenders from around New Zealand to create an amazing cocktail using Dilmah Tea and Flying Cup Syrup.

Thirty applicants were whittled down to the six, who competed for the grand prize of $2000, plus flights, accommodation and tickets to Sydney Bar week at the final event last week.

Each finalist had 10 minutes to make two different cocktails, consisting of different Dilmah Tea and Flying Cup Syrup products. They were being marked on presentation, confidence, information, aesthetics, flavour and taste by judges Sabastion Smith from 69 Bar, Bill Scott from Mea Culpa and Alice Burton, daughter of the legendary John Burton Coffee.

The grand finalists included:

Ray Letoa – Roxy Cinema, Wellington

Claude Taylor – Mr Toms, Auckland

Sarah Wood – Bedford & Soda, Auckland

Dany Keith – Euro Bar, Auckland

Haans Mayer – Golden Dawn, Auckland

Alessandra Lerardi – The Grounds Eatery, Auckland.

Named the winner, Ray Leota will now fly to Sydney and runner-up Claude Taylor received a $100 restaurant voucher.

With a great turn out for the first TEA-TAILS competition, organisers predict it will become a popular annual event.