It's The New Era for bartender cocktail competition

02 December, 2014

The Bombay Sapphire bartender competition has been run and won in Melbourne, with the team at Black Pearl taking out first place for their drink, "The New Era".

The challenge was to create a botanically inspired cocktail using Bombay Sapphire and in turn to headline the Project Botanicals event series with their winning drink. The bars that took place were: Black Pearl, Toff in the Town, Cookie, 1806, Siglo, EDV, Gin Palace, Cumulus, Nieuw Amsterdam and Saint Crispin.

The New Era was inspired by the Grains of Paradise botanical. It was scored along with the other nine competitors on a standardised scoring sheet. The drinks were assessed on categories such as: name; aroma; visual; garnish, flavour; balance; and inspiration / story behind the drink.

For an activation like Project Botanicals the flavour profile and appeal for the broad ranging demographic of consumers expected at the pop up were also important factors. An additional consideration was the ease in which it could be batched and dispensed at volume.

Bacardi Brand Ambassador, Andy Wren, who was part of the judging, commented on the drink, saying: "The New Era ticked many boxes. Firstly it was a twist on a wonderful gin cocktail called the 20th Century. An unusual mix of gin, chocolate, Lilet and lemon.

"The New Era was inspired by the Grains of Paradise botanical. It delivered chocolate, honey, lemon notes and was topped with a sparkling wine. Sammy Ng displayed knowledge and passion when presenting the drink to us."

The drink beat the Liquorice Negroni twist from 1806 by a very fine margin, with the consumer friendly style proving the difference.

In addition to headlining the menu for the entire Project Botanicals event series, the team also won a copy of The Drunken Botanist, a range of Bombay spirits gin brands plus $1,000 to spend on new bar equipment.

Recipe - A New Era

  • 30ml Bombay Sapphire
  • 20ml lavender infused Cocci Americano
  • 20ml bitter lemon juice (whole lemons blended/juiced)
  • 15ml white Choc liqueur
  • 15ml 1:1 honey water                                                     


  1. Add all ingredients into a shaker
  2. Shake
  3. Double strain into a coupette
  4. Garnish with a lemon twist, discarded