NCC & Bartender Awards

The National Cocktail Championships & Bartender Awards 2018 are open to all bartenders working in the Republic of Ireland.

The event will take place on Tue 6th & Wed 7th February 2018 as part of Food & Bev Live, Citywest, Dublin.

All entrants are eligible for the following awards whether they are BAI members or not. The awards will be announced from the stage at the competition venue directly after the final on Wed 7th Feb.

  • Best Hotel Bartender
    Award for the highest scoring bartender from a hotel.
  • Best Pub Bartender
    Award for the highest scoring bartender from a Pub/Gastro Pub.
  • Best Restaurant Bartender
    Award for the highest scoring bartender from a restaurant.
  • Best Night Club Bartender *New Award*
    Award for the highest scoring bartender from a night club or late night venue.
  • Best New Bartender (Junior)
    Award for the highest scoring first time competitor at the NCC between 18-25 years of age, excluding the overall winner.
  • Best New Bartender (Senior)
    Award for the highest scoring first time competitor at the NCC age 26 and above, excluding the overall winner.
  • Best Technical Bartender - Awarded to the bartender with the highest technical score.
  • DNA Award - Awarded to the Bartender with the best Drink Name Association for their cocktail.
  • Art Deco Award - Awarded to the Bartender with the best cocktail decoration.


The Bartender with the highest combined cocktail and technical points will be deemed the National Cocktail Champion and will compete for Ireland at the World Cocktail Championships 2018, in Tallinn, Estonia this winter.

In accordance with the rules set by the International Bartenders Association (IBA) only a member of the Bartenders Association of Ireland (BAI) may represent Ireland at the World Cocktail Championships. All entrants are encouraged to become members of the Bartenders Association of Ireland (Membership costs €50 per year).

The BAI is Ireland’s only representative body for bartenders that is affiliated to the International Bartenders Association (IBA). If you would like to become a member of the Bartenders Association of Ireland, please email a brief CV of your bartending experience and training to-date to:

All competitors are required to submit an original cocktail recipe (any category type) containing at least one ingredient from the Edward Dillon & Co. Ltd. portfolio (see product list). Entries are limited so early entry is advised.

Updates to these rules, if any, will be posted below.


  1. Entries will only be accepted via our online entry form on
  2. Competitors shall submit one original recipe.
  3. Competitors shall be required to make five (5) portions of their submitted recipe.
  4. Each recipe shall contain a minimum of 1.5cl of a base spirit provided by Edward Dillon & Co. Ltd. (see product list here).
  5. Closing date for entry is Friday 26th January @ 12pm (noon). Entries are limited so early entry is advised.
  6. Recipes and cocktails on the day of the competition shall contain no more than 7cls of alcoholic product(s) in total. Technical judges will closely observe this rule.
  7. The use of a measure is recommended for accurate pouring. Free pouring is not recommended.
  8. Recipes shall be expressed in centilitres, divided in respectively whole numbers (1cl, 2cl, 3cl, etc.) and/or half numbers (0.5cl, 1.5cl, 2.5cl, etc.), dashes and/or drops being the smallest quantities.
  9. Recipes should contain: At least two (2) but not more than four (4) alcoholic ingredients, the base spirit (i.e. brandy, gin, rum, vodka, whiskey, tequila, etc.) must be from the Edward Dillon & Co. Ltd. portfolio. The other ingredients, must therefore be utilized as flavouring modifier (i.e. bitters, liqueurs, cocktail syrups, etc.) and stretchers (i.e. juices, sodas, etc.).
  10. A maximum of six (6) ingredients including dashes and drops is permitted.
  11. Homemade ingredients and/or infusions are NOT permitted.
  12. Competitors may choose from the following methods to prepare their cocktails: build (directly in glass), stir (mixing glass), shake (strain or double strain), or blend, muddling or a combination of the above.
  13. Competitors are required to bring their own bar utensils & equipment to prepare the cocktail. This includes ice crushers, shakers, tongs, strainers, etc. and should not be branded with competing brand logo's.
  14. Competitors are required to bring their own glassware.
  15. Dairy products shall consist of cream and eggs only.
  16. Heated ingredients are not permitted.
  17. Any substitutions or questionable ingredients must have the approval of the BAI President prior to competition commencement. Don’t leave it to the morning of the competition to get this approval. We expect you to be well rehearsed for the competition.
  18. The cocktail you submitted on the entry form must be the cocktail you make on stage.
  19. Competitors should be aware of recommended retail price of their cocktail as it would appear in their cocktail menu. If you’re not sure ask your manager.
  20. Competitors must be aware of the units of alcohol contained in one portion of their cocktail.
  21. Only those brands and products that support the Bartenders Association of Ireland, throughout the year, will be provided for competitors use. All other ingredients must be provided by the bartender and poured from a non branded bottle or clear glass jug. See supporters here
  22. Brands & products that compete with the BAI sponsors brands are not permitted for use in the competition.
  23. All garnishes must be prepared in the garnish preparation area only which may be in front of an audience and judges.
  24. Any kind of pre-fixed garnishes (partly prepared elsewhere) will be taken out of the competition and the contestant involved may be penalised.
  25. The time allowed for the preparation of the garnishes is fifteen (15) minutes. After this time, penalties shall be given.
  26. Food dyes shall not be allowed.
  27. Products (such as cocktail sticks, etc.) may be used to fix the garnish to the glass.
  28. Condiments such as: salt, sugar, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, chocolate decoration like sprinkles, sprays and citrus zest which are commonly used, shall be allowed and will not count as an ingredient if submitted as a garnish.
  29. All entrants must be able to speak English.
  30. Prizes are not transferable. There is no cash alternative.
  31. Entrants must be 18 years or over.
  32. Participation confirms acceptance of these rules.
  33. Judges' decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
  34. The winner will be expected to participate in follow-up promotional activity and training for the WCC after the competition. This may include but not restricted to being photographed and interviewed.
  35. The BAI reserve the right to limit the entry to ensure a smooth running competition for all concerned.
  36. All recipes entered become the property of BAI & Edward Dillon & Co. Ltd.


  • Submit your entry using the online form as soon as possible but definitely before noon on Friday 26th Jan.
  • Round One - Tuesday 6th February. Time: 11am - 4pm.
  • National Final - Wednesday 7th February. Time 2pm - 4pm.
  • The sequence of competitors shall be announced at the competitors briefing 10.30am on each day of competition.
  • Competitors shall present in a high class professional bartender’s uniform (without branding of any competing brands).
  • Competitors must not carry any brands from drink manufacturers other than brands from Edward Dillon & Co. Ltd on clothing or bar equipment.
  • Each competitor shall be limited to seven (7) minutes for making their cocktails. Competitors that exceed the time limit will be severly penalised. At 8 mins, competitors must step back from their work station.


  • The highest scoring six (6) bartenders with cocktail points and technical points combined from Round 1 will qualify to compete at the final.
  • Scores obtained in the first round by a competitor will NOT be added to the scores in the final. All finalists therefore will enter the final round on a blank score-sheet.
  • Each finalist is required to:
    • Prepare two portions of a standard classic cocktail chosen randomly from a shortlist provided by the BAI.
    • Prepare 5 portions of their signature cocktail as prepared in round 1, without amendment to recipe or garnish.
    • Describe to the judges and audience (wearing a head mic) what they are doing and why.
  • Finalists will be judged on their cocktail, technical performance, personality and knowledge.
  • The time limit in the final will be:
    • 1 min to gather their ingredients from the pantry
    • 5 mins to prepare and serve two portions of the classic
    • 10 minutes to prepare and serve five portions of their signature cocktail.

All participants and finalists will receive a certificate detailing their participation in the National Cocktail Championship 2018.

The BAI reserve the right to amend, alter or change the format and rules without notice to facilitate our sponsors or the show organisers.

Entry to the National Cocktail Championships 2018 can be made by completing the form here>>>