NCC & Bartender Awards

The National Cocktail Championships & Bartender Awards 2017 are open to all bartenders working in the Republic of Ireland.

The National Cocktail Championships 2017 will take place on Tuesday 21st & Wednesday 22nd February 2017 as part of CATEX Exhibition, RDS Simmonscourt, Dublin 4. The Bartenders Awards will take place on the evening of Wednesday 22nd February from 7:30pm in a the Blind Pig Speakeasy, Dublin. Tickets for the Bartender Awards dinner are €30 per person available from the Bartenders Association of Ireland ( Numbers are limited so get them while they're available!

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:

The BAI is looking for the best cocktail bartender to represent Ireland at the World Cocktail Championships, Copenhagen, Denmark, 15th to 21st October 2017. All competitors are required to submit an original Long Drink recipe 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.

The theme for this year competition is the 150th Anniversary of Edward Dillon & Co. Ltd. 1867 to 2017.


  1. Entries will only be accepted via our online entry form on
  2. Competitors shall submit one Long Drink recipe. Competitors shall be required to make five (5) portions of their submitted recipe.
  3. Each recipe shall contain a minimum of 1.5cl of a base spirit provided by Edward Dillon & Co. Ltd. (see product list here).
  4. Closing date for entry is Friday 10th February @ 12pm (noon). Entries are limited so early entry is advised.
  5. The cocktail category chosen for this years National Cocktail Competition (NCC) is 'Long Drink‘. A Long Drink is served in a tall glass: it may be refreshing, sweet, sour, or tropical, and is typically served in a tall glass that has a large volume.
  6. Recipes and actual 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, 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 suitable for a Long Drink competition.
  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 must 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 sponsor 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.
  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 risk being eliminated from the competition.
  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 but will count as one ingredient each.
  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 10th February.
  • Round One - Tuesday 21st February 2017. Time: 11am - 4pm.
  • National Final - Wednesday 22nd February 2017. Time 11am - 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 or face elimination.


  • The highest scoring cocktails combined with technical points will qualify for the final to be held on Wednesday 22nd Feb 2017 at CATEX.
  • 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 Long Drink 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 by the technical jury and taste jury again, as per round 1.
  • 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 Long Drink.

All participants and finalists will receive a certificate detailing their participation in the National Cocktail Championship 2017.


The National Cocktail Champion 2017 will be announced from the stage at the end of the competition at CATEX.

The following 'Bar Star Awards' will be presented at an awards dinner held on the evening of Wednesday 22nd February in The Blindpig Speakeasy, Dublin. (Tickets €30 per person, contact Declan Byrne,

  • 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 New Bartender (Junior)
    Award for the highest scoring NCC Newcomer between 18-25 years of age, excluding the overall winner.
  • Best New Bartender (Senior)
    Award for the highest scoring NCC Newcomer 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 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 2017 can be made by completing the form here>>>