Cocktail Competition Overview

As we open our new distillery in the Central Otago we have been on a journey, discovering a terroir that has now become our new Spiritual home.

Exploring this new territory has guided us to embrace and learn more about new produce, cultures and experiences which makes Central Otago so unique and special.

As we learn more about local environment, we look to set the task for bartenders from around the country to do the same, specifically, jumping into new territories, extracting key elements that tell us the story of their terroir and why they are so definitive of the culture and traditions in that region.

We have selected geographic areas from around New Zealand and divided them up for each region.

The idea of supplying a specific area is to guide people into learning and researching an area of New Zealand they may not have a huge amount of knowledge about. This will hopefully be an uncharted territory for each entrant, and you'll find some new ingredients and cultures to play with.


There will be 4 regional finals which you can enter. These are Christchurch, Auckland, Queenstown and Wellington. Each region has been allocated a geographic area, which your drink will need to represent.

Participants in Auckland must use a component highlighting the South Island's West Coast or Fiordland. Wellington entrants have been allocated Nelson Tasman, while Christchurch competitors will work with flavours from the Central Plateau. Queenstown entrants are looking to the Far North for inspiration for their drink.

Regional Final Dates:

Christchurch: Held at Monarch on Tuesday 13 August from 2pm - 5pm.

Wellington Held at Mishmosh on Tuesday 20 August from 1pm - 4pm.

Auckland: Held at Nightcar on Tuesday 27 August from 1pm - 4pm.

Queenstown: Held at Bardeaux on Tuesday 3 September from 12pm -3pm.

The prize


All expenses paid trip to Central Otago, to compete in the National Final.


$1000 + plus a Trip to return to Central Otago to judge the 2025 Competition.

how to enter

Enter the application form below. You will need the following information:

  • Full Name
  • Name of venue
  • Town/city
  • Name of cocktail
  • Image of drink
  • Ingredients
  • Description
  • Story behind why you have created it
  • Share a snapshot of the beverage across your socials (if you're on them), and don't forget to mention @scapegrace!

Should you be successful, regional heats will be hosted between August 1st – September 3rd. National final will be held at the Scapegrace Distillery in October. 

Alternatively you can email with the above details.


  • One entry per person.
  • Entries must be in the form of a long or short drink.
  • Entries should be submitted via the application form below, or directly to with the relevant information (see below)
  • Entries must include recipe and method in submission.
  • There must be a minimum of 40ml Scapegrace
  • Any of the following Scapegrace Spirits can be used (Scapegrace Classic, Black, Blood Moon, Gold, Vodka or Scapegrace Single Malt Whisky).
  • Drinks must not contain more than six ingredients, including fruit juices, syrups, drops, or dashes.
  • A maximum of 2 homemade ingredients are permitted (excluding garnishes).
  • Recipes entered must be expressed in mls, with the use of 'dashes' or 'drops' limited to bitters, tinctures or other such ingredients.
  • If you have made a homemade ingredient you must explain the procedure and ingredients of these.
  • Recipes entered must be the original creation of the competitor and if a competitor is thought to have plagiarised a known, existing cocktail they will be disqualified.


Should you be successful, regional heats will be hosted between August 1st – September 3rd. National final will be held at the Scapegrace Distillery in October. 

Share a snapshot of the beverage across your socials (if you're on them), and don't forget to mention @scapegrace!

Scoring & points


Make sure your drink is balanced & delicious.


How the ingredient ties the region together, how it interacts with local & national culture and also, how well it plays with the chosen Scapegrace product.


Ensure you are up to date with Scapegrace as a brand and product.


Does it look good, has the drink and overall experience been presented well.


Use of the best techniques to produce both the style of drink on the bar and in elements of the Mis en Place.


What makes it pop, how does it differ from your standard classic.


A closed loop story or viable reasoning for why this drink has an element of sustainability.


Promote your drink within your venue during July, for an additional 10 points (which could be the tipping point!).


  1. From all the entries submitted, the judges will chose the top 8 drinks for each region.
  2. Competitors will be given 8 minutes to present their drink. There will be an additional 5 minutes to prepare and familiarise themselves with the bar area. Competitors will be penalised for going over time. Garnishes can be assembled within this prep time.
  3. Competitor must present two drinks of an identical specification.
  4. Drinks must be assembled in front of the judges.
  5. Competitors can earn 10 bonus points by promoting their cocktail within their venue during July. This would need to be for a minimum of one week, and be featured on a menu, drink special, blackboard etc.
  6. Drinks may be presented in any shape of glassware, or cup. The organizer will supply limited basic glassware, but competitors are advised to bring there own.
  7. Standard cubed ice will be provided. If the competitor requires anything else it is advised you bring your own, or equipment to make what is required (e.g. crushing tools)
  8. Competitors must provide all ingredients, apart from the Scapegrace
  9. Competitors considered by the organisers to be practising or promoting any form of irresponsible drinking, including 'shots' will be disqualified and may be asked to leave the venue.
  10. Competitors must conduct themselves in a safe manner and any action considered by the organizers to endanger fellow competitors, judges or spectators will result in instant disqualification.
  11. Competitors are encourage to talk to the judges during their presentation. Points are awards for presentation and chat.


  1. By entering the competition, competitors agree to assign copyright of their recipe and drink name to the competition organisers.
  2. Competitors and drinks presented during the competition may be photographed by the organisers and copyrights of these images for any use, including advertising will be retained by Scapegrace.
  3. By entering this competition, you are giving permission and assigning license to use images photographed during the competition, both still and video to the organisers.. You agree that images may be used in any media for any purpose which may include adverting, promotion, marketing materials.
  4. The competition organisers reserve the right to have the final decision on any matter relating to the judging of the competition.


Contact Tim Giles at: