The Challenges

Before you earn your place on the Global Leaderboard you will have to master the challenges one by one.

Each Challenge is worth 10 points except the final round, highlighting that no one skill is more important than any other and a great bartender is one who can master them all.

  • Challenge 1: The Quiz

    A test of bar industry know-how

    The Quiz consists of 5 rounds – increasing in difficulty – of ten quick-fire questions:

    The Knowledge Round – Testing your knowledge on all things Monkey Shoulder and William Grant & Sons.

    The History Round – Testing your knowledge of famous Bars, Cocktails and Products.

    The Trending & Topical Round – Testing your knowledge on the who and the what of the bar world of today.

    Classic Drinks – Identify these classics!

    The Hard-Core Round – Aimed to really test your knowledge and sort the pros from the part timers.

    You will be given two minutes per question to work out the answer, with each correct answer worth 0.2 points for a maximum score of 10 points. Get studying folks!

  • Challenge 2: Pouring

    A measure of speed and accuracy

    You will be required to accurately pour 5 drinks using water (1ml water = 1g).

    Each drink will have up to 3 pours. Each pour must be done separately.

    You will need to pour the respective #ml volume into a shaker and then pour the total liquid quantity into the glassware positioned on the digital scales.

    For example:

    • 1 x Pour = Shot – shot glass on digital scale – 25ml pour = 25G
    • 2 x Pours = Manhattan – coupe glass on digital scales, 50ml and 10ml pour = 60g
    • 3 x Pours = Monkey Sour – tumbler on digital scales, 50ml, 20ml and 15ml pour = 85g

    A total of 10 points are up for grabs.

    Free pouring or the use of measures is allowed - We will provide some basic jiggers but you are welcome to bring your own. Hint: the highest score in this round so far has been free pour, so get practicing :)

    Scoring is as follows:

    + 2 points: 'You are allowed to be outside of the exact measurement by 1ml either side'
    + 1 point: 'You are allowed to be outside of the exact measurement by 2ml either side'

    For Example:

    Manhattan (2 pours): A 50ml pour and a 10ml pour – a total of 60g
    2 points: 58g-62g
    1 point: 56g-64g
    Anything outside of this get 0 points.

  • Challenge 3: Nosing

    Testing your sense of smell and memory

    • 30ml of different alcohols are poured into ten numbered black tasting glasses
    • You will have three minutes to nose all ten glasses and identify what’s inside
    • No tasting is allowed – you will be disqualified
    • Every ‘category’ identified earns half a point, with another half point for identifying the brand name too so, for example, you need to name both ‘whisky’ and ‘Monkey Shoulder’ for a full point.

    You will have a total of 3 minutes to nose all ten glasses, identify what’s inside and write the answers down!

  • Challenge 4: Table Service

    You will start with a tray and a selection of drinks on the bar, ahead of you will be a table of guests.

    The table will have 8 images of well known people on it.

    1. Serve all guests a glass of water
    2. Take their order by lifting the image to reveal the drink they would like, then move on to the next one.
    3. Once you have taken all 8 orders, head back to the bar and collect the drinks.
    4. Serve the correct drink to the right person.

    You have 4 minutes to complete this challenge.

    A total of 10 points are up for grabs.


    + 1 point for each drink served
    + 1 point for serving the guests water
    + 1 point if you take the order without the use of a pad

    Points are deducted if:

    -1 point you are over the 4 minutes
    -1 point for EACH glass broken
    - 1 point if the table is left uncleared at the end

  • Challenge 5: The Perfect Serve

    This challenge is in 2 parts

    Part 1:

    You have 2 minutes to work out beverage cost and gross profit of the perfect Monkey “Penicillin”. We will provide you with the retail price of the ingredients.

    Part 2:

    You will have 3 minutes to make the perfect “Penicillin” and you will be judged by a guest referee. Hand them your costings answer sheet before you start.


    Part 1 (4 points):

    + 1 point for all costed ingredients
    + 1 point for the correct calculation of the total cost of goods
    + 2 points for the correct bar sales price @ 75% GP


    Part 2 (6 points):

    + 1 point for the placing of the coaster and serving water
    + 1 point for all the correct ingredients used
    + 1 point for the correct shake and strain (double)
    + 1 point for the correct Garnish & if the drink is served up to the correct fill line
    + 1 point for taste
    + 1 point for leaving the bar tidy

    A total of 10 points are up for grabs.

  • Final Challenge: Round Building

    Drink creation against the clock

    • Only the contestants with the three highest scores from the previous five challenges will make it through to this challenge.

    The challenge

    • You will have 5 minutes to serve as many rounds of drinks as possible from the drinks list that can be found here.
    • The checks will come out in a timed order.
    • The round cannot be counted until the order is on the tray and the bell rung for it to be taken away.
    • Half a point is awarded for each servable drink. By servable we mean; would you as a bartender, pay for it on a busy Friday night? The crowd is the judge so speak up if you don’t think a drink should pass - Ask yourself; “Would I pay for it on a busy Friday night?”
    • Bonus points will be awarded for keeping the station tidy as well as cleaning and replacing equipment as you build the round:
      + 1 point for a clean station
      + 1 for point clean and returned equipment
    • Remember the #LazyOldFashioned !

    Click here to download the drinks list

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