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, 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 Knowledge Round

    A quiz made up of 5 rounds with 10 questions in each round:

    The Intro 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 Topical Round – A picture round testing your knowledge on the who and the what of the bar world of today.

    The Mixiodic Round – Testing your classic cocktail knowledge using the Mixiodic table of ingredients. Click here to download a copy of the Mixiodic Table.

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

    Each correct answer is worth 0.2 marks for a maximum score of 10 points for this challenge. Get Studying folks!!!

  • Challenge 2: Pouring

    You will be asked to measure out the exact amount of liquid indicated on the shaker.

    Contestants are only allowed to FREE POUR to complete this challenge. The use of jiggers or any other measuring device is strictly prohibited.

    A 10% variance either way, will be allowed for each pour, for example if a contestant is asked to pour 20ml, then they have a window of between 18ml and 22ml.

    A score of one (1) point will be given for those pours that fall within the 10% variance UNDER the requested amount i.e. if asked for 20ml and the pour falls between 18ml and 20ml.

    A score of half (0.5) a point will be given for those pours that fall within the 10% variance OVER the requested amount i.e. if asked for 20ml and the pour falls between 20ml and 22ml.

    Contestants will have 3 minutes to do this challenge for a total of ten (10) points.

  • Challenge 3: Nosing

    This is a blind nosing round.

    10 measures of differing spirits/liqueurs/vermouths will be poured into black tasting glasses.

    Each competitor will be given three (3) minutes to nose each glass and guess what's in it. You will get half a point if you name the category correctly and another half a point if you name the brand correctly.

    A total of ten (10) points is up for grabs in this challenge.

  • Challenge 4: Stock Take

    Your head bartender has just gone ahead and released a menu to the press. They have created a recipe sheet for cocktails which include prices, but they have not worked out the Gross Profit.

    You have 20 minutes to work out the Beverage Cost and Gross Profit (before tax) on these 8 drinks using the list of ingredients and the retail price provided. Points will be awarded for the following:

    • One (1) point for each correct beverage cost provided

    • One (1) point for each correct Gross Profit (G.P.) provided

    A total of sixteen (16) points is up for grabs in this challenge.

  • Challenge 5: Tray Service

    This round is about establishing a clear standard of service.

    6 coasters will be placed around a table. Each coaster will have a picture of a well-known man or woman on it (pink for women and blue for men). To take their order you must turn over the coaster and this will reveal what drink they would like.

    You must take the ladies' orders first (clockwise) and then the men's.

    Once the orders are taken you head over the bar to collect the drinks. The coasters are turned over and you must serve the correct drink to the right person - and don't forget, ladies first!

    Each competitor has three (3) minutes to take the order, return to the bar and collect the correctly ordered drinks and then return those drinks to the table and place them in front of the correct customer.

    Once your three minutes is up you will be stopped and whatever drinks are on the table will be scored and that is it.

    The scoring for this round will be based on the following:

    • One (1) point for each correct drink placed in front of the guest.

    • One (1) point for not writing down the order or using a tablet to take the order.

    • One (1) point for serving the ladies on the table first.

    • One (1) point for finishing within the allotted three (3) minute time frame.

    • One (1) point for returning the glasses back to their correct positions on the bar after your round.

    A maximum of 5 points is up for grabs.

  • Challenge 6: Round Building

    Only the contestants with the three highest scores, from the previous 5 (five) challenges, will make it through to this challenge.

    All contestants will be given the recipes to the eight drinks at the beginning of the day's competition.

    We are not just looking for speed in this round, we are looking for bartenders who work fast, smart and above all CLEAN! As such the points, this year have been changed to reflect this.

    Each contestant will have a maximum of 5 minutes to set the station up. This will be timed and once that time has counted down the clock starts on their round regardless.

    Contestants are allowed to set their glassware, garnishes and bottles in any way they like. This challenge is replicating a busy dispense station on a Friday night, as such napkins aren't required. Nothing is allowed to be pre-poured, or measured out in advance.

    As we are replicating a Friday night dispense bar, the clock will keep going on your round, until your station is cleaned and ready to make the next round. You will lose points if this not done correctly.

    Contestants are awarded half (0.5) point for each servable drink – By servable we mean; Is it filled to the right level, does it look and taste like the drink ordered? The scoring for this will based on the following:

    • There is no more than a one inch window from the top of the liquid to the top glass.

    • The correct ingredients have gone into the drink.

    • The correct glassware has been used for each drink.

    • The correct garnish has been used for each drink.

    • Fresh ice has been used for all shaken drinks.

    A maximum of two (2) points will then be awarded if ALL equipment has been cleaned and returned to original positions. The scoring for this will based on the following:

    • All shakers, mixing glasses, etc. have been washed and returned to their original positions in a clean state.

    • All bottles are back in their original positions.

    • All excess garnishes have been discarded and your preparation area is clean and free of debris.

    A maximum of two (2) points will then be awarded if the bar top and station is clean and free of spillage. The scoring for this will based on the following:

    • Bar top wiped down and free of any excess liquids.

    • Station and speed rail free of any excess liquids.

    • Ice well free of spilled liquids.

    The fastest time will then receive 2 points, Second fastest 1 point and third fastest 0 points.

    Contestants will be deducted 1 point for each minute you go over 4:00 minutes, so a time of 4:01 will lose a 1 point, a time of 5:01 will lose 2 points and so on.

    If any glass or bottles are smashed during the round, the clock will be stopped and you will be given zero (0) points for the round.

    There is a total of ten points up for grabs and these will be added to you score from the previous six challenges to go on to the Global Leader Board.

    The competitor with the highest score at the end wins the day, proving that Skills Pay Bills!

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