Northern Ireland bartenders are once again being given a chance to win a prestigious training scholarship with the world’s most iconic cognac brand, Hennessy.

The Hennessy Connoisseurs Challenge will return for a second year and seeks to uncover the stars of Northern Ireland’s cocktail scene.

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Following the success of the inaugural Hennessy Connoisseurs Challenge in 2015, drinks company, Dillon Bass – owners of the Hennessy brand in Northern Ireland – is bringing the prestigious competition back this summer, aiming to uncover NI’s top mixology talent.

The high octane final will take place at Ox Cave on Monday August 15, and is expected to draw interest from bartenders right across Northern Ireland.

Hennessy Connoisseurs Challenge #1 (1)

Last year Frankie Cosgrove from sixty6 Belfast, Nathaniel McAuley from Muriel’s Café Bar and Roisin McErlean from Sweet Afton beat off stiff competition to be named Hennessy Connoisseurs.

The trio won an impressive money can’t buy prize package courtesy of Dillon Bass, which included a VIP all expenses paid trip to Cognac to visit Maison Hennessy and Chateau Bagnolet, where they received one-on- one training, including a tasting with Hennessy’s master blender.

Hennessy cocktails

This once in a lifetime immersive training experience is up for grabs once again, in what’s been tipped by the industry as one of the most exciting opportunities available to local bartenders.

The three winning Connoisseurs will have their signature drinks showcased on Hennessy digital platforms.

The international judging panel includes Vincent Borjon-Prive from Hennessy, Julie Dupouy, Brand Ambassador for Moet-Hennessy, recently named as one of the world’s top three sommeliers and Joel Neill from Hospitality Ulster.

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The esteemed panel of judges will put the bartenders through their paces, assessing them on a signature Hennessy cocktail, as well as their skill and product knowledge.

Commenting on the launch of the Hennessy Connoisseurs Challenge Laura Blair, brand manager for Hennessy at Dillon Bass, said: “Building on the incredible success of our Hennessy Connoisseurs Challenge in 2015, we are proud to once again offer local bartenders an incredible opportunity to win this incredible training scholarship with Hennessy.

“Our Hennessy Connoisseurs Challenge was designed to discover Northern Ireland’s finest and most talented mixologists, who can embody the spirit of Hennessy. In 2015 we did just this and our three Hennessy Connoisseurs, Frankie, Roisin and Nathaniel have gone on to make their mark on the local mixology scene.

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“Given the exceptionally high standard of entries last year, we anticipate that our international judging panel will once again have their work cut out for them.”

Entries for the Dillon Bass Hennessy Connoisseurs Challenge are open now on the Hennessy NI Facebook page, Entries close at midnight on Sunday July 24.

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