Northern Ireland’s most talented 11 bartenders have been named as finalists in the Hennessy Connoisseurs Challenge!

The selected finalists will go on to compete to win a prestigious training scholarship with the world’s most iconic cognac brand.

Hennessy Cocktail

Returning for the second year, the competition has been created by drinks company, Dillon Bass – owners of the Hennessy brand in Northern Ireland – and seeks to uncover the top mixology talent.

The grand finale will take place at Ox Cave on Monday August, 15 where three of the 11 finalists will be crowned with the prestigious status of being named a Hennessy Connoisseur and will win a money can’t buy prize package courtesy of Dillon Bass.


The prize package will include a VIP trip to Cognac to visit Maison Hennessy and Chateau Bagnolet, with one-on- one training, a tasting with the Hennessy Master Blender and the opportunity to have their signature drinks showcased by the brand.

The judging panel will include Vincent Borjon-Prive from Hennessy and Julie Dupouy, Brand Ambassador for Moet-Hennessy, recently named as one of the world’s top three sommeliers, who will put the bartenders through their paces, assessing them on their bespoke Hennessy drink, product knowledge and personality.

Hennessy Connoisseurs Challenge #2


Last year’s competition winners were Frankie Cosgrove from sixty6 Belfast, Nathaniel McAuley from Muriel’s Café Bar and Roisin McErlean from Sweet Afton.

The 11 finalists in the Hennessy Connoisseurs Challenge are:


Christopher McQuillan, Saphyre Restaurant

Darren McEvoy, The Albany Belfast

David Kelly, Filthy McNastys

David Mulholland, Love and Death Inc

Eoin Devenny, Love and Death Inc

Jefferson Minglanilla, Hadskis

Jonathan Magennis, Deanes EIPIC

Liam Hall, The Northern Whig

Matt Fox, Love and Death Inc

Nathan Evans, Secrets Nightclub, Magherafelt

Ryan Adair, The Merchant Hotel

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