Distinctive and recognisable, the dapper, tuxedo-dressed presence of award-winning master cocktail maker and bar manager, Owen Hughes, is a familiar sight behind the bar to anyone who has visited Knockranny House Hotel in Westport.
Recognised frequently by his peers in contests and competitions, Owen’s latest significant win was as overall winner of the 2013 Finest Call Cocktail Mixology Competition, held in Dublin.
Organised by the Bartenders Association of Ireland and sponsored by Finest Call cocktail mixes, the 2013 Finest Call Cocktail Mixology Competition brought together 12 contestants chosen from some of the country’s top bartenders and cocktail makers.
The first round involved submitting a photo, recipe and description of each cocktail using Finest Call premium cocktail mixers, and the selected contestants then battled it out in front of the judging panel, which included drinks industry experts from the Bartenders Association of Ireland, and the Brand Manager for Finest Call.
The cream of Ireland’s cocktail bars were represented in the final which made for an entertaining event, and with the temptation of the prize of a dream holiday to be won, the competition was fierce, but Owen Hughes was declared the overall winner with his cocktail, Price’s Punch!
Bringing out his ingredients on an antique trolley and dressing in his trademark black tux, Owen added a sense of theatre and drama to the occasion, and spoke with confidence and experience, and his cocktail with fresh mango coupled with his unique presentation wowed the judges.
The competition win will hopefully set a precedent for Owen, who is attending the prestigious World Cocktail Championships in August.
Price’s Punch, Owen’s award-winning creation, can be enjoyed in the Bar at Knockranny House Hotel where it is available for €8.00
Shaken, Not stirred! Pictured above is Owen Hughes, bar manager at Knockranny House Hotel in Westport, who has won the 2013 Finest Call Cocktail Mixology Competition.