Over the last two weeks, budding bartenders from around the world have been competing in the OPIHR Global Cocktail Competition regional finals, taking place in the UK & Ireland, USA, Germany, APAC, South Africa and the Netherlands; in the hope of securing their place in the grand final in Venice on 26th September 2019.

The bar was set high, with hundreds of bartenders around the world submitting their twist on a classic, using OPIHR Gin and their own journey so far to bring their cocktail creation to life, but there could only ever be six regional winners. Today, OPIHR Gin is delighted to reveal which six deserving finalists will be heading to Venice to compete for the The Spirit of OPIHR 2019 title…

Darren Geraghty, UK & Ireland Regional Winner

Instagram: @dcocktailguy

Darren Geraghty, bartender at Dublin restaurant, Siam Thai, wowed the judges with his cocktail, “Any port-er in a storm”. Inspired by his family’s roots in Dublin, including his grandfather who worked as a merchant transporting barrels of Guinness from Dublin harbour to all over Ireland; his cocktail combines past and present, drawing on his own bartending journey so far. Of course, Guinness features as a key ingredient, making this creation a Dubliner through and through.

David Mor, U.S.A Regional Winner

Instagram: @davidmmor

David Mor, Beverage Manager at Cindy’s Bar in Chicago, paired local ingredients from destinations close to his heart, to create his winning cocktail, entitled “Are you my Mother?”. With heirloom tomatoes grown on his family farm in Northern Illinois, za’atar – a classic Middle Eastern spice blend that was used generously during his upbringing in Israel, and peach soda inspired by his birthplace in Georgia; his cocktail truly exemplifies local ingredients and local flair.

Merlin Hoyer, Germany Regional Winner

Germany’s winner, Merlin Hoyer, from the Hotel Santo bar in Cologne, marries OPIHR Gin with the German spirit, Helbing Kümmel, in his winning cocktail entitled “1001 Night”. Also adding almond syrup and ground nutmeg, this nutty creation perfectly represents Merlin’s roots in Germany.

Hoang Tu Quyen, APAC Regional Winner

Instagram: @hoang.nguyen387

Hoang Tu Quyen of the Smack Dab Bar in the JW Marriott Hotel, Hanoi, created “The Bucket List”, a cocktail intended to represent the journey of life and living life to its fullest. Using renowned Vietnamese coffee beans as her local ingredient, famed around the world for their superior quality, the cocktail is a bittersweet twist on the classic Martinez.

Aaron Datnow, South Africa Regional Winner

Instagram: @aarondatnow

Aaron Datnow, from Marble Restaurant in Johannesburg, reigned supreme in South Africa, impressing the judges with his cocktail, “Tantor”. The name is inspired by the eponymous red elephant in Tarzan and pays homage to the red elephants adorned on the OPIHR Gin bottle. Containing African nutmeg and Rooibos syrup, the cocktail represents the colourful city of Johannesburg and the coming together of different African cultures. 

Lewis McKenzie, Netherlands Regional Winner

Instagram: @giniusaxis

Lewis McKenzie, at the helm of the Axis Bar in the Hilton Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, secured his place in the final with his cocktail creation, the “Drop Kick”. Using Holland’s famous salted liquorice, otherwise known as “Dutch Drop Sweet”, as his key ingredient, the cocktail is true to its Dutch roots, with the addition Green Chartreuse to add a herbal “Kick”.

Robert Milton, Global Brand Director for OPIHR Gin comments; “With the OPIHR Global Cocktail Competition now in its sixth year, it’s great to see its popularity continue to grow around the world. Each year, we are amazed at the level of talent we see from the bartenders that enter, and this year was no different. The bar was set high and it was amazing to see so the entrants use their creativity and flair to put their own stamp on their cocktails, including bringing their story to life through the local ingredients they selected. Congratulations to our six deserving finalists – we really look forward to meeting you, and of course, trying your cocktail creations in September.”

The OPIHR Global Cocktail Competition grand final will take place in Venice on 26th September 2019. Follow the journey on OPIHR’s Instagram page and stay tuned to see who will be crowned The Spirit of OPIHR 2019.

For more information on OPIHR Gin, visit http://www.opihr.com.

Instagram: @OpihrGin

Facebook: OpihrGin



For further information, please contact Rebecca Eneh at Quintessential Brands via email: [email protected]



The world’s favourite premium spiced gin, OPIHR promises to take drinkers on a journey of discovery along the ancient spice route, from which it was inspired. A London Dry Gin infused with exotic hand-picked botanicals including Moroccan coriander seeds and Indian Tellicherry black pepper, OPIHR is a unique and flavoursome gin which truly evokes the intensity of the Orient.

For more information, please contact the communications team at Quintessential Brands by e-mail: [email protected]


Quintessential Brands is an award-winning international spirits company, dedicated to distilling and crafting the world’s best alcohol brands for consumers and customers globally. Pioneering spirits of the industry, inspired since 1761 by their founder, Thomas Dakin, Quintessential Brands Group delivers a diverse portfolio of award-winning, best-selling spirits with unrivalled heritage and craftsmanship.

Founded in 2011 by Enzo Visone, former CEO of Gruppo Campari, and entrepreneur, Warren Scott, Quintessential Brands Group owns world-class manufacturing facilities across Europe, including G&J Distillers, the world’s oldest continuous gin distillers, in Cheshire, UK; L&L in France, a leading manufacturer of fruit spirits and liqueurs; Irish Cream artisan producers, First Ireland Spirits; and the Dublin Liberties Distillery, which opened in 2019. Renowned for its white spirits expertise at G&J Distillers, Quintessential Brands has won International Spirit Challenge Gin Producer of the Year three times and is fast winning a reputation as one of the most exciting new Irish whiskey producers to emerge on the scene.

Quintessential Brands’ award-winning premium brands portfolio includes Greenall’s The Original Handcrafted Gin, BLOOM London Dry Gin, Thomas Dakin Small Batch Gin, Berkeley Square London Dry Gin, and Opihr Gin. Its Irish brands include The Dubliner Irish Whiskey, The Dublin Liberties Irish Whiskey, The Dead Rabbit Irish Whiskey, Feeney’s Irish Cream Liqueur and O’Mara’s Irish Country Cream. iqueurs in the portfolio include Alizé and Toussaint Coffee Rum Liqueur. The company is also a leader in contract bottling and own label & private label spirits, working with retail partners across the world to provide spirits solutions of unrivalled quality.


2019-08-28T09:43:12+01:00 August 28th, 2019|News, Press Releases|