llario takes the Cocktail title at Catex

Ilario Alberto Capraro, from the Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort emerged the winner from this year’s National Cocktail Championship at the Catex show in the RDS.

Organised by the Bartenders Association of Ireland and sponsored by Edward Dillon & Co his winning Long Drink, The Boss (named after his wife), was made using 15ml Grey Goose l’Orange Vodka, 40ml St Germain Elderflower Liqueur, 30ml fresh lime juice, six fresh mint leaves and topped up with 40ml Möet & Chandon Champagne. Lemon zest is added for aroma. Ilario now goes on to represent Ireland in the Long Drink competition at the World Cocktail Championships in Copenhagen in Denmark from the15th – 21st October this year. The competition is being run to a new format created by BAI President Declan Byrne which requires finalists to prepare a selection of classic cocktails as well as their own signature Long Drink mixture while simultaneously engaging with the live audience at Catex. This was a special year for all stakeholders involved in the Championships as 2017 marks the 150th Anniversary of Edward Dillon & Co, the 45th Anniversary of the Bartenders Association of Ireland and the 10th Anniversary of the National Cocktail Championships taking place at Catex. The BAI invited a panel of special guests to judge the Championships over the three days including:

  • Pepe Dioni, Vice President of the International Bartenders Association
  • Oliver Murtagh, Irish Guild of Sommeliers
  • Alan Kavanagh, Brand Advocacy & Training Manager for Edward Dillon & Co. Ltd.
  • Paul Lambert, The Blind Pig Speakeasy
  • Former National Cocktail Champions
    • Eddie Rudzinskas 2015
    • Roberto Espinosa 2002 & 2004
    • Martin Meade 2010
    • James Langan 2008
  • Conor Myers, Bacardi Legacy Irish Winner 2017

Following the second day of competitions, a Bartender Awards dinner took place in the Blind Pig Speakeasy, Dublin, attended by the competitors and guests.



Bartender Award Winners

 Best Hotel Bartender Award Ilario Alberto Capraro, Waterford Castle Hotel & Golf Resort, Waterford

Best Restaurant Bartender Award Roberto Garcia, Fire Restaurant, Dawson St, Dublin

Best Pub/Gastro Pub Bartender Award Owen Hughes, Wiley Fox, Dublin

Best New Bartender Award (Junior) Michael Gamble, Hudson Rooms, Liffey Valley Shopping Centre, Dublin

Best New Bartender Award (Senior) Sebastian Rosinski, The Lodge at Ashford Castle, Mayo

Best Technical Bartender Award Michael Gadzala, Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore, Waterford

Best Art Deco Bartender Award Michal Liz, Side Car Bar, Westbury Hotel, Dublin

Best DNA Bartender Award Ariel Sanecki, Cliff House Hotel, Ardmore, Waterford.


The National Cocktail Championships concluded on Thursday 23rd February with the 4th National Hospitality Student Cocktail Challenge, also organised by the BAI and sponsored by Edward Dillon & Co.

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