Step into the Never Never Cocktail Competition

Step into the Never Never Cocktail Competition

Step into the Never Never Cocktail Competition

We are Never Never Distilling Co and from the very outset, we aspire to make gins with more flavour.

It’s pretty simple really, more flavour makes better gin and better gin makes better drinks. We are searching for some of the tastiest drinks in the country and rewarding those bartenders who make them with an all-expenses trip to visit our brand home in McLaren Vale.

Not only are you’re going to dine in amazing restaurants and drink in incredible bars but you will also compete in some unique bartender challenges for cash prizes. You are going to experience the very best that South Australia has to offer.

The Task

Most importantly, it needs to contain a drink per entrant from each of the two categories below.


  • The Gin for your Tonic - A gin and tonic utilising Triple Juniper Gin, tonic and garnish.
  • Fearless with Flavour - A cocktail using three core ingredients (including Triple Juniper Gin).

Due to the fact we have no budget to physically fly around the country drinking cocktails and checking if the menus are being promoted, once they are up drop them onto your social media channels so we can check them out. Make sure to tag us so we can see it and use the hashtag #stepintothenevernever

You also need to enter your G&T, cocktail and the menu you used to display the drinks using the link that can be found on our website or on our social media. This is so we can easily judge them all at once.

The menu needs to be live in your venue for a minimum of 4 weeks during April and May. This time period starts from the time you submit your menu to us. All menus must be live by May 8th.

We prefer Instagram or Facebook as we know how to use those reasonably well. Tik Tok might be tricky. If your menu is communicated through interpretative dance we’ll probably consider it.

If you have several bartenders from one venue, they will need to ensure their drinks are showcased on the same menu. You will then need to duke it out as to which drink appeals to the panel of industry judges more.

Drink Menu Categories

Each menu must contain a minimum of 2 drinks. One from each of the below categories. If there are two bartenders who want to enter, it’s 4 drinks total #maths.


The Gin for your Tonic

Competitors need to create a gin and tonic that best showcases our Triple Juniper Gin. You are able to use whatever tonic water and garnish that you like however the tonic water must be commercially available tonic water.

We don’t really advise you making your own tonic water - quinine poisoning is a thing. It needs to contain a minimum of 30ml of Triple Juniper. Obviously, glassware, garnish and ice will all be important.

This is the part of the competition where you show us you can make a gin and tonic well and make it exciting. That doesn’t mean you need to weave a mat out of cucumber strips, it just means make it delicious. We will most likely make the top entrants from each state which will be a fun time in the office.


Fearless with Flavour

Competitors will also need to create a Triple Juniper modern classic using just three ingredients. One of them has to be Triple Juniper Gin. So technically you get to really play with two. Show us what you can do. That’s the rules.

Garnish doesn’t count, water doesn’t count, CO2 doesn’t count, naturally fermented sugars don’t count and look, we will even give you white caster sugar – all neutral flavours. Everything else counts.

If you want to process an ingredient 3-4 different ways to create a syrup, oil, oleo, fermentation etc go nuts. Or you can do a gin and coke with a slice of lime and own it like it’s yours.

Anything store bought is one ingredient such as a bitters, vermouth, vinegar, yuzu-infused tonic etc. If you think you can beat the system, you’re probably missing the point.

This is about working with less and allowing the main ingredients to shine. It also needs to read well and the photo you submit to accompany the menu should be a banger.

Triple Juniper, three key ingredients, you get the idea. Pretty clever.


You will be scored by a system of points mainly revolving around the concept of your drinks being interesting and largely delicious. We don’t have an ambassador in every state that’s going to hound you about entering or not.

It’s supposed to be a fun challenge that helps us move some gin and gives you a chance to win an epic prize. That’s what cocktail competitions are mainly about. Criteria can be found below, make sure to read it, it will definitely help you win.

You will be judged on your overall menu as well as your two drink offerings. These drinks will be judged on paper only, with on winner from each location selected based on how outrageous their drinks sound and how much we want to drink them from the photography.

So, make sure the photo is epic and ensure it makes us thirsty. If it gets close we will make the drinks. If we can. No promises there.


The Prize

The main prize is all about flavour. One winner from each location will be flown down to Adelaide and given a two-day food and booze tour that celebrates the flavours that we know and love.

We will fly you over to our Never Never distillery in McLaren Vale which will play epicentre to our ‘Step Into the Never Never’ food and gin experience.

From the coast to the hills, you will sample all the region has to offer, experiencing all the flavours of South Australia whether it’s in basement bars or regional restaurants, you will be our guests on an incredible flavour journey.

We will also be running a few very special Bartender Challenges for our finalists so expect to still shake some tins and mix a martini or two for a chance to win some amazing cash prizes.


Day 1:

Arrive AM. Private Coach to McLaren Vale. Distillery Tour. Lunch at Cucina De Strada. First challenge ($500 cash prize). Dinner at Shobosho. Drop off at accommodation TBC. Drinks Maybe Mae.

Day 2:

Dark Series Experience Hains&Co. Second Challenge ($250 prize). Tour of the warehouse. Lunch at 2KW.  Drinks at NOLA. Third Challenge ($250 prize). Dinner at Africola. Drinks at Memphis Slims. Drinks at Cry Baby.

Day 3:

Depart. Broken.

Venue Prize

Every winning venue will also receive a case of Triple Juniper Gin or if you are an EcoSPIRITS partner, an EcoTOTE of Triple Juniper. This is aimed to be a small contribution to covering the cost of having a staff member absent for a Monday and Tuesday night service.

Also, a local Proof&Co member will visit your venue and deliver a crisp high five.


South Australia’s Prize

Obviously if you live in Adelaide the idea of you flying to our city is hardly a cool incentive (although eating and drinking in our favourite restaurants and bars will be). We’re obviously still going to include you in the competition however the regional prize for South Australia is that we will fly you to Sydney to do a takeover with our distribution partners Proof & Company, representing Never Never and the good state of South Australia at Australian Bar Week. Prize will include flights, accommodation for two nights and an amazing opportunity to showcase your awesomeness. We will also sort you out for the shift.


Competition Geography

We will be accepting entrants from the following geographies; 

  1. South Australia
  2. Victoria
  3. New South Wales
  4. Queensland
  5. Western Australia
  6. All the other ones.

We will be selecting one winner from each of the above geographies.


Competition Deadlines

All venues must have their ‘Step into the Never Never’ cocktail menus live by 8th of May. This means they need to be available in venue and uploaded onto the venue’s social media so we can see it and share it. It also means that all entries must be uploaded onto the online portal by that date. All menus will be judged throughout May with all winners announced on World Gin Day on 12th June 2021. The National Final will then take place in August on a date to be determined.



Obviously, when judging drinks using a medium other than your mouth, certain criteria points are required.

Menus will be judged on the following criteria points out of 100;

Is it actually a menu? (10 points), Can you read the drinks and the prices? (10 points), Does it make the drinks sounds tasty? Does it make us thirsty? (10 points), Did you spell everything correctly? (10 points), Did we see it promoted online using a photo that we can easily see (10 points), Was the menu available in venue for the required time (25 points) Is the menu in our opinion, an excellent menu? (25 points)


‘The Gin for your Tonic’ category will be judged on the following criteria points out of 100;

Did you use the right gin and a minimum of 30ml? (10 points) Does the garnish work with the tonic selection (10 points), Was the Triple Juniper Gin and Tonic promoted using the menu mentioned above during the competition (10 points), Did we see it promoted online during the competition (10 points), That g&t sounds like something that would be a great drink in the venue you work in (10 points), Damn that’s a tasty looking gin and tonic in an amazing glass, I sure am thirsty, I wish I could teleport there right away and drink one (25 points), the Triple Juniper Gin, tonic, garnish and glassware combination is something unique, exciting and a joy to look at (25 points)


The ‘Fearless with Flavour’ category will be judged on the following criteria points out of 100;

Does the drinks composition from the recipe appear to be balanced (10 points), Is the drink a unique and exciting representation of a 3 ingredient cocktail (10 points), Was the cocktail promoted using the menu during the competition (10 points), Did we see it promoted online during the competition (10 points), Is the cocktail name awesome and will it sell the drink (10 points), Is the photo of the drink awesome and make us want to drink one immediately (25 points) Does the drink use three ingredients (or less) including a minimum of 30ml of Triple Juniper Gin, not including water, Co2 or caster sugar? (25 points)