Talis Heggart Wins the South Australian 78° Create a Stir Sunshine State Gin Cocktail Competition

The South Australian 78° Create a Stir Sunshine State Gin Cocktail Competition finals were held at BRKLYN Bar in Adelaide on Monday, June 5th. Talis Heggart from Memphis Slim’s House of Blues emerged from an extremely talented field as the winner with his delicious and inventive cocktail named the ‘Haleakala Sunshine.’

Talis’ winning cocktail, the ‘Haleakala Sunshine,’ was a combination of 78° Sunshine State Gin, clarified orange juice-infused 78° Rosé Vermouth, passionfruit husk verjuice vincotto, and guava soda. To add a finishing touch, he garnished it with waste orange rind and dried guava, utilising ingredients from the cocktail itself. We love seeing cocktails that show attention towards sustainability, and Talis’ use of waste ingredients was very well executed.

Talis drew inspiration from the tropical flavours and concept embodied by 78° Sunshine State Gin, which features a delightful blend of mangoes, passionfruit, and pineapples. He looked to Hawaii, known for its famous trio of fruits – passionfruit, orange, and guava (known locally as POG juice) – and reimagined their use to create a highball-style cocktail that would accentuate the refreshing and delicious flavours of the Sunshine State Gin.

The judges for the competition were Mighty Craft Spirits Innovation Manager and 78° Brand Manager Stuart ‘Chewy’ Morrow, Nick Corletto from Maybe Mae bar, and Rashaad Cézar from host bar BRKLYN. The finalists’ creations were judged on their presentation, creativity, use of ingredients and balance of flavour, along with their ability to champion the flavours of Sunshine State Gin itself.

The other finalists in the comp were Matt Holding, Tom Opie, Than Howlett, Alexander Johnston, and Alfie Simmons – all of whom presented amazing cocktails and made the decision very tough for the judges. Talis took home a $500 cash prize, with all finalists receiving a bottle of Sunshine State Gin and a bespoke 78° bar kit. South Australian bartenders really turned out their talent for this comp, with plenty of high quality entries that made even shortlisting this final 6 difficult.

New South Wales bartenders are up next, and we can’t wait to see them Create a Stir with our Sunshine State Gin!