Belfast bartenders triumph in Underground Punch Pong League

UPPL Final

Two bartenders from Belfast are celebrating after being crowned champions of the Underground Punch Pong League and winners of the Monin and Plantation Bartenders Challenge Cup 2014.

After a hard-fought battle involving eight teams of two bartenders from across the UK, the ultimate winners were Conor Brennan and John O’Reilly who work at Love & Death, Inc in Belfast.

The final took place last week on the opening night of London Cocktail Week in front of a packed house at the Arts Theatre in London’s West End.

Conor and John (pictured below) reigned supreme in the Punch Pong Arena, winning a VIP night out in London for themselves and two colleagues as well as their own Punch Pong kit for their bar.

Most importantly, as Monin and Plantation Bartenders’ Challenge Cup champions, the pair are now custodians of the coveted Underground Punch Pong League (UPPL) trophy

Conor & John, Punch Pong Champions

Sponsored by Monin UK and Plantation Rum, the Punch Pong craze was founded last year by JJ Goodman, co-founder of London Cocktail Club bars.

Throughout the summer, bartenders across the country competed against each other in tournaments in the style of the classic game of “beer pong”, trying to get ping pong balls into cups. The difference was that the beer was replaced with the Covent Garden Cocktail Club’s own Black Pearl punch, which contains Monin Orgeat syrup and Plantation Rum.

James Coston, Monin’s UK brand ambassador, said: “Huge congratulations to our winners on their stunning victory in the Punch Pong Arena. The UPPL Monin and Plantation Bartenders’ Challenge Cup is all about fun but it’s also a great way of networking and strengthening ties between bars across the country.

“We’ve seen some serious skills throughout the tour – not just at the Punch Pong table but behind the stick as well – and it’s been really rewarding to see just how much bartending talent is out there. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part and supported the competition.”

JJ added: “It’s been a whirlwind of emotions over the past few months and the reception we received across the UK when we rolled into each city was phenomenal.

“Many thanks to all the bars that hosted each of the heats. Their hospitality was amazing and the efforts they put into getting people down to each event was really appreciated.

“I’d also like to thank Monin and Plantation Rum for backing the tour. There was no better way to kick off London Cocktail Week than with a few rounds of Punch Pong on a West End stage.”


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