New format for Monin Cup and ‘punch pong’ league

2013 Punch Pong finalBartenders have the chance to show off their mixing skills this summer when The Black Pearl Tour takes to the road with competitions, tutored tastings and training.

Led by cocktail experts from Monin syrups and purees and Plantation rums, the tour features workshops at 10 locations, followed by regional heats of the 2014 UK Monin Cup competition.

The events will culminate in heats of the second annual Underground Punch Pong League’s (UPPL) Monin & Plantation Bartenders’ Challenge Cup.

The successful individuals and teams will compete for places in the grand finals of both competitions during London Cocktail Week in October.

For the Monin Cup regional heats, contestants have eight minutes to make an alcoholic cocktail using at least 20ml of any Monin syrup or puree.

The UK final will be held in the new Monin Studio in Shoreditch, London, with the overall winner representing the UK at the International Monin Cup Final in Paris in December. Entrants must be aged 27 or under. To enter, submit your cocktail recipe at

The Monin & Plantation Bartenders’ Challenge Cup was founded in 2013 by JJ Goodman of London Cocktail Club bars and Monin brand ambassador James Coston.

The competition (pictured) took the UK bar scene by storm as bartenders competed against each other in tournaments based on “beer pong” where competitors have to get ping pong balls into cups of beer, For the UPPL, the beer is replaced by a punch that the teams invent on the day.

This year, the signature UPPL punch is The Black Pearl, which contains Plantation rum and Monin orgeat and grenadine syrups and is currently on the menu at London Cocktail Club bars.

James said: “The Monin Cup is a keenly-contested international challenge to be the best of the best in which expert judges look for the highest standards of taste, presentation, consistency, creativity and style.

“Entry to one of the regional heats also gives you and a colleague the chance to take part in the more informal Monin & Plantation Bartenders’ Challenge Cup later that evening.

“The whole tour is a great opportunity for bartenders across the country to learn about our huge product range, but also to have fun and show how creative they can be.”

To find out more and to sign up for the workshops, Monin Cup and the UPPL Monin & Plantation Bartenders’ Challenge Cup, visit

The dates and locations of the regional heats, which all start at 1pm, are as follows:

Cardiff – Monday 9 June – Maddison
Bristol – Tuesday 10 June – Big Chill
Nottingham – Monday 23 June – Boilermaker
Birmingham – Tuesday 24 June – Island Bar
Manchester – Tuesday 8 July – Luck, Lust Liquor & Burn
Liverpool – Wednesday 9 July – Salt Dog Slims
Leeds – Wednesday 16 July – Jake’s Bar & Grill
Glasgow – Tuesday 22 July – Blue Dog
Belfast – Wednesday 23 July – Love & Death
London – Tuesday 29 July – London Cocktail Club, Oxford Circus

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