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Barman Mikey Ball, of the Naughty Penguin, won the regional heat in Queenstown last week.
However, Guy Jacobson, of Hippopotamus Bar, Wellington, Barney Toy, of Suite Bar, Auckland, and Giancarlo Jesus, of the Hawthorn Lounge, Wellington, secured the three places on Team New Zealand at the national final in the Front Room, Wellington, on July 29.
More than 150 members of Wellington's hospitality industry witnessed the best in bartending talent push the boundaries of cocktail creation with inspired, innovative and delicious concoctions.
The eight finalists had just seven minutes to impress judges, chef Rex Morgan, Queenstown-now-Wellington bartending identity Jason Clark, and host of The Mix and "spirit ambassador" Frankie Walker.
"The standard was very high with a diverse array of drinks and skills which made it incredibly hard to judge," Mr Clark said.
"It is all about balance, their drink, the on-stage persona, and we also wanted to get the combination right in the team."
The team now has one month to bond and devise and perfect its signature drink to win the trophy at the cocktail world cup, which would be a first for New Zealand.
The cup begins in Queenstown on September 3 and moves to Auckland for a grand final event on September 7.
The competition will involve challenges, activities and seminars by some of the world's best and most influential bartending talent.