A pirate-inspired cocktail could see a Nelson bartender land in Jamaica later this year.
Liquid NZ Bar owner Craig Lines is one of 35 competitors in the Appleton Estate Bartender Challenge 2012.
This week Mr Lines was judged on his rum cocktails, including the pirate-inspired Yo Ho and a high-end drink called the Miyabi.
If Mr Lines wins the competition he will fly to Jamaica to represent New Zealand in Appleton Estate's quest to find the best rum bartender in the world.
''It would be a holiday, a chance to get out of the cold,'' he said.
Judge Nigel Owen visited Nelson to test Mr Lines on the presentation, smell and taste of his cocktails.
Mr Lines was also judged on his knowledge of the rum, his choice of ingredients and his interaction with the customer.
Mr Owen also visited another 10 bars in Wellington to judge other cocktail creations.
''Each bartender makes two cocktails so I've got a lot more drinking to do,'' Mr Owen told the Nelson Mail this week.
He is one of three New Zealand judges.
Mr Lines' rum cocktails are his own inventions.
The Yo Ho was inspired by a song featured in performances of Treasure Island. It also comes with a miniature pirate ship made from a lime slice and skull and crossbones flag.
Mr Lines invented the drink for a pirate party held by the bar.
''They're easy to make and quick to get out,'' he said.
The Miyabi, which means elegant, is made with Appleton Estate 21-year-old rum, pear cognac, organic apple and pear juice, a bitters rinse and topped off with a cinnamon and brown sugar-rimmed glass.
''It's got all these different things going on. It's quite an interesting experience, it works very well,'' said Mr Lines.
- © Fairfax NZ News