Geelong-based STORY Cocktails awarded first-ever Platinum medal for bottled cocktail at 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

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Geelong-based STORY Cocktails awarded first-ever Platinum medal for bottled cocktail at 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition

Credit: Mandy Couzens

This marks a huge achievement for the local business, with it been the first time a Platinum medal has ever been awarded in this category.

Taking Geelong to the world spirit stage, locally-born business STORY Cocktails has been awarded the first-ever Platinum medal for a bottled cocktail at the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC).

Renowned as the largest competition of its kind in the world, a Platinum medal here is a remarkable accomplishment, only being awarded to the very few entries that receive a Double Gold medal in the competition for three consecutive years.

Going up against drinks from the world’s finest crafters of bottled cocktails, STORY Cocktails achieved Double Gold for their Martinez in 2020, 2021 and 2022. According to the SFWSC archive, it’s the first time a Platinum medal has been awarded in this category since the category was created 19 years ago in 2003.

So, this is absolutely HUGE!

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The drink in question – The Martinez – is a classic gin-based cocktail – some say it is the precursor to the modern-day Martini. With its recipe first printed in the 1880’s, the cocktail uses Old Tom gin instead of London Dry, and red vermouth instead of blanco. With the addition of maraschino liqueur, the velvety blend is sweeter and less alcoholic than a conventional Martini, and for that reason, it’s a good drink to introduce a novice into the world of Martini drinking. The Martinez cocktail has been made so it can age in the bottle and some customers have been purchasing it in order to cellar for several years before drinking.

With a perfectly crafted cocktail that’s ready to go, the STORY Cocktail’s drink was subject to a rigorous judging process involving blind tastings by multiple judges. A Double Gold medal is awarded to the entries that receive a Gold medal rating by all members of the judging panel. Double Gold-winning entries are considered among the finest products in the world, and the Platinum award spotlights the rare entries that have been able to achieve this level of quality three years running.

“When we heard we’d achieved the hat-trick, meaning a Platinum medal, honestly, the result was beyond our wildest dreams” co-founder Michael Stewart. “But it’s a testament to our hard work and dedication, and the support of our family, friends and colleagues.

“I can’t believe it. To achieve a Platinum medal means we’ve created one of the world’s best-bottled cocktails right here in Geelong,” said Cook. “We started STORY to help people celebrate the important moments in people’s lives with awesome drinks they can enjoy anywhere. We couldn’t be happier that our cocktails are providing so much joy, while also achieving global recognition.”

Founded in 2016 by Stewart and lifelong friend and collaborator Alistair Cook, STORY Cocktails is the result of two lifelong collaborators with a passion for marking important moments by sharing beautiful well-crafted cocktails.

Starting out with careers in healthcare, the duo started visiting the great bars of the world, where they then rigorously worked their way through the menus seeking inspiration for their venture. From their home base in Geelong, they researched and developed, then refined and bottled, the world’s finest cocktails, bringing them from the bar to your hand, wherever you are. Using their own version of liquid alchemy, their ingredients are selected or crafted not simply for the individual qualities of each, but for how they all combine in the finished product. 

And we’d say the proof is in the pudding. STORY Cocktails was awarded its first medals in 2020 for its Negroni (Gold), Old Fashioned (Gold) and Vesper Martini (Silver), as well as Double Gold for the Martinez. A medal for every product in their range.

Stewart believes the company’s success comes from its focus on the reasons why people drink cocktails in the first place. He stated, “We focus on the experience that goes with our drinks, making sure everything is right so that our customers can concentrate on what really matters to them – enjoying themselves in the moment.” A curated Spotify playlist completing each cocktail is just one of the ways this innovative company have been able to add value to their customer.

Stewart stated, “We have seen the business grow over the last two years during the pandemic when people enjoyed the convenience of drinking a bar-quality cocktail at home without having to do all the work. Now the world is returning to normal we have seen an increased uptake of our on-premises offering.

People are wanting to drink cocktails at venues where they were previously unavailable, such as their local restaurant or wine bar. It’s also been difficult for venues to find staff and our pre-bottled cocktails offer a consistent, convenient and premium alternative to employing a full-time bartender.”

There’s more to come for STORY Cocktails, with new alcoholic and non-alcoholic products due to hit the Australian market later in the year.

Currently their award-winning cocktails, including their Platinum-winning Martinez, are available via their online store at, through Dan Murphy’s online, and at discerning local wine stores and bottle shops around Melbourne and Geelong. 

World-renowned award-winning cocktails on your doorstep? Don’t sleep on it!