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New Zealand


Hong Kong






United States


Whisk(e)y Tasting


Cocktail ingredients breakdown


Los Angeles Bar Guide



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tar of Bombay, voted the world’s best London Dry Gin of 2016 have partnered with acclaimed Melbourne cocktail bar Eau De Vie to bring the ritual of the martini service to life with the launch of an exclusively designed martini trolley. Eau De Vie will serve reimagined martini trolley cocktails, with recipes from iconic hotel bars throughout history, crafted in a bespoke theatrical style that’s unequivocally Eau De Vie.

Star of Bombay is a premium small batch gin, slowly distilled from the 10 botanicals in Bombay Sapphire along with two additional botanicals. Gently dried Bergamot orange peel from the mountains of Calabria, Southern Italy, provides a fragrant, rich citrus note; while the floral musk of Ambrette seeds from the tropical yellow hibiscus flower grown in Ecuador, supply a graceful elegance, lifting the precious botanicals at the heart of all Bombay Gins to a new dimension. The Trolley Service at Eau De Vie showcases cocktails from a new martini menu which are created in front of guests and served directly from the Star of Bombay


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Martini Trolley, each having a story to tell while paying homage to the magic of cocktail trolley service of the past.


• The Edwardian – a twist on the sweet

noted Hanky Panky cocktail from the Savoy Hotel of 1903

• Captain Ritz – an adaptation of the ultra-luxurious Ritz Side Car from Paris

• Magda Martini – inspired by Ian

Flemming’s iconic Bond series and The Dukes Hotel in London

• Simpson Martini – an Eau De Vie spin

on the traditional dirty martini served at the prominent Connaught Hotel in London.

Each version of the martini champions historical ingredients with a contemporary twist, created using delicate, flavoursome liqueurs, vermouths and locally sourced produce. The Star of Bombay Martini Trolley will also allow guests to experiment with vermouth, bitters, brine and garnishes to create their very own personalised martini concoction.

Eau De Vie General Manager, Greg Sanderson said, “Here at Eau De Vie we’re all about guest experience. We’re really excited to partner with Star of Bombay Dry London Gin to create our Martini Trolley service which we will offer to our seated booth and table customers, through cocktail masterclasses and as part of a cocktail degustation.” Star of Bombay Australian Ambassador, Andy Wren said, "Since its creation in the 1800s, the martini has become a cocktail legend and topic of debate amongst cocktail aficionados, however the inclusion of London Dry Gin in the classic martini is undisputed. The vapour infusion of Star of Bombay’s rare, handpicked botanicals, along with its slow distillation method, creates a deeper intensity of flavours and an exceptionally smooth, award-winning expression of a London Dry Gin best showcased in a martini.”


Greg Sanderson, Eau De Vie General Manager


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Credits CREDITS Publisher Ashley Pini


General Manager Melinda Virgona

Edition 29 of Drinks World Magazine (Australia) lauds all things winter, with plenty of content to inspire you to push the boundaries and celebrate bar culture. On the cover, Nicola Olianas spent some time with Drinks World magazine on his recent trip down-under, just his second trip to our shores. While here he hosted seminars and gave the low-down on the ‘bartender’s handshake’ and chatted about his passion for the brand’s heritage, the taste, and the unique ability to polarise those tasting the liquid for the first time. Is there a drink that has been more embraced by bartenders across the globe? It’s why we love it.

EDITORIAL Associate Editor Hannah Sparks Assistant Editor Lukas Raschilla Online Editor Rachel Tyler Editorial Assistant Mary Parbery Editorial Intern Stephanie Aikins

We’d also like to say that Tales is just around the corner. While it may be on next month, the truth is, it’s a solid 23 hours from boarding in Sydney to the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans. So why not stop along the way. Our city bar guide this edition is all about the stop-over, and where better than LA. Our local expert, Paige Vreede, gives you the tips on hotels that will make you feel like you’re on the set of Entourage, to the coolest bars keeping you away from the tourist traps. We’ve even thrown in a few tips for Tales itself, assuming you make it.

Production Manager Sasha Falloon

DESIGN Art Director Evelyn Rueda Senior Designer Racs Salcedo SALES National Sales and Marketing Manager Chris Wheeler Market Manager Danny Yang DRINKS Drinks Curator Ben Davidson (Bespoke Drinks) PHOTOGRAPHY Photographer: Elden Cheung, Luke Calder, Ryan Stuart, Stephen Walton CONTRIBUTORS Writers: Ben Davidson, Paige Vreede

Our big feature this edition is on page 16; everything whisky, whiskey and bourbon – however you want to spell it. This time we look closely at the effects of the different cask finishes and gathered a keen band of tasters at Mjølner in Redfern because they have Thor’s hammer, axes and cool stuff, to go through nine different styles, from Stout Cask to Oloroso Cask finishes– and plenty in between. Also in this edition, check out the Top 100 Bartenders in Australia as voted by the industry. Right now, these champions behind the stick are voting to see who will be in the T25 Australian Bartenders for 2017 – announced next month. Keep an eye on and put your name down for the free newsletter to make sure you find out first, or join the group on FB. We know it’s cold (at least for the Australian edition readers) so we’ve served up a range of dark beers, stouts and porters for you to chew your way through, they start on page 26. We’ve also listed a range of organic and biodynamic wines on page 28. Your customers are becoming more and more educated in this area and are seeking out these wines, so here’s a quick snapshot of what they are and why they can call themselves biodynamic and organic. There’s loads more to keep you glued to your latest edition of Drinks World magazine, including our feature on “Everything But The Booze” – it’s all about the mixers, on page 41, and bar tools to seek out on page 36. I hope you enjoy this edition, and look forward to your feedback. Stay informed at Cheers,

Produced and published by

Ash Pini

Editorial Enquiries: If you, your bar, or your brand and company have news or events you would like to share with Drinks World please contact: and/or Although Hip Media endeavours to ensure the accuracy and correctness of the information and Drinks World and, we do not accept any liability or responsibility for any inaccuracies or omissions. The views expressed by authors of publications or event presentations, published Drinks World, do not necessarily represent the views of Hip Media. Decisions or actions based on the information and publications provided by Hip Media are at your own risk. drinks world



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What’s Happening?

Drinks World T100 Announced

Tales of the Cocktail Tips LA LA Land


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Whisky - Cask Finishes

Whisky Tasting

Beer – Stout and Porter

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Cocktail Club

Confessions of a Bartender


28 36 41

Wine – Organic and Biodynamic Bar Tools and Gear Cocktail Ingredients

32 34 40

Nicola Olianas – Global Ambassador for Fratelli-Branca Vini Wang, Hains & Co

Rinna Kato, Barport

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T25 Bartenders Hong Kong Giancarlo Quiroz Jesus from New Zealand Orman Bag-Ao from the Philippines


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MANLY SPIRITS CO. Manly Spirits Co. has just launched its debut range of premium spirits after celebrating a cleansweep of medal wins at the 17th San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC) and 2017 Australian Distilled Spirits Awards (ADSA). The first distillery to open in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Manly Spirits Co. uses sustainably sourced native and foraged marine botanicals for a uniquely Aussie flavour experience, including wattleseed, sea parsley, anise myrtle, mountain pepper leaf and finger lime. The distillery’s newly launched range includes Australian Dry Gin, Marine Botanical Vodka, Terra Firma Botanical Vodka and North Fort White Dog Malt Spirit. For more information, check out

PATIENT WOLF PREMIUM DRY GIN Patient Wolf is a new Australian gin brand based in Brunswick, Melbourne. Launched by friends and co-founders Matt Argus and Dave Irwin, the duo decided to leave the corporate world for the spirits industry, following their love of all things local, craft and gin and inspired the global success of small Australian brewers and distillers. Patient Wolf Premium Dry Gin uses a mix of native and exotic botanicals such as ruby grapefruit, native aniseed myrtle and tonka beans from South America, plus Australian citrus, pure water and innovative distilling techniques. Every batch of gin is handmade and is relatively small, producing only 200 bottles at a time, with each bottle featuring the batch number and distillation date.

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Named after the Spanish word for fire, BACARDÍ Carta Fuego rum has been crafted using fire torched oak barrels, aged for a minimum of two years and married with carefully selected spices to deliver a rich, bold flavour, perfect for winter cocktails. Coming in at 40% ABV, Carta Fuego is smooth, combining the classic spiced rum flavours of cinnamon, vanilla, nutmeg and oak. BACARDÍ.com/au

ASIA INTERNATIONAL WINE COMPETITION The Asia International Wine Competition is inviting wineries and distilleries to participate in what will be the inaugural Asian International Wine Competition, held in Hong Kong. What sets this event apart from other competitions is the trade only blind judging panel, which consists of beverage industry professionals from all over the continent. Winners will be showcased through tasting events throughout the year, including ProWein at not additional charge. Head to to find out how to enter.


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FOG CITY RELEASE A CIDER ‘FOR THE PEOPLE’ BROWN-FORMAN ADDS THE BENRIACH DISTILLERY CO. TO THE PORTFOLIO Brown-Forman Australia has announced it will take over the distribution of The GlenDronach, BenRiach and Glenglassaugh Single Malt Scotch Whiskies in Australia from 1 July 2017.

OMFG IT’S PLANTATION RUM OFTD! Crowd favourite, Plantation Rum have released their OFTD overproof rum. Coming in at 69% ABV, this rich and flavourful rum is a recipe that harkens back to a traditional recipe. Plantation Rum Master Blender, Alexandre Gabriel developed the recipe along with six of the finest rum and tiki experts from around the world. The Plantation O.F.T.D. comes in at the wholesale price of AUD$79 exc. GST and is available in Australia through Neat Spirits. Proof & Co are also distributing Plantation Rum in Singapore and HK For more information on the Plantation range, check out

Still Hate Tony Abbott? You probably do. It’s simply one of the many bold political statements that Melbourne’s East 9th Brewing have brilliantly blazoned across bottles of their Fog City Cloudy Cider, in a series they have dubbed The People Vs. Known as ‘activist cider’, Fog City positively protests against the injustices of Australia’s bigoted politicians, laws and prejudices. Be it One Nation’s Pauline Hanson or Casino Mike. The team at East 9th, Josh Lefers, Stephen Wools and Benjamin Cairns have done this “To keep the bastards honest.” Fog City Cloudy Cider is a medium-dry cider made with Aussie apples and pears. Fog City activist cider is currently available nationally. For more information, visit

SPRING COURT GIVEAWAY WINNER! Drinks World is pleased to announce the winner of our Spring Court shoe giveaway competition from issue 28. Jasmine Pirovic of Earl’s Juke Joint in Sydney’s Newtown has won for naming and shaming her colleague, James Fury (seen above) and his horrendous shoes. Thanks to the good folk over at Spring Court Jasmine has scored a pair of B2 Canvas shoes valued at $150!


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BUCKET BOYS Bucket Boys is a dedicated craft beer store in Sydney’s inner west suburb of Marrickville. With eight physical breweries located in the Inner-West and even more gypsy brewers, the guys behind Bucket Boys, Clint Elvin and Jonathan Hepner thought the area could use a hub where beer lovers could come to try new beers, take home growlers from our taps, and find a new craft beer home. For those who can’t make it in store, Bucket Boys also offers an online bottle shop where they carrying brands from Australia and around the world. They have also teamed up with the Institute of Beer’s Cicerone and Beer Server Programs to help students with their beer needs. For the non beer fan or those who like to change it up, Bucket Boys stock a handpicked selection of Australian only wine and spirits. For anything beer related, a chat and a good time check out Bucket Boys. And don’t forget to keep an eye out for their extensive range of jerky. Address: 300 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204

MJØLNER The latest from the Speakeasy Group (Eau de Vie, Boilermaker House, The Roosevelt) comes Mjølner, a Viking inspired restaurant and bar in Sydney’s inner city suburb of Redfern. The venue combines historic Viking features with modern Scandinavian design, is heavy on the whisky selection, highlighted by a Thor’s hammer whisky decanter, yes that’s right, you can have a dram poured from Thor’s hammer! The menu on offer is dedicated to whole animal cooking and carving, featuring an open carvery that shows the chefs in action. Cured meat is also a strong focus here, but vegetarians don’t dismay, a section of the menu is dedicated to you. Four options are each evening under the headings: bird, fish, beast, vegetarian. The venue also has a strong focus on wine, as well as cocktails and whisky.

Unequivocally Melbourne and unassumingly cool, the entrance to Back Alley Sally’s is understated to say the least - down a laneway, hidden to most eyes and with only a blue door and the number 4; you’d almost be forgiven for walking straight past. Still a fledgeling, this loft bar is the talk of the western suburb of Footscray, so it is advisable to get there early. Scale the stairs to find the action where recycled materials, artistic flair and modern fixings turn this large space into an ultra cool and interesting one. With fresh and flavoursome American style pizzas and salads from Slice Girls West below, a solid range of tap beers and cider, easy to drink cocktails and an interesting list of spirits, the crowd is varied and oh-sohappy. Visit this one for sure. Address: 4 Yewers Street Footscray W: T: (02) 9689 6260 Opening Hours: Monday - Thursday 5pm – 10pm Friday – Saturday 12pm – 10pm Sunday 1pm-9pm

THE MILL BREWERY, COLLINGWOOD The Mill Brewery is Melbourne’s newest local brewery and bar, with a relaxed vibe in an intimate warehouse located in the inner city suburb of Collingwood, just off Smith Street. The folk at The Mill love to share the fun of brewing with friends, so feel free to stop by and see what’s on tap. At The Mill you’ll find eight rotating taps – six of the Mill’s own house beers and two guest taps, as well as an excellent wine list. Address: 40 Sackville Street, Collingwood VIC 3066

Address: 267 Cleveland St, Redfern NSW 2016 T: 0422 263 226 W: Opening Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 5pm-11.45pm Sunday 12pm-10pm

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PHOTO: DW T25 2016

DRINKS WORLD’S T100 AUSTRALIA Drinks World would like to congratulate all bartenders who made it into the top 100 for Drinks World Australia’s Top 25 (T25) awards for 2017. After two stages of voting where the esteemed judging panel of industry experts, brand ambassadors and venue owners and operators put forward their nominations for bartenders from across the country who they feel are exceptional in their field, we have arrived at the top 100. This year saw a wide spread of entrants from across the nation with almost every state and territory represented in the top 100, and sees four entrants from the Northern Territory on the list. Darwin, we have you in our sights for the next Drinks World scene report. Drinks World will announce the 2017 T25 Australia on this July. Drinks World’s Top 100 Australia 2017 (By State/Territory) VICTORIA Alex Archibald, Seamstress Chris Hysted-Adams, Black Pearl Daniel Monk, Rum Diary Dave Kerr, The Beaufort Ev Liong, Whisky & Alement Hayden Lambert, Above Board Jack Sotti, Boilermaker House

Kelvin Low, Elysian Kevin Peters, Garden State Matt Stirling, Black Pearl Michael Madrusan, The Everleigh Mitch Townsend, Gin Palace Nathan Beasley, Black Pearl Orlando Marzo, Lûmé Seb Costello, Bad Frankies Trish Brew, The Gin Palace Yao Wong, Elysian Whisky Bar NEW SOUTH WALES (INC. ACT) Adam Cork, KittyHawk Alen Nikolovski, Shady Pines Saloon Alex Gilmour, Tio’s Alissa Gabriel, Mjolner Andrea Gualdi, Maybe Frank Andrew Ratcliff, Baxter Inn Bobby Carey, Big Poppa’s Charlie Ainsbury, This Must Be The Place Charlie Lehmann, Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern Dale Schoon, Earl’s Juke Joint David Nguyen Luu, Barber Shop Dre Walters, Lobo Plantation Evan Brown, Rockpool Harriet Leigh, Archie Rose Holly Ingram, Highball Express Igor Pachi, Assembly James Irvine, Swillhouse Jemima McDonald, Earl’s Juke Joint Jenna Hemsworth, Hubert John Davidson Jnr., Button Bar Jono Carr, KittyHawk

Joshua Ng, Papa Gedes Kurtis Bosley, Woollahra Hotel Lewis Jaffrey, Big Poppa’s Luke Ashton, This Must Be The Place Max Greco, Vasco Michael Chiem, PS40 Michelle Tee, Burrow Bar Miya McLaughlin, Rosie Campbell’s Noriel Calub, Blackmarket Petr Dvoracek, Merivale Group Quynh Van Nguyen, Charlie Parker’s Raphael Redant, Stitch Sam Egerton, Charlie Parkers Thalita Alves, Bulletin Place Thor Burgquist, PS40 Yoshi Onishi, Tokyo Bird WESTERN AUSTRALIA Ben Tua, Mad Dog’s Brendan Grey, Mechanic’s Institute Claire McDaid, The Odd Fellow David Stucken, Bar Lafayette Dim Rtshiladze, Mechanic’s Institute Elise Godwin, Dominion League James Connolly, Long Chim Jessica Page, Helvetica Joe Sinagra, Ku De Ta Mitch Gurrin, Dominion League Phillip Weber, El Grotto Simon Hough, Flour Factory Tom Kearney, Dominion League SOUTH AUSTRALIA Ben Parton, Mr Good Bar Ben Walsh, Udaberri

Cody Deatker (Banks), Hains and Co. David Danby, Hains and Co. Finn Healey, Duke of York Mitchell Clarke, 2nd & 6th Nick Corletto, Maybe Mae Ollie Margan, Maybe Mae Phil Jones, Hains and Co. Roman Tazhdynov, The Bibliotheca Vini Wang, Hains and Co. Will Turner, Maybe Mae Zac Markov, BadDog NORTHERN TERRITORY Dan Carr, Nirvana Janna Connell, PM Eat & Drink Josie Blanchard, Chows Pouya Khoshtarash, Sky City QUEENSLAND Adam Bastow, ETSU Aiden Beiers, Black Bear Lodge Alex Boon, Seymour’s Cameron Pirret, Seymour’s Daniel Gregory, Canvas Club Dave Marshall, Lefty’s Ed Quartermass, Maker Ella Rhodes, Cobbler Elliot Pascoe, Maker Josh O’Brien, The Bowery Kal Moore, Tomcat Martin Lange, The Cobbler Peter Hollands, Black Bear Lodge Pez Collier, The APO Ryan Lane, Gresham Steve McDermott, Statler & Waldorf


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his year Whisky Live Adelaide will become part of the Whiskies & Spirits Conference Asia Pacific, showcasing other spirits as well.

Attendees will have the opportunity to sample and savour liquor from across the globe including gin, vodka, mezcal, tequila, brandy, rum and other spirits in addition to whisky. “Because the industry-only conferences will bring together a large assortment of whisky and spirit suppliers, we thought it would be a great opportunity for the consumer to sample everything while it’s in Adelaide, so we’ve combined it into the annual Whisky Live event.” Ken Bromfield, the conference organiser, said.

The Whiskies & Spirits Conference Asia Pacific will be held at the Adelaide Convention Centre Thursday 3 & Friday 4 August 2017 (Industry Only) Saturday 5 August (Industry and Consumer) For tickets to The Whisky & Spirit Expo and the seminars head to and click on Adelaide

The Expo offers access to product knowledge in the distilled beverages sector, training opportunities for business owners and their staff, expo tastings and networking opportunities with brand owners as well as education in whisky and spirits ranging. There are Expo sessions on Friday and Saturday. While lectures and seminars on Friday are industry only, Saturday morning seminars will be for both industry and consumers. Technical workshops on spirit production will be held for distillers as well as a discussion panel on distilling as a start-up business. Seminar topics include ‘whisky from an investment perspective’ and ‘what makes a world-class gin.’

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his edition of Drinks World, we feature whisk(e)y, look at dark beers and venture into the world or organic and biodynamic wine.


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The Final Frontier WORDS ° Ben Davidson

Whisky in all its guises continues to be the favourite spirit amongst bartenders and board directors alike. It’s appeal with the trend-setting bartenders of the world’s finest bars and their ability to communicate about the differences to their customers has continued to recruit new devoted fans to the category every year. There are now armies of ambassadors, whisky zealots and ‘malt advocates’ who passionately share their knowledge about their new favourite whisky to consumers and friends. (I should know, because I’m one of them). At the same time, at the top-end of the market, luxury whiskies continue to grow, as the prestige associated with rare and expensive whisky becomes more apparent with a deeper understanding and appreciation of the care that goes into making a 50 year old Scotch whisky and why they can command prices of over $50,000 a bottle. The unabated growth in whisky as a category has lead to shortages of aged stocks and over the last few years there have been a plethora of

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new whisky blends containing younger whiskies to replace their rarer ‘guaranteed aged’ older siblings. This increased demand has led to the need to innovate within the category to create new ‘expressions’ that contain younger whiskies that enhance the master brand whilst attracting new consumers to the category. “Whisky has a story that is both romantic and practical, emotional yet rational; it’s part artistry, part science and once initially hooked, it becomes intriguing, then quietly captivating and eventually can border on obsession, as it’s the classic scenario of the more you know, the more you want to find out.” Being that whiskies are made from a simple mash of cereal grains, yeast and water there is a surprising number of distinctly different flavour profiles across the broad category. The key variables being – the different percentages of the grains used in the mash, the type and shape

of still and the qualities of the water used for dilution, that gives rise to initial varying flavours. However, it’s in the final step in the process - ageing and maturation, where the whisky develops most of its distinguishable character and flavour. Perhaps it was the cost savings of used American oak barrels that was the main reason for adopting them for ageing whisky in the late 19th century. So much so, that the term ‘traditional casks’ is used to describe the now common practice of using ex-bourbon barrels for the ageing of most whiskies. It was subsequently discovered that the softer, more gentle uptake of the woody characters was better and it promoted subtle vanilla and sweet coconut notes in the whisky due to the caramelisation of the lignin and wood sugars. Similarly, the shipping of Sherry from Spain to the UK was usually done in large 500 litre European oak ‘butts’ up until the 1980s, which were re-used at the point of destination as a great vessel for ageing whisky. The remnants of


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the sherry in the casks proved to enhance and accentuate dried fruit and nutty characters in the whisky. It has been said, in whisky circles, that distillation is a science and blending matured whiskies is an art and that as much as 80 percent of the final flavours in a whisky emerge and develop from and in the oak cask it rests in. Of course, it’s vitally important to get your newmake spirit right, because ageing can’t cover up bad tasting spirit. The usage of different types of cask made from different species of oak and the flavours they promote has been understood for a while, and there are ‘house’ styles that have emerged favouring one type of cask over another. Aberlour A’bunadh is aged exclusively in ex-oloroso sherry casks for its maturation, giving it dried fruit, dark cacao, oak varnish-like aromas, whereas, others in Speyside like The Glenlivet 12 yo have gone for exclusive ex-bourbon casks, with the whisky bursting with pineapple, vanilla and tropical fruits aromas. The majority of whiskies, however, don’t just use a single type of oak anymore. Most are vatted from a variety of different barrels and casks with a little sprinkling of whisky from butts, pipes and puncheons to add some spice! With most casks being ex-bourbon barrels there is approximately only 5 per cent of casks

coming from an ex-sherry, European oak origin. Sherry butts are 10 times the price of an exbourbon barrel. ‘Finishing’ a whisky, (apart from something you enjoy doing on a regular basis), is the term given to the creative process where the whisky is matured further in a cask of different origin, usually anywhere from a few months to a few years, to impart a new flavour to the whisky. Usually, the first cask is an American oak, ex-bourbon barrel to give it a good base and the second cask is often European oak that may have been used to mature a different spirit like rum or Cognac, Oloroso sherry or other fortified wines like port, Madeira, or wines such as pinot noir or ex- Bordeaux red casks and even beer casks like stout and IPA and even a ginger beer cask finish! Some of the earliest and well-known ‘special finish’ whiskies include the Balvenie ‘Doublewood’, and the Glenmorangie fortified wine finished range. So, in the spirit of innovation and creating n ew products for the new legions of whisky lovers the producers have been quietly developing an array of ‘finished’ whiskies to add a new dimension to their range and to give their fans a new expression to get excited about.

UNDERSTANDING OAK MATURATION The use of oak casks as the preferred vessel to mature whisky in didn’t happen overnight. It was a realisation through trial and error that whisky was improved by the resting in oak barrels. As luck would have it, the most abundant varieties of oak trees from North America and Europe have the key elements needed to keep a whisky for a long time; strength, density, porosity and unique chemistry that gives rise to complex and delicious flavours over time. Because the oak is defined as a ‘pure wood’, it is ideal for the purpose, as long as it’s rested and ‘weathered’ for a couple of years to allow for the bitter compounds to oxidise and transform, before the casks are made and whisky added. The key variables here are the growth rate of a tree, the natural seasoning of the wood and the level of toasting or charring during the coopering process. Once in the cask there is a lot of interactivity between the oak and the spirit. Complex processes take place over extended periods of time which aren’t fully understood, however the role of oxygen and temperature are important variables. There are four processes that take place over the long maturation process:


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• EXTRACTION: the process where the spirit is dissolving and absorbing the sweet wood sugars, tannin, lignin, oak lactones and colour from the oak staves in the cask. Increases as temperature increases. • SUBTRACTION: where the cask can help remove unwanted flavours in the spirit like sulphur and organic nitrogen compounds. Also, helps eliminate ‘immature’ flavours from the spirit. • INTERACTION: where there is a complex interplay between the spirit, oak and air that aids in the conversion of organic compounds like tannins into acetals, lignins breaking down into soluble lipids and acids being transformed into fruity esters. • OXIDATION: is the key factor that promotes the most complex flavours. The slow breathing of atmospheric oxygen through the cask staves is made more active by the presence of tannins. The result is the creation of fragrant, almost ethereal aromas that lie at the heart of any good whisky. In a cooler climate, there is more influence of oxidation and hence fruity aromas and slower oak absorption, whereas in a warmer climate the balance is tipped toward faster oak absorption and not as much time for oxidation to fully develop.


after which it is sometimes called ‘Spanish Oak’. Has a density of .69gm/cubic cm.

NORTH AMERICAN • White Oak – Quercus alba Commonly known as White Oak, it’s the species used in maturation of most American whiskies. It’s a very strong wood with coarse grain structure and a density of .75gm/cubic cm. Said to have a higher percentage of tannins, especially vanillin, and is also higher in lignin and lactones compared to other oak. Results in a more vigorous uptake of oak flavours.

• ‘French’ Oak - Quercus petraea Also known as Sessile oak and commonly comes from the planted forests of France. It’s known for its tighter and finer grain structure and softer tannins compared to White Oak, which gives a more gradual and softer uptake of oak flavour development. Has a density of .71gm/cubic cm.

EUROPEAN • ‘English’ Oak - Quercus robur Also known as common oak and has been a prized wood for boat building and construction over the centuries. Very strong and durable oak with a coarse and irregular grain structure. Has been used extensively for sherry maturation,

JAPAN • Japanese Oak – Quercus mongolica Also known as Mizunara Oak, it tends to have a slower growth rate which results in the wood being slightly lighter and weaker than White Oak. It has a high vanillin content giving good flavour to the whisky. Japanese Oak is used as a finishing cask due to its porosity. Density .68gm/cubic cm.


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he finishing cask does impart flavour to a whisky, and there are a wide array of distilleries now producing a range of expressions that have been finished in different barrels; from multiple wood casks, to sherry, rum and even beer to add another layer of flavour and complexity to the whisky.

We thought it was fitting to bring together an eclectic group of Whisky professionals to taste how some of these ‘cask finishes’ have developed flavour and added complexity to the whiskies. For the tasting, we selected a variety of whiskies from around the world including Ireland, Scotland, the USA and Australia, all with variously different cask finishes. We wanted to see if our panel could comment on the flavour profile present and the influence of the special cask finish. We were lucky enough to be hosted by one of Sydney’s newest and finest venues, Mjolner, a Viking themed whisky bar in the inner-city suburb of Redfern. As a treat, we were graced by not one but two Keepers of the Quaich on the panel in Ben Davidson and Sven Almenning.

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THE PANEL BEN DAVIDSON Drinks Curator, Drinks World magazine SVEN ALMENNING Director, Speakeasy Group


JAMES BUNTIN The Whisky Ambassador

ANDREW RATCLIFF Senior Bartender, The Baxter Inn

ROSS BLAINEY Brand Ambassador, The Balvenie

MATT WOOLER Founder & Curator, Dramnation

DAN WOOLLEY National Whisk(e)y Ambassador, The Exchange

LUKAS RASCHILLA Editor, Drinks World magazine


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THE WHISKIES WOODFORD RESERVE MASTER’S COLLECTION BRANDY CASK FINISH 45.2% ABV The American oak Brandy barrels that have been selected were first used to mature whiskey and then many more times for aging brandy. Finishing fully matured Woodford Reserve in these barrels accentuates the rich dried fruit and nut character from the grain recipe and the long fermentation. PANEL: Sven Almenning: Very influenced on the nose by the brandy, grappaesque with some peppery after notes. Very rich and creamy on the palate. Ben Davidson: The classic Woodford sweetness is dried out a bit by the Brandy cask adding a toastiness. Nice subtle brandy richness from the cask. James Buntin: There’s a massive raisin note. Similar to rum n’ raisin ‘Old Jamaica’ chocolate, it’s not far off that. It’s

also quite nutty, like a pistachio. Tastes heavily brandied to me. Andrew Ratcliff: You can smell classic Woodford under the heavy aroma of toffee and white chocolate.

JAMESON CASKMATES STOUT CASK FINISH 40% ABV Emerging from a conversation between Jameson head distiller and the head brewer of Cork’s Franciscan Well Brewery, Jameson Caskmates has been finished in stoutseasoned whiskey casks. While the triple-distilled smoothness is very much intact, notes of cocoa, coffee and butterscotch confirm the stout influence. PANEL: Dan Woolley: Sweet honey and light flavours. Pleasant, light entry with a growing intensity toward the finish.

Ben Davidson: Slight malty, bitter chocolate note on the nose, but with the classic Irish whiskey, rich fruitiness. Definitely noting additional flavours and complexity compared with standard Jameson. Lukas Raschilla: Notes of honey, sweet toffee.

GLENFIDDICH EXPERIMENTAL SERIES IPA CASK 43% ABV This is the only single malt Scotch whisky to be finished in India Pale Ale (IPA) craft beer casks, done in collaboration with a local Speyside craft brewer who designed a beer that would go into whisky casks. PANEL: James Buntin: I find it to be a little more spicy on the nose. Taste of apple crumble, or apple strudel. Sven Almenning: This whisky has notes of stewed apples and is quite floral. Flavours are slightly spicier than the regular Glenfiddich, traces of cacao and roasted nuts.


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Andrew Ratcliff: Classic Speyside on the palate with an added sweetness and a mild spice. There’s certainly an element of hoppy bitterness on the nose. Dan Woolley: A little bit of burnt toffee coming through. Much more intense, complex sweetness than the standard Glenfiddich 12. Stewed, spiced fruits coming through. A really well constructed whisky Alex Dahlenburg: The pepper comes through in the back of the palate with a mid length finish. A note of floral frangipani. Matt Wooler: Super dry in the back. Soft and round with manuka honey that develops into more of an apple pie.

HELLYERS ROAD SINGLE MALT PINOT NOIR FINISH 46.2% ABV This Pinot Noir finished edition is Hellyers Road Original Single Malt Whisky aged in American Oak (ex-bourbon) and then finished in French Oak (ex-pinot noir) and provides unique complexities of a Tasmanian rainforest. PANEL: Ben Davidson: Very unusual, savoury nose to it. The pinot noir French oak cask adds a vinous, red berry, tomato and parmesan cheese aromas and flavours.

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Andrew Ratcliff: Cereal and malt. Breakfast! Matt Wooler: Aromas of bread and grapes. Flavours of big cereals, malted milk. Ross Blainey: Fresh pressed grapes plus yeasty aromas. Malt and cereal flavours. Interesting nose, like fresh grape juice. Lukas Raschilla: Fresh yeast, pizza dough like flavour comes through.

MICHTER’S TOASTED BARREL FINISH BOURBON 45.7% ABV Made by taking Michter’s US*1 Kentucky Straight Bourbon and aging it for an additional period in a second custom made barrel. The second barrel is assembled from 18-month air-dried wood and then slowly toasted but not charred. PANEL: Alex Dahlenburg: Toasted wood aromas. Flavours of strawberries and cream. Chalky with a mid finish. Ben Davidson: Definitely getting some sweet confectionary and toasty notes there. Toasted marshmallow, campfire oak. Matt Wooler: Huge peppermint spice, high rye, toasty and dry. Dan Woolley: It actually smells like toasted oak on the nose, straight up.

THE BALVENIE CARIBBEAN CASK FINISH 43%ABV The Balvenie Brand Ambassador, Ross Blainey shared some insight into this expression. “This whisky spends 14 years in ex-bourbon American oak barrels, then finished for between three to six months in a barrel which previously had Caribbean rum in it. It’s a pretty short finishing time, but you get that rum character coming through in it. For me, the flavour in this, the honey that’s usually in The Balvenie changes to toffee in this. It’s got a bit of a darker, sugary note to it. There’s almost a hint of tropical fruit, like orange notes in there as well which adds another layer of complexity to it. For this, David Stewart selected three rums for a blend from about 20 different rums that they were going to use to season the cask. The rum is put in ex-bourbon barrels and aged in Dufftown for six months. PANEL: Sven Almenning: Toffee, banana and porridge aromas. Tastes of sultanas, cocoa, banana and red apple, delicious! Ben Davidson: It’s like walking in Speyside listening to Bob Marley… Alex Dahlenburg: Sweet toffee and green apple.


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Dan Woolley: Brandy snap biscuits, spice and honey. Cake, oak and polish. Amazing profile. It’s like Madeira cakes. Ben Davidson: Candied orange, honey and apricot nose, with baked fruits and toasted almond. That madeira finish has layered on some delicious concentrated dried fruitiness.

LAPHROAIG TRIPLE WOOD Andrew Ratcliff: So much complexity in this whisky. Hello Speyside! Dan Woolley: Aromas of golden syrup and earthy notes. Marmalade, very light, baking spices and a long finish. I get some nice, light spiced marmalade coming through. Matt Wooler: Gentle and layered. Rich and spicy, then leather, white sugar and roasted apples. A journey in a glass. The short description I always use for this whisky is red toffee apples. It’s got white sugar, caramelised toffee, red apples. It’s got a little bit of coconut in the back, along with honey and leather characteristics Balvenie is known for.

THE GLENLIVET NÀDURRA OLOROSO CASK 60.7% ABV The Glenlivet Nàdurra range features distinctively different cask maturations. This expression has been matured exclusively in ‘first fill’ Oloroso sherry casks and is bottled at Cask Strength. PANEL: Sven Almenning: Rich, Christmas cake aroma. Wow. Tastes rich and creamy, like sultanas and dark, bitter chocolate. Dan Woolley: Stewed prunes note. Flavours of quince paste, cocoa and coffee grounds. Alex Dahlenburg: The aroma is heavy in apricots and macadamia.

Matt Wooler: Dark fruits, rich grapes, and nuts on the nose. Ben Davidson: Bold aromas of date and dried fruit, toasted marzipan nose tinged with varnish. Huge and powerful concentration of tastes in this delightful sherry-bomb.

THE GLENMORANGIE BACALTA 46%ABV The eighth release in the Private Edition from Glenmorangie. The Bacalta is a single malt first matured in ex-bourbon casks, then extra matured in bespoke casks baked under the sun which once contained Malmsey Madiera – the sweetest and most prized of the Madiera wines. PANEL: James Buntin: Just excellent, soft fruit, honey and butter. That’s honey as! I get a lot of honey in there, creamy caramel as well. Ross Blainey: Light on the nose, sweet white bread lightly toasted and honey. Reminds me a little of Werther’s Originals. Andrew Ratcliff: Madeira all up in my nose! Exactly what it says it is. Alex Dahlenburg: Fresh honeycomb, as if you’ve just take a knife to the beehive.

48% ABV This expression of Laphroaig Islay Whisky has been matured in three types of cask. The first maturation is in American oak, ex-bourbon barrel. The most suitable of these barrels, containing a different range of different aged spirits are transferred into small, 19th Century style Quarter Casks for a second maturation. The final maturation is in large European oak Oloroso sherry casks. PANEL: Ross Blainey: A beautiful balance of smoke, wax and rich cheese. Love! Hit of coffee and bitterness, balanced with a sweet jalapeno note and a long finish that turns to chocolate. Reminds me of Bavarian smoked cheese, with the wax on the outside and the smokiness to it. Ben Davidson: Has a lovely smoked salmon oiliness to the nose, then comes a burst of rich dried fruit and smoked salted almond and maritime influence. Matt Wooler: Fruit pies, salt breeze and wood fires. All my favourite things! Sven Almenning: Rich, smoky and complex. A favourite. James Buntin: Sweet peanuts, smoke and sea spray. Dan Woolley: Sweet, savoury, smoky, with aromas of cured meats and maritime mist. Followed by flavours of tobacco, leather and a salty savouriness with stewed prunes and molasses.


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IMAGINE WHAT A BOURBON CAN BE THE HOMEPLACE OF BOURBON The art of making fine bourbon first took place on the site of the Woodford Reserve Distillery, a National Historic Landmark, in 1812. The perfectly balanced taste of our Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is comprised of more than 200 detectable flavour notes, from bold grain and wood, to sweet aromatics, spice, fruit and floral notes. Woodford Reserve has a rich texture of flavours that create opportunities for cocktail and food pairings. The smooth, balanced spirit has been celebrated as versatile and approachable, contemporary yet timeless.


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Corn, rye and malted barley are used, featuring 18% Rye, which is high for a bourbon, giving Woodford Reserve its spicy character.

Iron-free limestone filtered water from Glenn’s Creek is used. It is full of rich minerals unique to the distillery grounds that add flavour in the fermentation process.

Every batch of Woodford Reserve contains less sour than any other bourbon, allowing the mash to remain clear and crisp. The fermentation period of five to seven days is also among the longest in the industry, creating depth of character and a complex range of flavours.

Woodford Reserve is the only bourbon that uses the original copper pot stills imported from Scotland. This gives the deep, robust flavour we are known for.

Woodford Reserve barrels are handcrafted and charred at their very own cooperage. The barrels are transferred to a climate controlled warehouse until mature, where they are selected based on flavour not age.


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Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select

Woodford Reserve Double Oaked

40% ABV A handcrafted small batch bourbon, perfectly balanced.

AROMA: Rich dried fruits, hints of mint and oranges, with sweet cocoa and faint vanilla and tobacco spice TASTE: Rich, chewy, rounded and smooth with citrus, cinnamon and cocoa FINISH: Long, silky smooth, with a warming hint of spice and pepper

Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye

43.2% ABV Double Oaked has been uniquely matured in two separate custom crafted barrels, it is a rich spirit imbued with a soft, sweet oak character.

45.2% ABV Made in the traditional style of Kentucky Ryes, Woodford Reserve Kentucky Straight Rye Whisky delivers bold flavours and a long fruit and sweetly spiced finish.

AROMA: Rich notes of dark fruit, caramel, sharp honey, chocolate, marzipan and toasted oak TASTE: A full-bodied mix of vanilla, dark caramel, hazelnut, apple, fruit and spices. FINISH: Long and creamy with lingering notes of honeyed apple

AROMA: Spicy with distinct notes of rye, black pepper, cedar and cassia bark sweetened with a dusting of marzipan TASTE: Clove, rye, mint, molasses, sorghum and honey with hints of apple and malt FINISH: Long and sweetly spiced

WOODFORD RESERVE OLD FASHIONED INGREDIENTS: • 50ml Woodford Reserve Distiller’s Select • 1 x Sugar Cube • 4 x Dashes Aromatic Bitters • 1 x Orange Peel GARNISH: Orange peel

METHOD: Place sugar cube in a mixing glass and saturate with bitters. Muddle until dissolved. Add ice and Woodford Reserve and stir. Strain in a lowball glass with ice. Squeeze orange peel over ice to release essence. Garnish with orange peel. GLASS: Lowball

WOODFORD RESERVE COCKTAIL CHALLENGE The annual nationwide Woodford Reserve cocktail challenge will again kick off later this year. Challenging bartenders to create their own take on the classic Woodford Reserve Old Fashioned as well as an original Woodford Reserve Rye cocktail, while also educating them on the history and process of Woodford Reserve. More details to come, so watch this space.



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Porters and Stouts D

ark beers, often friend of foe, these beauties obtain their colour from the use of roasted malt. While dark ales, dark lager and even black IPA’s fit under the dark beer moniker, most notably stouts and porters are what the dark category is known for. But what exactly is the difference between the two?

PORTER The term Porter was named after the movers and carriers of London – strong and dark with a high alcohol (usually 6% or higher ABV). Porters are dark brown to black in colour with roast, coffee-like notes coming from highly kilned black malt. Porters come in a few variations, from the brown porter to the robust porter where everything is dialled up to the max with rich dark fruits and high alcohol, making it one to be sipped and savoured. English and American versions exist, as does the Baltic Porter, which is one to keep an eye out for, having a high alcohol content (6.5-9.5% ABV) with a clean, creamy palate. English porters are moderate in strength, brown with restrained roast character and bitterness. Many have roasted flavours without burnt qualities and often have a chocolate-caramel malt finish. American Porters are substantial, malty dark beers with a complex dark malt character. They feature a lightly burnt malt character (and sometimes chocolate and/or coffee flavours) with a touch of grainy, dark malt dryness in the finish. They can range from dry to medium sweet.

STOUT The term stout in porter-made eighteenth century England indicated simply that the beer was a strong one. Hence a ‘stout’ porter was one of high alcohol and taste rather than being of a different style. It would be impossible to mention the category without mentioning the famed Irish and perhaps considered the original stout, Guinness. In fact, it was only

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when Arthur Guinness took the style to his native Dublin did the local Liffey water and the use of roasted, unmalted barley (for economic reasons) create a new taste. When served on tap, Guinness employs the use of nitrogen, adding to the creamy sensation. Arthur Guinness’ style is now known as a dry Irish stout and is surprisingly drinkable, being light-bodied and fairly low alcohol (4-4.5%) – like many dark beers, the expectations of a full-bodied heavy beer are intentionally not met. There are many other styles of stout, each with their own particular character. Milk stouts were very popular during the war years for their nutrients, milk sugar (lactose) sweetness and the rich proteins found in oats keep the beer dry but fuller on the palate. Nowadays, the two can be somewhat difficult to differentiate, with craft brewers now brewing porters that are stronger than most stouts, yet continue to call them porters. Brewers however, seem to agree on the kind of malt that should be used to brew each type of beer. Porters use malted barley and stouts are primarily made from unmalted roasted barley, which is where the coffee flavour associated with stout comes from. The bottom line is, once you can appreciate the category of these dark brews and a style you prefer, porters, stouts and dark ales are enjoyable, and will at times, seemingly overlap in taste, aroma, texture and alcohol percentage. Welcome to the dark side of beer.


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ABV 5.4% TASTING NOTES: Golden Stout Time is made to invoke old memories and leave new ones. This is a hearty stout infused with toffee and honeycomb and light on hops, taking you back to childhood summers spent enjoying Golden Gaytime ice creams. Despite its origins in the iconic summer treat, it is best enjoyed in the depths of winter.

ABV 6.2% TASTING NOTES: This seasonal brew from Quiet Deeds is a robust and rich porter full of vanilla, chocolate and coffee characters on the palate with moderate bitterness balanced with a trace of smokiness on the finish.

4 PINES STOUT (NSW) ABV 5.1% TASTING NOTES: 4 Pines Stout is an Irish style stout, almost black in colour and bearing a generous tan head. Aromas of coffee, chocolate and caramel are matched with a full-bodied mouthfeel, smooth finish and rounding bitterness.

BRIDGE ROAD BREWERS ROBUST PORTER (VIC) ABV 5.2% TASTING NOTES: Part of Bridge Road’s core range, and a Gold Medal winner at the Sydney Royal Beer and Cider show, and a Silver at the 2015 Craft Beer Awards, the Robust Porter has big chocolate, roasted and mocha notes that are key to the style. Using roasted barley and chocolate malt, this porter is big and bold, yet has a smooth roasty texture.

HOLGATE TEMPTRESS CHOCOLATE PORTER (VIC) ABV 6% TASTING NOTES: This beer is the ideal winter warmer, infused with Dutch cocoa and whole vanilla beans. This already robust brew is a blend of seven malts, giving a complex palate of chocolate, coffee and caramel flavours, balanced by a hint of vanilla.

BATCH BREWING ELSIE THE MILK STOUT ABV 4.4% TASTING NOTES: Elsie is made by combining unfermentable lactose with a malt bill so complex the brewers at Batch refer to it as their ‘kitchen sink beer’. The result is a beer that’s sweet and smooth and dark and roasty, with gentle touches of chocolate, coffee and cream. Served on nitrogen at the brewery and in 440ml cans, this stout has an incredibly thick and smooth texture.


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ou’ve most likely heard the words organic, biodynamic and sustainable – but what do they all mean when it comes to wine?

All these terms are linked to how the grapes in the vineyard and winery have been treated, from using no synthetic chemicals at all, to some being used when necessary. Organic, biodynamic and sustainable are all internationally recognised approaches and are governed by regulations, certifications and bodies. BIODYNAMIC Biodynamic winemaking is guided by moon cycles and energy flows which dictate when activities such as fruit picking, vine planting and pruning should take place. The concept behind this is that everything in the universe is interconnected and the practice encompasses a holistic view to agriculture and viticulture from soil structure to vines. This approach looks at wine producing from a healthy ecosystem, when a vineyard is less likely to be affected by pests and disease. There are several bodies that provide biodynamic certification in Australia, which can cause some confusion. Biodynamic certifying body Demeter are certified independently and verified by the Australian government through accreditation as an Organic Approved Certifying Organisation. Barry Morey of Sorrenberg winery in Beechworth, Victoria says, “We’re certified with Australian Demeter, which I think

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is a great certifying body. First of all we had to have our soil tested before certification, and whereas most inspections are just done on books, with Demeter you have to go out into the paddock and show them that you are not losing soil structure and that you are improving soil structure”.

SUSTAINABLE Sustainable winemaking takes a more pragmatic approach to biodynamic winemaking. Coming into use in the 1960s in areas that were prone to disease and rot, farmers began to work with a calendar that provided a routing for when to spray chemicals on the vineyard. However, this meant that chemical sprays were being applied more often than they were necessary and the biodiversity of these vineyards was impacted. At times, sustainable winemakers will still use chemicals, but use a minimal amount and only do so when necessary.

Two programs in Australia that support sustainable winemaking are Sustainable Australia Winegrowing (SAW) and Entwine.

ORGANIC Organic wine stipulates that no synthetic chemicals be used in the vineyard and in the winery. Winemakers must abide by stringent regulations in order to label their wines as organic, and certification will only be given to vineyards where no chemical sprays, including pesticides and herbicides have been used for at least two years. When you drink organic wine, you are drinking wine that is free of pesticides and chemical residues. Angove Family Winemakers has been producing organic wine for over 10 years, with its first organic wine being a 2006 shiraz cabernet. 150 hectares of the McLaren Vale wine producer’s vineyards are certified organic, 14 certified biodynamic, with a further 150Ha in


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conversion to organic by 2020, and work with seven additional organic grape growers. Richard Angove of Angove Family Winemakers said, “For me certified organic viticulture and winemaking is all about soil health, vine balance and grape flavour as well as stewardship in looking after our precious natural resources as best we can for future generations.”

ON-PREMISE TRADE With a more widespread amount of organic, sustainable and biodynamic wines available on the market, many venues are stocking a range of varieties that fit under these categories. Master Sommelier, Benjamin Hasko says, “Venues should focus on offering good wines to the customers that offer value at various price points. If the wines happen to be organic or biodynamic, that’s great, but there are a lot of great wines produced through traditional or sustainable viticulture that are a great alternative. I think it becomes less relevant when consumers buy a wine based on vineyard management method, compared to drinking a great wine that tastes good.” Wallace Lo, Hotel Sommelier of the Park Lane Hotel in Hong Kong says, “I think Pinot Noir and Riesling grown with biodynamic viticulture tends

to have a big difference, it is hard to describe, but I do feel much more energy on the palate, as both grapes are extremely good ‘story tellers.’” Benjamin Hasko added, “Organics and Biodynamics have transitioned in the last five years from an outlining category to be a more mainstream category. I think consumers find it easy to understand the idea of organics, whereas biodynamics is more difficult. It’s more important for consumers to understand that organics in general means that no chemicals have been added to the vineyard, where biodynamics is a way of managing the vineyard to create a balanced ecosystem between vines and the surrounding environment, working with the natural force to create a healthy balance.” Mark Davidson, Managing Director and Chief Winemaker at Tamburlaine in the Hunter Valley says, “The number of conscious consumers are growing in Australia – just look at organic wines and foods as essential items on restaurant lists; look at the space in the retail trade taken up by organic wine now compared to a few years ago. The wine is in stores and restaurants because customers are aware that this choice is available and the quality and value is at least as good as non-organic.”

Drinks World Picks

Angove Organic Rosé Region: South Australia RRP: $16 AUD

Sorrenberg Cabernet Sauvignon/ Cabernet Franc/ Merlot Region: Beechworth, Victoria RRP: $50 AUD

Angove Organic Wild Olive Shiraz Region: McLaren Vale, South Australia RRP: $16 AUD

Tamburlaine “On the Grapevine” Preservative Free Au Natural Cuvèe NV Region: Orange, New South Wales RRP: $25 AUD


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et to know industry legends and the faces and minds behind brands and venues, as DW chats to key players from around the region.


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icola Olianas, Global Ambassador for the Fratelli Branca portfolio was recently in Australia to host a series of seminars on the famed Fernet-Branca and the portfolio. Nicola sat down with Drinks World’s Lukas Raschilla to chat about all things Branca and give some insight into the brand that’s known as the bartenders handshake around the world. LUKAS RASCHILLA: What have you been up in the company. I think today, storytelling is very to with Fernet-Branca and what brings you to important, consumers today aren’t really that Australia? Is this your first time down under? interested in the production method, extraction NICOLA OLIANAS: This is my second time here, techniques and so forth, they are interested the first time was five years ago. Australia for us in what is hitting them from the inside, the is important and we storytelling, the are growing fast with truth about the Fernet-Branca, with brand, what makes Antica, with Punt e the brand such an It tastes like the truth. For sure Mes, Branca-Menta acquired taste, so it’s you won’t like it in the beginning, and Café Borghetti. all of this information There are big, big that I want to share but once you start learning and things going on with them and appreciating the truth, you just here and five years transfer that to the want the truth. is a long time, so I consumer. needed to come here again to check the LR: Fernet-Branca market. is a staple in Italy, Europe and Argentina. What were the LR: What are you hoping to achieve with the challenges in bringing it to markets that aren’t masterclasses? familiar with Fernet-Branca, particularly for the NO: For me, I never call them masterclasses. on-premise? Once you’ve been to one of my ‘masteclasses’ NO: Honestly, nowadays it’s really hard to find you actually realise that it’s not actually a a market that doesn’t know Fernet-Branca, masterclass – it’s more what I call ‘sharing especially when you visit a market and go to moments’. What I’m doing, I’m sharing the cocktail bars. I think the bartending community information that I’m lucky enough to have about today knows Fernet-Branca everywhere in the this brand, about this company that people are world. I’ve been to China, everywhere in Europe, interested in. I’m lucky enough to work for this South America and if there’s a good cocktail bar, company and actually live in this company! I live in there’s a bottle of Antica Formula and a bottle Milan and my apartment is within the production of Fernet-Branca and there’s a bartender behind site. I live this brand, I smell this brand, so my the bar that knows how to use them and drinks masterclasses, my seminars are about what I Fernet-Branca. see, what I feel and what I smell every day living

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LR: Fernet-Branca is known as the ‘bartenders beginning, but once you start learning and appreciating the handshake’. Was this something that the brand intended, truth, you just want the truth. It’s the real taste of herbal or something that happened organically from the spices, it’s a straightforward drink, it’s a concentration of industry? emotional and complexity, it’s very herbaceous, the real taste NO: It physiologically happened. I mean, we know we are of nature is how I describe it. It’s an acquired taste, but it harsh but we believe in the brand and we never change the grows on you and you crave it. It’s no point for me just to liquid so this is something that naturally happened and we describe Fernet as an amaro or digestif or remedy, I try to are cultivating that with the coins, with events just dedicated give it an emotional description. I know something is going to for the industry with seminars happen when you drink it. and inviting them to our distillery. There’s no marketing LR: Do you have a target ploy behind it. We know it’s the consumer market for Fernet? We really believe in bartenders, bartenders handshake, but this NO: Every country has it’s was something nominated by own. Of course, our target is we really believe in the bartenders. So I think the people those people that really know professionals in this industry that drink Fernet-Branca belong the drink, and people who and we really think those are to the most famous, unknown drink Fernet-Branca because our ambassadors. secret club in the world. And they want to drink it. It’s a very the thing is that, it becomes the mature type of drinker. We bartender’s handshake because would like to gain those around people that drink Fernet-Branca the 25-35 age range, but earlier have something in common more than just drinking Fernetthan that we understand that there isn’t a mature palate yet Branca, what they have in common is that they take things for the taste of Fernet-Branca. On the other hand what we differently, they approach things differently, so this is the are trying to do is switch the hand that is serving Fernetthing. Offering a shot of Fernet-Branca to other people is like Branca to the people, this is the task. It’s working very well in a clear statement of belonging to Germany, it’s working very well in Italy in cocktail bars where the same group. young bartenders are proposing Fernet-Branca, so the hand There’s a story though, which that is pouring a Fernet-Branca is a young hand, so it’s going is fun. Many many years ago, to be more influential to the consumer. We really believe Amaro was always available but in bartenders, we really believe in the professionals in this they were moving very slowly in industry and we really think those are our ambassadors. bars. Managers would check their stock on all different products in LR: I’ve heard that Fernet-Branca is a drink that can help the bar, except for the amaro. when people are unwell or recovering from a night out, is So the bartenders could drink there any truth to this? it without being caught by their NO: Fernet-Branca was born as a remedy, as one cure for managers, and they could offer all. It was like a cure for everything; headache, blood amaro to other bartenders. pressure, stomach ache, flu. Going back to your question, yes it’s a very good cure for a hangover because it’s very LR: If someone has never bitter, has no sugar and has the beneficial power of herbs, had Fernet-Branca before, which help you to recover, and get your body on track again. how would you describe the For digestive problems Fernet-Branca also helps. Don’t get product and what would you me wrong, it’s alcohol, but if you have to drink something say it tastes like? you better drink something that’s 100 percent natural, no NO: It tastes like the truth. For colourant, no sugar, with a number of herbs and spices, sure you won’t like it in the which is Fernet-Branca.

I live this brand, I smell this brand DRINKS WORLD

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° MEET °






ini Wang began bartending at Adelaide’s Hains & Co. and achieved a lot in his first year in the industry, making it to the National Finals of both the Woodford Reserve and La Maison Cointreau cocktail competitions. Lukas Raschilla of Drinks World chatted to Vini about starting in the industry, his passion for drinks, and the Adelaide bar scene.

LUKAS RASCHILLA: Tell us a little about how you got into bartending? VINI WANG: When I was 12 years old, I was immediately drawn to drinks when I came across a book called “Home Mixology”. The concoction of various ingredients and garnishes blew me away at the time, so I saved my allowance for more than a year, and begged my parents to follow me and purchase all the bartending tools with a series of spirits and liqueurs. All the drinks I made at the time weren’t balanced or pleasant since I was too young and inexperienced to the world of booze, but my parents and their friends liked them, and since cocktail culture was fairly new, they felt that they were treated very well as guests. I

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was amazed at the people’s reactions and how drinks can make the atmosphere so friendly and energetic. That was the moment I realised how much I enjoyed making others happy and knew I wanted to pursue a career in bartending. LR: What was your first bar job? VW: My first bar job was at Hains & Co. in Adelaide. When I was working at a restaurant nearby, I was mesmerised by the drinks the crew made. I always sat very close to the bar to observe every movement and ingredients poured into the shaking tin. I made it a goal that I will one day work in a bar like this. I visited the bar all the time and became a regular, and wasn’t shy to show my passion and desire to

work at Hains. I jumped in straight away one night when the bar was in desperate need of a glassy. I started from the very bottom and worked my way up to be at the stage I’m at now, and I thank the crew and Marcus Motteram (The Admiral) for giving me the chance to fulfil my dream. LR: Where do you get your passion for bartending? VW: Customers. Always customers. The hospitality industry and all jobs related would not exist without customers, and they are to be served and pleased every time they walk into the venue. Yes, there are ill-mannered, closed-minded customers from time to time,


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but nevertheless it is our job as a bartender to tend to the customers at all times, and when I get to switch my customers’ mood in a positive way, I get to meditate the importance of my original resolution, which is the joy I get from pleasing people. I push myself to be creative with ingredients and originality, not to prove myself as a creative bartender, but to extend the spectrum of flavours and texture to please as many customers possible. LR: If you weren’t bartending, what would you be doing? VW: I’ve been working in this industry for seven years now. If not bartending I would still be serving customers as a waiter or sommelier.

LR: What is your favourite drink? VW: An old fashioned cocktail. The majority of spirit, hint of sugar and bitters formula is still a fascinating way of constructing a great drink, and the different ingredients used can really shine through and make a drastic difference from one and other. This versatile formula is still the best cocktail to appreciate the spirit within, and a great cocktail to evaluate the level of the bartender’s care and technique to construct the perfectly balanced drink. LR: What is your favourite bar? VW: Hains & Co. is my favourite bar in Adelaide and will always be that way. Not just because I’ve been a part of the company, but the standard of drinks, the range of the back bar and customer service is the best in town. In Australia, my favourite bars are two Melbourne venues, The Everleigh and Eau de Vie. Both provide top-notch service and care, and the bartenders’ skill and fluidity are mesmerising to watch.


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Gear l o r t a P ° SPONSORED °


good worker never blames their tools, right? But what are the “right” tools for bartenders? A lot depends on personal preference, but here we take a look at some of the necessary tools needed behind the stick in any bartender’s arsenal.


The first tool needed is of course a measuring device, in the form of a jigger. Seasoned bartenders are able to pour without a measure, but many still choose to, as accuracy is important. Having a slight imbalance of ingredients can upset the subtle balance of flavour in some cocktails. There are two types of jiggers: Single and Double. A single jigger is a simple measure with a single bowl to contain the spirit, often these are 30ml (1oz) being a single shot. Double jiggers have an hourglass like shape, with two sizes combined in one too, usually 30ml (1oz) and 45ml (1.5oz). Some jiggers like the Überbartools ProJig™ are NMI approved and have an end that can measure 5ml, 10ml and 15ml accurately.

BAR SPOON Primarily used to stir drinks, the spoon can also be used as a 5ml measurement for syrups and small amounts of liquor. Often spoons have a flat top or ‘hammer’ which makes holding the spoon easier, and can be used to muddle herbs and leaves. Others have a ‘teardrop’ end to crack ice, or a ‘trident’ fork to assist in garnishing. The tight twisted length of the spoon aids in the rotating of the spoon while stirring.

MUDDLER A muddler is used to press ingredients like citrus wedges, soft fruits and herbs prior to making a cocktail. It’s an ideal way to capture the fresh juices and flavours from ingredients. It resembles a pestle from a mortar and pestle (or a mini baseball bat). Traditionally these are made from wood, however there are also metal and plastic versions available for improved hygiene.

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MIXING GLASS Professional mixing glasses are made from crystal and offer the advantages of being sturdy, and hold chill for longer. While a Boston tin or pint glass can be used in place of a mixing glass, professional mixing glasses are wider and are better suited to stirring cocktails. They often have a decorative pattern and allow the customer or those at the bar to see the beautiful liquid and the colours of the cocktail components while being stirred.

CITRUS PRESS Many recipes will call for freshly squeezed citrus juice (lemon and lime the most common). While high volume venues will prepare this ahead of time and have it bottled and ready, smaller venues may find this method wasteful and inefficient. This is when a hand citrus press comes into its own. Bars can also benefit from a countertop manual press juicer, which uses a levered construction with a hinged bowl with handles that easily extracts juice and are easy to clean.

BAR BLADES/BOTTLE OPENERS A bar blade, used for opening bottles should always be close by, if not kept in a bartender’s apron or back pocket. A bar blade is a type of bottle opener used for crown tops; this usually means beer, and non-alcoholic beverages such as tonic water, ginger beer and sodas. They’re also known as a speed opener. A bar blade is a thin piece of metal and features a cut bottle opener at one end and a “spinner ring” thumb hole at the other. The Über Endoblade™ has taken this tool to the next level – super lightweight and curved for faster action.

SHAKER There are many varieties of shakers, some featuring a built-in strainer, however, the majority of bartenders prefer the tried and true two-piece Boston Shaker. This shaker combines either a mixing glass and tin or two tins, one large and one small - it’s classic and about as simple as a shaker can get.

STRAINER After drinks are shaken, they need to be strained into their final serving glass. The strainer that fits on top of the large tin of a Boston Shaker is known as a Hawthorne strainer, which is a flat, perforated disc affixed with a coil spring. The spring traps pieces of ice and other ingredients, such as muddled fruit or mint leaves. Other strainers commonly used are Julep strainer and fine strainer. A Julep strainer was originally used to serve mint juleps. This is a large, flat spoon-like strainer with holes similar to a colander with a handle attached. Fine strainers, as the name suggest are cone shaped mesh strainers, useful in drinks that may have fruit pulp, pips or segments of ice. These are available in multiple sizes and come with a handle.

SPEED POURER Speed pourers are placed on the top of bottles to create a consistent spout to pour liquids from. These are also placed on syrup, and often puree bottles. These pour a narrow, clean stream and allow bartenders to eyeball and pour more accurately, and quickly. They also create a consistent speed at which the liquid comes out of the bottle. It would be difficult, neigh impossible, to bartend using bottles without speed pourers. One that caught our eye is Überbartools’ SurePour™ Solution, which combines an effective pour control of the ProFlow™ pourer with the ProJig™ to save every drop of wastage from bottle to jigger and jigger to glass.


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When drinks require the zest of fruit, a dedicated zester can be used. A small blade grater or micro plane can also be useful. This tool can also be useful for items such as nutmeg to grate over a drink.

No longer reserved for chefs, or those working in hotels, aprons are fast becoming a staple of bartenders, offering not only protection from splash and mess, but also pockets for tool storage. Wearing an apron remains a personal preference, and so does the material. One brand that caught our eye attention is WITLOFT aprons. Hailing from the Netherlands, these leather made aprons are made of high-quality vegetable tanned saddle leather. As the aprons become worn and the leather breathes, the aprons get more beautiful with time and wear. WITLOFT aprons are available in a range of styles and colours from the full length to the half waist, and we must say, look very classy.

KNIVES While standard chef’s knives can be used, having a proper sharp bar knife for slicing fruits for garnishes is essential to any bar. Most bars now use the Victorinox serrated knife (pictured above). They can also be used to slice peels for garnish, in place of a peeler.

Get Kitted Überbartools have designed bespoke solutions, covering tools used across a range of hospitality and bar needs, and export their innovative bar tools to over 30 markets. The flawless design and quality mean not only are the tools durable, and comfortable to use, they also provide bartenders with the ability to produce accurate and consistent drinks, each and every shift. Überbartools also offer guarantees and warranties on all their products, and parts can be replaced to extend the life of the tools.

WIN YOUR OWN ÜBERBARTOOLS KIT! Thanks to Überbartools, Drinks World is giving away one LuxRoll™ bar kit, valued at AUD $495. To win, tell us about your biggest bar tool mistake or stuff up, be it at work, during a comp or during prep. Email


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° MEET °

RINNA DRINKS WORLD: Tell us a little about BARPORT and how you started your new venture? RINNA KATO: BARPORT is a bar and cocktail equipment company that my partner and I started up in early 2012. We started really small with only around 12 products but have since expanded now ranging over 125 lines from ice tools, shakers, strainers and everything else you could need behind the bar. From day one we’ve strived to make quality bar gear affordable in Australia. To this day we continue to live by our ethos, “If we wouldn’t use it in our bar, we won’t sell it”. DW: Do you think the Brisbane and Australian bar scenes have changed since you first started bartending? If so, in which ways? RK: Absolutely they have! Not only the sheer growth of the industry but also the fantastic quality it’s producing. Ten years ago it wasn’t that easy to find a great cocktail bar. Now we’re spoilt for choice. DW: Last year you won the final of the Perfect Blend in the Professional category – congratulations. What was it like to take home such an award? RK: Thank you very much! It really a mind-blowing experience. Not only that I was lucky enough to take the win, but the whole journey from state finals to the amazing week on Hamilton Island with some great people. To top it all off the trip to Islay was nothing short of breathtaking. We were lucky enough to visit the Bowmore, Laphroaig and Auchentoshan distilleries, which felt like a once in a lifetime experience for me. DW: Are you enjoying the new role at BARPORT? Have you faced any challenges? RK: It was definitely a shock to the system moving to office hours but I’ve settled nicely now. There are always new and interesting challenges that come with running a business but we’ve got a great team and always manage. I will say though that the term “staff meeting” doesn’t excite me as much as it used to behind the bar. DW: I bet you don’t miss the late nights, but do you miss being behind the bar at all? RK: Of course! I had been behind the bar most of my life so changing suddenly was a bit of a shock to the system. I do miss the banter and the people I worked with but I definitely enjoy the nights at home.

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Everything but the



ere at Drinks World, we can often lose our way focusing on liquor, the hard stuff. At times, what’s forgotten is the key ingredients that make our cocktails, the non-alcoholic ingredients that are responsible for flavour, texture and appearance. Here we breakdown everything but the booze.

MIXERS This covers carbonated beverages, the classic soda, tonic water, in various forms and flavours, notably from brands such as Cascade, East Imperial and Fever-Tree. Mixers add spritz, and bubbles, and are designed to mix with the main spirit. After all, a G&T, Highball, Cuba Libre, or the famed Lemmy favourite ‘Jack & Cola’, wouldn’t exist without mixers, and either would RTDs! Some brands have mixers in their signature serves, such as Canadian Club’s CC, Dry & Lime, which is also available on tap in Australia. Mixers bring the flavour, cut the alcohol level down and complement the main spirit.

JUICES Juices are used to add sweetness, colour, length and freshness to cocktails. Often fresh pressed and juiced in-house, drinks such as the Harvey Wallbanger, Piña Colada, Mai Tai, or Daiquiri wouldn’t exist without juices. Freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice will be on deck in the majority of cocktail bars. Pineapple, cranberry, apple and orange are other prominent juices used behind the stick. A good rule of thumb is that lemon and lime should be squeezed in-house.

PUREES Purees are made with fresh fruit, which makes them ideal for flavouring cocktails. They give a vibrant freshness and add both taste and colour to drinks. Purees have a unique viscosity, different to juices and mixers, and are made simply by blending chopped fruit in a blender.

You can add simple syrup and acid, in the form of lime or lemon juice if you wish to help preserve them longer. The mixture should be very smooth. After blending, fine strain the puree to remove any lumps and extra fibres or seeds from the fruit. One company that offers purees in their range is MONIN, with their Le Fruit de MONIN range. Le Fruit de MONIN are made from highly concentrated fruit and has the added benefit of being shelf stable for four weeks after opening. The storage is adapted for the bar, meaning it’s not required to be refrigerated. It is versatile and available in 15 different flavours.

SALTS/SALINE Salt is one of the major flavours along with sweet, sour, bitter and umami. It enhances not just food but drinks as well. Bartenders can often use salt as a rim but also in drinks, either stirred or as a saline solution. Just a pinch of salt or dash of saline solution can fundamentally change the flavour profile of your drink. Think of it like bitters, using it as a binding agent instead of a dominant flavour. Making a relatively weak saline solution of 10%, so 1 part salt to 10 parts water will allow a drop to be used, and more can be added, making it more consistent than pinches of salt. Salt is a flavour enhancing


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Orgeat is a syrup made with almond or barely, sometimes a barley-almond blend. It is an emulsion, meaning that it is a mixture of oil and water based ingredients so the ingredients don’t mix completely together, yet don’t separate either. Orgeat is enhanced with a touch of flower water, and an essential ingredient in Tiki drinks because it ties together multiple spirits and juices that are the hallmark of tropical cocktails. The most well-known cocktail to feature orgeat is the Mai Tai. It can be made using ground almonds, sugar, water and a teaspoon of flower water to taste.

Grenadine is a rich, dark red coloured, sweet and tart nonalcoholic syrup typically used to give cocktails a vibrant colour. Grenadine also had its heyday in Tiki drinks. It is traditionally made from pomegranate juice, sugar and water, and derives its name from the French word for pomegranate. More natural expressions, like Crawley’s Grenadine capture the bittersweet battle at the heart of a good Grenadine.


ingredient and has the ability to tie together certain flavours without necessarily leaving a salt or savoury taste.

OLEO SACCHARUM Used in cocktails and punches, Oleo Saccharum is a way to provide a citrus flavour and aroma to alcoholic beverages. It’s made using sugar and citrus, combining peels and zest with sugar. Place a mixture of citrus peels and sugar in a vacuum bag, bowl or airtight container, letting it sit at room temperature for 24 hours, or until sugar is dissolved by the citrus oils (3 hours minimum is a rule of thumb). Strain into a container, pressing on solids to extract as much oil as possible. Discard the zest. Cover and chill. Note: Be wary to avoid the white pith when peeling the fruit, or it could turn out quite bitter.

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Falernum is a sweet ingredient that can be made in an alcoholic or non-alcoholic version. It is an ingredient used to add a spiced flavour to drinks, and much like orgeat, is used often in tropical and Tiki style drinks. Falernum usually marries ginger, lime, clove and almond. Made with sugar in a similar fashion to simple syrup, the infusion of citrus, spices, nuts and sugar adds a zing to drinks. There are no hard and fast rules to what should be in falernum, but most will feature lime zest, cloves and sugar. Usually these are combined with ginger and almonds or almond extract. The idea of falernum is to brighten sour notes of citrus to drinks while adding a hint of rich spice. It also plays well with slightly bitter flavours. Falernum can either be a sweet liqueur (around 11% ABV) or a non-alcoholic syrup. There are commercial versions of falernum available such as John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum, a liqueur made with an infusion of sugar cane syrup, lime, almonds and cloves in fine Barbados rum. MONIN offer a non-alcoholic Falernum syrup.

SYRUPS Syrup is a thick, viscous liquid that primarily consists of a solution of water in sugar. Often an underrated, yet essential cocktail ingredient, syrups yield subtle flavours and sweetness that make a cocktail perfectly balances. They are the workhorse of the cocktail modifier world, can offer enough sweetness to balance out the savoury, and pack a concentrated amount of flavour, while adding body. Not just limited to the classic simple syrup (1:1 sugar to water ratio), honey, ginger and even agave syrups, are common, right through to exotic ingredients that companies like MONIN produce (including, but not limited to toffee nut, white chocolate, rose and maple spice).

SHRUBS A shrub, otherwise known as a drinking vinegar, is made by adding vinegar to sweetened fruit, rather than letting it ferment. A shrub can be made from any fruit, and herbs and spices can be added in. Shrubs convey the bright flavours of fruits, without adding too much sweetness.


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drastically change the taste and profile of a drink. They can be used to balance the sweet and sour flavours. Two of the most well-known brands are Angostura and Peychaud’s, however, the market now has a range of newer brands such as Batch and Bob’s. Aromatic bitters are the most common with orange bitters now a bar staple. New additions to the category include grapefruit, peach, mint, lemon, chocolate, walnut and even whisky barrel aged.

TINCTURES A tincture is a concentrated alcohol infusion that is made by putting herb, fruit, flower, vegetable or spice into an airtight container and covering it with alcohol. Seal it and let it steep, occasional shaking then strain. How long the tincture steeps will depend on the proof of alcohol and what you’re making. Fresh herbs require less time, whereas tougher ingredients like roots, nuts or seeds can infuse for longer periods.


The idea of shrubs is to macerate fruit with sugar to create a syrup, to which vinegar is then added. The key is to let it chill in the fridge for a few days, and although it won’t be fermented, it does have a similar sour, sparkly sensation on your tongue. The vinegar helps to capture and preserve the fresh aromas of fruits and herbs.

by sours. Egg whites, when agitated through mixing, add volume and provide a smoother mouthfeel. Instead of fresh egg-white, bartenders have been using soy lecithin, agar jelly and powdered gelatin as a protein source which jumbles up like spaghetti when shaken adding texture!



While impossible to discuss every single cocktail modifier, one common ingredient used to thicken up a drink, to make it smooth and frothy are the proteins found in egg white and gelatin. It adds a sense of creaminess and richness, and also rounds out citrus flavours, made famous

Bitters can be thought of as the spice rack of the cocktail world. Bitters are a liquid extraction of seeds, herbs, bark, roots, flowers, leaves and fruit of various plants. They are highly concentrated and are used by the dash to flavour drinks. A dash or two of bitters can

Adding to the allure and aesthetic appeal of what makes a drink look pretty and complete, the garnish also adds to the aroma and flavour; whether it’s the orange peel in an old fashioned, a pineapple wedge on a piña colada, celery in a bloody mary, or the classic martini olive. A cocktail garnish is inherently ornamental, be it a fruit slice, twist, wheel, olive or even a toothpick umbrella. Garnishes range from edible to elaborate, and can be as simple as sugar, nutmeg or cinnamon dust, to Tiki-esque toys, such as plastic animals monkeys, fancy straws, swizzle sticks, umbrellas, miniature scrolls. the list goes on. Mint is now synonymous with the mojito and mint julep, as is a cocktail onion in a gibson. Citrus fruit peels are often rubbed around the rim of a glass or twisted over a drink to release the aroma and flavour, creating a sensory experience. Garnishes have evolved to aromatic sprays and tinctures for this very purpose.


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London’s greatest gourmet event finally comes to Asia!

Southeast Asia’s very 1st trade show for Restaurants, Pubs & Bars!

Innovative Event Highlights: Start-Up Village

Fine Food Live Theatre

Centre Stage

Business Mentoring Area

A must-visit for owners, chefs, F&B managers, sommeliers, mixologists, baristas and other F&B professionals across Southeast Asia! Organised by:

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rinks World brings you the latest from around the Asia-Pacific region and takes you up-close and personal with those making waves in the industry.



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° MEET °




A RISE TO THE TOP Each year, Drinks World Asia run T25 Hong Kong. The 2017 edition was no exception, with an array of talent behind the stick constantly elevating the game in the Pearl of the Orient. The criteria for the 2017 annual edition was slightly different. As opposed to previous years where no age bracket was outlined, we wanted to focus on the next generation of bartenders emerging in the market. To be nominated bartenders had to be 30 years or younger, working a minimum of two shifts per week, proactive in the industry and a keen interest to learn and development their bartending career.

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The bartenders and their cocktails featured in T25 is an accurate reflection of the growing market in Hong Kong. We’re in safe hands with the level of talent arising in the region and look forward to watching the progression over the years. T25 Bartenders is one of our favourite projects, no matter the region, but it wouldn’t be possible without the support of the brands, selection panel and the bar community as a whole and we would like to say thank you all for your continued support.


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eet the man behind the stick at Hawthorn Lounge in Wellington. Having returned from a stint in Vancouver, Giancarlo shares with us how he got started in the industry, Wellington’s best-hidden secret and his experience living abroad.

Drinks World: Share with us how you got started in the industry and why you chose to bartend as a career? GIANCARLO QUIROZ JESUS: I commenced in the industry when I was 15. I picked up an after-school job washing dishes for a catering company, where it was just myself and the head chef. He wasn’t the easiest person to work with, especially with days of us being together for 12 plus hours, but over the next six years, we got to know each other well, and he taught me a lot about food and kitchen basics. Working for this catering company was an amazing experience. During those six years, I went from washing plates to managing events and becoming beverage manager for the organisation. During this time, I branched out and started working in restaurants. This opened up my eyes to the food and beverage service, and I was hooked.

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Photographer: Luke Calder

DW: Tell us how you have progressed as a bartender? From your first shift and how you go to be in the position, you are in today? GQJ: Well, I’m definitely not breaking as many glasses as I used to. I am very fortunate to have worked with a variety of people that I now consider close friends. I consider myself a sponge and have gained many tips from younger and older people in the industry. I think that’s the great thing about this industry, every day you can learn something new, especially when travelling and working. I spent my early bartending years reading old classic cocktail books. I appreciate the


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knowledge I have gained and knew I could apply it. However, I always consider that in any environment, the experience you give them is key. DW: You’ve returned to New Zealand after a stint in Canada. How has the transition been and from a bartending perspective are there any major differences? GQJ: I’m not going to lie, it has been a little tough. Wellington will always be home, but there’s something special about Canada. I lived in Vancouver for just under two years, but it feels like I was there for years. The community there is amazing. When I first arrived in Vancouver, I didn’t have any family or close friends. It was tough, but slowly I made friends with people that I now consider very close friends. One guy, in particular, Gez McAlpine, was a life-saver. He worked at The Keefer Bar, and he put me in contact with a mate who would later hire me. The rest is history. I remember one of my first conversations with Gez, when he said that working in BC (a venue in Vancouver) was like working in the Bermuda triangle. One week you might have something as simple as Campari, and then the next week you have bar managers around the city travelling as far as Seattle to buy cases. At first, I thought he might be exaggerating, but he wasn’t. Coming from New Zealand, I thought we had a tough time getting cool and interesting products, but in Vancouver, it was almost impossible. I’m not complaining though, because it meant I could take weekends away to explore a new city and buy some booze to bring home.

Finally, the palates are a bit different, but I was accustomed to customers at Hawthorn, which are bartenders, travellers or people working in the movie industry that happen to know the original recipe of the Zombie. DW: Have you found the palate profiles differ compared to your consumers in Canada to New Zealand? GQJ: They varied a bit. I hadn’t taken the taste of citrus much into consideration before, because I had only worked in New Zealand. Citrus was pretty different in Canada. It was almost like starting to bartend all over again, which was exciting because I had to make sure my palate wasn’t too sour or too sweet for the people that would come in. I was working at a bar called The Diamond in Vancouver. It’s an amazing high-volume cocktail bar in the heart of Gastown that was one of the first cocktail bars in the area. With the help of other bars, they paved the way of independent cocktail bars around the city. I didn’t know that Vancouver was a hub for movie production, which was funny because at Hawthorn we have a lot of guests that work in the movie industry. One night at The Diamond, I had all of our bar seats occupied by regulars from Hawthorn because they were there working on a production in town. It was a great feeling to have. My work mates were surprised at how much they couldn’t understand from our kiwi accents. Having worked in Auckland and Wellington, cocktails were sometimes a tough sell for guests so it definitely came down to experience and banter. In Canada, I found that people were quite willing to try innovative cocktails.

DW: For those who are yet to be acquainted with Hawthorn Lounge in Wellington, what can they expect? And also, what is the overall cocktail scene in Wellington like? GQJ: Hawthorn Lounge is truly one of Wellington’s best hidden secret. Tucked away from the main strip of bars, it was one of the first speakeasies in New Zealand. Look for the lantern wall sconce at 82 Tory Street, walk up the stairs and enter a 1920s-styled bar. The challenge of finding this bar is part of the experience, and the team are awesome and welcoming to locals and out-of-towners. Cocktails play a big part of the bar, but the overall experience is also key, whether it is enjoying a glass of pinot noir or a local beer matched with a whisky and a friendly chat with the bartender. I find the hospitality scene in Wellington very inviting and consistent. The community is tight. Though we are all working to serve the same customers, we still help each other out. It’s guaranteed that you can go into any cafe bar or restaurant, ask the person serving you what you should do, where should you eat, and where you should drink, and they will willingly give you a list of places that won’t disappoint. DW: And finally, what do you enjoy most about the F&B industry? GQJ: I enjoy the involvement and contact I get with work-mates and customers. I like that this industry allows for me to learn on a regular basis, and also allows me to teach people. Before moving to Canada, I was never into the idea of living in a different country. After that experience, I highly recommend it, and working in this industry allows for that.


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hotel and management graduate, Orman worked on a cruise ship after university. Despite being assigned a kitchen role, he spent much of his time hanging around the bar and admiring his colleagues who made top quality drinks. Upon his return home, Orman decided to pursue this newfound passion, and so he applied for and landed a job at Raffles Long Bar in Manila.

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DRINKS WORLD: What was your very first shift behind the bar like? ORMAN BAG-AO: It’s was a dream come true for me. I had waited for how many months before I shook my first drink and the level of my excitement was so high. I can still remember the advice that my mentor said to me in my very first shift, “Orman! Just relax and enjoy the show, because from now on this bar will be your stage.” DW: Who has been your biggest influence/mentor in the industry? OB: I consider myself blessed, as I have been trained, supported and mentored by the company and many people who are ahead of me in the industry. That includes Mellrick Mayor, Rian Asiddao, Dean Mabazza, Jenny Ann Lopez, and Mary Ann Ona. They taught me so many things that serve as my ingredients to pursue my passion in bartending. DW: You won Bacardi Legacy for your region and recently competed at the Global Final. How did you prepare for the local competition? And how did you prepare yourself for the global stage? OB: The regional final of Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition Philippines was fantastic. It never felt like a competition because of the bonding and camaraderie that took place between myself and the other finalists. Preparation is the real competition because you’re up against yourself. Weeks before the finals I talked to competitors from last year, and my brother and sister who both work in the industry. They gave me some advice, which helped me to polish my presentation. I also watched the 2016 Global Final to get some ideas.

For preparation in the Global Final, we did a bit of revision to my drink like changing the glassware. A classic mojito drink inspired the Rain or Shine Cocktail, and during the regional finals, I used a coupe glass. At the Global Final I used a tall glass with ice. DW: How has the cocktail scene developed over the years? OB: Every year the cocktail scene around the world grows because people working behind the bar are doing their best making exceptional drinks by using fresh ingredients, quality spirits, applying the right techniques and giving the service that everybody deserves. Even the bar innovators are making their way to improve and develop new bar concepts from structure to the bar tools that allow the bartenders to have a productive shift. And consumers are more educated on what’s in the glass and what they want. Bespoke drinks are also making noise again in the market where customers challenge bartenders to create customised drinks. DW: If you could do one guest shift in the world where would it be and who would it be with? OB: I would love to do at shift at the SAVOY with Erik Lorincz. There’s no such feeling in the world as working behind the best bar with an award-winning bartender. I haven’t met Erik yet in person, but he’s one of the reasons why I joined the DIAGEO World Class Bartending Competition in 2015, hoping to have a chance to meet him because he won in 2010. I also follow him on social media because he is good at making cocktails and inspires everyone to follow their dreams.


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at, drink and be merry. Drinks World brings you the slickest venues from around the world, both well known and off the beaten path.


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hen heading to Tales of the Cocktail this year, make sure you extend your trip on the way there and back to make the most out of the USA experience. Give yourself two weeks, if you can. You’ll be surprised how much you can fit in!

BEST ADVICE IS TO BREAK UP THE TRIP INTO CHUNKS! AT TALES • Get tickets to a selection of seminars you really want to see. • Reach out to your global connections for any invites to parties. (See if you can get your name on the guest list early!) • Arrive on the Wednesday. • Get a hotel near the Ace Hotel NO. (Lots happens around there and a short walk to the French Quarter) • Hit up the classic New Orleans bars. • Eat Fried Chicken at Willie Mae’s • End the night and say good morning at the Alibi. • Consider a possible side trip to Tabasco factory, or airboats in the bayou to shoot guns! • Sunday Recovery at Bacchanal. • Fly out on the Monday.

PRE TALES West Coast Stop Pick either Los Angeles or San Francisco to fly into and plan to stay for approx. 3-4 days. Both have an awesome bar scene without taking itself too seriously.

Los Angeles Highlights • STAY – at the Ace Hotel, downtown. • DRINK – The Walker Inn, Melrose Umbrella Co, Varnish, Seven Grand, Westbound, Harvard & Stone and many others…check out our LA feature on page 58. • VISIT – Venice Beach for medicinals • EAT – Gwen, or from Taco Trucks (all over East LA) San Francisco Highlights • STAY – near Union Square • DRINK – Smuggler’s Cove, ABV, Trick Dog, Bourbon & Branch, Rickhouse, to name a few. • VISIT – Fisherman’s Wharf and Buena Vista café, the home of the Irish Coffee. • EAT – Tommy’s Mexican Restaurant

POST TALES East Coast Stop There will be hundreds of your new friends heading back to New York after Tales, so it’s a good time to get amongst the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of New York.



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h Los Angeles, the City of Angels as it is known, La La Land. This sprawling metropolis has a lot more to offer visitors than Hollywood, Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach and Rodeo Drive. Here’s our insider’s guide to the venues that are well worth checking out. Some may be off the beaten path, but here born and bred Angelino, Paige Vreede has given us the real Los Angeles, so if you’re heading to Tales of The Cocktail, or are in need of a holiday across the Pacific, be sure to make LA one of your stops.

THE ACE HOTEL If coming to Los Angeles means wanting to feel like you are on the set of Entourage, then The Ace Hotel is certainly where you want to be. Though you may feel like an elitist on their rooftop bar, the crowd it attracts is generally laid back. In the afternoon, go for a dip in the rooftop pool then at night throw on your classiest attire and indulge in their signature cocktail Make Mama Nice Again – a gin, lime and cinnamon infused cocktail – a strange, but indeed, delicious combination. Address: 929 S Broadway, Los Angeles CA 90015 T: +1 (213) 623 3233 W: Rooftop Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday 11am-2am

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EL CARMEN Established as El Carmen Café on Sept 15, 1929 as a family style restaurant by Mrs. Encarnacion Gomez, El Carmen moved from its location on 3rd and La Brea to where she is now at 8138 West 3rd Street in 1950. El Carmen was purchased as part of Committed Inc. in 1997 and transformed by Sean MacPherson into what has now become a staple of Los Angeles and the famous West 3rd Street. Once you pass the red curtains you’re transported into another world. Featuring 400 plus Tequilas, a curated selection of Mezcals, Sotols and Bacanoras along with authentically flavoured south of the border Mexican dishes using hormone free and grass fed meats. When you’re in town, come in and enjoy. Address: 8138 W 3rd St, Los Angeles CA 90048 T: +1 (323) 852 1552 W: Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday 5pm-2am


HARVARD & STONE With exposed pipelines, caged hanging lights, and an overall industrial atmosphere, the last thing you would expect to find are burlesque dancers debuting five inch heels while dancing on said pipelines, but alas, you could certainly find this at Harvard & Stone. The beer menu is unique and there are two bars to order from ensuring nobody is left without a cold one. Go late on a weekday and you may just catch a live local band. Whether you are admiring some seriously talented dancers, or rocking out to live music, any night of the week is a good night at Harvard & Stone. Address: 5221 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90027 T: +1 (323) 466 6063 W: Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday 8pm-2am

If the walls of Clifton’s Cafeteria could speak, they would have decades of stories to tell. Clifton’s was built in 1935 and still has much of the same architecture and design that it had over 80 years ago. With four different themed bars, this Disneyland for grownups is truly one-of-akind. Enjoy classics like Hurricanes and Mai Tais in their secret Tiki lounge, sip on some whiskey next to a giant redwood tree, or order a bottle of Champagne while listening to some live jazz in the ballroom. There is a surprise around every corner in this magnificent, historic building. Address: 648 S Broadway, Los Angeles CA 90014 T: +1 (213) 627 1673 W: Opening Hours: The Monarch Bar: Weekdays 11am-close Weekends 10am-close Gothic Bar: Thursday-Saturday 6pm-2am Pacific Seas: Wednesday-Sunday 6pm-Close, Mondays Closed


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RESIDENT Los Angeles is undeniably known for its music scene, but it is rare to find a music venue that can also double as a local watering hole. Beyond Los Angeles’s industrial stretch, past buildings adorned in street art, cut across a few alleys and pass two taco trucks and you’ll find a hidden gem, Resident. Try one of their refreshing margaritas while enjoying live music, or feast at one of the food trucks parked in their beer garden. If the round is on you, be sure to take advantage of their shot and beer special for just $10! Address: 428 S Hewitt St, Los Angeles CA 90013 T: +1 (213) 628 7503 W: Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday Noon-2am Sunday 10am-2am Sunday 10am-10pm

PHOTOGRAPHY: Miriam Brummel

GOOD TIMES AT DAVEY WAYNE’S For some people, coming to Los Angeles means strolling down Rodeo Drive in hope of spotting celebrities. For others, Los Angeles is all about meeting the locals and having a good time, which is exactly what you’ll get at Good Times at Davey Wayne’s. Enter through a fridge converted into a front door, and you’ll be transported back to the era of bell bottoms and afros. Sip on one of their dangerously delicious cocktails while grooving to “stayin’ alive” on the dance floor or grab an alcoholic snowcone from their outdoor retro camper. Whatever you decide to do, you will not leave this appropriately named venue disappointed.


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Address: 1611 N El Centro Ave, Los Angeles CA 90028 T: +1 (323) 962 3804 W: Opening Hours: Monday-Friday 5pm-2am Saturday-Sunday 2pm-2am


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THE WALKER INN The Walker Inn might just be Los Angeles’s best kept secret. Enter through the Normandie Club and head towards the bathrooms. To the left you will find a wooden door with a red light hanging above it. Press a button and a bartender will let you in… that is if you made reservations of course. Upon entering the dimly lit, intimate bar, you’ll feel like James Bond, although you’ll want to order more than a martini shaken and not stirred. Expect superb cocktails without the highfalutin vibe. The bartenders are kind enough to explain in detail all of the hard work that goes into each ambrosial cocktail placed in front of you. Indulge in a frozen grapefruit cocktail right out of the fruit itself, or use tinctures infused with various flavours to construct your own mixed drink. The drinks are based on what is in season and without a doubt, the talented staff behind the bar will know exactly what to serve up all year round. Address: 3612 W 6th St, Los Angeles CA 90005 T: +1 (213) 263 2709 W: Opening Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 6pm-2am

MANHATTAN BEACH POST Overlooking one of California’s most beautiful beaches, you can find Manhattan Beach Post. The post office turned restaurant not only has an impressive drink menu, but the atmosphere itself is something to lure you in. Long wooden tables occupy the space, trying to fit in as many custumers as possible. As one of the South Bay’s trendiest restaurants, reservations are highly recommended. While you’re waiting for a table, be sure to head to the bar and try a Vic Vega – a refreshing take on a classic old fashioned infused with coconut. They have an exceptional tapas style menu that you do not want to miss out on. Who could say no to a charcuterie plate, replete with blue cheese and truffle honey, 3-year aged acorn prosciutto, and the most mouth-watering marinated olives? Address: 1142 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach CA 90266 T: +1 (310) 545 5405 W: Opening Hours: Monday-Thursday 5pm-10pm Friday 11:30am-10:30pm Saturday 10am-10:30pm Sunday 10am-10pm


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Brut Champagne (or Sparkling Wine)




Sparkling Water (or Club Soda)

Method: Stir ingredients in an ice-filled Collins glass, mixing completely. Think Paris circa 1947. Garnish with a lemon twist. Variation: Think Sartre circa 1947. Be the lemon twist.

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Winter Cocktails COCKTAIL CLUB


t wouldn’t be a winter edition if we didn’t feature some great winter cocktails, including none other than a take on the Hot Toddy. We’ve also taken this opportunity to showcase some of the past and present cocktails created by our Top 25 Bartenders from the region.

THE ACE OF SPADES By Pasan Wijesena, Australia

INGREDIENTS: • 45ml Jack Daniel’s Gold Whiskey • 10ml Tempus Fugit Gran Classico Bitter • 10ml Giffard Banana du Brésil Liqueur • 10ml Domaine Jolly Ferriol Rancio Sec • 1 x dash of Peychaud’s Bitters METHOD: Stir in mixing glass and fine strain into glass GARNISH: Ace of Spades playing card and lemon twist GLASSWARE: Double Old Fashioned or stemless wine glass, sprayed with absinthe


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By Ajit Gurung, Hong Kong INGREDIENTS: • 60ml Michter’s US1 Straight Rye Whiskey • 20ml Lemon sherbet • 5ml Pimento Dram Liqueur • 120ml Dry cider METHOD: Mix everything into a shaker except the cider. Shake and strain into a mug. Top up with cider GARNISH: Mint sprig and apple crisp GLASSWARE: Mug

FUEGO, GINGER BEER & LIME INGREDIENTS: • 45ml BACARDÍ FUEGO Spiced Rum • 90ml Ginger Beer • 2 x Lime wedges METHOD: Fill large rocks glass packed with ice and squeeze 1 lime wedge. Build all ingredients and garnish with the other lime wedge GARNISH: Lime wedge GLASSWARE: Highball

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By Eric Stephenson, Cambodia

INGREDIENTS: • 35ml Wild Turkey 101 • 25ml Green Chartreuse • 30ml Fresh pineapple juice • 20ml Fresh lime juice • 12.5ml Demerara Syrup (2:1) • 5ml Horsford’s Acid Phosphate • 2 x Dashes of Bittermens Elemakule Tiki Bitters METHOD: Build all ingredients in a double Old Fashioned glass. Fill halfway with pebble ice, take a sip of Wild Turkey 101, then swizzle, or until the glass is frosty, then add more pebble ice and stir GARNISH: Fresh, crisp bouquet of mint, a few grates of nutmeg, and grapefruit peel GLASSWARE: Double Old Fashioned glass


By Pawel Mikusek, Hong Kong INGREDIENTS: • 45ml Woodford Reserve • 1bsp. Smoked Cola reduction • 15ml Honey water • 10ml Lagavulin Scotch Whisky • 3 x Dashes of Jerry Thomas Bitters • 100ml Dried fruit ‘compote’* • 50ml Hot water • 1 x Marasca cherry *DRIED FRUIT COMPOTE • 200g Prunes • 100g Dried apricots • 100g Dried apples • 100g Dried figs • 50g Dried pears • 1 x Cinnamon stick • 1 x Orange • 1 x Lemon • 5 x Cloves

Pour two liters of boiled water over the fruit, set aside for four hours. Cut lemon and orange into thin slices, add to the dried fruit. Add cinnamon and cloves, heat for 30 minutes and pour over alcohol in glass METHOD: Muddle a cherry at the base of a glass, add whisky, warm up non-alcoholic ingredients and pour over liquid in a glass GARNISH: Grapefruit and lemon zest GLASSWARE: Toddy


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Confessiothensticsk from behind


artenders go through a lot and see a lot happen, for better or worse.

Here, we delve into some of the confessions of a bartender. Totally anonymous, we take a peek behind the curtain of their pet peeves, gripes, and secrets. You hate it when a customer orders a….. A wet pussy shot followed by the statement ‘I’m a bartender’ and the list of ingredients that go into the shot. No, I’m obviously not a bartender like you are, I just like to stand behind the bar so I can feel like I’m part of something. What is your biggest pet peeve in the industry? When customers order a ridiculous drink that will set you back from service for some time, especially when they can already tell you are getting smashed at the bar. For example 8 long island ice teas, 2 with coke and 6 with cranberry juice. Or a blazer. What spirit of drink would you like to see make a comeback? Rum! But that is already making it’s comeback. #tikitikitki How many shifts do you think you’ve called in sick or missed because you were hungover? Unfortunately, I don’t quite get hangovers. Maybe I’d feel a bit shady, or tired, but that’s about it. Just keep pushing on! Hangover remedy? If I feel a bit shady from the night before I’d either sleep more, or fix it with the hair of the dog- more booze! Biggest fail when bartending? Shaking a cocktail at a full bar of people watching you, and having the cocktail shaker explode all over you. Great fun. What puts a smile on your face when you’re behind the bar? Seeing customers happy with my drinks and pun-tastic banter. It’s a great feeling, as corny as it might sound, knowing that I’ve helped improved someone’s day just by making a great drink, or by saying a great pun.

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The Perfect Cocktail Glass

We can all be a little classier. Dress better. Drink better. Raise the bar. So we asked the world’s leading barman to create the perfect cocktail glasses. Ladies and gentlemen, we present the Perfect Serve Collection. You’re welcome. DRINKS WORLD Spiegelau_RaiseTheBar_Print Ads x8.indd 4

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DW Edition 29 Australia  
DW Edition 29 Australia