THE MAGAZINE FOR MANAGERS, SOMMELIERS AND BARTENDERS EDITION 27 GREATER CHINA
ROSÉ OR BROSÉ It’s So Hot Right Now
Jägermeister, Fernet Branca…
BREAKING DOWN THE BOTANICALS and a paring with Fever-Tree
Classic Cocktails Have you created a classic?
CRAFT BEER, FESTIVALS AND THE BOILERMAKER WITH JAMESON
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Hong Kong 8 - 11 May 2017 2017 Hong Kong Convention Convention and and Exhibition ExhibitionCentre Centre(HKCEC), (HKCEC),Hall Hall3G 3G more at at www.prowineasia.com/hk www.prowineasia.com/hk Learn more As part part of: of:
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CREDITS Publisher Ashley Pini email@example.com
Welcome to the 27th edition of Drinks World. The past few months have been a buzz with events, competitions, product launches, and new venues opening – it’s been a little hard to keep up with all the action happening in our industry – but lets face it, there are worse challenges.
Production Manager Sasha Falloon firstname.lastname@example.org
Guess who’s making a comeback in the drinks scene? None other than The Rusty Nail, and Drambuie are bringing back the forgotten classic. Check out our cocktail club where we look at classics through the eras on page 68. And, if you think you have a future classic – enter our competition for your drink to be featured in the next edition of Drinks World.
General Manager Melinda Virgona EDITORIAL Associate Editor Hannah Sparks Assistant Editor Lukas Raschilla Online Editor Rachel Tyler Editorial Assistant Mary Parbery ADVERTISING Advertising Manager José Martins DESIGN Art Director Evelyn Rueda Senior Designer Racs Salcedo SALES National Sales and Marketing Manager Chris Wheeler email@example.com Market Manager Danny Yang firstname.lastname@example.org DRINKS Drinks Curator Ben Davidson (Bespoke Drinks) PHOTOGRAPHY Photographers: Elden Cheung (101Sight), Benana Ng (Benana Photography), Guerin Blask CONTRIBUTORS Writers: Ashley Pini, Ben Davidson, Ken Gargett, Paige Vreede, Sam Jeveons (Old Street Group)
Harkening back to a bygone era, we also looked into the renaissance of the modern barbershop and where the best in the business go to “Get the look” – featuring the regions finest barbers, like Adam Chan, and Tommy J. Cut to page 41 for more. If you’re looking for what’s on trend – you can not go past rosé. It’s so hot right now, we caught up with the man behind White Girl Rose, Josh Ostrovsky A.K.A The Fat Jew, who is also a big fan of the frosé (turn to page 19 to find out more). And if rosé isn’t the only trend in town then get your fill of gin and the role different botanicals and ingredients play in flavour, and pairing gin styles with tonics on page 22. Speaking of ingredients, with the use of native ingredients and foraging now a buzz in venues across the region, we spoke to some proponents of the practice to gain further insight - check them out on page 27. The beautiful amber liquid, beer, has not been left out, this issue we profile low ABV and mid strength beers with the best flavour. Read more on page 38. It would be difficult, neigh, impossible not to accompany food with drinks, classics and new takes on bar snacks were looked at on page 66 – a cracking opportunity to increase sales in your bar and add to the customer experience. This issue Drinks World caught up with some of the top industry professionals like Simon Difford, Bombay Sapphire’s Raj Nagra, venue designer Ashley Sutton, bar owner and legendary bartender Joseph Boroski, South Korean sommelier Lucas Jung, and none other than one of Hong Kong’s finest bartenders and venue owners, Antonio Lai, on his latest trip down-under. We invite you to exchange ideas and contribute to the regions most exciting bartending and sommelier magazine; if you’d like to take us up on the offer then contact us either directly by email or via drinks.world. Your ideas, opinions, news and drinks have a place either online or in print with Drinks World. Cheers! Ashley Pini
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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: email@example.com and/or firstname.lastname@example.org Although Hip Media endeavours to ensure the accuracy and correctness of the information and Drinks World and www.drinks.world, 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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Mumm Champagne Unveils New Bottle Design Absolut Facet Bottle Limited Edition
19 22 27 31 38 40 41
Rosé, Brosé, Frosé – So hot right now Breaking Down the Botanicals Foraging
Spice It Up - Herbal Liqueurs Small Beers That Taste Big The Boilermaker
Get The Look
46 48 50 52 54 56 57
60 61 62 63 64
ATLAS / Highball
BentSpoke / Charlie Parker’s Big Poppa’s / East Village The Iron Fairies
Food & Drink
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° NEWS °
What’s Happening? NEW VENUE: Case Study, Kuala Lumpur Case Study, the latest venue helmed by bartender Alvin AuYong has arrived in Kuala Lumpur. The venue is located in an old family owned printing factory that was established in the 1950s. The space has been transformed to include in-house professional services, co-working spaces, green pocket parks, community events and of course food and beverage venues including Case Study while keeping the factory in operation. Creating the venue from scratch, Case Study seeks to push the boundaries in terms of flavours, hospitality, experience and essentially every aspect related to a bar. Albeit, in a more casual, fun and interactive manner. Case Study blends local and foreign ingredients into each cocktail. The beverage program here takes an eco friendly and sustainable approach, reusing and maximising the usage of all ingredients to contribute an extra dimension to the whole experience. For instance, raw materials used for infusions or syrups will be converted into jams, pickles, dusts, and dehydrated garnishes to contribute more to the cocktails. More details at drinks.world
DRINKS WORLD WELCOMES DANNY YANG AS HONG KONG MARKET MANAGER We are thrilled to announce the addition of Danny Yang to the Drinks World team. Yang has extensive experience in the hospitality industry, including roles at M1NT nightclub in Shanghai, Red Bull, and Pernod-Ricard Hong Kong. In case you didn’t know, he’s also the man behind the Hooch cocktail app. Danny will take on the role of Drinks World’s Market Manager, bringing us the latest trends, venue openings, and industry happenings from Hong Kong. Of the appointment, Danny said, “I’m excited to be working for Drinks World because of the passion everyone has for the industry. Drinks World is a recognised publication in the bar trade and bartender industry, and I’m very happy to be working with such talented and wonderful people.”
ASIA SHINES IN THE WORLD’S 50 BEST BARS LIST A number of venues across Asia ranked in the 2016 edition of The World’s 50 Best Bars, cementing the region as a place for high quality drinks, cutting edge décor, service, and ambiance to match. Singapore’s Manhattan was Asia’s highest ranked bar coming in at 11 with fellow Singapore bar 28 Hong Kong Street close behind at number 14, and Speak Low in Shanghai just one spot behind at 15. Co-owned by Australia ex-pat Luke Whearty, Singapore’s Operation Dagger came in at 21 (find out more about Operation Dagger on page 63). High Five in Tokyo placed at 23, the famed Lobster Bar & Grill in Hong Kong’s Shangri-La followed at 27, and Quinary also represented Hong Kong at number 41.
NEW VENUE: Dreadnought to open in Bangkok The latest Ashley Sutton designed venue Dreadnought is set to open in Bangkok. Taking over two years to design and construct, the venue will be akin to a space train with Sutton describing Dreadnought as, “The mess hall on this intergalactic spacecraft”. The design is alien-like in the way of patterns and raw. According to Sutton, “It’s probably one of my craziest designs”. Stay tuned!
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INNOVATION: ZUMA ZACAPA LIVE SOLERA SYSTEM Japanese restaurant Zuma has partnered with Ron Zacapa Rum to create the Zuma Zacapa Live Solera System – The world’s first evolving cocktail system. Zuma Hong Kong launched its Zuma Zacapa Live Solera system in October, coinciding with launch parties held in London, Dubai and New York. The system will be in Zuma Hong Kong and eight other Zuma restaurants around the world, delivering an original cocktail in each restaurant specifically designed to appeal local flavoured and palates. For example, the ageing casks for Zuma in Hong Kong are infused with Szechuan, pink peppercorns, fennel seeds and duck fat, mixing perfectly with the Zacapa premium rum. Once the rum has travelled through the system into the final barrel, it is poured and served with a hand-cut and engraved bespoke piece of ice.
AWARDS: Glen Grant 12 YO and 18 YO to be released in Hong Kong Glen Grant 12 Year Old and 18 Year Old expressions are set to be available in Hong Kong early in 2017. Glen Grant 18 Year Old was awarded Single Malt of the Year, and Best Single Malt 16-21 Years by the Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible. The Glen Grant 10 Year Old also received an award, claiming the coveted title of Single Malt of the Year for 10 Years and under (Multiple Casks) category. glengrant.com
NEW RELEASE HONG KONG: Pirate Life lands in Hong Kong
LAUNCH: Proof & Company launches Scrappy’s Bitters Proof & Company has launched Scrappy’s Bitters in Singapore. The bitters will also be available in Hong Kong from next month, from there launching simultaneously in the below markets with Proof & Company’s network of partners. Made in Seattle and developed by bartender Miles Thomas, Scrappy’s Bitters are handcrafted with every batch made using organic ingredients of the highest quality with no artificial flavours, chemicals or dyes.
Hong Kong craft beer fans can now get their hands on iconic cans from Pirate Life. The core range from South Australia’s Pirate Life Brewing, consisting of the Throwback IPA, IPA, Pale Ale and Double IPA will be distributed in Hong Kong via Amber Rebellion. Currently, the range will be available in packaged only. piratelife.com.au
To find out more head to www.scrappysbitters.com Thailand – Bootleggers Trading Malaysia – Wholly Spirits Cambodia – La Familia
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° PROFILE °
MAISON MUMM CHAMPAGNE unveil new Grand Cordon bottle design in Asia M
aison Mumm has teamed up with FIA Formula E Championship to become the official Champagne partner of Formula E. This was marked with the launch of the eye catching,newly designed Mumm Grand Cordon bottle, which was unveiled at the Hong Kong ePrix. The new Champagne bottle is set to become an icon of celebration.
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At the Hong Kong ePrix on October 9 race winner Switzerland’s Sebastien Buemi took to the podium and celebrated in style, spraying a bottle of Mumm Grand Cordon to commemorate his win. Maison Mumm has long been associated with groundbreaking endeavours and bold challenges, staying true to its motto, “Dare. Win. Celebrate”. The partnership with Formula E is the latest in a series of high-profile sporting partnerships which include some of the the world’s biggest horse racing events; the Melbourne Cup and the Kentucky Derby, and two legendary sailing events the Jules Verne Trophy and the Admiral’s Cup. The Mumm Grand Cordon bottle features a new take on the famous Cordon Rouge red sash, which is celebrating its 140th anniversary this year. The emblem of excellence dates back to 1876 when founder Georges Hermann Mumm had the idea of decorating selected Champagnes with the red ribbon of the Legion d’Honneur, France’s highest civilian award. The red sash on the Grand Cordon bottles is a genuine red ribbon that is actually indented in the glass. Created by designed Ross Lovegrove, who has previously collaborated with Maison Mumm, in addition to having created designs for Sony and Apple and had his work exhibited in a number of museums around the world.
Lovegrove said, “Mumm wanted to break the Champagne codes. To me, design should always push barriers and challenge tradition, and as a Welsh guy I wanted to shake up an icon of French luxury”. Mumm’s Global Brand Director, Louis De Fautereau said, “Hong Kong’s Formula E race was the perfect celebratory moment to unveil our new Mumm Grand Cordon bottle to Asia Mumm is an icon of victory with a long history of celebration”. After the race, the revelry continued at the iconic Dragon-i nightclub where Mumm Grand
Cordon was officially unveiled for the first time in Asia. The bottle made its Hong Kong debut via a daring delivery in a video featuring local celebrity, Alex Fong and Mumm Cellarmaster, Mariotti Didier, before being officially presented in person by Formula E driver, Lucas di Grassi. On Premise: Mumm Grand Cordon will be available at Dragon-i, Kee Club, Play, and Drop. Off Premise: Mumm Grand Cordon is also available from Watson’s Wine and Cuvees.com (HK$438).
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° PROFILE °
ABSOLUT FACET BOTTLE
CUT LIKE A GEM
bsolut Facet is the latest limited-edition bottle in the Absolut Vodka line. The familiar round curves of the blue bottle have been cut like a gem with many faces that reflect light in unique ways, symbolic of the many directions #AbsolutNights can take you. The look of the bottle invokes “spontaneous moments of nightlife magic”.
“With the Absolut Facet limited edition bottle, we want to celebrate the unexpected and encourage people to be open to the different journeys a night could take you on. We believe the best nights are the ones that happen out of the blue—unplanned and spontaneous. Our latest #AbsolutNights campaign also aims to inspire people to celebrate spontaneity and the connections you make along the way,” says Absolut’s Gaia Gilardini. Absolut also partnered with Spotify to create Discovr, a service that creates customised playlists from the combined music tastes of
friends and also recommends Absolut drinks inspired by the music—perfect for creating #AbsolutNights at home. Visit Absolut.com/ Facet to check it out. To coincide with the launch of Absolut Facet, the #AbsolutNights campaign will roll out a series of short films depicting unforgettable, unexpected nights from different perspectives. This series will celebrate the essence of all great and unforgettable nights—creating memories and authentic connections with others.
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° PROFILE °
Bartenders, need a little inspiration for creating batched cocktails? Give these Absolut Facet Cocktails a go – perfect for those busy nights when working behind the stick.
ESPRESSO WITH FRIENDS THE MULE
Serves 3-4 Garnish: Lime wedge
Serves 2 Ingredients: • 100ml Absolut Vodka • 300ml Ginger Beer • 30ml Fresh Lime Juice
Method: Pour all ingredients into a giant mule cup filled with ice cubes Glass: Giant Mule Cups
Garnish: Two lemon wheels
Serves 2 Ingredients: • 100ml Absolut Vodka • 300ml Soda Water • 60ml Fresh Lemon Juice • 40ml Elderflower Cordial
Garnish: Three coffee beans
Method: Pour all ingredients into an Absolut jar filled with ice cubes Glass: Large Mason Jar
Ingredients: • 200ml Absolut Vodka • 200ml Room temperature espresso coffee • 60ml Kahlúa Liqueur • 40ml Simple Syrup
Method: Pour all ingredients into a large mason shaker filled with ice cubes and shake until cold. Strain into a chilled rocks or tumbler glass Glass: Tumbler or Rocks
SEA BREEZE PITCHER
Garnish: Lime wheel
Serves 5 – 6
Method: Pour all ingredients into a pitcher filled with ice cubes and stir
Ingredients: • 500ml Absolut Vodka • 1000ml Cranberry Juice • 500ml Fresh Grapefruit Juice
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n in-depth look at the what’s happening in the industry from trends to lifestyle, and everything in between.
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° FEATURE °
É S O R
t o H w o o S N t h g i R
h Rosé, that beautiful wine with a pinkish hue loved by both young and old, and even men, who have been wearing pink shirts for a while now, and for some reason have suddenly realised how delicious it is, and that there’s no shame in drinking something pink in colour. It has even been given more street cred, being referred to as “brosé”. Rosé has its origins in France, when ancient Greeks travelled to Western Europe and founded the colony of Marseille in 600 BC, producing a pale red wine we now know as rosé. Of course, darker red wines were introduced in the Marseille regions, but the famed Grecian rosé remained ever popular, and similarly is seeing a renaissance today. The most well-known region for producing the highest quality rosé is Provence in the south of France. Rosé makes up around half of all Provençal wine production. DRINKS WORLD
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° FEATURE °
THE COLOUR Rosé is made by juicing red grapes and allowing the juice to soak with the skins where it incorporates some of the colour, creating a softer pink hue. As the two soak together, the colour from the skin bleeds into the juice, this process is known as maceration. For rosé, maceration is usually a shorter period than red wine, around two hours. The time of maceration will determine the flavour and the colour of the rosé. The skins are then removed and the juice allowed to ferment. The colour can range from a pale onion skin orange to a vivid near purple, depending on varietal and technique. The flavour ranges depending on type of grape. The types of grapes used for rosé are Pinot Noir, Syrah, Grenache, Cinsault and Zinfandel.
THE TASTE In general rosé is fresh on the palate with a crisp acidity. It can be sweet or dry. The primary flavours are red fruits such as ripe strawberry, raspberry, and watermelon, in addition to citrus, finishing with hints similar to celery or rhubarb. Of course, the type of grape the rosé wine is made with will vary the taste. Red fruits with a balanced acidity give rosé a refreshing dry taste. Old World (European) style of rosé tend to be more dry, whereas the New World (contemporary) style may be less dry, but this is a rule of thumb as opposed to a hard and fast rule. Rosé is best when served chilled, with some consumers choosing to add ice to rosé.
WHY ROSÉ IS SO HOT RIGHT NOW?
There’s no shame in drinking something pink in colour. It has even been given more street cred, being referred to as “brosé”.
In Australia, rosé is the fastest growing wine varietal
Now is the moment for rosé, once considered a distant and less popular cousin of both red and white, the pink hued wine has witnessed growth in both imports and demand, with sparkling, rosé and premium wines being the three fastest growing wine segments. It’s easy to drink, with a refreshing dry taste satisfy a broad spectrum of consumers. Rosé is nothing if not versatile and lends itself to being a varietal that can be consumed year round and in a wide range of settings; it can accompany a BBQ, be paired with food and is equally as good at a picnic or at home. It is also ideal for mixing and can play well in cocktails, particularly with fruits or in a spritz, and now the frosé, has given it a new added dimension. Rosé is no longer neglected to being a
summer wine to be consumed on a sunny terrace, preferably in Provence. This has also led to an increase in demand for high quality, premium rosé that is being produced around the world. Rosé is seeing its popularity rise in Asia as well, Group Sommelier for Hong Kong’s JIA Group, Artur Aronov noting, “The gaining popularity could be attributed to Hong Kong’s rise in younger and female wine drinkers who are increasingly becoming a force in the wine market. This audience is less chained to the red wine market than their older male counterparts. It can also be attributed to Hong Kong’s hot and balmy weather which encourages consumers to drink something light and fresh”. Direct Sales Representative and Assistant Winemaker at Sally’s Paddock in Victoria’s Pyrenees region, Hendrik van der Mije, who grew up in the Provence region of France, believes the popularity of rosé in Australia is due not only to people’s curiosity but the climate of Australia suiting rosé. “In the south of France rosé is known as a wine for outdoor drinking, whether its in a garden, BBQ, or at the beach, and traditionally consumed during the day more than evenings. It also normally wouldn’t be consumed when it is below 20 degrees, so I think Australia has a great climate for rosé. As it is suited to the climate, it will get more popular”, said Hendrik. While Sally’s Paddock winery doesn’t currently offer a rosé, Hendrik is looking to make one in the next vintage with the French Provencal technique, in part due to his love of rosé, and its increase in popularity. In Australia, rosé is the fastest growing wine varietal. In an article featured in The Australian earlier this year, Peter Nixon of Dan Murphy’s wine panel says that in 2016, “We have seen a sales growth of between 200 and 300 per cent in the over $10 rose category over the last 12 months. It is that dramatic”. In fact, rosé has been so increasingly popular that the weekend holiday destination, The Hamptons in New York State, was close to running out of rosé in 2012, and in 2014 stores in the area limited customers to four bottles. Fuller flavoured Australian rosé wines are benefiting from the increased demand including Turkey Flat and Charlie Melton’s Rose of Virginia. Get it while it’s hot!
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The Frosé Love slushies, flavours and rosé? They have been brought together wonderfully by the Frosé: A rosé slushie launched by Bar Primi in New York, and now everyone is drinking it. It’s simple, refreshing, and damn tasty. Some of the more popular frosé ingredients are dry rosé (of course!), strawberries, lemon juice, and watermelon. All that is needed to make a frosé is throw all the ingredients in a blender. The ingredients for a frosé can be selected on personal preference and creation so feel free to add any seasonal fruit of your choice. Currently Bar Primi serve up two versions on their menu, a frosé made with Sicilian rosé, rosato vermouth and strawberry; and a fall frosé consisting of frozen lambrusco, melon, blood orange and the bitter aperitivo, cappelletti. In the US, social media personality Josh Ostrovsky, who you might know as The Fat Jew (@ TheFatJewish on Instagram) released White Girl Rosé in 2015 along with writer David Oliver Cohen (aka Babe Walker of @whitegrlproblem on Twitter) in response to its rising popularity which led to a rosé shortage in the Hamptons, New York during the summer of 2014. In addition, Ostrovsky is a big fan of the frosé, “The future hasn’t been that great, we still can’t eat our meals in pill form, and our cars don’t fold up into suitcases. We don’t even have f**king hoverboards. But as of last summer, we now have frozen rosé drinks, and that’s definitely progress”. Check out White Girl Rosé at whitegirlwine.com/store St~Germain Elderflower liqueur also upped the ante with the St Frosé cocktail, consisting of St~Germain, rosé, lime and sugar, and it’s delicious. With its delicate floral aroma and hints of tropical fruits, grapefruit and pear, St~Germain is versatile enhances any drink. No stranger to wine based cocktails, St~Germain make a perfect addition to a spritz with brut Champagne or dry white wine.
The future hasn’t been that great, we still can’t eat our meals in pill form, and our cars don’t fold up into suitcases. We don’t even have f**king hoverboards. But as of last summer, we now have frozen rosé drinks, and that’s definitely progress
JOSH OSTROVSKY (A.K.A. The Fat Jew)
ST~FROSÉ COCKTAIL Ingredients • 30ml St~Germain • 150ml Rosé • 10ml Lime • 7.5-10ml Sugar Method Place ingredients together with crushed ice and blend. Garnish: Lemon peel Photographer: Guerin Blask
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° FEATURE °
Breaking Down Botanicals
ith the gin craze in full swing, and great distillers from across the globe experimenting with an array of botanicals, it was fitting to get some of the most well known industry heads together for a tasting of the famed juniper spirit. The panel consisted of Ben Davidson, Drinks Curator at Drinks World, Mikey Enright owner of Sydney’s dedicated gin bar The Barbershop, David Nguyen-Luu manager of The Barbershop, gin lover and one of Drinks World’s top 25 Australia bartenders Petr Dvoracek, and Gee David, National Training Manager of SouthTrade International. 22 °
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Owner of the Barbershop in Sydney and gin fanatic Mike Enright highlighted that the Grains of Paradise are one of the notable botanicals that you can taste in Bombay Sapphire.
Here’s an array of gins we have chosen to profile. Aiming for a varied selection, including both the London Dry style and “New World” style, seven gins were tasted. Let’s deconstruct some of these gins and highlight the botanicals that contribute to their aroma and flavours. In addition, our panel has also chosen a variety of Fever-Tree tonics they thought were ideal to pair the gins with.
BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Starting out with one of the most well known London Dry gins, produced in one of the most, if not the most, sustainable and eco-friendly distilleries in the world in Laverstoke, UK. Bombay Sapphire is famed for not only its iconic blue bottle, but also the Grains of Paradise. A relative of the ginger plant, these are seeds that offer a spectrum of flavour from a peppery bite to light lavender notes as well as a long finish. Like any gin, Bombay Sapphire uses juniper berries at the heart of their botanical recipe, sourcing the juniper from the hills of Tuscany. In addition, Bombay uses lemon peel to lift other botanicals, coriander for a warm ginger-like spice, as well as cubeb berries that are part of the pepper family but have a much more floral aroma, orris root and almonds. PANEL TALK : The industry panel was unanimous in deciphering peppery and herbaceous notes from Bombay Sapphire with quite a light nose. The gin had hints of liquorice with an earthy character. Citrus is quite low in
Bombay Sapphire, with a bit of sweetness and fruit spice complimented with cassia leading to sweetness. Bombay Sapphire is quite savoury and earthy. Owner of the Barbershop in Sydney and gin fanatic Mikey Enright highlighted that the Grains of Paradise are one of the notable botanicals that you can taste in Bombay Sapphire.
present. Lemon myrtle provides an alternative to using lemon peel. Drinks Curator of Drinks World and industry legend Ben Davidson was fond of Four Pillars Rare Dry, noting that it has, “A balance of floral notes with an earthy flavour, making it a very well balanced gin”. PANEL TALK: Orris root is present with an earthy character and flavour. There are hints of pepperberry coming through, with good mouth feel and citrus. Of note is Four Pillars’ use of whole oranges in distilling, instead of orange peel, bringing out citrus notes. An earthy balance made with Aussie botanicals give this gin a varied flavour from the classic London Dry style. MIX WITH: Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin pairs perfectly with Fever-Tree’s Mediterranean Tonic, with its fruit, herb, and floral flavours from the Mediterranean complimenting the Australian botanicals and earthy character of the gin.
MIX WITH: As Bombay is a classic London Dry Gin, it is perfectly paired with Indian Tonic from Fever-Tree, with it’s clean and refreshing taste of botanical oils and the highest quality natural quinine.
FOUR PILLARS RARE DRY GIN Four Pillars wanted to create a gin that’s representative of modern Australia, making a clean, classic, spiced gin that is lifted with citrus. Using European juniper berries and spices from South East Asia and the Middle East, as well as two Australian native botanicals; lemon myrtle and Tasmanian pepperberry. Four Pillars use cinnamon and star anise to add spice, and round that out with lavender and angelic root. Cassia and coriander seeds are also
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WEST WINDS THE CUTLASS The West Winds Cutlass, made in Western Australia is a handcrafted small batch gin at 50% ABV, with the addition of Australian bush tomato, pairing up with coriander seed to produce a headstrong aromatic and very drinkable gin. Other Australian native ingredients include cinnamon myrtle, and lemon myrtle, which sit alongside traditional juniper berries. PANEL TALK: Gin lover, bartender Petr Dvoracek noted, “Although it’s quite punchy, it doesn’t nose like a strong spirit”. The Cutlass is peppery, with a hint of a red snapper cocktail and Australian botanicals coming through. The strength comes through on the palate, not harsh but a savoury mix that brings out the natives ingredients. A garnish of green capsicum wouldn’t be out of place with The Cutlass.
ROGUE SOCIETY GOLDI LOCKS Hailing from New Zealand, Rogue Society consists of 13 botanicals – lemon peel, orange peel, coriander seeds, cardamom pods, nutmeg, juniper (of course), cloves, angelica root, liquorice root, orris root, cinnamon sticks, cassia bark and tangerine. Goldi Locks is a blend of exotic botanicals and glacial New Zealand water, distilled in a copper pot still. At 57% ABV this is a stronger New Zealand Dry Gin – coming in at Navy strength. The addition of tangerine in Goldi Locks gives it a balanced citrus note, coming across as a classic dry style. PANEL TALK: Dried tangerine provide a citrus hit. Mikey Enright commented that Rogue Society Goldi Locks is “Well balanced on the nose with similarities to vodka”. Lower on the juniper hit and larger on the citrus it has some sweetness at the front. More of a classic dry style gin that leads with citrus, and the higher alcohol elevating the citrus flavours. MIX WITH: Goldi Locks is complemented nicely with Fever-Tree’s Light Tonic, combining natural fruit sugars and quinine with citrus and aromatic botanicals to balance the high strength dry and citrus style of gin.
MIX WITH: Another high strength gin, The Cutlass pairs fantastically with the Elderflower Tonic from Fever-Tree. The light and subtle character with sweet elderflower and soft bitterness works in unison with the native botanicals and punch of this gin.
BEEFEATER 24 The second of our London Dry gins in the tasting, Beefeater 24 is a citrus-led style, very gentle on the nose with three citrus botanicals of orange, lemon and grapefruit. It has a classic London Dry flavour. The addition of two types of green tea – Japanese sencha and Chinese green tea are used in Beefeater 24, giving it light tannins and a green, grassy, seaweed character. Grapefruit peel brings out the signature Beefeater citrus flavour. Coriander, angelica and liquorice root and orris root are present, contributing some bittersweet spice notes and floral characters. PANEL TALK: Soft notes of juniper, orange and cinnamon on the nose. Dry on the palate. Orris and angelica root are identifiable. This is a classic dry gin with hints of sencha coming through. MIX WITH: To go with Beefeater 24, Fever-Tree’s Lemon Tonic, made with Sicilian lemons brings out the citrus notes of this London Dry gin and contrasts the sencha.
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ARCHIE ROSE DISTILLER’S STRENGTH From one of Sydney’s finest distilleries, the Distiller’s Strength expression is Archie Rose’s higher proof gin that takes notes from Navy Strength gin, with a twist. This version is bolder and stronger but retains balance. Archie Rose distils each of their 15 botanicals separately, ensuring clarity when extracting the botanical flavours. PANEL TALK: Very dry, earthy notes. Mikey Enright says,“It’s like sticking your head in the soil”. Savoury on the nose, with big orris root notes, it has quite a nice dryness with juniper coming through. Barbershop manager David Nguyen-Luu feels it shows hints of fresh pear, rose, and local honey. Gee David of SouthTrade International added that the Archie Rose Distiller’s Strength has a “Nice touch of liquorice”. Savoury on the nose with a well-balanced mouth feel, the strength helps with a long finish.
INK GIN Created on the northern rivers of NSW, Ink Gin from Husk Distillers is a small batch, organic infused Australian craft gin. Ink strays away from being clear, deriving a purple, violet hue from a deep infusion of petals from an exotic blue flower. It has no artificial colours and no preservatives. PANEL TALK: Citrus flavours are present with some sweetness with elderflower. Ben Davidson noted that, “On the nose, it’s similar
to a cocktail such as an Aviation”. Ink Gin is sweet but with hints of Tasmanian pepperberry, elderflower and chamomile. The panel found that Ink to be a little less complex than some of the other gins. MIX WITH: Pairing Ink gin with Fever-Tree’s Lemon Tonic allows the sweetness of the gin to be contrasted with the beautiful citrus and oils from Sicilian lemons.
MIX WITH: Another high strength gin that works perfectly with Elderflower Tonic from Fever-Tree. The boldness and dryness of this gin is offset by the delicate and sweet elderflower flavours.
PANEL’S PICKS FEVER-TREE TONIC MATCHES BOMBAY SAPPHIRE – Indian Dry Tonic FOUR PILLARS RARE DRY – Mediterranean Tonic BEEFEATER 24 – Lemon Tonic ARCHIE ROSE DISTILLER’S
STRENGTH – Elderflower Tonic ROGUE SOCIETY GOLDI LOCKS – Light Tonic WEST WINDS THE CUTLASS – Elderflower Tonic HUSK DISTILLERS INK GIN – Lemon Tonic
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FORAGING WORDS ° Lukas Raschilla
hile foraging dates back to the start of the human existence, the hospitality industry is currently witnessing a renaissance in the use of native and foraged ingredients in cocktails and food dishes alike. It’s easy to understand the benefits of foraging within the world of mixology, natural and unparalleled freshness is the most obvious, but it also makes ecological sense to use what surrounds us. Using native foraged ingredients within venues also creates an aspect of authenticity and attention to detail, and forms an alignment between a product and it’s origins.
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WHAT IS FORAGING? Foraging at its core is the act of finding and harvesting wild foods and can also be referred to as gathering, I’m sure most have heard of hunting and gathering as the two forms of sourcing goods in the wild. Foraging can include hiking into deep bushlands or mountains, to picking apples or lemons off a neighbour’s tree. Foraging is also based around nature and the seasons. The ever-changing canvas of nature means what is available and in season is constantly fluctuating and evolving, and threatened by weather, wild animals and development. Chefs such as the acclaimed René Redzepi from NOMA is perhaps one of the most well known forager, bringing foraged items to his menus at his Copenhagen restaurant and during stints at the Mandarin Oriental in Tokyo in 2015, and a 10-week pop-up in Sydney earlier this year. The degustation menu at the Sydney pop-up featured items like sea urchin and dried tomatoes with pepperberries, golden and desert oak wattle seed porridge wrapped inside saltbush leaves, and a pie of scallop and lantana flowers that was matched with a quandong liqueur made by Black Gate Distillery in central west NSW, Australia. Foraged menus in both bars and restaurants communicate a geographic seasonality and aim to highlight a venue’s surroundings. The amount of people interested in taking part in foraging has grown, so much so that in the UK there is now The Association of Foragers, established in 2015 to promote and support responsible foraging, with all members sharing a common interest in caring for the environment. The members have also developed a code of conduct to ensure sustainable, safe and mindful foraging. MODERN FORAGERS Sydneysiders Christopher Thomas and Byron Woolfrey started “Trolley’d” in 2013. Trolley’d use a fleet of old Ansett trolleys and convert them into mobile bars for parties and events. Every cocktail they serve is with a native twist and they too forage for ingredients. The pair met while working at Three Blue Ducks, a restaurant that practices sustainable and eco-friendly operations. In addition to foraging, the pair prepare the majority of their own ingredients from scratch, including
garnishes, syrups, and even kombucha. Trolley’d also have an in-house dehydrator, which they can use for garnishes, preservations, and even to turn ingredients into powders to use for syrups and flavour infusions. When asked about why they began foraging and using native ingredients in their cocktails and what the inspiration was, Chris points out, “We wanted to get deeper into where the produce is coming from. What grows where and how it can be used. Australia has so many native ingredients out there, and we don’t know what the half of it even is. It’s also of course fresher and natural. It makes sense to use what’s around us, and what we can find”. The cocktail menu offered by Trolley’d constantly changes based on the seasonal ingredients and preferences of clients. Chris says the two enjoy using pretty much any native ingredient, “Things such as Illawarra plum, lemon myrtle, and
quandong are great. Finding ways to use them excites us as well”. Byron believes that foraging is a great thing, but only when done for the right reasons. When asked on his views towards foraging and its recent upswing in popularity, he said, “It depends what people are doing it for. If they are passionate and about the cause and there’s more people doing it for the right reasons it’s a great thing. However, if it’s a fashion or trend thing and not necessarily adding to the drink or simply because people are trying to be “local” by using it then it kind of defeats the purpose”. Chris believes that getting more people involved and working together to gain knowledge and source ingredients is a smarter and more sustainable way of foraging, “How cool would it be to have people foraging on a mass scale when a certain ingredient is in season?”
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Another proponent of using native ingredients is bartender and co-owner of PS40 Thor Bergquist. PS40 make their own sodas inhouse with their core range all featuring native ingredients. Wattle seed cola, blackstrap ginger, bush tonic and smoked lemonade are the four currently making up PS Soda’s core range. On speaking about native ingredients they’re using at PS40, Thor says, “We use a lot of lemon myrtle, native lemongrass and things that are unique to Australia. Why import things from overseas, given the produce we have available?” Thor explained his process on developing a cocktail list around foraged ingredients, “With foraging, you find a park that has a lot of native or natural growth to it, you find ingredients that you may not know what they are, do some research to find out what they are and build drinks around those ingredients. If you’re trying to search for something specific with say, a pepper flavour, you’ll be searching all day for that. And that’s why the cocktails are really built on that produce item”. While Thor would love to find the time to personally forage, work commitments means he can’t, so has enlisted the help of Lyle Dudley, a South Australia based native ingredients forager who has been doing it for over 20 years. Dudley runs Bush Foods Australia, whom Thor came across after making a lot of phone calls, and sending lot of emails, “He’s amazing. I’ll ask him for something completely random and he’ll go find it for me. He was the only person happy to do massive bulk orders for what we needed and really got behind everything, and got excited about what we were doing and that passion for ingredients and produce really resonates with me, so I felt it was right straight away”. Although foraging may have seen an upswing in popularity, or people being more familiar with it, Thor doesn’t believe foraging is a trend, and is quick to point out that Melbourne restaurant Attica has been foraging for over 10 years now. On Thor’s recommendation, Drinks World got in touch with the man himself, Lyle Dudley to delve deeper into foraging. Residing in Wilmington in mid-north South Australia, Dudley will forage and source a number of native ingredients including wattle seed, pepperberry, bush tomato, lemon myrtle, quandong, and many more. The ingredients Dudley harvests have a number of uses, anything from food to medicinal purposes and research. Dudley supplies commercial quantities, and has built
THE BOTANIST FORAGED COCKTAIL COMP Consisting of 22 foraged island botanicals that are hand-picked locally and sustainable on Islay, Scotland by their own botanical scientists, its no wonder The Botanist Gin are strong advocates of foraging and have developed a foraged cocktail competition where those entering must forage their own ingredients to use in cocktails. Drinks World caught up with 2016 Australian Finalist Kurtis Bosley, Group Beverage Manager of Public House Managment to get an insight into foraging. DRINKS WORLD: Prior to taking part in The Botanist Foraged Cocktail Competition, were you a fan of using native ingredients in drinks? KURTIS BOSLEY: It’s only over the last 12 months that I’ve really taken an interest in using native ingredients in my drinks. Prior to that, I really didn’t know too much about them or how I could go about learning about them. This competition is what really drove me to learn as much as I could about the ingredients in a short amount of time and is definitely the reason I have learnt as much as I know about them now. DW: Do you forage yourself? KB: I do. I’m lucky enough to live on Sydney’s northern beaches, which is an absolute gold mine of amazing native Australian ingredients. DW: After you decided to enter the competition, how did you go about sourcing ingredients and devising the recipe? KB: For me it wasn’t a hard decision to enter at all as I had already been experimenting heavily with these ingredients but I wanted
to search some really bespoke ones that might surprise the judges and definitely would spark some interest around the drinks I created. This process took days and weeks of searching bush land, and understanding possible areas I could get certain ingredients, a lot of reading, and always keeping my eyes out for things I could use. DW: What is your opinion on foraging and where do you see it in the industry? Do you believe it’s a trend or is progressing towards something more? KB: With more emphasis on bars to become more sustainable in their selection and use of ingredients, I think foraging will always have a place in our industry as it allows you the ability to get your own ingredients and not put added pressure on our farm lands. It’s definitely progressing to something more I believe. With guys like chef Elijah Holland leading the way, as seen with his involvement in the NOMA pop up in Sydney, it’s definitely building momentum as more industry people learn more about the use of these ingredients.
LE ARTIST Kurtis Bosley’s recipe at The Botanist Foraged Cocktail Competition INGREDIENTS: • 50ml Botanist Gin • 22.5ml House-made Rosella, Wattle and Strawberry gum syrup • 10ml Tio Pepe Fino Sherry • 5 Drops native Lemongrass tincture METHOD: Add all ingredients to a shaker, add ice. Shake and double strain GLASSWARE: Vintage Coupette GARNISH: Edible flowers
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up relationships with foragers and consumers Australia wide, networking with people for both sourcing and supplying ingredients. However, foraging can be a tough game, “It’s difficult work, foraging, because the main season for me is January and February and you have to do the picking when it’s hot, usually in the middle of the day”, says Dudley. Foraging on both private pastoral land and wild bush land, wattle seed is Dudley’s main business, a lot of which is dependent on climate. When foraging on pastoral land, however, he finds that a number of animals and livestock may consume native ingredients such as pepperberry, quandong, and lilly pilly. Foraging on a commercial scale can be tough going, “Fruits are the most challenging to harvest, given the fickle nature of them based on climate, leaves are slightly easier”, says Dudley. When asked about the demands he is seeing, Dudley comments that he has seen “More demand from mainstream consumers over the last two years”. Clients such as hospitality, medicinal, to major cereal companies are now working with Dudley to supply some of their native ingredient needs. Native lemongrass is one ingredient he has seen a spike in demand for. For those wanting to get out and forage be aware of not only the hazards associated with
We use a lot of lemon myrtle, native lemongrass and things that are unique to Australia. Why import things from overseas, given the produce we have available?
THOR BERGQUIST Co-owner, PS40
nature and foraging, but also the regulations on what you can and where you can forage differ from state to state. Thor is aware that it can be illegal to forage in some lands unless you are part of a native tribe who is a custodian of that land. Dudley tells us that regulations also differ from state to state, but comments, “In S.A. I can forage on crown lands with permits from the government provided that I report what I have harvested and the amounts to whoever is in charge of the land, be it council or whoever is responsible”. National Parks are off-limits, so for those wanting to forage, please contact local councils and governments if unsure. Foraging and the gathering of ingredients harken back to our existence and the many modern uses for trade and consumers have
been made abundant. Along with the ecofriendly and sustainable buzzwords in the industry, foraging and using native produce from what is around us not only makes sense from an ecological perspective but also from that of the palate and to the consumer. One can assume foraging will continue, with places such as Charlie Parker’s helmed by bartenders Sam Egerton and Toby Marshall providing a cocktail concept based on the anatomy of a plant using local and native ingredients. In addition, brands are also evolving with products such as the Botanist Gin using foraged ingredients and holding a foraged cocktail competition, emphasising not only the use of products but the sourcing as well.
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Spice It Up
Herbal Liqueurs WORDS ° Lukas Raschilla
hile most will be somewhat familiar with herbal liqueurs, it is a unique and interesting category, and a vast one at that. Of course, you’ve all seen herbal liqueurs on the bar, on the shelves sitting behind the staples or off to the side on their own, wondering what are these bottles, how should the liquid be used? With a majority of herbal liqueurs coming from Europe, they will often have foreign names with old looking labels that are reminiscent of something you’d see in relative’s liquor cabinet. In fact, not only do they look antique, a lot of the recipes are centuries old and to this day are produced the exact same way using the exact same ingredients. Several herbal liqueurs closely guard the recipe and production methods and are only known by family or entrusted custodians, which are passed down through the generations. Herbal liqueurs have traditionally had many uses; some were originally concocted as medicines or elixirs, using herbs and natural ingredients steeped in alcohol. While a number are considered aperitifs or digestifs being consumed for their digestive properties. Herbal liqueurs range from a relatively low 15% ABV right up to over 60% ABV. While countless numbers of herbal liqueurs are available, here at Drinks World we have selected five herbal liqueurs that we think are unique, versatile, and varied in composition and flavour.
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JÄGERMEISTER (YAY-GER-MY-STIR) Invented in 1934, but with a history dating back to 1870, Jägermeister is a herbal liqueur that includes 56 different herbs, spices, fruits and roots that only two master distillers in the world can unlock. Commonly called “Jäger”, this digestif from Germany has five main ingredients; ginger, cinnamon, star anise, cardamom, and orange peel. Jäger was first made after many years of experimenting with different ingredients, and the recipe has not changed since it was invented. Curt Mast developed the recipe for a unique and unmistakable herbal liqueur. This was made to celebrate the bonding moments, as Jäger has been developed to toast to the group moments and it is anchored in hunting because Curt, like many of his contemporaries, was a passionate hunter with a respect for nature and all creatures and thus the spirit of the brand is about genuine connections. The mixture of herbal extracts and pure alcohol was imagined to prelude and conclude every hunting trip.
PRODUCTION OF JÄGERMEISTER After selecting raw materials of the highest grade, the master distillers prepare several different dry mixtures of herbs. These are then gently extracted by cold maceration in a process that takes several weeks. Following this process, a master distiller will skillfully blend these macerates together and transfer them to oak casks in the Wolfenbüttel wood cask cellar. In time, these will provide the Jägermeister base, the key to the legendary Jägermeister taste. Each barrel that houses the liquid is constructed from wood grown in the local Palatine forest. In these vessels, the Jägermeister base is given time to “breathe”, slowly ageing for nearly one year. During the maturation process, the master distillers continually inspect the progress until the necessary complexity is achieved. Over a year will pass before the journey of a Jägermeister bottle is completed and allowed to leave the grounds. During that time, it will have undergone 383 quality control checks – guaranteeing the highest quality.
TASTING NOTES Jägermiester has a deep amber appearance with burgundy tints, and coats the glass. Jägermeister is mildly spicy, complex and warming with wellbalanced traces of citrus, ginger, and star anise that are accompanied by a pleasantly bitter herbal flavor at 35% ABV. The suggested serve for Jägermeister is an ice-cold shot. It can also add a beautiful touch to cocktails or in mixed drinks such as Jäger and orange, which bringing out the orange peel flavour. A great Jägermeister drink is Root56 - mixing Jäger with ginger beer and two lime wedges in a highball glass.
ROOT56 Ingredients: • 45ml Jägermeister • Ginger beer to top Method: Build over Ice Garnish: 2 Lime Wedges Glassware: Highball
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FERNET-BRANCA The herbal liqueur known around the industry as a classic, none other than Fernet-Branca. Fernet-Branca falls into the amaro category – a class of Italian bitter liqueurs, which are principally enjoyed for their digestive qualities before or after a meal, and are referred to as a “digestivo” or “aperitivo”. Consisting of 27 different herbs, Fernet-Branca ages for at least one year in oak barrels. One of the oldest in the amaro category, born in 1845, the original Fernet-Branca recipe has been handed down from generation to generation and today continues to be the true Italian digestive bitter. Fernet-Branca is seen as an industry drink of choice, with a nip of Fernet also being referred to as the “bartenders handshake”. It is said to be a magical hangover cure, occasionally being prescribed to settle upset stomachs and mend broken hearts, with some even spiking their coffee with a few drops. Bars around the world have even gone as far as providing Fernet-Branca on tap. Outside of Italy, Fernet & cola is considered to be the national drink of choice in Argentina, known as a “Fernando”. In fact, such was the demand in the South American country that Fernet-Branca expanded to open its first distillery outside of Milan in Buenos Aires. What exactly is Fernet-Branca made of? Like most herbal liqueurs, Fernet-Branca is a combination of ingredients. FernetBranca list the following ingredients as their “secret formula”: Myrrh, Linden, Galangal, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Saffron, Iris, Gentian , Bitter orange
TASTING NOTES The unique individual ingredients give Fernet-Branca its decisive tone, making it a rich digestive bitter with a spiced aftertaste at 40% ABV. Complimenting the bitterness are menthol and eucalyptus flavours that come through, giving it a clean tasting finish.
HOW TO TASTE AND APPRECIATE FERNET-BRANCA Of course, while delicious with cola and garnished with a lemon wedge, for those wanting to appreciate the full flavours, Fernet-Branca suggests the liqueur can be enjoyed in three sips: • First sip, pause for a few seconds to allow the decisive bitter tone of the Colombo and Aloe and the unmistakable character of gentian. • Second sip, will allow the distinct spiced flavour of zedoary and the full flavour chamomile • The third and final, the overall richness of Fernet-Branca is revealed, the balanced bitter aftertaste prevails over the spicy tones of Myrrh. The three step on how to taste - www.branca.it
Fernet-Branca is seen as an industry drink of choice, with a nip of Fernet also being referred to as the “bartenders handshake”.
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CHARTREUSE Known as the “Elixir of Long Life”, Chartreuse is made following an ancient recipe, and only two Chartreuse Monks (“Carthusians”) are entrusted with the secrets of Chartreuse. Green Chartreuse is the only liqueur in the world with a completely natural green colour and is a powerful and unique herbal liqueur. Chartreuse consists of 130 herbs, botanicals, plants, roots, leaves, vegetation extracts and flowers that are steeped in alcohol to create the liqueur. In addition to 130 plants and flowers, Green Chartreuse is made with alcohol and sugar resulting in a 55% ABV liqueur, packaged in an elegant traditional Chartreuse bottle finished with the embossed seal of La Grande Chartreuse.
TASTING NOTES Green Chartreuse provides several flavours in the palate with hints of vanilla, cinnamon, liquorice, honey, clove and citrus fruits. With vibrant aromas of spices, herbs, and soufflé, Green Chartreuse has a sweet and full-body flavour with intense warming peppercorn and oil notes finished with a long and lingering spice, herb and pepper fade. To bring out all its flavour, it should be consumed very cold, even on the rocks. Traditionally considered an after dinner drink, these days Green Chartreuse is more and more being enjoyed as a long drink. In France, where it has long been consigned to the “digestif” cupboard, Chartreuse is showing a newfound confidence and audacity.
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SUZE Considered an essential aperitif in France, Suze owes its reputation to two major benefits: the flavour of wild gentian with its hint of bitterness on the palate, and a slender bottle designed by Henry Porte and the end of the 19th century. Suze is a bitter French aperitif made from the gentian root, which grows in the mountains of Switzerland and France. In 1889, Fernan Moureaux had the idea of distilling gentian roots while trying to create and original aperitif based on something other than wine. For the last 120 years, Suze has been made using the same traditional methods with maceration and distillation the key stages in producing its unique taste.
TASTING NOTES Suze is an excellent aperitif drink that can be taken neat, on ice or diluted with orange juice, tonic or Crème de Cassis. This famous liqueur forms an ideal base for cocktails with its golden colour and hint of bitterness at 15% ABV. Suze is great mixed with tonic or orange juice. In Switzerland, it is mixed with cola and in Japan, the long drinks Suze ginger ale and Suze orange are much appreciated by the younger demographic. Fittingly, World Class 2016 Global Winner, France’s Jennifer Le Nechet employed the use of Suze in cocktails at the Global Final in Miami.
D.O.M BÉNÉDICTINE D.O.M Bénédictine, known simply as Bénédictine is a subtle blend of 27 plants and spices, sourced from all over the world. These are selected from the five continents with quality as the sole criterion of choice. Bénédictine has an extremely complex production cycle that takes around two years to complete. The result is an amber coloured liqueur, highlighted by pleasant and powerful aromas. In the final blend of Bénédictine the process is completed with honey and an infusion of saffron added to the blend, the saffron being responsible for the amber hue in Bénédictine.
TASTING NOTES Bénédictine is one of the stronger liqueurs at 40% ABV. It has a light herbal aroma with a dose of sweet honey notes. Herbs and spice are complimented with fresh and warm bursts to create a lingering finish. Bénédictine may be taken neat, or on the rocks, but also forms a key part in some classic cocktails such as the Bobby Burns, B&B (Brandy and Bénédictine) and the famed Singapore Sling.
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Giant SMALL BEERS THAT TASTE BIG WORDS ° Lukas Raschilla
eer lovers have conventionally viewed mid strength beers as watery, tasteless, poor cousins to their full strength counterparts that lack complexity, body, and flavour. With the popularity, knowledge, and appreciation of beer and beer styles growing at a rapid pace, beer fans are welcoming the arrival of full-flavoured beers without the need for a high percentage ABV. In fact, some of these beers are so amazing, there’s no way you would ever think they were mid strength. Traditionally, low alcohol mid-strength beers have been seen as light, easy to drink brews that are only suitable for afternoon sessions or those wanting to enjoy a drink with a meal without feeling bloated. However, often for the avid beer lover, mid strength beer can lack depth and flavour with a lot of mid strengths being brewed as lager or pilsner styles. As an IPA and Pale Ale lover, I was intrigued to find out how the idea for mid strength or “session” IPA’s and Pale Ale’s came about, and the inspiration for breweries to add them to their range, so I reached out to some of the best in the business to delve deeper into the category. Based in Melbourne, Brewcult produces the Reset Robot Pale Ale, a 3.5% ABV (0.9 standard drinks per 330ml bottle) and 15 IBU beer made with mosaic, citra and cascade hops with a tropical fruit and citrus aroma, that has a
medium body and subtle malt flavours. Reset Robot came about because Brewcult wanted to brew a beer for the summer festival season, or a “quaffer” if you will – a beer suitable for quaffing. They’ve now decided to brew Reset Robot year round. Steve ‘Hendo’ Henderson, director and brewer at Brewcult developed the beer in the summer festival season of 2014/15, where he usually mans a beer stand at various events and wanted to have, as he puts it, “A couple of sly beers during the day”. Hendo says, “I thought that if I could make a beer that tastes awesome and is mid strength, then I could enjoy a few more. Hence, that’s how Reset Robot was born”. Victoria’s Bridge Road Brewers, based in Beechworth, offer a selection of IPA’s in their Bling range, from the double Bling Bling and Bling IPA to a Little Bling mid strength IPA. At
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3.4% ABV, Little Bling is a sessional beer that does not compromise on flavour or intensity, perfect for craft beer lovers. Ben Kraus, founder of Bridge Road Brewing says, “The Little Bling came about as we saw opportunity in the marketplace to offer a mid strength beer that didn’t compromise on flavour. We wanted to make a lower ABV beer that enthusiasts could enjoy just as much as they do their favourite Pale Ale or IPA. We’ve (craft beer enthusiasts) all been in the situation of having to give up all the enjoyment of a big, full flavoured beer when we drink mid or low strength beer. The big challenge was making sure we achieved balance, and in the case of low ABV beer, this equals body. The malt profile of the Bling provided the perfect first step to developing this beer that I can honestly say would be unrecognisable as mid strength to 99 per cent of drinkers. No longer do I have to feel like I’m missing out when I choose to drink mid strength!” Similarly, Adelaide brewers Pirate Life were one of the pioneers of the mid strength IPA in Australia, offering their Throwback IPA as part of their original core range of three beers. This 3.5% ABV brew sacrifices nothing on taste and comes in at 35 IBU giving consumers a hoppy bitter taste true to an IPA, made with crystal, cascade and simcoe hops. The guys at Pirate Life have somehow, (and gloriously I might add) managed to extract as much of that big hop flavour from the beer without the need for additional ABV, as traditional IPA’s. Very sessionable! There are a number of great mids currently on the market including Brisbane’s Newstead
Brewing Co, who offer a beer that’s perfect for football fans (and everyone) with their Three Quarter Time Session Ale. Brand Ambassador Darren Magin points out that the beer was made because, “Quite simply we knew we needed to brew a tasty, full-flavoured mid strength beer for the Australian market – in particular, Queensland, our home state”. The brew is high flavoured fruity Queensland ale with a malt profile that rounds out the palate, while still allowing the fruity hop taste to shine through. At 3.4% (get it, ¾?) and 35 IBU, the Three Quarter Time Session Ale is ideal for those wanting a great mid strength beer, be it for watching the last quarter, or a few cheeky Sunday afternoon summer beers in the backyard. Aptly named, Colonial Brewing Co’s Small Ale is a mid strength that’s big on taste. Colonial’s Head of brewing Justin Fox says, “The brew is a result of our beer department’s love of the big flavour and aroma combination of American style IPA’s and the need to still be able to drive home after a couple of after work beers”. Ironically, there’s nothing small about Small Ale with the brewers using the same malt and hop profiles they would in brewing an IPA, but scale these down slightly to balance the lower alcohol (3.5%ABV). In fact, Colonial’s Small Ale is one of the more difficult beers to brew due to the complex malt bill and high hopping rates. Upping the coolness factor of the Small Ale is the 360-degree removable top that turns the can into an open-topped drinking vessel, which allows the drinker to savour the aroma while drinking. It’s also nifty as it removes the need
for glassware. In other words, rather than just pulling back a ring and slugging through the resultant hole, you can peel off the lot and use the can like a proper drinking glass. Of course, Coopers have been making a great mid strength brew since 2004 with Coopers Mild Ale providing all the flavour of a fullstrength beer. Mild Ale is made with Pride of Ringwood hops to provide a hoppy bitterness and Saaz hops in late hopping to provide citrus and floral notes. At 3.5% Coopers Mild Ale is brewed with a selection of barley and wheat malt with no added sugar, giving it a smooth malt character. And, of course in true Coopers fashion, the brew is additive and preservative free, and a secondary fermentation is carried out in the package. Extra points for Coopers Mild Ale being available in bottle, can and keg! Those who love Coopers’ flagship Pale Ale, but are yet to try the Mild Ale, do yourself a favour and you’ll be pleasantly surprised. So, next time your customer feels like something lower in ABV, no need to reach for the watery staples and sacrifice taste. The options for small beers that taste big are ever growing and will please the most refined palates and lovers of hops. DRINKS WORLD’S MID STRENGTH TOP PICKS 1. Pirate Life Throwback IPA (SA) 2. Coopers Mild Ale (SA) 3. Colonial Small Ale (WA/VIC) 4. Bridge Road Little Bling (VIC) 5. Newstead Three Quarter Time Session Ale (QLD) BEER FESTIVALS Beer lovers are spoilt with the amount of amazing beer festivals happening around the country. Here’s a list of some of the upcoming beer festivals. • Ballarat Beer Festival, January 21. Also includes a degustation on Friday, January 20 with five courses of food provided with matching beers. • Hobart Beer Fest, January 27-28. • The Great Australian Beer Festival, Geelong, February 18 • South West Craft Beer Festival, Busselton February 2017 (date TBC). • Beerfest Asia, Hong Kong, March 2-5 • Canberra Craft Beer and Cider Festival, March 18.
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° FEATURE °
BOILERMAKER Boilermaker House, Melbourne
eer and whisk(e)y - both so delightful in their own right, it was only logical they would one day be served in unison, and hence, the boilermaker was born. A boilermaker is most commonly taken as a glass of beer served with a shot glass or neat nip of whisk(e)y, and not one inside the other. With a growing appreciation for both beer and whisk(e)y, it is common to select both beer and a whisk(e)y for their flavour profiles in complimenting one another. The boilermaker can be traced back to miners and industrial metal workers (or boilermakers) since the 1890s. In fact, if one consults the dictionary for the term “half and half” a definition arises of “a mixture of two malt liquors”. Venues around the world now offer a curated selection of beer and whisk(e)y pairings. Australia has welcomed the boilermaker with venues such as Shady Pines Saloon, Wild Rover, The Gresham, Varnish on King, and Whisky & Alement all offering a selection of boilermakers. In the USA, a boilermaker known as a “PBJ” is served – a reference to a peanut butter and jelly (jam) sandwich, with pint of beer (PB) and a nip of Jameson Irish Whiskey (J). Recently, boilermaker events and classes have showcased the pairing. Sydney Craft Beer Week and Good Beer Week both featured boilermaker events to educate and enlighten people on the wonderful matchmaking that is beer and whisk(e)y. Asia is also no stranger to the boilermaker with Meatliquor Singapore hosting an a boilermaker event earlier in 2016. Taking this concept to the next level is the first Australian venue dedicated to beer and whisk(e)y pairing that finally arrived in 2015 Boilermaker House in Melbourne’s CBD. Boilermaker House currently stock over 700 whiskies and around 40 different beers to pair them with, along with small food garnishes served with each pairing. This is the first venue in Australia to bring the boilermaker concept to the masses.
JAMESON AND THE BOILERMAKER Jameson Irish Whiskey, with its signature smooth and mellow finish is perfect for a boilermaker. Adding to the allure of the boilermaker, Jameson released a Caskmates expression, which emerged from a conversation in 2013 between the Jameson head distiller and head brewer of Cork’s Franciscan Well Brewery. Jameson Caskmates has been finished in Irish stout-seasoned whiskey casks, with the triple-distilled smoothness still intact. It has all the classic characters of Jameson Irish Whiskey with added notes of coffee, cocoa, butterscotch and hops brought out by the stout influence, and a long sweet finish. This rise in popularity of the boilermaker has also spawned collaborations such as Jameson Whiskey teaming up with Sydney’s Young Henrys brewery to create their take on the traditional boilermaker serve. The serve, known as “Boilermates” consists of Jameson Caskmates served neat or on the rocks, paired with a Young Henrys beer. of choice.
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° FEATURE °
GET THE LOOK WORDS ° Lukas Raschilla
tradition of yesteryear, and one of the longest lasting professions, the barbershop is a place where folks can go, enjoy a stiff drink, a cut, a shave and of course a chat, and come out looking razor sharp (pardon the pun). Often seen as a service of a bygone era, men’s grooming has seen a revival over the last few years. Barbershops with uber cool vibes have once again become hang out spots, and a haven to unwind in. And while barbershops won’t provide fancy salon-esque treatment, what they will do is deliver classic, timeless cuts and precision shaves. It’s not fashion or a trend but style, and of course looking your best never goes out of fashion. It’s as close as many men get to a day-spa or the full pamper package with hot oils and face masks that have traditionally been enjoyed by women.
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° FEATURE °
The move back to the modern barbershop has likely been driven by one of the most well known barbershops in the world, Holland’s Schorem Barbershop run by The Scumbag Barbers of Rotterdam. While Europe and North America undoubtedly have a long history of barbershops, here in our part of the world, we are no exception, with amazingly talented barbers and slick cuts found across many parts of South East Asia and Australasia. Just how does this relate to drinks? Well, put simply, bartenders like to be slick, with their razor-sharp looks matching their skills behind the stick - both need precision, aesthetics, and style. Bartenders can also act as billboards for barbershops, interacting with the public on a nightly basis. As Sydney based barber Tommy J puts it, “Both haircuts and drinks are a procedure. People like to see bartenders shake, mix, stir and measure much in the same way people like to see barbers groom, cut, use hot towels and shave”. Here are some of the finest barbershops around that will leave you looking as fresh and dapper as Don Draper.
HONG KONG No stranger to the barber scene, Hong Kong busts out with one of the best barbers in the world, Adam Chan. Barber and owner of Hair House by Adam Chan which opened in 2013, Adam and his team run a smooth operation, offering nothing but the finest services, and a whisk(e)y or beer to accompany. Having been around barbershops with his Dad since his childhood years, Adam believes the renaissance
in barbershops is a result of being able to offer something that’s not a salon. Discussing the correlation between the drinks industry and barbershops, Adam says, “I think we are similar as we serve people by our craftsmanship, and our attitude to be a good friend with our customers”. The most enjoyable part about being a barber for Adam is when he gets a client looking sharp and that helps them succeed, “If a better haircut gets you a lover, helps to pass a job interview, impress the girlfriend’s parents or even to be a smart Dad attending a school event, then I feel happy doing it six days a week”. Hong Kong also has a new edition, one of Canada’s finest grooming studios - Crows Nest Barbershop has set up a location, the first one to open outside of Ontario. Opening as a multi-purpose business in collaboration with the Edwin Watch Store, Crows Nest is a traditional barbershop complete with an old fridge, vintage barber chairs and hand painted windows, giving the shop an authentic and traditional
look and feel. Although the combination of a watch concept store and retro barbershop may seem unusual, the purpose of each business is actually strikingly similar - to attract style conscious men who invest in their appearance. The multi-purpose shop also provides both businesses with an ingenious solution to Hong Kong’s high-rent.
SINGAPORE Singapore, not to be outdone has several top-notch barbershops including the ever popular Panic Room, Premium Barbers, a barber that features a bar inside the shop, as well as Hounds of the Baskervilles, a shop that combines a barber and a tattoo parlour under the one roof. Hidden away, Singapore’s Panic Room delivers a grungy look with a healthy dose of hipster cool. They also stock every grooming product you could ever wish for, including not only an ample selection of pomades and combs, but solid cologne and beard oil as well.
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Operated by barber and tattooist Feroze Mcleod, Hounds of the Baskervilles operates a unique space, providing fresh cuts, wet shaves, and bespoke electric tattooing. Mcleod opened the dual business venture as he says, “I was always a fan of turn of the century era barber shops and underground tattoo culture and drawing influence from that lifestyle”. As for the most enjoyable aspect about barbering, Mcleod takes joy in “The conversations we have with people who come through and the satisfaction of being a working class man in a space that allows everyone to have an equal voice”. While Mcleod is currently sober, his go to Singapore bar is Cufflink, where he usually lets the bartenders mix up something with cucumber, ginger, and lime. Mcleod believes the barbershop revival is also a positive, where the nostalgia of shops are driving people back to barbershops, “Being able to escape into a men’s world where an open forum of conversation is accepted and encouraged is a major attraction”.
AUSTRALIA A number of barbershops in Australia have taken the bar/barber theme, including Melbourne’s Men and Co. situated inside Ms. Collins bar, and Sydney’s barber and small gin bar, aptly named The Barber Shop. The barbershop has been back in vogue in Australia for a number of years now and caters to a wide audience. Places such as while His Lid in Perth offers drinks with your trim, right through to a full wedding service for whole groom parties, complete with beer, scotch, rum or Champagne. On the Gold Coast, Barber Bros and Co. are one of the finest in the game and have imported traditional barber chairs from the US, dating back to 1907, along with a 100-yearold cash register and a classic red and white barber’s pole, giving it the traditional authentic feel of a bygone era. Westons in the Perth city suburb of Northbridge have created a man-cave experience with a pool table in the space, so
you can rack them up and have a game before or after your service. Barber Tommy J owns and operates the ultra cool barbershop Hair by Tommy J for Guys and Dolls in the inner city Sydney suburb of Redfern. Complete with a wall of skateboard decks – you might be lucky enough to spot a rare PowellPeralta. Tommy wanted a place where people would want to hang out, where he himself would want to hang out. “It’s totally the hangout spot. All my mates come in and just have a coffee, have a yarn, and they can jump in the chair and get a cut as well”, says Tommy. Having a chat about the revival of the barbershop, Tommy reflects back to the late 90s and early 2000s where, “The whole metrosexual thing was being pushed too far. I don’t think every guy wants to wear moisturiser and hair product and be clean-shaven every day. I think the revival has definitely sparked beards coming back”. A haircut from a barbershop is
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DAPPER ON at these places Hong Kong HAIR HOUSE BY ADAM CHAN 2/F, No.20 D’aguilar St., Central, Hong Kong CROWS NEST BARBERSHOP HONG KONG Edwin Watch Store, No. 27 Haven Street Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
Australia HAIR BY TOMMY J FOR GUYS AND DOLLS 112 George Street Redfern, NSW, 2016 THE BARBER SHOP 89 York Street, Sydney NSW 2000
one of the oldest styles in the world, something Tommy refers to as “Practicality haircuts” where customers can get anywhere from between four to eight weeks out of them. Tommy has a lot of clients from the industry, from bartenders to brewers. The shop will often give out a free haircut to an up-and-coming bartender, Tommy tells us, “I don’t hesitate, I’ll ask where they work and I’ll say ‘Cool, the haircut is on us, take a stack of cards for us’. They work as a billboard for us, they’re talking to our clientele, these are our people and we want to make these people look sharp”. The “manaissance” of the barbershop has also spawned some great high-quality Australian grooming products with companies such as Uppercut Deluxe, King Brown, Modern Pirate and Jack The Snipper all serving the men’s product market. Similarly, American brand Lockhart’s has teamed up with Malaysia’s Gonzo Supply Co. to develop pomade specifically designed for the hot and humid Malaysian climate. With no shortage of highly skilled barbers, chic, classic and vintage barbershops and premium grooming products, looking sharp have never been more gratifying. The haircut has gone from a mandatory chore to something people now look forward to.
BARBER BROS AND CO Capri on Via Roma, 15/21 Via Roma, Surfers Paradise, QLD 4217 MEN & CO Ms. Collins, 425 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000 HIS LID 8 Sheen Street, Subiaco, W.A. 6008 WESTONS BARBERSHOP 456 William Street, Northbridge W.A. 6000
Singapore PREMIUM BARBERS 277 Orchard Road, #04-12/13, Singapore 238858 HOUNDS OF THE BASKERVILLES 24 Bali Ln, Singapore 189860 THE PANIC ROOM 311A Geylang Rd, Singapore 389350
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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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° MEET °
ASHLEY SUTTON SPREADS HIS WINGS IN HONG KONG S
am Jeveons sat down with Ashley Sutton, pioneer designer behind The Iron Fairies, Ophelia, and J.Boroski, in Hong Kong to talk about his design philosophy and plans for the future.
SAM JEVEONS: You’re from Australia, lived in the U.S. and Bangkok, and on paper, you have a rich life of experience. What made you go from the Iron Fairies books and mining in Western Australia to the bars world? ASHLEY SUTTON: I built this little factory in Bangkok to make the fairies. I had about six staff and I was still living in New York. After a month I got a call from them saying “we can’t build any more fairies, there’re too many people in the factory looking at us and getting in our way and they want to drink and eat.” So I flew back and the place was packed, people looking at my stuff. I used to go to 7-Eleven and buy bottles of wine and food and resell it to them and then I had to obviously build a kitchen out the back and then a bar and learn how to make cocktails.
got heaps of calls from other landlords saying, “Can you do something with our space? We can give you a good deal on that.” It was pretty easy for me to design another creation for another space so it kind of snowballed from that.
SJ: So this is something that grew out of popularity, necessity and feeding curiosity? AS: Yeah, I suppose it was the decoration of the factory that was pretty cool and unique, so I think that’s what drew people in. It was my first experience in the alcohol and bar scene. Then I
SJ: Which design has been the most detailed and taken the longest time? AS: Sing Sing was pretty long and this current one called Dreadnought, which is opening next month in Bangkok, took over two years.
SJ: Out of all of your creations, which is perhaps truest to you? AS: I suppose the Iron Fairies is probably the richest one for me, most personal. I do like Ophelia and Maggie Choo’s. SJ: I love Maggie Choo’s. I was just saying that my favourite feature in all of your bars so far is the staircase at Sing Sing. It is by far just the most impressive thing I’ve seen in a bar. AS: 18 months for the staircase alone.
SJ: So your philosophy, which I love, is “dreams are where passion is born, passion makes dreams come true.” Is that your philosophy for The Iron Fairies, or is that your general design philosophy? AS: I think it’s my design philosophy. I see a space and it’s quite easy for me to be taken to another world. I get lost in this amazing feeling and fantasy world and from then it’s pretty easy. I had the passion for building The Iron Fairies because I wanted to see it in reality so fast. And it excited me, so that’s what gives me energy and passion for following the thing through. If I don’t see any magic, it’s impossible for me to finish up such a project. SJ: Growing up, what did you notice was your first real talent? Was it the art and sketching or was it actually being able to build and create with your hands? AS: I loved to draw and invent. I remember drawing massive submarines and cruise liners on my wall when I was four years old. My father and grandfather were both carpenters and engineers so I used to watch them work in the workshop and
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help them when I was very, very young. And then I used to build tree houses when I was 10 years old for all of my friends around my neighbourhood. I used to get paid in cigarettes to build them because I was really cool at that; underground cubbies as well. It was easy for me to build. I’m not a designer, but most of the professional designers who study are all very skilful in design, but maybe they don’t understand how to weld and how steel can be bent. But I’m qualified in building, so when I dream something, I know exactly how to build it as well. SJ: From where do you get all this inspiration? Is it just continuous? Does space give you the inspiration, or is it travelling? AS: It’s just my mind. I’ve never read a book in my life, I can’t read a book, and I can’t really follow movies. I just like to take my mind to different places. My minds always wandering and going into so much detail. I can’t stop thinking, I can never sleep, so it’s not that nice actually. SJ: What would you say is next on the agenda? Is there another world you want to conquer or do you still see longevity in the F&B Industry? AS: I’ve always wanted to create a different experience for a hotel and a resort. I just find them so typical and such a boring experience so I’ve got huge, huge ideas to change that feeling for a hotel or a resort experience. I just need someone to risk 50 million dollars. SJ: Have you ever been approached or would you ever collaborate with alcohol brands? I know that you’ve got an interest in the Iron Balls Gin and the beautiful creation of all of that. Do you see any way that brands can play a role or you can play a role with brands? AS: Oh, easily, yeah. I can easily design a concept for one of DIAGEOs products and what not, easily. Never had an offer, but... SJ: I was at Quince in Bangkok and that’s when I actually saw the first Iron Balls and the actual structure. Very impressive. I just really like the way design plays such a thoughtful process in a brand. AS: Yeah, Iron Balls was pretty cool, it’s still going well. SJ: You’re a light drinker like a lot of people. Do you drink Iron Balls Gin? AS: Yeah, sure, I love a gin and tonic, but I’m not a sweet guy so I can only have one. It’s a good balance for some reason with the basil and the
pineapple and squeezed fresh lime. It really works well. I can’t have it with any other garnish than that.
ever a challenge for the market to receive? AS: No, they’re not that big and they’re just bars.
SJ: Do you think that [your infrequent drinking] ever plays a role in the bars that you create or the design process? For instance, is the Bangkok market different to a Hong Kong market or a Tokyo market? Does that play a factor in your thinking? AS: Not really, I just go out there to design a bit of magic and do the best I can. I think people are people: if they see something really cool and it takes them to another place, I don’t think it really matters. As far as drinks and whatnot, I leave it to the consultants to take care of the menus and all that. It’s not my expertise or passion.
SJ: And they’re vastly different in their approaches? AS: Oh, of course, I made sure that they’re not competitive with each other.
SJ: And with your design and your passion, do you have any physical locations or people who are inspirations to you in your designs? Have you ever gone to a building or follow another person like yourself who is in creation? AS: No, unfortunately. I wish I was a bit more educated and studied and did more design, but I really don’t. I appreciate, as far as respect, old architecture and tradesmen. And really good craftsmanship, I really respect that, you don’t see much of that today.
SJ: Wow, so every detail thought out. So really you do an entirely conceptual package? AS: Yeah, sure, totally.
SJ: If you had a lazy day and just wanted to wander around any city of your choosing, what would you like to stare at? What’s a place you like, a building, a monument or a design feature? AS: I like New York, to be honest. I love New York and the architecture and the gardens. I lived there for a few years. Studied a bit about Louis Tiffany the glass artist. I like that and I appreciate their old architecture and gardens.
SJ: Do you find Asia is quite receptive to your brilliant and fantastical designs? Bangkok has been very good to you and you’ve been very good to Bangkok—is it because Asia is quite receptive to these things perhaps? AS: I don’t think so, I think they can be receptive anywhere; I just haven’t had that opportunity to design anywhere else other than Asia. I’ve got no doubt that I can have a receptive market in New York or London if I had the chance. SJ: Three bars in Hong Kong—did that ever make you nervous, three big projects opening pretty consecutively? Did you think that was
SJ: You came to create features as dynamic as the ceiling at The Iron Fairies and the ceiling next door in J.Boroski. You mentioned when you come up with a thought, you know it can be done. Did you know you could get butterflies and beetles as features? Did you know that the farm existed; did you have the contact already? AS: Sure.
SJ: I’ve never met really anybody that can deliver that kind of detail. AS: It’s not that hard. SJ: So Dreadnought’s next on the horizon. Should we be looking out for big things in Dreadnought? AS: Yeah, it’s a pretty crazy space. It’s probably one of my craziest designs. It’s in the worst location in the world, so it might not have any people. SJ: This is the submarine vision, am I correct? AS: It’s like a space train. Mine is going to distant planets. So this is the mess hall on this intergalactic spacecraft. It’s a big mess hall where people come and eat while they’re travelling. The design is very alien-ish in the way of patterns and it’s sort of raw. SJ: That’s very, very impressive. Soon after the fanfare of this place, it’s back to Bangkok. AS: Yeah, I’m going back and working on a few more projects. I’m doing some work for Intercontinental in Vietnam. SJ: Fantastic. What you’ve now given to the bar scene in Hong Kong is a whole new dynamic, which is a design that plays into a full concept. I’m a firm believer that only the brave operators dive into this. I’m really keen and excited to see how well your venues go and I’m sure they will be a big hit. I wish you every success.
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° MEET °
UN ITED STATES
MEET BOMBAY’S STAR
rinks World was lucky enough to sit down with Global Brand Ambassador for Bombay Sapphire, Raj Nagra to talk about the popularity of gin, the brand’s latest initiative, the Glass House Project and ginstronomy.
DRINKS WORLD: This was the first year that Bombay Sapphire ran the new Glass House Project for bartenders, changing from The Most Imaginative Bartender Competition. What is the Glass House Project about and how was the response to it? RAJ NAGRA: Last year we had a new team come into the business and we looked at competitions in general, and there’s kind of a lot of saturation and there are a lot of really good competitions out there. I think The World’s Most Imaginative Bartender competition was a great competition, so we might continue to do that. Having said that, we looked at competitions and thought, “Well, it’s a little counterintuitive because thousands of people will enter a competition and one person wins and that’s a lot of potentially upset bartenders that put a lot of time and energy into creating what they think is the best cocktail in the world, potentially”. So we thought, what is the upside of competitions? What is the best part of it? The best part of competitions is the camaraderie, the networking, the education, great
experiences, interesting locations, and that is what people take away. Let’s remove the competition element and just try and do an event that’s really forward thinking and actually focuses on a specific education and is a gathering of great minds, and try and be inspirational to people. Which are equally, if not more creative as creating drinks. So for The Glass House Project, we took professionals from different fields. For example, we had a design company that designed the Olympic torch and they took us through the process of the different terrains and the parameter tests of the different designs so that the torch wouldn’t go out. They came in and talked about glassware, and they basically showed a template for how you would create a glass from scratch, so the psychology behind it, the feel of it, not so much the functionality because the bartenders have a pretty good idea of what works and what doesn’t. So basically they went through the whole process from start to finish, which only took a couple of hours and by the end of it, every bartender had a sketch
of their own specific style of glass. Then the design company went away and created like a 3D plastic cup of everyone’s idea. So people went away from the experience understanding how you would create something like this, and everyone put their own flair into it. When would somebody in the industry have an opportunity to do something like that? They just wouldn’t. We had loads of interesting sessions, one was with a lighting company, one was with a theatre company, and we also had Dr. Rachel Edwards-Stuart, a food scientist who has trained with Heston Blumenthal. We took them through loads of different concepts that were kind of peripheral but kind of linked to the industry. It was really about pushing their creativity and we didn’t push the brand or force it on them. It was very well received and all the bartenders said that experience was like nothing they had ever seen before. Everyone was refreshed and inspired by it. I think based on the success of The Glass House project we will try to hold multiple events next year.
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DW: What have you been doing for the Bombay brand while you’ve been in Australia? RN: We did the Summer Soiree, which is about fashion, the aperitif moment and entertaining at home and largely based on the Esquire handbook for hosts. I did a seminar a few years ago at Tales around the three-martini lunch, so the late 50s to the early 70s in America, the Don Draper period. It’s kind of a romantic period in history and I really like that period because in the 50s you had television, incredible music, white picket fences, sex appeal and the culture changed so much. I think even today, there’s so much influence is taken from that period. A friend of mine, Doug Miller works at the Culinary Institute in New York who has an incredible library of books, magazines, and resources from that period, so we kind of got together and reviewed a lot of content. That kind of influenced the Summer Soiree. That handbook would tell you everything like, if it was a Monday and you were entertaining your boss this is what you should cook, this is a drink that you should make and these are what games you should play. It’s almost comical in a way but entertaining was huge during that period. Where we are now, people want new experiences and the industry is changing, and bartenders are doing such a great job in educating guests. Even the curiosity around gin is phenomenal right now. We also had Project Botanicals that’s really about that culinary experience, what we call “Ginstronomy” - the idea of food matching cocktails is not a new concept, but something we’ve really been driving. We feel that particularly in Australia it is gaining traction with consumers and really opening their minds to how gin is made and how it can be applied to pairing with food. It’s not the newest concept in the world, but it’s really resonating with where the consumer is at the moment. DW: You mentioned how bartenders are helping to educate people, are there anything that bottle shops and off-premise could be doing? RN: I think we’ve seen a lot the off-premise pair items, like bottles of tonic water paired with gin. Simplicity is good and things don’t have to be complicated. I think having that sort of complementary idea is great, I mean gin and tonic, for example, is still probably the most
famous mixed drink in the world. It’s a very simple drink, there are lots of different types of tonic water and, in terms of gin, probably half the people would quite happily find a brand they like and stick to it, while the other half tend to be quite open to trying new gins. There’s a lot more education to be had by consumers on discovering the intrinsic aspects of mixed drinks and cocktails. The great thing about gin is that more often than not people will happily try a gin and tonic. I think cocktails are a really good platform for people to get into the idea of mixed drinks as well and gin kind of has the arsenal in that sense to really be applicable once people can get their head around it and really understand it a bit more. DW: We have been seeing a number of craft gins hit the market over the last few years. What is your take on the craft gin movement and what are the differences for the bigger players? RN: Craft really is kind of like a buzzword, like mixologist. Craft really just means hands-on. It’s a two-sided story. People could say that maybe imperfection is a good thing and I think it can be more of a romantic idea. I can’t be too controversial but you can’t for a second assume that these small gins don’t want to be big gins. Nobody creates a gin just to produce 100 cases a year. And so, in an adverse way, big gins almost want to behave small and be a bit more nimble. I think there’s always going to be support for local products and gins when they started to come up as small craft gins. You don’t have the same budget, the marketing, the capability or the reach so the easiest way for you to get traction is to do it on a small scale. Trying to get from that point to a bigger point can be complex. The kind of exacting processes and the experience and the investment that comes along with a big distillery, I don’t think anyone could honestly say that the gin is worse. We’re the only gin distillery in the world that has a master of botanicals, it’s probably the most experienced person in his field, so how can you say that’s not craft and not hands-on? Craft is important and accounts for a really interesting segment of the gin category. It’s also propelling the gin category forward and all of these things contribute to the success of gin. Gin still is the fastest growing spirit category in
the world, by value and by growth. So gin is in a really good place. DW: The buzzword for us in cocktails at the moment is sustainability and foraging. Can you tell us about the sustainability of the Bombay distillery at Laverstoke Mill? RN: It’s something that we’ve been talking a lot about because we have an onsite horticulturalist, and we’ve been working a lot with some of the best natural and organic farms. The whole area of Hampshire has a lot of flora and fauna that habituates that area, so there’s a lot to discover. Sam Carter who is our ambassador onsite at Laverstoke does a lot of foraging and there are a couple of small stills at the distillery, so he’s always distilling local ingredients. Laverstoke is one of the most sustainable, if not the most sustainable distillery in the world today and I think it’s the new benchmark for all gin productions really. It’s not just another distillery, it’s the greenest distillery there is. The glasshouses are actually heated by excess heat from the still, so we have two different climates. It’s not really just about putting out a mass product, there’s a lot of care and attention that’s gone into every batch of productions. DW: We’ve heard you’re in your 15th year as an Ambassador, are you doing anything special to celebrate? What are your thoughts on the journey as a brand ambassador? Do you have any standout memories that come to mind? RN: I think it’s officially at the end of this year. It’s been a lot of fun and I don’t think there’s been a better time to be involved with Bombay as a brand. Obviously, with any job, there’s always ups and downs, but I’ve been fortunate to live all over the world as a result of being an ambassador and I’ve traveled quite extensively, so I’m quite grateful for that. I get to go to Florence about three times a year, which I absolutely love. I’m still enjoying it, the moment I stop enjoying it I’ll leave. The best experience is being able to have friends in different places around the world, traveling is great but if you don’t have the network of connections and if you can’t go to a place and integrate, it doesn’t make it quite the same.
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ne of the world’s top sommeliers, Lucas Jung took time out to chat to Drinks World about how he fell in love with wine and what he’s sees trending in the wine world.
Lucas Jung first fell in love with wine while studying hotel and restaurant management, where he developed an appreciation for beverages, cocktails and the industry. Finding his passion, Jung began studying wine with earnest at the Wine Academy in 2000. He moved quickly up the ranks, and was awarded the 2008 National Champion of the Year by Korea’s Best Sommelier Contest, and participated as the Korean representative at the 2010 World Sommelier Contest. Jung honed his craft after taking on the role of head sommelier at JW Marriott Seoul from 2003-2014. Staying within the company, he now works at JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul BLT Steak Seoul where he has been since 2015. JW Marriott has been instrumental in Jung’s career and aided him in training and
support, as well as fostering career growth, “I have been gaining a lot of personal and career growth working at JW Marriott, Dongdaemun Square Seoul”, said Jung. If Jung hadn’t become a sommelier, he believes he would have studied liberal arts, and still loves picking up books on humanities. All that intrigue hasn’t been lost in being a sommelier, “Even now when I study the different wine regions I also spend a lot of time learning about their history, culture, and philosophy, which gives me a deeper appreciation of the wine itself”, says Jung. While Jung is one of the best sommeliers in the business, he has the utmost admiration for Korean-American Yoon Ha, who is currently Master Sommelier at California 3-star restaurant Benu. “I gained great admiration for him after
watching him work diligently to educate up-andcoming sommeliers”, says Jung. Recently visiting Mondavi Winery in Napa Valley, California – the first winery to produce premium wines back in 1966, Jung was lucky enough to learn about the tradition of Robert Mondavi, from the top quality grape fields to the fermentation process. This trip helped him to further understand the whole process of producing premium wines first-hand. Back in Seoul, Jung tells us that the local wine drinkers enjoy a wide variety and recently there has been an increase in the market demand for Australian, Spanish and American wines in Korea. He also says that although Koreans are historically red wine drinkers “There has been a lot of growth in the consumption of sparkling and white wine in the last few years”.
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SHAKES UP AUSTRALIA D
rinks World had the opportunity to sit down with world-class Hong Kong bartender and bar owner Antonio Lai whilst he was in Australia as part of The Blend program run by Beam Suntory. We find out his thoughts on the Australian bar scene, highlights and what he has taken away from his experience down under.
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The Blends of Asia masterclass by Antonio Lai at Tokyo Bird
DRINKS WORLD: The Blend recently invited you to run a masterclass in Australia on Multisensory Mixology. Share with us your experience: what were the highlights for you? ANTONIO LAI: A highlight for me was in Brisbane where 40 bartenders attended my seminar at noon. That requires a lot of effort considering a bartender’s average shift. They were very responsive; they showed genuine interest and respect, raised questions and were willing to explore the subject as much as I do. That made me truly thrilled and honoured as bartenders are continuously pushing Multisensory Mixology forward in the industry not only in Hong Kong but also in other parts of the world. Dining at LÛMÉ Restaurant was another major highlight. It was a dinner with non-alcoholic cocktail pairings. The quality was absolutely topnotch and the experience gave me insight on how to work on cocktail pairings with our chef at VEA Restaurant & Lounge in Hong Kong.
DW: Which product from the Beam Suntory portfolio did you really enjoy working with? AL: I enjoyed working with Laphroaig Select Cask. Its distinct smoky peat flavours made it interesting to sip neat or mix with in a cocktail. Everyone loved the Cleopatra Formosa cocktail that I made with it. DW: Give us your take on the Australian Bar scene? AL: Australia has a great, vibrant bar scene. A lot of the bartenders are very talented, serious and hunger for knowledge and are ready to learn. DW: What were some of your favourite bars you visited? AL: Boilermaker House in Melbourne and Eau de Vie in Sydney. DW: Can you take anything away from this experience that you can apply in your own venues? AL: Definitely. I was inspired by the food-cocktail
pairings at LÛMÉ Restaurant, conversations with people in the bar industry, both experts and novices. DW: This was your first time to Australia— was it everything you expected? AL: Australia is a fun, dynamic and open-minded country and I thoroughly enjoyed my stay. I did not expect the varying business hours for bars and the lockout times in Sydney – this was all very new for me.
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got it covered. Don’t stress, we drinks.world Head on over to onio in action! and checkout Ant
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° MEET °
HON G KON G
ew Yorker Joseph Boroski is one of Asia’s most acclaimed bartenders and consultants in addition to operating a bartending school in Bangkok. Drinks World caught up with Joseph to talk about his latest venture, J Boroski - a venue that brings one of the most enigmatic and creative cocktail spaces to Hong Kong with a cocktail concierge service.
DRINKS WORLD: You hail from New York, how did you end up in Asia, what brought you specifically to Hong Kong? JOSPEH BOROSKI: I was doing a bunch of cocktail pairings with some famous chefs in America for events around the country and one of the organisers was actually based in Bangkok at the time. They were setting up kind of a tour with some of the chefs I was working with and asked me to join the tour to pair some cocktails with the chefs. So I ended up coming out to Asia and doing the tour. Afterwards, I ended up getting a lot of enquiries about coming back to venues we were working at to do training with the staff and to refresh their menu, so I ended up getting a lot of consulting jobs through that. I was flying back and forth from New York and I ended up realising that it would be better if I had a base in Asia. DW: Is a concierge service for drinks something that you have experienced in other bars or cities? JB: Not specifically what we’re doing at
J. Boroski. It is derived from some experiences that I’ve had before, but it’s also derived from some ideas that I had to make things a little bit more original and unique. I wanted to make sure that what I was offering was going to be something that people wouldn’t come across generally, and I think it’s still pretty hard pressed for anyone to have the same kind of experience anywhere. Part of the cocktail concierge service is being able to create something for someone based on his or her preferences. And we go in one of two directions with that; we ask the guest if they would prefer something more spirit forward, which would be your chosen spirit enhanced with other additional ingredients, or something more fresh based, which would be made using several of our freshly prepared ingredients that would be backed up by your chosen spirit or we can choose the spirit if guests would like us to. They’re essentially the two types of drinks that we do. So that combined with some other different personal touches, and the way that Ashley Sutton and I have done the bar is in a way so that it’s very
intimate, and all that combined creates that personal concierge cocktail service. DW: What was the inspiration behind opening J. Boroski, a venue that offers a concierge service where entry is invite only? JB: The inspiration was no inspiration originally. I opened a school for bartenders in Bangkok and I was open for nearly two years when I thought it would be a good idea to have a little bar space within that school because I was inviting guests in every once in a while on a weekend to try some drinks made by the students while they were progressing. I always like to get behind the bar as well when I’m training. The space itself was very much like a cooking school, it was all stainless steel and very sterile. But it wasn’t something that really lent itself to just chilling out, having a cocktail and staying for a while so people would come and have a drink or two and that was working for what it was, but I wanted something that was a little more intimate and comfortable. Ashley Sutton, who I had been working with for many years, and
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who has been a good friend of mine for quite a while now kept saying to me that he wanted to design a bar based around what I do. He’s an exceptional designer and a genius at what he does. I didn’t want to have a bar actually, I knew all the problems that occur with bars and all the different risks involved. So when I did say I wanted the bar space at my school I asked him to go in and do that for me while I was in New York working on a project for a couple of months. And actually unbeknownst to me he kind of totally disassembled my school and moved all my stations upstairs, luckily I have multiple levels in that space, and totally redesigned the entire space, so the bar that we agreed on was supposed to be a fraction of what it turned into (this is my Bangkok bar by the way). When I came back, I was more than shocked and it put a dent in our relationship and we didn’t talk for a few months. So I ended up inviting people to come into the space because it was there and obviously I was going to have to do something with it and I didn’t want to just clear it out as it’s a beautiful and stunning space. So people came in and my students made drinks, and I made drinks and people wanted to come back again the next day and bring more friends and it rolled on from there. So I started opening three times a week, and turned into opening every night. It was kind of an accident more than anything else, although I’m sure Ashley intended it to be a bar. DW: Why did you choose Hong Kong as a location to do a concierge service venue? JB: I decided that Hong Kong would be an exceptional spot for this concept because the people of Hong Kong, for quite some time now, are familiar with luxurious and exceptional service. There are a lot of luxury brands here and great style and fashion as well. The guests that I am actually getting are people that appreciate good quality things and luckily I am seeing that and that’s why I think Hong Kong works really well for this kind of an idea. DW: How has the response to J. Boroski been thus far? JB: Thankfully, it’s been really good. I’ve received some really amazing personal emails and feedback from people that have come in saying, “Wow, this is really great, I’m glad that you’re doing this and I’m glad there’s people
really kind of thinking outside of the box and making an experience that’s not as familiar as most are”. There are some really great spots in Hong Kong that are opening and definitely some key players in the industry that are turning things on its head. I’ve been getting a great response and I’m happy to hear that people love it, so I hope it will continue. DW: With J. Boroski creating cocktails to the tastes of guests, how does the preparation and service differ, in your opinion, to a traditional cocktail bar? JB: I like to refer to J. Boroski as a “Creative cocktail space”. In fact I tell the team to not use the word bar unless we’re specifically talking about the bar itself in the space, because to me it’s more of an “anti-bar” - a friend of mine coined that term and I just grabbed onto it. It really is something that is different than what you normally get in a bar. With this concept, you’re not looking at something and trying to compare this and that. So what we do, in some ways, is eliminate the choice and then we add a much greater selection. So it’s going in two different directions in that way and it’s really something quite different. DW: Do you see this as the future of cocktails bars, where bartenders tailor drinks to the taste of each individual guest, rather than offering a menu or list of drinks? JB: I think it very well can be, I haven’t actually thought of that as something that could take off. Considering that there are exponentially more career bartenders than there were before and that continues to grow, and bartenders are
really focused on doing the best job they can at making the best possible product, I think that it can be very likely that it will happen more and more. Even with bars with menus now, people go to the bar and they might know the bartender or they might know that someone there makes good drinks and they’ll just say, “Hey, you know what, can you just do something for me on your own today?” The more that people can trust the bartender to do that, the more I think that will happen and that can also be a part of the regular offering at bars, regardless of whether they have a menu or not. Whether that’s the future of cocktail bars, maybe but I couldn’t really say. DW: In addition to operating bars and being a mixology consultant, you have a bar and hospitality school. How are you managing your time these days, and where are you spending most of your time? JB: Haha, the answer to that question can change on a regular basis. I’m spending half of my time in Hong Kong, so I’m committed to really making sure that the venue is going really well, that the team is really progressing, and that people are continuing to have a really original and great experience here. Beyond that I do, as mentioned, have a school in Bangkok. My main business continues to be consulting with other venues, groups, brands and hotels. I have quite a lot projects going until the end of the year, and into next year as well. The only difference now is that I’m a little more grounded because I am in one spot for half of my time, which I’d say a couple of years ago was not the case, although I still do travel a lot.
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° MEET ° SG
FIVE MINUTES WITH
CHRISTIAN HARTMANN OWNER-OPERATOR OF SINGAPORE’S VASCO
utting a touch of South America in Singapore, Christian Hartmann, co-owner of Singapore’s Vasco sat down with Drinks World to chat about how he started, his love for Latin culture and the challenges in operating a venue.
Business student turned bartender, Christian Hartmann started out his career like many others, working a part-time hospitality job during his university years. Taking on a concierge position at Hotel Fox in Copenhagen, also home to Gromit Eduardsen’s high profile cocktail bar, Hartmann became so fascinated with Gromit’s work that he began bar-backing for him. Finding his true passion behind the bar, Hartmann has gone on to work in Copenhagen, Bangkok, and Singapore, where he currently resides, and can be found behind the stick as co-owner and
operator of Vasco. Hartmann says the inspiration for opening Vasco came after a trip to South America where he felt that Singapore was missing “The Latin lust for life”. He also realised that the South American style of nightlife was an unseen experience in Singapore but had potential, and wanted to bring that experience back. Of course, having a love for rum, pisco, cachaça, tequila and mezcal certainly helped his decision in wanting to open a Latin American bar. Opening and operating any venue is a daunting
task, and Hartmann says there are a couple of key factors to consider when opening a bar, “You need allies that are going in the same direction as you. You can’t be alone, that will burn you out”. However, he’s quick to point out that you shouldn’t take yourself too seriously either, “You shouldn’t break your neck on stuff that doesn’t affect the guest experience in a positive way”. Also, and perhaps more importantly Hartmann feels that work has to be enjoyable as well, “Have fun with it, and enjoy every second even though it’s hard work”. Fortunately, Singapore is the type of place where people enjoy trying news things, providing operators like Hartmann the opportunity to open a venue with a different concept. Basing a bar around the culture of an entire continent allows Vasco to remain fresh and contemporary with their offerings. Inside, the venue has a dark setting that is accompanied by a lively mix of Latin beats and funk, with the likes of Buena Vista Social Club playing through the speakers. Taking influence from South American culture and celebrations, they change up the menu and keep things interesting, for example serving Mexican food on Mexican Independence Day. Vasco stays true to their concept, only using fresh ingredients and Latin American spirits, focusing on Latin classics and signature serves. Being a strong advocate for the guest experience, Hartmann also says operators need to listen to the customers and their needs, “Guests are the best indicator for whether something needs adjustment or not”. When asked about the future of cocktails and trends, Hartmann believes that simplicity is the next thing, “Over the past years there’s been a tendency to make things super complicated, from ingredients used to the visibility of the entrance of a venue. A return to simple drinks and food items done well is something that guests can appreciate and understand why a venue does it”. Check out www.vascosingapore.com
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° MEET °
U NITE D K ING D O M
SIMON DIFFORD A
respected authority in the industry, creator of Difford’s Guide for Discerning Drinkers, Simon Difford was recently in Australia as part of the Disaronno Mixing Star Program. Drinks World was lucky enough to catch up with Simon for a chat about trends, the industry and just what makes or breaks a bar.
DRINKS WORLD: What trends are you seeing from abroad that you think we will see in Australia? SIMON DIFFORD: That’s the number one question I get from brands, “What’s the latest trend, what’s everyone doing now?” Well everyone is doing everything now in bars. The funny thing is that most of the trends that I see tend to be global these days. For instance, a bartender might be working here in Sydney but so many of them have learnt their craft in London or abroad and have come back and brought with them not only what they’ve learnt but also the contacts from the industry. So while the bartending world might be spread out across the globe it’s actually quite a small little community that are all in touch with each other via Facebook and social media. They’re all swapping recipes, checking out the same websites and reading the same books. So you tend to find that if something takes off in one city somewhere around the world, within weeks, not months then it’ll be kind of happening everywhere. The thing I’m also noticing recently is how quickly these things are coming in and going out. I do also think we’re guilty as an industry of racing ahead of consumers. We think that all consumers are really educated and we’re guilty
of expecting too much of the consumer. I do think that we almost need to take a step back as a bar industry and think “We have to carry the consumer with us or we’re going to lose their interest in cocktails”. We need to make sure that we make it easy for them and that they get the kind of drink that they like. It’s important that they have a cocktail and afterwards they’ve enjoyed it and they want another one and they want to come back. We don’t want them to think, “I really hated that, it cost a fortune, next time I’m just going to have a beer”.
DW: At your talk recently you discussed the many errors that bars make. What are the mistakes that bars make that you find really frustrating? SD: One of the things that’s so stupidly simple for any bar to rectify and so many bars I go into haven’t addressed, that I find bewildering, is a simple thing, hooks. Especially somewhere like the UK where it’s freezing most of the time, where you’re going in with a coat, you take your coat off, and what are you going to do with it? Or a girl might come in with a bag, and she
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doesn’t want to put it down or put it over the back of a chair, she wants to hook it up. It’s such a stupidly simple thing that costs almost nothing to do, a screwdriver, some cheap hooks and it’s done. It’s something you see so frequently. In my mind, every seat should have a hook. That’s something that really gets me. The other issue is menus. What astounds me is when you go into a bar and you can’t read the menu. Where the bar has forgotten about the guest experience, I don’t know how many times a bar has seen people get their phone out to read the menu, or take the candle over to it. It should be made as simple as possible for you guests. Don’t stop making great drinks, but think a little more about what the customer experience is. If the customer doesn’t have a good experience then we’re all out of business. DW: With people like yourself giving advice to bars for some time now, why do you believe that venues do fail over and over again? Is it brashness by owners, or a lack of education or capital? SD: I think there’s a massive element of luck in business, one of my favourite expressions is “Luck favours the prepared”. You could have gone through every single thing and spent years of your life researching in making sure you’ve got everything just right and it could still fail, that’s the very nature of business, and there’s an element of risk with any business venture. There are also some sites that are just doomed. There are some locations where one person after another has come in, and they’ve refitted it and for some reason it’s like a kiss of death venue. Whether it’s just on the wrong side of the street, or just in the wrong area. Then there are
some other sites that people open up venues in and you think, “This place hasn’t got a chance, it’s in the middle of nowhere, it’s hidden down an alley and it’s in a basement. No one is going to find it, no one is going to even bother to try and find it”, yet it turns out to be very popular. DW: Do you think opening a highly thematic bar is a risky proposition? SD: By its nature, it is yes. Right now we’re in a gin craze, everyone is talking about gin, everyone’s opening gin bars and gin distilleries. If we sat here a decade a go it would all be about vodka. You can have a bar that just does one thing, which I think is absolutely fine but if you’re going to open a gin bar for instance, not everyone likes gin so you should still have a couple of beers, a couple of good whiskies and some other drinks available to be able to cater for the person who gets dragged in by the gin freak and doesn’t like it. I don’t mind thematic bars in terms of décor so much, while I was in Sydney I went to a rock ‘n’ roll bar and straight away it does help a bar stand out. You can see how it works, and it’s quite a nice thing for a venue to hang its hat on. I think there’s room for everything as long as everyone is not trying to do the same thing. It’s important that bar operators try to distinguish themselves so they’re giving a genuine offering that’s different from the competition, rather than everyone jumping on the same bandwagon. DW: You’re a man of many hats, being a business owner, an author, a consultant, a father and a family man, how do you manage to keep a balance? SD: She’s called Paloma, my wife. I’m very lucky in that my partner is also my business partner,
and is my life partner. It has a downside, in that our lives revolve around this business, but the upside is also that our lives revolve around this business. It is a 24 hour thing and you’re always on the job, or else it doesn’t work. It is impossible to have, what people would describe as a normal life or normal relationship and operate the kind of business we do. It works because I’ve got a very understanding partner who gave up a high flying corporate job to come and help make this work, so it’s the two of us pulling at it all the time. I’m also lucky that I’ve got some really great people around me that I’ve worked with for very long time. DW: As bartending has become more of a career as opposed to just a part-time job, what advice you can give to people wanting to take on bartending as a full-time career? SD: I think there are several things; actually setting out and taking it seriously that it is your career and trying to learn and improve yourself is the major step. You have to be someone who actively decides that’s what they want to do for the rest of their life. The other thing I see as a challenge in the bar industry is the hours. There’s something about late night drinking and the late night economy where most of the money is made in the last few hours, however, I think in some of the best bars in the world all of the money is made in the first few hours. And I think there is very good business to be had in the early hours of the evening, I don’t think it has to be all at the end. One of the things I would really like to encourage our industry to do is to think about the bars they want to operate and what kind of people they would like to attract. If I was a career bartender and I wanted to do this for the foreseeable future, I’d be looking to find myself a bar that’s a fairly early evening bar and not one where I had to break the bar down at 3:30am. Although that might work for where you are in your life at the moment, it’s unlikely to work for the rest of your life. Think of it as a career, but also be aware of how it may play out. I’d almost encourage everyone to establish bars that work early evening, if they work late at night as well, that’s even better.
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at, drink and be merry. DW brings you the slickest venues from around the region, both well known and off the beaten path.
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° VISIT °
Atlas Grand Lobby & Bar A
tlas, a grand lobby and bar are set to open in January. Celebrating the grand Art Deco lobbies of Europe and the era’s culinary and beverage history and tradition, Atlas is located in the historical Bugi neighbourhood. The venue has been developed by the Hwang family, the people behind Parkview Square, who have enlisted renowned industry personalities to run Atlas. Bartender Roman Foltan will helm the bar and front of house will be operated by Carla Soares, both formerly of the famed awardwinning Artesian at The Langham Hotel in London. In addition, Master of Gin, Jason Williams, has curated the spirits list. Adding to the final touches, the Hwang family partnered with Proof & Company, an
award winning Singapore drinks collective, and international architecture and design company HASSELL. ADDRESS: Parkview Square, 600 North Bridge Rd, Singapore 188778
ighball, opened and owned by bartender Kino Soh (exBar Stories, Hopscotch, Fresh!) who leads an all female crew. Situated near the beautiful heritage houses at Spottiswood Park, minutes from the hustle and bustle of the CBD. Of course, given the name of this venue, they do focus on serving Highballs and bringing them to a wider audience. For those that may be unfamiliar, a Highball is a simple cocktail, made with two ingredients – a spirit and a carbonated mixer, served in a highball glass over ice. Today, the Highball has evolved and Highball celebrates its core values and the marriage of spirit and mixer. So drop by for a refreshing highball or a luxurious cocktail. ADDRESS: #01-01 79 Kampong Bahru Rd., Singapore, 169377 W: www.highball.com.sg
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Operation Dagger R
ecently ranking at number 21 in The World’s 50 Best Bars 2016; Singapore’s Operation Dagger is a blitz against the grain of the speakeasy bars of today, providing a different approach to traditional cocktail bars. Inside this hidden bar, a plethora of light bulbs hang from the ceiling in a cloud formation, in addition to fluorescent lights and a back bar that looks like a very cool apothecary, containing non-branded bottles with hand-written labels and symbols sitting on the shelves. Executive Bartender and Aussie ex-pat Luke Whearty heads up Operation Dagger - a specialty cocktail bar that serves up progressive cocktails and food offerings. There is a hands-on approach here, fermenting and distilling a lot of the products in-house. In case you’re wondering about the name, Operation Dagger is a reference to when the Singapore Police force unleashed Operation Dagger in 1956 in an effort to eradicate the secret gang societies of Singapore’s notorious Chinatown district. Once a hub for criminal
activity, Ann Siang Hill became a safe haven where underground societies became dormant. Every cocktail here has an innovative touch from the talented bartenders, which connoisseurs and newcomers alike can appreciate. The short food menu here also steps outside the box, providing innovative twists on classic items. For a unique and amazing experience, checkout Operation Dagger. ADDRESS: 7 Ann Siang Hill, B1-G1 Singapore 069791 W: www.operationdagger.com Opening Hours: Tuesday-Saturday: 6pm-1am Closed Sunday-Monday
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° VISIT °
BentSpoke Brewing Co A
fter an impressive opening in June 2014, selling 3000L of beer in the first week, BentSpoke Brewing Co has continued to evolve and cement itself in the Canberra beer scene. On the back of widespread support from appreciative patrons, BentSpoke created over 50 different brews and served in excess of 300,000L of beer and cider in just over two years of operation to critical acclaim. BentSpoke is now undergoing expansion into a second venue, which will also function as a packaging and distribution facility for its increasingly popular beer. At the Braddon brewpub you will find 18 varieties of beer and cider available on tap at any one time, all brewed on premise. A wide range of beer styles are made by the award winning head brewer, as well as hand crushed apple cider, all on full display so you can watch the brew team at work while you sample a selection of brews. Brews are available to purchase both over the bar and to take-away in custom-made two-litre insulated ‘Travellers’.
A modern take on the classic pub menu featuring dishes which incorporate beer, brewing ingredients and highlight local produce. BentSpoke Brewing Company’s Braddon brewery is open 7 days for lunch and dinner from 11am to midnight. ADDRESS: 38 Mort Street, Braddon ACT 2612 P: (02) 6257 5220 W: www.bentspokebrewing.com.au Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday: 11am-12am
Charlie Parker’s M erivale have opened the highly anticipated Charlie Parker’s on Sydney’s Oxford Street. Led by cocktail duo Sam Egerton and Toby Marshall (ex-Palmer & Co), the bar is shaped by a unifying philosophy that honours the story behind ingredients and elevates produce using both old-world and innovative techniques. Marshall and Egerton have created an impressive drinks list inspired by botany, exploring new flavours with a top to tail approach behind the bar.
A neighbourhood cocktail bar, Charlie Parker’s is intimate and with a rich sense of history. Botanicals are on display behind the bar and the space is complimented by the grittiness of the old bricks and exposed sandstone. Housed in the basement of Fred’s restaurant, Charlie Parker’s is a local bar with stunning interiors and produce-driven cocktails. ADDRESS: 380 Oxford Street, Paddington NSW 2021 P: (02) 9240 3000 W: www.merivale.com.au/charlieparkers Opening Hours: Tuesday – Thursday: 5pm-12am Friday – Saturday: 3pm -12am Sunday: 3pm-10pm
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Big Poppa’s B
ig Poppa’s located on Sydney’s eclectic Oxford Street, fuses a modern Italian restaurant, with a lavish downstairs cocktail bar that plays hip-hop. This collaboration between Jared Merlino (exLobo Plantation) and Lewis Jaffrey (ex-Shady Pines, Baxter Inn) was born from a mutual love of cheese, wine, hip-hop, and the know-how to make a great cocktail. Cheese is the hero here,
with more than 30 offered on the menu as well as an ample selection of wine, complimented by cocktail bar flow with chesterfield lounges. The menu also features Italian dishes such as gnocchi made with semolina, and hand cut
pappardelle with lamb ragu. With more than 200 bottles of wines available, with a heavy focus on red and rosé, and a cheese sommelier on deck, Big Poppa’s will have something for even the most discerning palate. If cocktails appeal to you, fear not, as the fully stocked bar downstairs, managed by bartender Bobby Carey, and four staff behind the stick at any given time, you can sink into the lounges, or perch at one of the tables or at the bar for a delicious libation. Fittingly, Italian cocktails are on offer here, as well as the classics. This venue is also a haven for the hospitality crew, as Big Poppa’s has a restaurant licence with a PSA, meaning they’re exempt from the 1:30am lockout, meaning you can kick it here after a long shift. ADDRESS: 96 Oxford St, Darlinghurst, Sydney NSW W: www.bigpoppa.com.au Opening Hours: Monday-Sunday: 5pm-3am
East Village E
ast Village Sydney reopened its doors after its three levels underwent major refurbishments to revitalize the gone-but-not-forgotten Darlinghurst staple. Among the many improvements is the revamped rooftop terrace overlooking stunning views of the city skyline.
Heading up East Village’s innovative kitchen is Graham Johns along with Goodtime Hospitality Executive Chef Tom Kime. Celebrated bartender Lee Potter Cavanagh has taken on the role of General Manager, and fellow bartender Reece Griffiths will lead the bar team as Bar Manager. Together, their goal is to deliver an unpretentious and relaxed atmosphere and a quality experience.
The refurbished East Village, designed by Alexander and Co. features three distinct levels; a public bar on the ground floor hosting a wide selection of wines and a food menu of reimagined classic pub food; The Athletic Club - a modern sports bar adorned with oldworld décor serving beer and whisk(e)y; and a rooftop terrace providing fresh and flavourful dishes evoking summer along with spectacular
views. Additionally, a semi-private dining room accommodates 20 guests for those who want a more intimate ambiance. ADDRESS: 234 Palmer Street, Darlinghurst NSW 2010 P: (02) 9331 5457 Opening Hours Mon – Sun: 12pm – 11pm
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° VISIT °
The Iron Fairies Hong Kong T
he Iron Fairies cocktail space has opened in Hong Kong, discovered via a nondescript entrance on Pottinger Street, belying its Hollywood Road address. To find The Iron Fairies you will benefit from a keen sense of direction and an appetite to discover the mystery of famed Aussie designer – Ashley Sutton who has created a bar with immense attention to detail.
Award-winning Australian designer Ashley Sutton has been known as the legend of Bangkok nightlife, his fantastical creations include the iconic Maggie Choo’s Bar, Sing Sing Theater, The Bookshop Bar, Bangkok Betty and many more. The Iron Fairies marks Sutton’s third venue for the city. Inspired by Sutton’s experience in the iron ore mines of Western Australia, the space is derived from an ironsmith’s workshop that has become bewitched by a troupe of mischievous fairies determined to dance and sing the night away. To re-create the feel of an ironsmith’s workshop the venue is furnished with raw iron, hand-hewn timber, contrasted by soft supple leather. The space caters for 80 guests and
combines the industrial and the whimsical with low-slung ceilings, working mine machinery, custom furnishings and a hanging garden that houses 10,000 intricately crafted butterflies. The workshop will also be home to 12 fairies each having their own unique personality and identity. Head Chef Todd Williams offers up an innovative menu where dishes like the Fried Pork Knuckle, Fat Gut’s Overloaded Burger and Vita’s Honey Toast are matched with some deliciously tasty selection craft beers, cocktails and a selection of wines. The Iron Fairies will also feature an everchanging roster of jazz and blues acts, adding entertainment to the mysterious and enchanted venue.
ADDRESS: LG Floor, Chinachem Hollywood Centre, 1-13 Hollywood Road, Central Hong Kong (Enter via Pottinger St entrance) P: (+852) 2603 6992 W: www.diningconcepts.com/IronFairies Opening Hours Monday-Sunday: 6pm-3am
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FOOD & DRINK
mpress your guests with these recipes, ideas, tips and hints. This edition of DW we focus on simple but delicious bar snacks and classic cocktails through the eras.
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° BAR SNACKS °
or what seems like decades now, bar goers have grown accustomed to receiving a small bowl of salty nuts or chips. While this has worked well over the years, tastes and appreciation of food has changed and with consumers more knowledgeable about both food and drinks, venue owners are looking to serve up some more stylish snack options. If you don’t have a fully-fledged commercial kitchen, or a kitchen at all, this doesn’t mean you can’t offer your guests simple and easy to make bar snacks.
Having some simple, yet satisfying snack options on a bar menu (no matter what the size of the venue) will help increase revenue and traffic. People often like to have a drink before, after and in-between meals and often want something to snack on to tie them over. Here are some of the easiest and tastiest snack options for venues.
PRAWNS Prawns are the chicken wings of the sea. These can be served crumbed or battered and fried, grilled, or even cold, a la prawn cocktail. Skewers make them easier for serving and eating, and can be prepared with ease. RECIPE: • Garlic and chilli prawn skewers (4 serves) • 750g King prawns, peeled, deveined with tails in tact • 3 Garlic cloves finely chopped (or minced garlic) • 1 Long red chilli finely chopped • 2 Tbs. Olive oil • 2 Tbs. Fresh lime juice • Salt and cracked black pepper • Aioli, lime wedge and pink Himalayan salt to serve METHOD: 1. Marinate prawns in garlic, chilli, olive oil, lime juice and salt and pepper 2. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes 3. Skewer prawns and grill to order 4. Serve with aioli, lime wedge and salt.
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TOASTED / JAFFLE SANDWICHES Who doesn’t love a toasted sandwich? These can be whipped up and put in a sandwich press in a jiffy. Perfect for a bar snack when your chef has finished up and the kitchen is closed (or if your venue doesn’t have a kitchen!) these can be made by front of house staff.
MARINATED OLIVES A perfect cold snack, simply marinate and jar olives then place in a small bowl with toothpicks to serve. TIP: Use a mix of green and black olives, which gives different flavour and better aesthetic appeal. Avoid stuffed olives, and opt for pit-in only. Pitted olives are only for pizza! RECIPE (around 8 serves): • 300g Black olives in brine • 300g Green olives in brine • 1 Cup extra virgin olive oil • 4 Bay leaves • 4 Sprigs rosemary • 1 Tps. Dried chilli flakes • 1 Tps. Crushed fennel seeds • ¼ Cup red wine vinegar
CHIPS & WEDGES An absolute classic and crowd favourite, chips are easy to cook, no fuss and require no cutlery. Get inventive and season with cayenne pepper or rosemary and salt. Low cost, high profit, and will provide enough sustenance to keep the customers inside your venue.
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° DRINK °
FROM PAST TO PRESENT N
eed to brush up on your cocktails eras? In this edition of Drinks World, we take a look at the classic cocktails through the eras. Starting with the 1880s working right through to present day.
THE CLASSIC AGE (1880-1920) Seen as the “Golden Age” of cocktails where some of the classics were first invented and an era in which bartenders got pretty inventive.
1910s SINGAPORE SLING Ingredients: • 40ml Gin • 20ml Cherry Brandy • 20ml Cointreau • 25ml Fresh Lemon Juice • 50ml Fresh Pineapple Juice • 5ml Grenadine • 1 x Dash Angostura Bitters
WHISKEY SOUR Ingredients: • 45ml Bourbon • 45ml Fresh Lemon Juice • 20ml Simple Syrup Garnish: Maraschino or fresh cherry Method: Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a chilled rocks glass Glass: Rocks
Garnish: Pineapple wedge, ½ orange wheel, fresh cherry and drizzle 10ml Benedictine Method: Place all ingredients into the shaker. Shake and strain into an ice filled Highball glass Glass: Highball
DAIQUIRI Ingredients: • 60ml White Rum • 30ml Fresh Lime Juice • 15ml Sugar Syrup
AVIATION Ingredients: • 45ml Gin • 20ml Fresh Lemon Juice • 10ml Créme De Yvette • 15ml Maraschino Liqueur
Garnish: Lime wheel
Garnish: Maraschino or fresh cherry
Method: Shake ingredients with ice and strain into a Coupette glass
Method: Place all ingredients into the shaker with ice. Shake, double strain into a chilled martini glass Glass: Martini
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PROHIBITION (1920-1933) “GIN HEYDEY” The great heyday for creative cocktails was Prohibition, the 13-year span (1920-1933) where the allure of illegal liquor inspired bright colourful concoctions that offered glamour and, above all, good taste. Given that it required no ageing and was more readily available, the 1920s saw a shift towards gin during the period.
MOJITO Ingredients: • 60ml White Rum • 30ml Fresh Lime Juice • 30ml Sugar Syrup • 6 x ‘clapped’ mint leaves • Top with Soda Water Garnish: Mint Sprig Method: Clap 6 – 8 mint leaves to release the aroma. Then add all ingredients to a highball glass, add crushed ice and stir. Top with soda water Glass: Highball
SIDECAR MINT JULEP Ingredients: • 90ml Bourbon • 2 x Bps. of Mint Syrup • 1 x Mint Sprig Garnish: Sprig of mint
MARY PICKFORD Ingredients: • 50ml Light Cuban Rum • 30ml Pineapple Juice • 10ml Grenadine
Method: Press the mint leaves into the syrup and add bourbon. Fill glass with crushed ice and stir gently
Garnish: Maraschino cherry
Glass: Rocks or copper Julep cup
Method: Shake and strain into a chilled Martini glass
Ingredients: • 45ml Brandy • 25ml Cointreau • 25ml Fresh Lemon Juice Garnish: Lemon or orange twist Method: Coat the rim of a martini glass with sugar, shake the rest of the ingredients with ice then strain into a Martini glass Glass: Martini
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° DRINK °
THE POST WAR BOOM (1945-1965) The post war boom saw entertaining at home take on a new lease on life with the stimulation of the economy. Productivity and economic growth saw people enjoy cocktails and outings, and hosting guests, while business folk indulged in the three-martini lunch.
GIBSON Ingredients • 60ml London Dry Gin • 10ml Vermouth Garnish: 3 x Cocktail onions Method Stir all the ingredients over ice then strain into a chilled Martini glass Glass: Martini
MAI TAI Ingredients: • 60ml Dark Rum • 15ml Cointreau • 30ml Fresh Lime Juice • 15ml Orgeat (almond) Syrup Garnish: Pineapple spear and lime wedge Method: Shake ingredients with ice and strain into rocks glass with fresh ice Glass: Rocks
HURRICANE Ingredients • 60ml White rum • 60ml Dark rum • 30ml Lime Juice • 30ml Fresh Orange Juice • 60ml Passion Fruit Juice • 15ml Simple Syrup • 15ml Grenadine Garnish: Half an orange wheel and fresh cherry Method: Add all ingredients into a shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into Hurricane glass Glass: Hurricane
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RUSTY NAIL The mystery surrounding the Rusty Nail is similar in sentiment. Some say the serve got its name from immigrant Scottish bartenders stirring the cocktail with a rusty nail before serving it to their well heeled American patrons; however it most likely gets its name from its rusty, amber colour. The Rusty Nail is a timeless whisky cocktail born in the infamous New York nightclubs of the early 60s and served at the renowned ‘21 Club’ frequented by Hemmingway, Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra and JFK. At a time when the legendary carousing of the Rat Pack came to prominence, the Rusty Nail was adopted by the scene, confirming the drink’s iconic status and establishing its place in pop culture history. More recently, the cocktail was the drink of choice of Saul Goodman and featured in the very first episode of Netflix’s TV series Better Call Saul. With one part Drambuie, two parts Scotch Whisky and a lemon twist over ice, it’s a simple yet rewarding cocktail that sits alongside the Martini, Negroni and Old Fashioned as one of the classics of the cocktail world. Oozing timeless cool, each sip conjures up the image of those smoky lounges, iconic characters and the free-living optimism of the 1960s.
Ingredients: • 30ml Drambuie • 60ml Scotch Whisky Garnish: Lemon twist Method: Build ingredients over ice and stir Glass: Rocks
ENJOY DRAMBUIE RESPONSIBLY
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° DRINK °
THE DISCO YEARS (1975-1990) Funk, soul, pop and salsa achieved the height of popularity from the mid 70s through the 80s. Disco music and nightclubs were in vogue and cocktails were made to match.
1970s HARVEY WALLBANGER Ingredients: • 50ml Vodka • 100ml Fresh Orange Juice • 15ml Galliano liqueur
KAMIKAZE Ingredients: • 45ml Vodka • 30ml Cointreau • 25ml Fresh Lime Juice
Garnish: Half orange wheel Method: Pour vodka and orange juice into an icefilled glass and stir. Float Galliano on top
Garnish: Lime wedge Method: Pour all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake and strain into glass
Glass: Highball Glass: Cocktail
1980s BRAMBLE Ingredients: • 45ml Gin • 30ml Fresh Lemon Juice • 20ml Sugar Syrup • 10ml Créme De Mure Garnish: Blackberries and lime wedge Method: Shake all ingredients (except Créme De Mure) vigorously and strain over lots of crushed ice. Float the Créme De Mure on top Glass: Rocks
GRASSHOPPER Ingredients: • 30ml Green Cremé de Menthe • 30ml White Cremé de Cacao • 30ml Fresh Cream Garnish: Mint leaf Method: Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into cocktail glass Glass: Cocktail
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AND THE PRESENT MODERN AGE OF REVIVALISM (2000s –PRESENT) With the revival of cocktail bars, speakeasy-esque venues and the ushering in of a new era and appreciation for drinks, a number of modern bartenders have created drinks that are now considered common bar calls in venues across the globe.
PENICILLIN Ingredients • 30ml Auchentoshan Whisky • 15ml Bowmore 12 Year Old • 10ml Fresh Lime Juice • 10ml Honey and Ginger Syrup
FUTURE CLASSICS COCKTAIL COMP Modern cocktails such as the Penicillin, Old Cuban and Gin-Gin mule have cemented themselves as new classics. Twists on classics like the Oxacana Old Fashioned (Old Fashioned made with reposado and añejo tequila in place of whisky) have also created a new wave of classics.
Garnish: Candied Ginger Method: Shake all ingredients with ice and strain into a rocks glass
Think you have a cocktail creation that can standout and become a future classic?
Glass: Rocks Send your creations along with why you believe your drink is a future classic.
Winning entries will be featured in the next edition of Drinks World.
Ingredients • 50ml Gin • 5ml Fresh Lime Juice • 2 x Dashes Angostura Bitters • Top with Ginger Beer
Did you know – Part of the criteria of a drink to be considered a classic is for it to be featured in past print publications… Get creating and make the history books!
Garnish: Two lime wedges Method: Build ingredients into your glass filled with cubed ice and stir
For your chance, email your future classic recipe and photo creation to email@example.com by Friday 20th January 2017.
OLD CUBAN Ingredients • 50ml Aged Cuban Rum • 50ml Prosecco • 15ml Fresh Lime Juice • 10ml Sugar Syrup • 2 x Dashes Orange Bitters • 5 x Mint Leaves Garnish: Mint leaf Method: Add all ingredients (except Prosecco). Shake and strain into a chilled Coupette glass and top with Prosecco Glass: Coupette
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A regional magazine for bartenders, sommeliers and industry professionals.