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T25 2018

! d e l a e v e R







Bringing Together Old and New




The Perfect Cocktail Glass

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

Credits CREDITS Publisher Ashley Pini

Welcome Welcome to a very special edition of Drinks World magazine, along with our highly anticipated T25 announcement!

Production Manager Sasha Falloon General Manager Melinda Virgona EDITORIAL Editor Hannah Sparks Associate Editor Stephanie Aikins DESIGN Senior Designer Racs Salcedo

We’ve been working diligently away over the last few months on some pretty exciting projects for you. First on the agenda has been turning our focus towards our Drinks World website. We hear constantly that online is the future of mags and you bartenders are a pretty savvy bunch, so we decided you deserve your content like you serve your drinks – fast, in vogue and high quality. That being said, we know a lot of you out there enjoy a sneaky read on a quiet night behind the bar, but whipping your phone or laptop out probably isn’t the best way to go about it. So, we’ve done you a favour and brought together an exclusive edition of Drinks World print that offers a snapshot of the year in trends through interviews and knowledge pieces.

SALES / MARKETING National Sales Manager Tim Ludlow Sales Manager Daire Dalton

We’re kicking it off with the bartender of the minute Kurtis Bosley, who is looking at ‘drinkstagram’ culture and the age-old debate of beauty or quality. Turn to page 6 to read his thoughts.

DRINKS Drinks Curator Ben Davidson (Bespoke Drinks)

Over on page 12, we’re enlisted the help of ice specialists Bare Bones Ice Co. to talk about the exact differences behind those ice cube styles you’re serving up every day, and give us a welcome reminder on just how important good quality ice is to a cocktail.

PHOTOGRAPHY Photographers: Attila Csaszar, Declan Roache, James Elsby, Naomi Sherman, Ryan Stuart, Yoann Derunes

Hannah Sparks looks at the spirit everyone’s talking about, baijiu, and how best to use it in your bar on page 14.

CONTRIBUTORS Writers: Ben Davidson, Kurtis Bosley, Simon Weiss, Damien Liot


Over on page 18, our tasting panel of expert judges, led by Drinks Curator Ben Davidson, explores the wonderful world of overproof gins and rums. Then on page 21, we’ve gathered four bartenders, from newbies to old hats of the trade, to find out how their tattoos inspire their bartending process and express their creative side. Last but certainly not least, we’re getting you hyped for the announcement of our T25 bartenders for 2018 (kicking off on page 35) by offering a peak inside each of their venues, starting on page 24. Until next time, sit back and relax with a drink in hand and get ready to lap up another cracker issue.

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


Ash Pini





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6 12 14 18 21 4°

The Influence of the Digital Age on Bartending

The Tasting Panel: Navy Strength and Overproof Spirits

Ice is a Bartender’s Best Friend The Spirit You Thought You’d Never Use: Baijiu Rum, Gin and Sailors Getting on the Lash! There’s No Drink Without ‘Ink’: Bartender Tattoos




The 2018 T25’s Venues

Drinks World’s T25 2018


Follow our accounts and subscribe to our weekly online newsletter to keep up to date with everything drinks and hospitality related across Australia, Oceania and Southeast Asia. We also love hearing what you have to say, so if you want to get in touch, tip us off, talk shop, contribute or send us some lovin’, feel free to comment on our posts, tag us or flick us an email. @drinksworldmagazine @drinksworld DRINKS WORLD





e live in an age of vanity. Our current culture fuels the social value of likes and re-blogs, rewarding immediate visual satisfaction to the point that it’s easy to lose focus on anything except the shiniest thing with the most exorbitant flair. And bartending is no exception. WORDS ° Kurtis Bosley


Credit: Alibi Woolloomooloo

Credit: Alibi Woolloomooloo

I had to redirect my train of thought towards learning as much as possible about flavour and service, not only focusing on the glitz and glamour of non-sustainable drink garnishes and extravagant presentation.

Our industry is inundated by drinks that are more interested in being exhibited in an art gallery than being served over a bar. I’ve seen first-hand the influence of this new wave of ‘drinkstagram’. People have become consumed with filling newsfeeds with beautiful booze and have forgotten the importance of what a drink tastes like. Even I’ve been lost in that world, finding myself driven to create a drink that would land me on the pages of a magazine or newspaper. My focus was on sheer experimentation and conceptualising my drinks as artistic ideas. I was transfixed on making the drinks look amazing, without thinking through the flavours and techniques that would instead further myself in an industry built on delicious drinks and excellent service. It’s taken me a few years to really understand the skill and knowledge needed to harmonise those qualities. I had to redirect my train of thought towards learning as much as possible about flavour and service, not only focusing on the glitz and glamour of non-sustainable drink garnishes and extravagant presentation. That being said, there’s something to say about the influence visually stunning drinks have on today’s punter. You can’t serve the flavoursome drinks you’ve worked hard to create and perfect without guests at your bar, and drink aesthetics are a big motivator for consumers to enter an establishment. In fact, it’s become a large part of what entices so many people towards our industry as a whole.

Attention to visual style creates excitement, even before customers have actually ordered that first ‘clarified nitro-infused, fat-washed galactic hopped negroni’. Bars worldwide are creating incredible concoctions, served in amazing vessels, with jaw-dropping garnishes, which are then purchased and photographed every single day. Places like Eau De Vie (located in both Sydney and Melbourne) have found a balance of theatre, presentation and flair, alongside serving up high quality drinks. So, it CAN be done! Sydney’s PS40 is another example of a bar that has found the balance between unique drink design, attention to detail and guest service. The team promotes the bar’s original concept in the venue and on its social media accounts, but they are serving the drinks and charismatic service to back all of it up. So, can both have a place? It’s not a bad thing that the bartending community is trying to elevate what we do into a popular art form; aesthetics and the Instagram movement has garnered global attention for our industry. But it will always be important for us not to forget that service and quality drinks come first. The glitz and glam of an attention grabbing Insta-feed will soon wane if customers aren’t coming back because all that was in it for them was a photo.



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e asked two influential bartenders for their thoughts on the ‘drinkstagram’ cocktail movement.

DRINKS WORLD: Instagram is now a key part of the consumer experience. Do you take this into account in the process of creating the drinks menus at your venue? JAMES WHEELER: Drinks definitely need to look good visually and yes, we do take it into account, but it’s certainly one of the lowest priorities when we create our new drinks.

James Wheeler, General Manager at Dandelyan, London

PATRICK TULLY: The answer is yes, but very carefully. At Christopher Hanna, we put a lot of energy into considering all of the aspects of a drink. This certainly means creating beautifully presented drinks, but how it tastes and smells is equally important. What we definitely avoid is creating tacky, viral kinds of drinks that are just there to look over the top and forsake flavour. Our guiding principle is, ‘elegance through simplicity’. DW: Do you think there is a danger of bartenders placing too much focus on the look of a drink at the expense of other parts of the service experience? JW: Yes, 100%. Around the time that we opened Dandelyan, almost four years ago, many of the bars in London were focused on making their drinks look as incredible as possible and it seemed like they were all forgetting that a drink should taste good too. PT: This is definitely one of the biggest dangers of social media in regards to


a lot of things, not just cocktails. The experience a venue offers is so much more than just what a drink looks like. There are so many different factors that come into play. What a drink smells like, what it tastes like, what it looks like, how it’s served, the furniture in the venue, the music and the customer service... Social media holds a magnifying glass to just one of those factors and blows its importance out of proportion. This in turn over exaggerates the importance of this one factor in bartenders’ minds. DW: Do you see the Instagram movement as a ‘trend’ or something that’s here to stay and should be considered as part of a bar’s drink strategy? JW: I can’t see Instagram becoming any less important to people any time soon, and I’m sure it will be equally as important, if not more so, in the future. As long as people remember that it’s not the only thing. I actually think it’s more productive to create a menu that’s aesthetically beautiful, so it ends up on Instagram a lot. PT: I think it’s here to stay, but I also think that how we approach it can and will change. We’ve really just replaced the word beautiful with ‘instagramable’, so when we are writing a new menu, we aim to create drinks that fulfil all of the requirements of a great drink, including being beautiful. Social media genuinely does push bartenders to create more

100% imported from Italy Please contact for more information or head to



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° MEET °

Patrick Tully, General Manager at Christopher Hanna, Sydney complicate things and stick to what they do well. If anything, the venues that do specialise in a very specific style of cocktail are limiting their audience to those who prioritise that style of drink.

beautiful drinks, we all just need to remember that we are also creating something intended for consumption. DW: Do you think the consumer drive towards venues that serve these highly stylised drinks may impact the business of local or small bars that don’t have the capacity or expertise to be serving drinks of this nature? JW: No, not at all. The small, local bars that are making good drinks and providing good service will always do well no matter the popularity and stress placed on ‘Instagramable’ drinks. PT: Not really. Some people want to drink lavish, stylish drinks and others are more focused on simple, quality cocktails. Some people don’t care either way and just want to enjoy a tall frosty one in good company. I think there will always be room for venues that don’t over

DW: What are some foolproof tips to creating a drink that tastes great but also has visual appeal? JW: It’s always good to keep it simple. A nice clean looking drink with a neat, pretty garnish will work wonders. For example, serving a drink with a simple, little edible flower always gets a good reaction. If a drink is on crushed ice, you can’t go wrong with a good mint sprig and piece of fruit. Also, if the drink doesn’t need a garnish then don’t garnish it! PT: I truly think the best drinks are the simplest ones. Look at the daiquiri, for example. Keep your ingredient list short – less than six. The presentation should always tie into the story of the drink and never be unnecessary. For example, there is absolutely no reason to garnish a daiquiri with a lime wheel. It is perfect just the way it is. Sours are always an effective canvas for creative presentation. Stencilled images, dehydrated fruit, especially citrus always looks good.

DW: Have you ever taken it too far in the pursuit of a beautiful cocktail and created a drink where the taste was negatively impacted? JW: Absolutely not. I take pride in creating equally delicious and visually appealing drinks. PT: I never put it on a menu, but I have spent years toying with a colour changing cocktail. It is based around using certain naturally occurring pH indicators, in my case extracted from red cabbage, and then modifying the acidity. No matter how perfect I got it to look (and it does look amazing!), there was no getting away from the fact that it tasted like Berroca and cabbage. DW: Bringing it back to basics, if you had to choose between a visually stunning drink and a basic drink with great taste, what would you choose? JW: Tasty drink, any day of the week. The customer doesn’t buy the drink to look at it. If it doesn’t taste good, they’ve wasted their money. PT: As my old music teacher once taught me, it’s better to play ‘Three Blind Mice’ really, really well than it is to fumble your way through Bach. Simple and delicious any day of the week.


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is a Bartender’s Best Friend


veryone is sick of sh*t ice these days. Once the most overlooked element of cocktail making, it seems nowadays the frozen stuff is finally being given the consideration it deserves. Bartenders across the country, from pubs, to small bars, to high end cocktail venues have come to the realisation that, in many respects, it’s ice over the base spirit that can make or break a cocktail. This is because ice doesn’t simply chill a drink. Its soluble nature means it will slowly release into a cocktail. This can go one of two ways: a good block will bind the ingredients together as it diffuses, taking the bite off the base spirit while rounding out the flavours and bringing forward new ones. On the other hand, a cloudy block full of impurities and air bubbles – you know, the kind you fish out of the home freezer – can add a range of unfavourable flavours to the drink and will dilute the spirit faster. When in doubt, measure a good block of ice like you would a diamond –it’s all about size, clarity and cut. WORDS ° Simon Weiss & Damien Liot

Handcrafted ice is more likely to be clearer and denser, meaning overall the block will be harder, colder and better at keeping the drink at a constant, lightly-chilled temperature. You can technically produce high quality frozen water, on a small scale, in house. But from our experience, we just don’t think it’s worth the effort. That being said, instigating a good ice program within your bar is definitely worth it as it can add about 60 to 80

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cents to the cost of each drink sold. Cue the business of premium ice making. Businesses such as Bare Bones Ice Company in Sydney are creating high quality bespoke products to keep it simple for you behind the bar. Here Simon Weiss and Damien Liot from the Bare Bones team run us through their three standard sizes of ice cut and how you can work with these on a day-to-day basis.

OLD FASHIONED BLOCK 65mm x 45mm x 45mm The name says it all. The block is the most popular and versatile size of ice. If there is only one style of ice in your bar, this should be it. This cut will melt a lot slower than smaller pieces of ice, meaning you have more than enough time to whip out that camera and snap a pick to fulfill all of your Tumblr needs. The ideal ice for your classic Negroni and Old Fashioned styles.

CUBE 50mm x 50mm x 50mm The OF’s little bro. For all your non-mixing needs. Simply pick the bottle of spirit, pour it over and poof, you’re done. A great one to trim and put in a stemmed glass like the ever-sostylish coupette.

COLLINS SPEAR 135mm x 30mm x 30mm AKA ‘The Long One’ or ‘The Rod’. Shout out to our people in the wedding planning biz for their love of this bad boy. If you’re whipping up slings and rickeys, or are intent on taking the G&T to the next level, this one’s for you. Grab your favourite gin and tonic combo, add some fresh citrus in a Collins glass and pop in a spear and a metal straw. You just can’t beat that.

CRUSHED ICE Think brambles, tulips and tiki cocktails. Take a mullet and smash the life out of any of the sizes above. The idea behind this one is the fast melting crushed ice will keep the drinks super cold and diffuse the perfect amount of water into the mix. Bare Bones will be bringing you crushed ice in the very near future. There you have it. You wouldn’t have a dull cubic zirconia as the centrepiece of a stunning gold ring, so why have poorly made ice at the centre of your precious cocktail creations? Add a diamond in the form of high quality ice cuttings and watch as your drinks truly shine.


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U O Y T I R I P S THE D ’ U O Y T H G U O TH E S U R NEVE 14 °



hina’s national spirit is finding a home in unlikely places as bartenders continue to push the boundaries of cocktails as we know them. America’s bustling bar scene was the first place in the West baijiu found a following, with The New York Times claiming bartenders there are approaching the liquid with “the same sense of challenge they once brought to similarly aggressive spirits like overproof whiskey and mezcal.” Now, the unusual beverage is inspiring local mixologists, keen to discover new flavour profiles. WORDS ° Hannah Sparks



Despite holding a special place in China’s culture as its most popular beverage, baijiu’s pungent and strong character - with most bottled at 53% ABV - has meant it’s been slow to find a following in other markets. Its profile is unlike anything else, made from a combination of grains including sorghum, barley, maize, rice, wheat and even peas, depending on the distillery’s specifications. Using numerous ingredients results in a wider range of aromas and flavours than those found in most spirits, with baijiu described as anything from soy sauce, musk and fermenting grains, to mango, caramel and walnuts, or tobacco, grass and spice. The other factor that sets baijiu apart from other Asian spirits, such as sake, is its production process, one that still mimics the agricultural techniques that would have been used by distillers, or then farmers, thousands of years ago. Records suggest the production of baijiu began before the 2nd century BCE, during the Yuan dynasty.

In many ways, the processes used today by baijiu producers are symbolic of China’s culture. While it may be technologically progressive, its remains deeply traditional. Do not be mislead by the robots employed by baijiu brands to produce its counterfeit protected packaging or manage its human-free warehouse, because when it comes to the liquid, the techniques used are as ancient as it gets and considered a part of the country’s national heritage. Completed entirely by manual labour and basic tools, in a snapshot, baijiu is made by milling and mixing several grains, which are then placed in underground pits or pots with jiuqu, a fermentation agent, and a small amount of water. Interestingly, baijiu is the only spirit made from solid-state fermentation, which means the mixture ferments largely on its own, without much water. To picture it at this stage, imagine the roughage used to feed livestock. It’s a brown coloured, fibrous texture and is, in fact, what the mixture ends up as if it


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doesn’t meet the distillers’ specifications. Fermentation can take place for up to 80 days, after which it is pressed to obtain a liquid that will put hairs on your chest, starting at around 70% ABV. The aroma and flavour of different brands of baijiu are mostly influenced by the type and amount of ingredients used; the local water source; length of fermentation; and airborne microorganisms. In general, premium baijiu is baijiu that has been aged for a longer period and contains a higher percentage of superior grains, namely sorghum.

TALKING TRADITIONS Becuase of the multiple grains used to make baijiu, many Chinese people believe it contains nutritional benefits when consumed in small quantities. A bottle of baijiu or - for the rich and famous - a large ceramic jar of baijiu, which honestly looks like something you’d find in an Egyptian tomb, is highly prized by locals and can fetch up to $200k. Aside from gifting, baijiu is commonly found in the majority of Chinese homes, served at all occasions including when hanging out with friends or with meals, just like beer or wine in Australia. Traditionally, it’s served neat and poured from a small measuring jug into a thimblesized glass, which can somewhat fool you into believing that you’re still within your limit. That’s not helped either by the custom to match your neighbours’ drinking habits, with each toast met with a resounding “Ganbei” (cheers)!

WOULD YOU, BAIJIU? In Australia, however, bartenders are finding a place for baijiu in cocktails. The baijiu brands easily available here through local distributors are China’s top three largest. There’s Moutai, starting at $99 through Handpicked Wines; Wuliangye, starting at around $100 and available through the Ettason Group; and Yanghe, starting at approximately $76 per bottle and available through Casapania Trading. Moutai has made a significant investment in Australia and is probably the best-known brand here. A finalist in

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Moutai’s 2017 Enter The Dragon Cocktail Competition and freelance bartender, Quynh Van Nguyen, had a chat with Drinks World about how he found using the product. His cocktail, It’s Native Fizz Thyme, contained 30ml Moutai that had been solidified with mango skin to make it more approachable. “The flavour of the baijiu is still there [in this cocktail], but the nose of the mango skin softened it.” The recipe also included a lemon and thyme syrup and wattle seed bitters as part of the native ingredient component of the competition, but also to give the cocktail a coffee/chocolate backbone. Another brand of baijiu popular with bartenders, and sitting at a cheaper price per nip - roughly $100-$120 a bottle, is the HKB Hong-Kong Baijiu, available through Noble Spirits. David Green, Bar Manager at Alibi Bar in Woolloomooloo, Sydney has enjoyed sparking conversation with his customers by showcasing the HKB Baijiu in his cocktail Kung Fu Fighting. He explained, “Everyone notices the baijiu at the first sip because it’s so strong. And when you explain what it is, customers become more intrigued.” Alongside the baijiu, the cocktail includes Yellow Chartreuse, a rosemary and passionfruit shrub, and cold-pressed pineapple juice. Dave says, he finds new characters in the baijiu each time he mixes it with a different ingredient. The Chartreuse in this recipe, for example, brings out a sweet, honey flavour, while the citrus highlights the sour notes in the spirit. Another bartender using the HKB Baijiu is Etien Celzner, a finalist in The Perfect Blend 2018, VIC/TAS Professional Category. He created the cocktail The Goujian for The Glass House Hobart. He mixed Jinzu Gin, Cointreau, grapefruit juice, lime and star anise, and coriander syrup with the baijiu, and garnished the cocktail with hibiscus crystals. Etien told Drinks World that he loves baijiu, despite it being an overpowering flavour. “Baijiu was meant to be the focus [of this cocktail], so I really wanted that

flavour to stand out and for people to ask ‘what is that?’ I found the bitterness from the grapefruit dulled it down and masked it, so I had to use a larger pour. Most people said the drink reminded them of Allens Banana lollies!” Not on the menu currently, but made to order, is the Baijiu Business at Junk Lounge in Sydney’s Circular Quay. It contains 30ml HKB Baijiu, 30ml Pampero Blanco Rum, 30ml strawberry and Szechuan syrup, and 45ml fresh pineapple and apple juice. Pineapple is clearly a bartender favourite when it comes to mixing with baijiu. Scott Allan, the Bar Supervisor at Assembly Bar, explained that familiar sweet or fruity flavours not only help to introduce the unfamiliar flavour of baijiu to Western drinkers but also to highlight the spirit’s

sweet, light and fruity notes. “The full, pungent flavour of baijiu is not something you want to highlight in a cocktail,” Scott advised. “And the fruitiness and sweetness of baijiu are easy to highlight in a cocktail.” Scott spent a lot of time playing around with ingredients that could be mixed with baijiu to create a couple of recipes for the Yanghe brand, which is China’s second largest producer of baijiu and has five products available here including Ocean Blue, Sky Blue, Dream Blue M3 and M6 and Daqu. These are made from a 1,500 year old recipe that consists of sorghum, barley, maize, sticky rice, rice and wheat. Scott found that lime and soda worked against baijiu, with the first bringing out

funky fermented flavours, while the latter counteracted the sweetness of the baijiu too much. On the other hand, he, like others, found pineapple worked well, as well as ginger ale, honey and plum to bring out the natural sweetness in baijiu. Scott also found the earthiness of ginger and similar ingredients provided a little more depth of flavour to the drink. Like others, Scott is enjoying discovering the wide range of flavours available from baijiu and says it’s what he finds exciting about the spirit. In his words, “there is a whole world of baijiu to explore.” Would you list baijiu on your cocktail menu? Let us know via our Facebook page or email


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rior to the invention of the hydrometer in 1816, which measures the percentage of pure alcohol in a spirit, the common way to measure alcohol was the ‘evidence’ test. When rum was being considered for purchase in these early days usually the ship’s Purser, the person in charge of the handling of money, would employ the gunpowder test – where a few grains of gunpowder were added to the spirit in a bowl and ignited with a magnifying glass. If it failed to ignite, it was deemed to have too much water in the mix and was unacceptable. If it just ignited and burned slowly it was proof the alcohol was of a standard strength. If it ignited with a bang it was deemed to be overproof, of a high strength, and perfectly safe to have on board a ship. This was because the spirit needed to be high enough proof that if it spilt on the gunpowder reserves, they would still be useful for the firing of the cannons.

It was after the British invasion of Jamaica in 1655 that the navy started to give a rum ration to the sailors to keep their ‘spirits high’. Sailors were given a daily ‘tot’ of nearly half a pint of overproof rum when the orders of “splice the mainbrace” were given by the officers. During the ensuing years, the rum ration was slowly reduced until in 1970 when the last rum ration was issued, ending a 300-year-old tradition.

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Whilst the sailors enjoyed their overproof rum, the officers had developed a taste for English gin. When the rum ration was diluted down with water and lime juice, giving rise to the infamous Grog ‘cocktail’, the officers started to enjoy drinks like the Gimlet and the Pink Gin as healthy ‘tonics’ whilst at sea. The modern usage of the name ‘navy strength gin’ was revived in 1993 by Plymouth Gin,

when they decided to re-launch the Original Strength Plymouth Gin that was 57% alcohol. This re-established their connection to the Royal Navy that had begun in the early 1800’s. Hence the modern designation of ‘navy strength’ and ‘overproof spirits’ has come to refer to the alcohol percentage, above which it is deemed to be ‘full strength’ alcohol.


THE TASTING PANEL: NAVY STRENGTH AND OVERPROOF SPIRITS For this edition of the Drinks World Tasting Panel, we assembled a team of rum and gin experts to taste some fine examples of these overproof spirits and evaluate the flavour profiles – how they are accentuated by the higher strength of alcohol present in the spirit.







Drinks World

Diageo World Class

Rum Club

Plantation Rum

Archie Rose

The Barber Shop





Fruity and floral nose of honeysuckle, pear, citrus, pine and rose. A smooth, rich mouth feel holds slowly released sweet flavours of liquorice and fruit. This pear forward gin has a nice balance and strength of flavour, leading Mikey Enright to label it his, “favourite of the Archie Rose range”.

This gin has scents of lemon peel, soft earth, wood, spice and angelica. It is very dry to taste, with citrus dominating the palate. This flavour maintains good length throughout, with the lemon peel hitting the front of the palate before the intensity of the spirit controls the depth. Mitch Wilson calls it, “almost a pre-batched martini. Thick and velvety.”

WILDBRUMBY ‘STALLION’ NAVY STRENGTH GIN RRP: $95 DISTRIBUTOR: WILDBRUMBY SCHNAPPS DISTILLERY This spirit has earthy, musty aromas of stone, wild gumtree, forest floor and leather. On the palate, there are distinct spicy notes of ginger, peppercorn and bay leaf along with a citrus finish. Overall, there is a definite winter feel to this gin.

HERNÖ NAVY STRENGTH GIN RRP: $100 DISTRIBUTOR: VANGUARD LUXURY BRANDS Earthy spices are at the front and centre of this gin’s aroma, with hints of peppercorn, coriander, mandarin, lemon myrtle and pine. Spicy on the palate, the taste is of black pepper, fresh pine, menthol, spice and juniper. Coriander seed

dominates, along with liquorice notes that carry the sweetness through to the finish. Described by our panel as a ‘Northern European taste’.

FOUR PILLARS NAVY STRENGTH GIN RRP: $110 DISTRIBUTOR: VANGUARD LUXURY BRANDS Tumeric leads the scent profile, with other spices, citrus and pine also on the nose. Full, round flavours of juniper, anise and saffron coat the palate and create a balanced spirit. A drop of water brings out delicious notes of coriander seeds. Our panel called it a, “great gin. Complex and earthy, with a nice citrus balance.”

TANQUERAY NO. 10 RRP: $75 DISTRIBUTOR: DIAGEO Strong, upfront aromas of grapefruit fade into scents of chamomile, rich wood, spice and florals. On the palate, grapefruit and soothing


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chamomile are dominant, with subtle notes of whole fruits and fresh citrus. Mitch Wilson called it, “delicious from start to finish.”

HOOCHERY ORD RIVER RUM RRP: $79.91 DISTRIBUTOR: ALM OR HOOCHERY DISTILLERY The rich, golden amber colour heralds a European influenced rum, with aromas of toffee, sherry, Christmas cake and wine. This English style molasses rum tastes of wine, cinnamon and Christmas cake. Sweet at the start, dry sherry notes then balance out the flavour before a finish of light orange and wood. Nigel

Weisbaum says it is overall a, “really delicious, soft, enjoyable rum.”



Bundy shines bright at a higher proof! Wafts of rich molasses, anise and winter spice precede a full, hot palate of bright ester with banana notes. The classic Bundaberg flavours are better balanced at a higher ABV and it was pleasantly received by out judging panel.

RRP: $65 DISTRIBUTOR: VOK BEVERAGES Industrial scents of petroleum and gasoline open up to aromas of bitter caramel, molasses and warm spices. The palate is spicy and tropical, with notes of stewed pineapple, fruits, caramel and rich spices. The high ABV is not shy in this rum. Tom Bulmer said it is, “fantastic to see green dot reproduced with such passion and balance.”


PLANTATION O.F.T.D. RUM RRP: $79 DISTRIBUTOR: NEAT SPIRITS Scents of tropical stone fruits, caramel, burnt molasses and slight spice. This full-bodied rum has notes of banana, burnt dark caramel, Christmas spice and stone fruits. The slight acidity turns into a distinctly salty finish. Nigel Weisbaum summarised it best: “Outstanding to have a balanced, rich, spicy and flavourful rum at such a high ABV. F*cking delicious!”

INNER CIRLCE RUM BLACK LABEL RRP: $85 DISTRIBUTOR: VOK BEVERAGES This rum packs a serious punch. Underneath, there are aromas of Christmas cake and winter spice. The very hot palate has flavours of tropical fruits, banana and passionfruit, which lead to a dry finish. “Really full on to start, but when the alcohol evaporates it has a nice balance to it.”

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hhhh bartending; one of the few jobs where showing your tatts loud and proud isn’t just accepted, but often encouraged. Maybe it’s due to the wealth of creatives that end up behind the bar, or maybe it’s all part of the showmanship of being a bartender, but there definitely something about bartending and tattoos going hand-in-hand. We chatted to a few bartenders, experts and up-and-coming stars alike, about their tatts, how they inspire them and why they think bartenders just love getting inked.

MAX GRECO OWNER OF VASCO, SYDNEY DRINKS WORLD: How would you describe your overall tattoo style? Does this mirror your bartending style? MAX GRECO: My first tattoo was done in 1995 on my upper right arm - it’s of a witch holding a sphere. None of my friends had any tattoos at that stage, so it felt good to be unique. My tattoos are mostly based on my feelings and art styles I like, with only a few of them expressing a specific meaning. DW: Do you feel like your tattoos add to your bartending persona? If so, how? MG: I don’t really ascribe to the belief that tattoos give you any extra power, to be honest. My persona while I am behind the bar comes from my roots; it’s from the inside, not from my ink.

DW: Why do you think, so often, bartenders and tattoos go hand-in-hand? MG: These days, it’s almost impossible to see a bartender without tatts. I guess the fact that we are always on a stage of sorts behind the bar - often shirtless, loose and loud - makes us look at ourselves and go, “Maybe I should get a tattoo on my arm…” As they say, once you start, you never stop. DW: What first made you decide to get inked? MG: Honestly, I was in Amsterdam for the Christmas break. Different rules apply when you’re in that city… I passed a lot of tattoo parlours and thought, “Why not?” When I thought about it more though, I felt a bit uneasy about the hygiene in some of these places, so as soon as I landed back in Italy I went to see a mate who had just started tattooing. I picked a piece and it’s still on me today.

DW: Which of your tattoos has the best story behind it? Could you tell us the story? MG: It’s got to be my Dave Grohl (from the Foo Fighters) guitar tattoo on the left side of my body. He’s my favourite rock musician, and his songs and live shows have been a real inspiration for me. About 10 years ago, I decided it was time to pay my respects to the man, so I called my tattoo artist and had it done. Five years ago, I had the immense pleasure of meeting Dave. We had a little chat, took a photo together and that was that. DW: Do any of your tattoos have drinks related stories/themes? If so, could you tell us the story? MG: Well, I love tequila and pirates, so I have a tattoo of Espolòn’s Ramon the Rooster jumping over an agave plant and another one of a pirate with a bottle of rum. Classic…


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skin. We are creative people, and this shows with our tattoos, drink making, garnishes and customer experiences.

DW: How would you describe your overall tattoo style? Does this mirror your bartending style? NATHAN FORD: I think ‘unique’ is the best descriptor. My tattoos tell the story of my life and travel experiences. I believe it does mirror my bartending style, as I love to talk about memories of my travels and share stories with drinks I have learnt.

DW: What first made you decide to get inked? NF: I wanted to have a timeline that I could share with people that relays the places and experiences I’ve had in the world so far.

DW: Do you feel like your tattoos add to your bartending persona? If so, how? NF: Definitely! They’re clean and unique, just like the drinks I strive to create. I want both my tattoos and my drinks to have a unique twist and design to them. DW: Why do you think, so often, bartenders and tattoos go hand-in-hand? NF: It’s all about expression. Marking a moment with a good drink or ink on your

DW: Which of your tattoos has the best story behind it? Could you tell us the story? NF: My arm for sure! It’s cover in Polaroids of every place I have travelled. There are so many stories in the one tattoo, so people often stop and want to talk to me about it. DW: Do any of your tattoos have drinks related stories/themes? If so, could you tell us the story? NF: Not yet, but I’m planning a prohibition style whisky tattoo inspired by my Old Fashioned events business and love of whisky!

MARTIN LANGE OWNER OF COBBLER AND SAVILE ROW, BRISBANE DW: How would you describe your overall tattoo style? Does this mirror your bartending style? MARTIN LANGE: I have a strong Japanese influence across all my tattoos, and it does mirror my cocktail making process when bartending. DW: Do you feel like your tattoos add to your bartending persona? If so, how? ML: Definitely. I guess it’s a way to start conversation with guests and inspires me to open up to them, as some of my tattoos have quite a personal meaning. DW: Why do you think, so often, bartenders and tattoos go hand-in-hand? ML: I think it has to do with creativity and the fact that we are always in the ‘spotlight’ when we are behind the bar. Tattoos speak a lot about your personality.

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DW: What first made you decide to get inked? ML: For me, it’s always been about recording what I am experiencing at a certain point in my life. I got my first tattoo at 16, and looking back I was a very different person then. DW: Which of your tattoos has the best story behind it? Could you tell us the story? ML: I would say my right arm sleeve. It’s a dragon fighting a tiger, in true Japanese style. The dragon in Japanese culture represents fluidity of motion and energy, like water, and the tiger represents aggression and rigidity. They are quite opposites, so I got them to represent the different aspects of my personality and the contrasting experiences of my life. DW: Do any of your tattoos have drinks related stories/themes? If so, could you tell us the story? ML: I don’t currently have any drinks related tattoos.

MADDY WHITE BARTENDER AT POCKET PIZZA, SYDNEY DW: How would you describe your overall tattoo style? Does this mirror your bartending style? MADDY WHITE: I’m still in the early stages of planning and booking most of my tattoos, but all the pieces I’m designing are going to be pretty eclectic. I want to stay true to the concept and styles that I feel best illustrate the message I want to convey for each individual tattoo. In a way, that does reflect my bartending style, in that I like doing things in a way that showcases the products I’m using clearly while also being a bit left of centre. Make people do a double take! DW: Do you feel like your tattoos add to your bartending persona? If so, how? MW: I think my heart and spoon piece in particular has helped solidify that persona. It’s a piece I wanted for a few years, and getting it really made me realise just how deep my passion is for the industry. It also helps make people take the little girl behind the bar a bit more seriously when she’s telling them they’ll enjoy what she’s making! DW: Why do you think, so often, bartenders and tattoos go hand-in-hand? MW: I think, in part, it’s because it’s such a creative and progressive industry. Everyone does their own thing and is respected for it. I think that has helped build a scene where people are who they are, regardless of what

anyone thinks. As such, it became normalised to have teams of tattooed and pierced people. It’s almost like an inevitable part of being in the industry now. DW: What first made you decide to get inked? MW: I’ve wanted tattoos since I was 13 or 14. They seemed this amazing way to show the world who you are through art, and also to have subtle reminders of things that are important to you. There’s something about sitting and watching something being inked into your skin that’s really affirming. Especially when it’s related to a really hard time in your life that you’ve gotten over, or an end goal you were working towards. Then there’s the great way that having visible tattoos seems to weed out all the judgmental oxygen thieves. They come, tell you they don’t approve of your ‘lifestyle choices’ and then leave. It saves a lot of time, rather than finding out what they’re really like later. DW: Which of your tattoos has the best story behind it? Could you tell us the story? MW: I really like the story behind my first tattoo, and it probably has the most meaning for me. The first tattoo I ever got was the elephant on my wrist, and it was a bit of a split second decision when I was 18. I had a major breakthrough with some serious mental health issues while I was living in India for six months. At the time I was fresh out of high school and suffering with anxiety and a pretty toxic relationship. I had a dissociative disorder, where nothing ever seems real. That changed

while I was travelling around with some other volunteers, and saw the biggest elephant of my life just casually strolling down a main road with his handler. It kind of snapped me out if it when I touched him. In that moment, I realised just how far away from home I was and how I’d managed to get myself there, despite everything I’d been through. I got the tattoo from a little shop in Darjeeling as soon as we got back to our ‘base’, and it has always been a reminder not to lose myself to a situation like that again. It also shows me that if I can manage to travel through a hectic place like India while dealing with all of that sh*t, I can do anything. DW: Do any of your tattoos have drinks related stories/themes? If so, could you tell us the story? MW: My heart and spoon tattoo is definitely a ‘bartenders’ tattoo. It is a showcase of how I want this to be my career, and I want to flesh it out to eventually be a pretty solid ½ to full arm piece relating to my favourite spirits and drinks. The spoon had to be included, because in the place where I got my first real cocktail job we had this ridiculous way of storing the trident spoons with the spikes up in a container in the ice well. It got to the point where no one was really considered part of the team until you’d accidentally speared yourself with a trident in the well. It was always pretty knarly pulling it out of your fist/arm. We never thought to just spin them around and have the spikes out of harms way, though!


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If you’re a fan of tequila, this is the place for you. Designed like a modern Mexican cantina, this bar is complete with religious statues, calavera skulls, colourful lights and a bar styled like a taco stand. With a constantly changing menu of tasty drinks that take you straight to Mexico, the experience of going to Tio’s is nothing short of a real fiesta. If you aren’t big on tequila, don’t worry. The bar has a variety of drinks that contain many other types of liquor. If drinking sparks the appetite, you’re in luck - the complimentary bags of popcorn are perfect late night snack. 4/14 Foster Street, Surry Hills NSW 2010 T: 0412 923 042 Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday: 4pm-12am Sunday: 4-10pm

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Intriguingly named after a safe-sex promoter from World War One, Ettie’s is a confident, modern bar and restaurant in Hobart, Tasmania. Complete with high ceilings and a wine room, this well-known establishment has become a local favourite to meet a friend for a glass or two of wine. Whether stopping by for a glass of their premium wines in the courtyard or coming in for a full meal, the vibrancy of the building is sure to impress. Known for their excellent service and a drinks menu paired perfectly with their delicious locally sourced produce, there’s something to satisfy every customer. 100 Elizabeth St, Hobart, TAS 7000 T: (03) 6231 1165 W: Opening hours: Monday-Saturday: 10:30am-11pm Sunday: Closed


Like all good Italian bars, Maybe Frank is focused on the three fundamentals: good music, great conversation and delicious food and drink. Here you’ll find Italian fare with a twist, with the team serving up traditional homemade pizzas and pastas alongside a drinks menu of Italian beers, wines and seasonal bespoke cocktails. The focus is on aperitivi and digestivi, with a number of rare Italian liqueurs on offer that pair well with the classics Campari and vermouth. Last year this beloved Surry Hills venue welcomed a little sister into the world, in the form of Maybe Frank Randwick. 417-421 Bourke St, Surry Hills, NSW 2010 T: (02) 9357 3838 W: Opening Hours: Monday: Closed Tuesday-Thursday: 5:30-11:30pm Friday & Saturday: 5:30pm-12am Sunday: 5-10pm


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Go exploring in the tunnels between Peel St and Leigh St, and you’ll be rewarded with the ultimate discovery – Maybe Mae, Adelaide’s hidden gem. Step inside the venue and you’ll realise why the adventure was worth the effort. The low-hanging brass lights and green leather booths recreate the paradise of a classic 50’s cocktail lounge. The drinks at the bar are equally as unique as the venue, served together with excellent service and music. Get in on the secret and find this small bar with a big vibe. 15 Peel St, Adelaide, SA 5000 W: Opening Hours: Monday- Saturday: 5pm-2am Sunday: 6pm-2am


Seymour’s Cocktails and Oysters is the spitting image of New Orleans. This small bar on Caxton Street is the spot to be if you like oysters and punchy drinks. The old-world style drinking den is a hub for the local jazz scene, and is the perfect spot to take in some great music along with some tasty bar snacks and a tipple or two. 19 Caxton St, Petrie Terrace, QLD 4000 T: (07) 3369 0555 W: Opening Hours: Monday & Tuesday: Closed Wednesday- Saturday: 5pm-1am Sunday: 5pm-12am

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Named after the Mechanics’ Institutes that gave working men an education in the 1800’s, this casual bar upholds the legacy of those original public libraries by teaching customers about all things drink. When the sun is out take a seat out on their patio with one of their creative cocktails or a pint in hand. Though not necessarily known for their food, they also have delicious burgers that are perfect for an afternoon meal and go incredibly well with the many drink options on their menu. 6000, 222 William St, Northbridge, WA 6000 T: (08) 9228 4189 W: Opening Hours: Monday-Saturday: 12pm-12am Sunday: 12-10pm


Originally an all-natural soda company, PS40 puts a spin on tradition cocktails by using their own unique eight tap soda bar as mixers. Incorporating modern chic black and white design with fun pops of colour, this bar is sure to be a fun time. With drinks you can’t find anywhere else, like the Sweden inspired Stockholm Syndrome or Double the Funk with bourbon and fermented pineapple, PS40 has fun with their concoctions and you will too. 2/40 King Street, Sydney, NSW 2000 W: Opening hours: Monday-Thursday: 4pm-12am Friday & Saturday: 4pm-2am Sunday: Closed


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Based off of the original gin palace of Melbourne (that was the go-to spot of the elite until it’s closing in 1870), Gin Palace opened in 1997 to much excitement. Styled in a gothic or Old Victorian style, it seems to be right out of an F. Scott Fitzgerald novel. Although the décor alludes to a bygone era of wealth and sophistication, the individuals who enjoy the establishment make up a complete melting pot. The atmosphere changes throughout the night with the coming and going of customers, from a relaxed cocktail joint to a lively, bustling venue. Even if martinis aren’t your thing, the Gin Palace is sure to have a drink that you will enjoy. 10 Russell Pl, Melbourne, VIC 3000 T: (03) 9654 0533 W: Opening Hours: Everyday: 4pm-3am


For more than 15 years, the Black Pearl has been known for its excellent staff and hospitality. The family-like bond between the employees extends to the customers, with Black Pearl definitely one of the most well loved bars in Australia. Whether you sit downstairs or upstairs in the Attic, the cocktails live up to their reputation. With this welcoming atmosphere and amazing drinks, it’s no wonder this bar was awarded Best International Cocktail Bar at the 2017 Spirited Awards. 304 Brunswick St, Fitzroy VIC 3065 T: (03) 9417 0455 W: Opening Hours: Everyday: 5pm-3am

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With an impressive selection of over 400 whisk(e)ys from all over the world, Cobbler is the place to be for all whisk(e)y lovers. Its exposed brick, dim lighting and dark wood, creates an atmosphere that’s perfect for meeting friends for a night of drinking and music. If you are not a big whisk(e)y fan, there is also a selection of cocktails, wine and beer available. The talented bartenders are helpful in their advice and promote a fun and friendly environment that will make you want to return again and again. 7 Browning St, West End QLD 4101 W: Opening Hours: Monday: 5pm-1am Tuesday-Sunday: 4pm-1am


Inspired by the Dominion League of WA, which advocated for the state’s succession and the independent Dominion of Western Australia, the modern day bar is based on the concept of ‘sophisticated mischief’. The team prides themselves on their diverse drink options and gourmet pub grub. With its knowledgeable bartenders and incredible hospitality, the Dominion League is a staple in Western Australia that keeps the history of the state alive. Whether you choose to sit in the pub or downstairs in their speakeasystyle bar, you’re sure to have a great experience. 84 Beaufort St, Perth, WA 6000 T: (08) 9227 7439 W: Opening Hours: Monday-Thursday: 4pm-12am Friday: 12pm-2am Saturday: 4pm-2am Sunday: Closed


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This speakeasy-esque bar in Fortitude Valley, is the area’s ultimate location for a good drink. With a menu of wine, cocktails, beers, ales and ciders, there is something for everybody. There is often live music performances from local acts and djs, and the friendly, experienced bartenders create a welcoming atmosphere that inspires great conversation and even better memories. 322 Brunswick St, Fortitude Valley QLD 4006 T: (07) 3252 4276 W: Opening Hours: Monday-Tuesday: Closed Wednesday-Sunday: 5pm-3am


Underneath the hustle and bustle of Sydney’s CBD lies Door Knock, the city’s best hidden cocktail and wine bar. Enter through a nondescript security door on Pitt Street and walk down the long, dimly lit hallway until you reach the door with the brass pineapple doorknocker. Inside, you’ll find a warm, romantic bar with a strong wine and cocktail offering. Both the cocktail and wine lists are constantly being changed and updated, and include a number of bespoke creations alongside an extensive list of fortifieds, sherrys and natural wines. A food menu of delicate, Japanese-inspired dishes complements the range of drinks available. 70 Pitt St, Sydney, NSW 2000 W: Opening Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 4pm-12am

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With a name that literally means ‘come and taste,’ to say Long Chim is welcoming is an understatement. With delicious food, fun music and exotic design, the spirit of Thailand is definitely well-represented. The drinks menu has been curated to complement the flavoursome, spice-led fare and includes a selection of wines, beers and bespoke cocktails. This unique selection of drinks only makes the experience of eating in this lively basement even more worth while. State Buildings, Barrack St. & St Georges Terrace, Perth, WA 6000 T: (08) 6168 7775 W: Opening Hours: Everyday: 12pm-10:30pm


This little terrace house in South Melbourne has changed quite a bit in recent years. Formerly the venue of a burlesque club, the space has been transformed into a respected restaurant and bar. With a focus on fresh produce and refined technique, Lûmé prides itself on upholding tradition while being unafraid to take risks and experiment in the art of bartending. As the name hints at, light is of incredible importance for this restaurant and bar. This light can be found in the physical setting through the countless windows, as well as in the incredible experience one has while eating and drinking at this beautiful venue. 226 Coventry St, South Melbourne, VIC 3505 T: (03) 9690 0185 W: Opening Hours: Monday: Closed Tuesday-Friday: 5:30pm-10:30pm Saturday: 11:30am-1:30pm, 5:30-10:30pm Sunday: Closed


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With a calming ambiance and a friendly staff, Four in Hand is the perfect place to meet with friends for a nice meal or just a few drinks. As the favourite corner pub of Paddington residents, it’s definitely the watering hole to be at during large sporting events. Their fireplace lounge has televisions that are great for a slightly less roudy location to watch the big game. The combination of welcoming service, a delicious and well-planned menu and a great wine list makes Four In Hand a place everyone should visit. 105 Sutherland Street, Paddington NSW 2021 T: (02) 9326 2254 W: Opening Hours: Monday & Tuesday: 4-11pm Wednesday-Sunday: 12pm-11pm


Created in the spirit of all things great about bars, Bulletin Place is quite the unique spot. With the cocktail menu changing everyday based on fresh local produce, the bar is passionate about Australian products. Just like their cocktail menu, the beer and wine offering is only from Australia. The food menu, mostly small snacks and bar food, is just as delicious as their drinks. Whether you let the bartender choose your drink, choose from the menu hanging behind the bar or ask for a classic, the atmosphere in Bulletin Place is great for a casual drink with friends. Level 1, 10-14 Bulletin Place, Sydney NSW T: 02 8006 8833 W: Opening Hours: Monday-Wednesday: 4pm-12am Thursday-Saturday: 4pm-1am

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THE HALFORD BAR This small bar is the perfect mix of contemporary style and 1950s late night lounge bar flair. With a team of clever, talented bartenders, the drink options are vast and sure to please. The bar also plays host to a variety of workshops, ranging from ‘Whiskies of the World’ to their espresso martini masterclasses. You can learn something new while drinking some delicious, unique cocktails. Hay St & Cathedral Avenue, Perth WA 6000 T: (08) 6168 7780 W: Opening Hours: Wednesday & Thursday: 4pm-12am Friday & Saturday: 4pm-2am


This modern small venue has only 12 seats around the island bar. The marine-themed interiors add a sense of mystery regarding what you are drinking. With the liquids kept in elegant glass bottles locked away in drawers behind the bar, this venue doesn’t adhere to back bar branding. The menu contains 25 cocktails, either classics or completely unexpected creations. Owner Hayden Lambert, who also acts as resident bartender, has set certain standards for his bar, and won’t serve a drink unless it is up to grade. With him, you’re in good hands and are sure to have an excellent time. 1/306 Smith Street Chopper Lane Collingwood VIC 3066 W: Opening Hours: Everyday: 5pm-1am


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Hidden in Melbourne’s CBD, this speakeasy has excellent ambiance, a cozy atmosphere and a huge variety of drink options. With a whisky room hidden behind a bookcase that can be reserved for tastings and a degustation option for larger groups, this bar is in a category all its own. Known for their excellent bar staff and beautifully crafted drinks, this hidden gem is a must-see. Though it can be difficult to find, the effort is well worth it the second you enter this unique bar and become absorbed by the 1920’s prohibition vibe. 1 Malthouse Lane, Melbourne VIC 3000 T: (03) 8392 9367 W: Opening Hours: Monday-Thursday: 5:00pm-1:00am Friday-Saturday: 4:00pm-1:00am Sunday: 4:00pm-11:00pm


Though small, Maker makes up for its size with its lively atmosphere. With almost entirely black surroundings, the brass bar is the standout centrepiece. The 18-seater ensures that the focus is on the alcohol and conversation, whether it be with your friends or the bartenders. The knowledgeable bar staff combined with the unique drinks they create makes for a great environment to have a couple drinks. With no sign outside, the place is a little hard to find but it is guaranteed to impress once found. 9 Fish Lane, South Brisbane QLD 4101 T: 0437 338 072 Opening Hours: Tuesday-Sunday: 4pm-12am

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Photos: Past T25 Bartenders Australia


Drinks World’s Top 25 Bartenders is back for 2018, recognising and celebrating the efforts of Australia’s leading bartenders, tin rattlers and drinks slingers! The craft of bartending in Australia just gets better every year; our bartenders continue to astound the world with their knowledge, technique, execution and delivery in everyday service and global cocktail competitions. Now in its third year locally, Drinks World’s T25 continues to grow and evolve into an important element of the ongoing acknowledgement of excellence in the field of bartending. What is (or should we say, who are) the T25? Ensuring credibility and reliability, because as you know we’re very serious here at Drinks World, the T25 are selected from a two-stage process. In the first stage, a panel of industry experts is invited to vote for the Top 100 bartenders across the country. As Chairman of Judges, I reached out to my trusted colleagues and advisors in the liquor industry to weigh in on the lay of the land, telling me the names of the leading bartenders. This year, the panel comprised 50 industry experts to ensure the net was cast wide enough. Nearly 1,000 nominations were received, creating a 200-plus strong list of bartenders, which was shortened to the Top 100, based on those with the most votes. Once we raised a glass in celebration of these outstanding men and women, we asked each to get back down to business and conduct a peer on peer vote based on who they think are killing it right now. Over an evening of Negronis, we counted up the votes and sat in awe of the new T25 before us. In 2018, we see some fresh faces making it into the T25, as well as some former bartending luminaries moving on to work as consultants, bar owners and ambassadors. There is always a changing of the guard in bartending as we enjoy our time in the limelight and are then eager to pass the torch to the next person for their chance to shine.

BEN DAVIDSON Drinks Curator


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ADAM KEANE 100 Proof






FRED SIGGINS Sullivan’s Cove


GRANT SHEARON Brown Forman Australia


JAMES BUNTIN The Whisky Ambassador

JAMES FRANCE Vanguard Luxury Brands


JOEY TAI Baranow’s Emporium


KAREL REYES Monin Ambassador

KATE MORAN Les Nouveaux Distillers

KRYSTAL HART Diageo World Class

LOY CATADA Bacardi-Martini Australia

MATTEO FABRIS Spirits Platform


MIKE ENRIGHT Barrelhouse Group

MITCH WILSON Maison Ferrand

NICOLE REED Think Spirits


PAIGE AUBORT Coleman’s Academy


ROSS BLAINEY William Grant & Sons

SIMON MCGORAM Diageo Australia



TIM PHILLIPS Bulletin Place

TOM BULMER Social Spirits




Etsu Izakaya Maybe Mae The Agrarian Kitchen Black Bear Lodge Beneath Driver Lane Shady Pines Saloon Seymour’s Cocktails & Oysters Tio’s Cerveceria Mjolner Maybe Frank Speakeasy Group Hot Tamale Maybe Frank The Gresham Big Poppa’s Burrow Bar Seymour’s Cocktails & Oysters This Must Be The Place Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern Black Pearl Hains & Co Earl’s Juke Joint Jangling Jacks Etties Bar Lafayette The Barbershop Mechanics Institute Savile Row Maker Strange Company Union Electric Cobbler Maker Shady Pines Saloon El Grotto Hippo Co The 18th Amendment Bar Archie Rose Above Board Archie Rose Molly Mechanics Institute Boilermaker House Long Chim Swillhouse Group Hats & Tatts Hubert Burrow Bar Savile Row Door Knock


The Halford Mjolner Melbourne Chow The Gresham Savile Row The Barbershop PHMG Bobeche Savile Row Lobo Plantation Black Pearl Press Club Black Pearl Boilermaker House Vasco PS40 Continental Deli Deathproof The Dominion League Hades Hula House Door Knock Black Pearl Maybe Mae Jimmy Rum’s Mixing Lounge Electric Avenue Bar Liberty Black Market Anchovy Bandit Maybe Mae Lume Bulletin Place Enzo & Sons Sky City Darwin The Baxter Inn Jangling Jack’s Chula The Gresham Charlie Parker’s Cobbler Bad Frankie Black Pearl 1806 The Duke of Clarence The Baxter Inn Eau de Vie Melbourne PS40 The Dominion League Gin Palace The Elysian Whisky Bar Black Pearl


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Meet Your

Top 25 Bartenders


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A idan Beiers





A lex Boon

A lex Gilmour

A ndrea Gualdi

A ndy Griffiths





C hris Hysted-Adams

D aniel Gregory

D imitri Rtshiladze

E lla Rhodes






E lliot Pascoe

E van Stroeve

H ayden Lambert

J ames Connolly





J ames Irvine

J oe Sinagra

J onothan Carr

K urtis Bosley





M att Linklater

M ichael Chiem

N ick Corletto

O llie Margan





O rlando Marzo

S hay Chamberlain

T om Kearney


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INGREDIENTS: • 30ml Tanqueray Rangpur Distilled Gin • 20ml St. Germain • 15ml Fresh lemon juice • 90ml Perrier

INGREDIENTS: • 30ml El Dorado 12-Year Old Rum • 5ml Pineapple syrup • 60ml Coconut water • 60ml Perrier

GARNISH: Kaffir lime leaves METHOD: Add ingredients to a tall glass. Stir gently. GLASSWARE: Tall glass

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GARNISH: Pineapple wedge METHOD: Add ingredients to a tall glass. Stir gently. GLASSWARE: Tall glass

YUZU & BASIL HIGHBALL INGREDIENTS: • 30ml Olmeca Altos Plata Tequila • 25ml Yuzu juice • 10ml Lemongrass syrup • 90ml Perrier GARNISH: Basil sprig and lemongrass straw METHOD: Add ingredients to a tall glass. Stir gently. GLASSWARE: Tall glass

MANDARIN & GINGER HIGHBALL INGREDIENTS: • 30ml Four Pillars Rare Dry Gin • 30ml Fresh mandarin juice • 5ml Ginger syrup • 90ml Perrier GARNISH: Mandarin peel twist and a slice of ginger root METHOD: Add ingredients to a tall glass. Stir gently. GLASSWARE: Tall glass


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Andrea Gualdi

Elliot Pascoe

Champions W


ith the many achievements this year’s T25 bartenders have under their belts, it’s easy to see how they’re recognised as the best Australia has to offer. The list below celebrates their many accomplishments and awards. AIDAN BEIERS:


• 2017 Apprentice Category Winner QLD The Perfect Blend by Beam Suntory • 2018 QLD State Finalist for The Perfect Blend by Beam Suntory

• Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS Ambassador • 2017 Drinks World T25 Australia

ALEX BOON: • 2016 QLD State Finalist for The Perfect Blend by Beam Suntory • 2017 Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS Finalist • 2018 Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS Finalist

ANDREA GUALDI: • 2016 Winner of Disaronno Competition Sydney Finals • 2016 Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS Best Bottled Cocktail of the Year • 2017 Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS Australian Bartender of the Year • 2017 Drinks World T25 Australia

ANDY GRIFFITHS: • 2018 VIC State Finalist for The Perfect Blend by Beam Suntory • 2018 Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS Finalist

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DANIEL GREGORY: • 2015 Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS finalist • 2016 Drinks World T25 Australia • 2017 Angostura Cocktail Challenge Australia Winner

Evan Stroeve • 2016 Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS Best Food Pairing • 2017 Drinks World T25 Australia

ELLIOT PASCOE: • 2016 QLD State Finalist for The Perfect Blend by Beam Suntory • 2017 Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS Finalist

• 2017 Drinks World T25 Australia • 2018 Southern Comfort Southern Showdown Cocktail Competition Winner

• 2018 QLD State Finalist for The Perfect Blend by Beam Suntory • 2018 Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS Finalist



• 2014 State Winner Havana Club International Cocktail Grand Prix • 2014 Runner Up Havana Club International Cocktail Grand Prix National Final • 2014 Altos Tahona Society Cocktail Competition • 2016 MONIN Cup Finalist • 2016 Drinks World T25 Australia

• 2016 NSW State Finalist for The Perfect Blend by Beam Suntory • 2017 Apprentice Category Winner The Perfect Blend by Beam Suntory • 2018 Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS Finalist

ELLA RHODES: • Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS Finalist 2015, 2016 & 2017

JAMES CONNELLY: • 2016 Australian Hotels Association WA Cocktail Bartender • 2016 Drinks World T25 Australia • 2017 Drinks World T25 Australia

Kurtis Bosley James Irvine Jono Carr

JAMES IRVINE: • 2015 Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge (AGCC) Winner • 2017 Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS Australia World Class In a Glass Round Winner • 2017 Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS Competition finalist • 2016 Drinks World T25 Australia • 2017 Drinks World T25 Australia • 2018 BACARDÍ Legacy Global Cocktail Competition Australia Winner • Ambassador for Four Pillars Gin

JOE SINAGRA: • 2012 Disaronno Mixing Star National Final Runner Up • 2012 Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge Australia Winner • 2015/16 Angostura Global Cocktail Competition National Finalist • 2016 Beam Suntory Bartenders 4 Bourbon Winner • 2016 Drinks World T25 Australia • 2017 Patron Margarita Masters Speed Competition Winner • 2017 Drinks World T25 Australia

JONOTHAN CARR: • 2016 NSW State Finalist for The Perfect Blend by Beam Suntory • 2017 NSW State Finalist for The Perfect Blend by Beam Suntory • 2017 Winner of Sydney Cider Cocktail Competition • 2017 Drinks World T25 Australia • 2018 NSW State Finalist for The Perfect Blend by Beam Suntory

KURTIS BOSLEY: • 2018 Professional Category Winner The Perfect Blend by Beam Suntory

MATT LINKLATER: • 2017 Woodford Reserve Cocktail Challenge Winner • 2018 Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS Competition Finalist • 2018 Chivas Masters Australian Finalist

Orlando Marzo



• 2017 Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS Finalist • 2017 Angostura Cocktail Challenge Australia Finalist

• 2018 Diageo Reserve WORLD CLASS Australian Bartender of the Year

NICK CORLETTO: • 2018 SA State Finalist for The Perfect Blend Beam Suntory

OLLIE MARGAN: • 2016 SA State Finalist for The Perfect Blend by Beam Suntory • 2017 Professional Category Winner The Perfect Blend by Beam Suntory

TOM KEARNEY: • 2014 WA State Finalist Suntory Cup • 2015 WA State Winner Wild Turkey and Russell’s Reserve Cocktail Competition • 2015 & 2016 WA State Finalist Glenfiddich Future Pioneers • 2016 Drinks World T25 Australia • 2016 WA State Finalist The Perfect Blend by Beam Suntory • 2017 Drinks World T25 Australia


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idan makes his first appearance in the T25 after developing a reputation for being one of Brisbane’s most talented bartenders. His first bar, Black Bear Lodge, pays homage to all things whisky. After winning the Perfect Blend state final as an apprentice in 2017 and making the 2018 state final as a professional, he has staked his claim as a bartender to watch in the future.

CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING NAMED A 2018 T25. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU GOT STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY? Like all things in my life, I fell into hospitality without any realisation. I don’t know if it was luck, opportunity, hard work or fate, but I tend to stumble through life in a shambolic way. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT GOSLINGS BLACK RUM AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? For me, Goslings is a rich, intricate and well-balanced rum. I’ve always been impressed by the consistency across these three areas with Goslings, which is why I wanted my cocktail to accentuate these aspects. YOU’RE OPENING TWO NEW VENUES IN QUEENSLAND THIS YEAR. WHAT’S BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGE SO FAR IN SETTING THEM BOTH UP? Yes, they are now both officially open! Mitchel Contessi, the Manager, has done a lot of the work with me. My biggest challenge would actually be managing myself and keeping everything organised. WITH A LAST NAME LIKE YOURS, DO YOU FEEL YOU WERE DESTINED TO WORK IN ALCOHOL? Absolutely! Do you know what the best thing about beer is? Drinking it. FROM BARTENDER TO MULTIPLE BAR OWNER, WHAT’S NEXT ON YOUR BUCKET LIST? I’ve always got ideas sitting in my back pocket that are often hard to contain. Usually, I’ll wait for the right opportunity that determines the move I make. As for the bucket list? I’ve only got one and its simple: to take over the world and make everyone listen to disco. IF YOU WERE STUCK ON AN ISLAND AND COULD ONLY TAKE ONE OBJECT, ONE BOTTLE AND ONE PERSON, WHAT AND WHO WOULD YOU TAKE? For my object, I would definitely want John Berryman’s dream songs. I can sing them with Grace Jones while drinking from a bottle of Jack Daniel’s.

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Dealing The Seal By Aidan Beiers INGREDIENTS: • 45ml Gosling’s Black Seal Rum • 10ml Campari • 30ml Coconut condensed milk • 15ml Pineapple juice GARNISH: Nutmeg dusting METHOD: Shake and double strain, dust with nutmeg GLASSWARE: Champagne Flute

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Hand-Crafted Enjoyment In A Bottle.

The National Drink of Bermuda. Goslings Black Seal Rum and Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer, lime optional… enjoyment mandatory. Black Seal Rum is a Platinum Award Winner, Beverage Testing Institute, the spirits industry’s highest honor. “96 Points, Superlative”.

Goslings Gold Seal Rum - Bermuda Mule

Make sure your lips are sealed. Introducing a new kind of seal. A delicious smooth gold rum. Finally, an amber rum luscious enough to be enjoyed naked. Or it elevates any cocktail recipe, such as the Bermuda Mule. Goslings Gold Seal Rum, Goslings Stormy Ginger Beer, orange wedge.

Meet The One 151 Rum That Doesn’t Taste Like One

Goslings 151 proof Black Seal comes from a long, dark line of Bermuda rums. So, unlike most high octane spirits, it has a deep, rich flavor not overpowered by alcohol burn. This is a muscular but refined rum that’s now widely recognized as the best overproof rum available. Indeed, the International Rum Festival awarded it their coveted Platinum Medal in the Overproof Category. So think of it as the No. 1 151.

For Seven Stubborn Generations Hand-crafted slowly, stubbornly. Please enjoy it slowly, responsibly. 40% ALC/VOL. 80 Proof. Product of Bermuda. Castle Brands, NY, NY. Proudly distributed in Australia by THINK SPIRITS. For enquires please contact your local THINK SPIRITS Sales Rep or


Goslings_ThinkSpirits_230x280mm_2018.indd 1

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7/3/18 8:06 AM

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Alex Boon



lex is one of the fixtures of the Brisbane bartending scene, having worked for or alongside some of the best bar operators in the sunshine state. Alex has made numerous appearances in national cocktail competition finals and is a creator of exquisitely crafted cocktails. You’ll currently find him at Seymour’s Cocktails & Oysters, shucking oysters and slanging fine drinks with his relaxed demeanor and a smile on his dial.

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT BELVEDERE SE RYE AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? Belvedere Single Estate Rye is bringing terroir to vodka, a notion normally linked to wine. The vodka aims to champion the distinct characteristics of the Smogóry Forest and Lake Bartężek regions in Poland. I wanted to take this product and have a bit of fun with it, taking inspiration from one of my favourite vodka classics, the East 8 Hold Up. Combining seasonality and freshness with this vodka in a tall, thirst-quenching cocktail, accompanied by some spice and bittersweet undertones, was my aim. CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING NAMED IN THE T25 FOR 2018. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU GOT STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY? After school I took on a position in a kitchen for four years, one day the bar was short and I was intrigued, so I asked if I could work behind it for the night and loved it. I started working in nightclubs, but was fascinated by the cocktail culture I was seeing coming out of bars in Brisbane like The Bowery and Press Club that were incredibly ahead of where Brisbane’s drinking culture was. I worked hard to position myself in good bars, learning off great bartenders and embracing the industry which has helped shape me into who I am behind the bar today.

YOUR VENUE IS NEW ORLEANS INSPIRED. WHERE DOES YOUR CONNECTION WITH/LOVE FOR THE BIG EASY DERIVE FROM? The connection is simply the love of good food, good drink and good music. NOLA is a melting pot of cultural diversity, which means there is no limit to the flavours and style of food and beverage we can create. Our mission is once you step through our red velvet curtains, you are transported from Brisbane to the Big Easy. WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES AND DREAMS FOR YOUR FUTURE CAREER? Keep learning, travelling and meeting new people. I’d like to think my future will be pretty unpredictable in the industry and could lead me anywhere. WHAT’S YOUR GO-TO DRINK AFTER A LONG SHIFT BEHIND THE BAR? A glass of wine usually does the trick. DO YOU COLLECT ANYTHING? Plants. My house is slowly turning into a rain forest.


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Nobody Speak, Nobody Get Hurt By Alex Boon INGREDIENTS: • 50ml Belvedere SE Rye Lake Bartężek • 20ml Mandarin and Aperol falernum • 20ml Lime juice • 20ml Cold pressed carrot juice • 30ml Cold pressed pineapple juice • 2 x Drops Saline solution GARNISH: Mint sprig METHOD: Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and shake well with ice. Fine strain into a tall glass filled with ice and crown with crushed ice. GLASSWARE: Collins

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nown as the happiest man alive, especially when he has a mezcal in his hand, Alex is one of the most hospitable and friendly bartenders in Sydney. Heading up Sydney’s Tio’s Cerveceria, we caught him when he was traipsing around Mexico on the hunt for weird and wonderful agave spirits – hence the glorious shrine!

CONGRATULATIONS ON MAKING IT INTO THE 2018 T25. CAN YOU TELL US HOW YOU GOT STARTED IN BARTENDING? Thank you! I started in restaurants when I was in high school, with my first job being at the local pizzeria. I worked in both service and as a line cook. After school, I worked as a baker and decided I wanted to get back to the front of house. From there, I started working at the university bar and then in some bar jobs overseas, including helping to run a Dubstep nightclub in Mexico for a short minute! I got my big break in cocktails in the Different Drummer Bar in Glebe, before moving around a few different roles and finally settling in here at Tio’s. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT CASAMIGOS AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? Casamigos is made in the Highlands in the state of Jalisco, Mexico and has been the quickest growing brand in the agave category over the last few years. I wanted to make a fun drink with flavours that work well together. We have been playing with frozen drinks at Tio’s recently to find what balances work best, and I think amontillado sherry and tequila are great partners. Both are really supported with the sweet and sour citrus in this drink. WHAT DO YOU LOVE/HATE ABOUT THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY? I love good service. Nothing gives me more pleasure that watching a polite, helpful interaction between a guest and a member of our industry. Hospitality is about being hospitable - it’s as simple as that. I obviously hate watching rude and arrogant service, but I also truly hate biased service. It’s completely unfair when one guest receives the world and the next one is given no attention because of looks, tips, or a bartender’s head being stuck up their own ass!

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PEOPLE SAY YOU’RE ONE OF THE NICEST GUYS IN THE INDUSTRY AND YOUR NICKNAME IS ‘HAPPY’. HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF VERSUS HOW YOUR FRIENDS WOULD DESCRIBE YOU? The nickname originally comes from the movie, which came out when I was in primary school. I’m also lucky that it’s not an ironic nickname either, as I’m not the grumpiest person out! I like to think I see myself in the same way as my friends do, as a focused, friendly and supportive soul. Stops me from being a moron, I hope! WE KNOW YOU LOVE ALL THINGS AGAVE. WHAT IS IT ABOUT THIS SPIRIT THAT CAPTIVATES YOU? Longevity and great mouthfeel are two things that I look for in spirits. As great agave spirits take a lot of effort to produce, they tend to have both of these things, along with a longstanding history. I am also passionate about working with the people involved in the world of agave spirits, as well as finding new ways to educate others about the spirit. Probably best not to get me started on agave spirits… It’s hard to get me to stop talking! WORD ON THE STREET IS THAT YOU STARTED A MASTERS IN BREWING AND DISTILLING. HAVE YOU EVER MADE ANYTHING YOURSELF AND IF SO, WHAT DID IT TURN OUT LIKE? Yes! I started the masters mostly because I love learning, but I’m clearly a sucker for punishment. I love growing as a bartender and nerding out on cocktails, but there came a time when I really wanted to know more about the actual alcohol itself. From there, I fell in love with still design and distillation. I’ve dabbled in home distillation over the years, and have spent time working with clay pot stills in México as well. I must say, the spirit I produced was definitely better under the guidance of an expert eye!


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r u o m l i G DRINKS WORLD

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Just Link In Vegas By Alex Gilmour INGREDIENTS: • 45ml Casamigos Reposado • 15ml Amontillado sherry • 20ml Orange oleo saccharum • 30ml Ruby grapefruit juice • 10ml Lime juice • 1 Cup Crushed ice GARNISH: Dehydrated orange wheel, mint sprig and a dust of castor sugar. Finish off with a metal straw. METHOD: Add all ingredients to a blender with a cup of crushed ice and blend until smooth. GLASSWARE: Highball

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ndrea is the Don in waiting, under the mentorship of the Big Boss Stephano at Maybe Frank. He has risen to the top of the charts when it comes to creative and intricate bartending, taking out Diageo WORLD CLASS in 2017 and heralding to the world that the Italians are taking over! He is one of the new breed of bartenders that knows a ridiculous amount about balance and flavour, whilst at the same time popping wheelies on his motorcycle.

WELCOME BACK TO THE T25, WHAT ARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS OF THE LAST YEAR FOR YOU? Definitely my trip to Mexico for the World Class Global Finals, such an incredible experience! CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT TANQUERAY RANGPUR AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? Tanqueray Rangpur is 41.3% ABV and has an aroma of lemon myrtle, plus hints of spice and coriander. The ginger comes through on the palate and the lime is an Indian varietal of lime called Rangpur. To celebrate this new product, which takes the classic Tanqueray to another level, my drink is a take on a classic Gimlet, using vermouth bianco and cordial to enhance the new botanicals of the Rangpur. The garnish of lemon myrtle leaf disc is to uplift the new aroma of Tanqueray Rangpur. ITALIAN BARTENDERS SEEM TO BE TAKING OVER SYDNEY, WHAT’S THE SECRET? Definitely pizza. WE HEARD YOU LOVE PINEAPPLE ON PIZZA. PLEASE EXPLAIN… Not really, I believe there’s no Italian in the world that actually likes that, but I will fight for your right to have it if you really want it... WHO HAVE BEEN SOME OF YOUR MENTORS IN YOUR CAREER? Alex Kratena and Simone Caporale have been my mentors behind the bar, and Stefano Catino for the hospitality. IF YOU WERE STUCK ON AN ISLAND AND COULD ONLY TAKE ONE OBJECT, ONE BOTTLE AND ONE PERSON, WHAT AND WHO WOULD YOU TAKE? A turntable with Elvis records, a bottle of prosecco and Rihanna.

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Frank & Sammy By Andrea Gualdi INGREDIENTS: • 25ml Tanqueray Rangpur • 40ml Oscar 697 Vermouth Bianco • 15ml Verjus • 15ml Green apple cordial GARNISH: Lemon myrtle leaf METHOD: Stirred GLASSWARE: Old Fashioned

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ndy currently heads up the drinks program for bar legend Sven Almenning’s Speakeasy group and their incredible suite of influential bars and restaurants. Having plied his trade in Melbourne for years as a slightly eccentric yet stylish man, Andy has shorn off his trademark double Mohawk in exchange for cuffs and collars. His drinks have always been on point and this year he is making his first appearance in the T25.

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT OLMECA ALTOS TEQUILA AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? I love the ethos behind the production of Olmeca. Sustainability should obviously be a big focus for all bars as well as spirit companies, and they work quite hard to minimise their carbon footprint. I wanted to use the spent celery leaves from the kitchen, so keeping them stable by making a shrub was ideal. The bright herbal and citric notes lend themselves perfectly to a vegetal inspired concoction. A touch of soda and egg for texture and you get a decidedly moreish fizz. I lightly smoked some Meredith’s Goats cheese with spent thyme stalks for garnish as the cheese not only works well with the savoury aspects of the drink, but also the brand’s ethos of sustainability is very similar to Olmeca’s. YOU’RE VERY WELL RESPECTED IN THE INDUSTRY BUT A FIRST TIMER ON OUR T25 LIST. CONGRATULATIONS! CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY IN BARTENDING SO FAR AND A HIGHLIGHT TO DATE? 18 years so far and still loving it. I started out studying as a chef in my hometown and quickly fell in love with both back of house and front of house. Despite this training, I’ve ended up being behind the bar for most of it. There are almost too many highlights to name, but becoming a Chartreuse Chevalier and getting flown to France to be surprised at the distillery by Dom Benoit and Frere John Jacque (the only monks who know the recipe and make it) was absolutely amazing.

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HEADING UP THE SPEAKEASY GROUP’S DRINKS PROGRAM, HOW DO YOU BALANCE WORKING ACROSS A RANGE OF VENUES? Thankfully we have an amazing group of managers across the venues, so dealing with them is always a pleasure. Also, having a pretty strong back of house reporting structure means I can follow what’s going on everyday across the group pretty easily. WHEN YOU’RE OLD AND GREY, WHAT’S THE PLAN AFTER BARTENDING? I’m already old and going a bit grey.... Not sure just yet though, there’s a few ideas floating around but I’m sure anything I get involved in will be linked to hospitality in some way or another. IF YOU HAD A TIME MACHINE, WHICH COCKTAIL ERA WOULD YOU GO TO? Definitely to the late 40’s when Tiki was truly in full swing. I would love to sit at the bar and watch Don the Beachcomber and co. shake up some mysterious concoctions. TELL US AN INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NOT MANY PEOPLE WOULD KNOW. When I was growing up, my family lived on site at a boarding school as my Dad was a ‘housemaster’. We actually had Prince Edward come and live in our house for a term while he did his tutorship. It was pretty amazing for such a small town in New Zealand. Charles and Diana came for a royal visit, and there’s a pretty cool photo of a tiny white haired me shaking Diana’s hand.

y d n A s h t i f f i r G DRINKS WORLD

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The Penca Fizz By Andy Griffiths INGREDIENTS: • 50ml Olmeca Altos Blanco • 15ml Maidenii Dry Vermouth • 30ml Salted celery leaf shrub* • 15ml Egg white • 5 x Dashes Absinthe • 45ml Soda GARNISH: Celery seed lavash and whipped thyme smoked Meredith’s goats cheese. METHOD: Dry shake and wet shake (without soda). Pour over soda in frozen goblet GLASSWARE: Fizz glass/goblet *CELERY SHRUB RECIPE: • 250g Celery leaf • 250ml Raw cider vinegar • 300g Agave nectar • 5g Celery salt Method: Pulse all ingredients in a robot coupe to shred celery leaves. Keep in fridge for 2-3 days. Strain and bottle for use

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CHhyrsitesd -Adams T

his man needs no introduction, having ‘been there and done that’ throughout his legendary bartender career. Former Bartender of the Year, WORLD CLASS ambassador and moustachioed maestro at the world famous Black Pearl, it’s no wonder this is Chris’ third straight year in the T25! Chris recently announced he is opening his own bar, Fancy Free, with some of Melbourne’s finest reprobates later in 2018. CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING NAMED A T25 AGAIN THIS YEAR. PEOPLE REALLY LOVE YOU, WHAT’S YOUR SECRET? Phwoar! It’s lovely to be voted into the T25 list again, but especially by peers that you respect. As for a secret, I don’t think it’s that complicated; just don’t be rude and give people a good time! CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT FERNET-BRANCA AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? Two of my favourite cocktails using Fernet are the Toronto and the Hanky Panky. These both show the versatility of Fernet in cocktails. It’s no secret I love cocktails that are dark and stirred, so I decided to do a rift on a Toronto that also brings out some of the more floral notes in the liqueur (and Pikesville Rye). YOU AND A FEW OF YOUR EX-BLACK PEARL MATES ARE OPENING A BAR IN MELBOURNE. CAN YOU GIVE US ANY INSIDER GOSS ON THE VENUE, DÉCOR OR STYLE OF DRINKS? Everything is going to be delicious and everyone will be welcome. There’ll be a lot of special things you’ll only be able to get at Fancy-Free. If you want to try some of the drinks we’ve been working on, be sure to get down to one of our pop-ups (check out or @fancyfreebar!).

HOW ARE YOU FINDING BALANCING OPENING A NEW VENUE AND BEING A DAD? It’s a good thing I’m used to working without much sleep, I’ll tell you that much! I’m lucky enough to have an amazing wife in Caitlin and to be working alongside some very understanding friends - Matt Stirling, Rob Libecans and Ryan Noreiks. The support network we have is very, very special. IF YOU COULD HAVE A SUPERPOWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Magically squeeze more hours into the day. Previously, they would have been used for work, but now probably for sleep! IF YOU WERE STUCK ON AN ISLAND AND COULD ONLY TAKE ONE OBJECT, ONE BOTTLE AND ONE PERSON, WHAT AND WHO WOULD YOU TAKE? This is an extremely difficult question to answer for me now, as its impossible to travel anywhere with a baby and not have half a dozen bags in tow. I would also miss my son very much. So, if I were stuck on an island (hypothetically, let’s call it Mauritius), I would have a Methuselah of Champagne, my wife Caitlin, and a never-ending box of pizza.


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One Trick Pony By Chris Hysted-Adams INGREDIENTS: • 30ml Fernet-Branca • 20ml Pikesville Rye (infused with chamomile) • 15ml Joseph Cartron Cacao White • 5ml Rock candy GARNISH: Grapefruit oils METHOD: Stir and strain over block ice GLASSWARE: Rocks

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Danigeolry T


he man, the myth, the legend when it comes to drinks – he has the reputation for being the silent assassin when it’s time to shine on the competition stage. Daniel is the House of Angostura Australian Ambassador and reigning Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge Australian Champion, and certainly one of the industry’s most respected bartenders and his flavour acumen is next level, due to his chef training and background. Having bartended in Brisbane and Sydney, he is now plying his trade at Ettie’s in Hobart and is part of the Tasmanian revolution making mainlanders sit up and take note. WELCOME BACK DANIEL. THIS IS YOUR THIRD YEAR ON THE LIST – YOUR TRILOGY OF T25 STATUS. IF YOU HAD A MOVIE TRILOGY ABOUT YOUR BARTENDING CAREER, WHAT WOULD BE THE THREE TITLES? Part I: Party by Night & Sleep by Day Part II: The Homeboy Years (if you know me in my Black Pearl days you will get this one) Part III: Escape from the Mainland

But my inspiration for this cocktail was actually Amaro di Angostura, not the bitters. The amaro was voted Best New Spirit at Tales in 2015 and I just love using it. I wanted to showcase some of the vegetal notes in the amaro by using beetroot and soften the finish with the citrus at the same time. A perfect afternoon sipper with friends and a great way to watch the sunset.

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE HOUSE OF ANGOSTURA AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? Everyone knows the yellow cap and oversized label of the iconic Angostura aromatic bitters, but fewer know that the House of Angostura has an amazing, award-winning rum range and an amaro. Angostura aromatic bitters have been around for 200 years, so it’s been at the creation of many of the cocktails we consider to be classic today, including the Pink Gin, Manhattan and Old Fashioned. Angostura aromatic bitters are the quintessential ingredient in all of them and I’ve always thought there’s something quite humbling about that.

YOU’RE ACTUALLY THE FIRST BARTENDER TO REPRESENT TASSIE ON OUR LIST! WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT HOBART? Hobart is seriously up and coming. Most people know about Dark Mofo, but there’s really great stuff going on here all the time. Some of the bars in Hobart would rival those in Melbourne and Sydney, and quite a few bartenders are moving down to Tasmania. It’s becoming a bit of a hotspot for hospitality. I think Hobart really fits with my values. It allows me to explore my creative side more. It’s all about amazing quality, natural and seasonal produce, which is so easy to get hold of - you can even drive to farms to pick up what you need.

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I’m making more cocktails in Hobart than I ever have before. I think that’s because Tasmanians love a good quality cocktail made with what’s in season and they’re more adventurous with their drinks. PEOPLE SAY YOU ARE ONE OF THE NICEST GUYS IN THE INDUSTRY, YET WHEN YOU GET ON THE STAGE, YOU HAVE A HABIT OF WINNING COMPETITIONS. WHAT’S YOUR SECRET? I’m not sure I have a secret as such. When I’m competing, I’m really focused. I plan out my chat well in advance so I’m not worrying about what I’m going to say and can instead really concentrate on getting my drinks right. TELL US AN INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW. I actually started my career as a chef, not a bartender. I love working with food, but I got out of the kitchen and behind the bar pretty early on as I realised I could be more creative making cocktails than repeatedly pushing out the same food menu every day.


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Sunset Over Trinidad By Daniel Gregory INGREDIENTS: • 50ml Amaro di Angostura • 10ml Lime juice • 10ml Grapefruit oleo saccharum • Topped with grapefruit and beetroot soda (yeast carbonated) GARNISH: Candied beetroot disc and lemon thyme METHOD: Build the first three ingredients in a Highball glass and stir with a large rock of ice. Top with more ice and fill with soda almost to the top. Add a paper straw and garnish GLASSWARE: Highball

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i r t i m i D dze Rtshila

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nother of the Perth bartending cartel, Dimitri makes his third appearance in the T25 this year. Some say he’s the enforcer due to his impressive muscles and size 14 shoe, however when you meet him he is the nicest guy this side of his parent’s home country of Georgia. Dim heads up the bar operations at the famed Mechanic’s Institute, and is also known for his impressive whisky collection and penchant for Nike Air Max 1’s.

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT MICHTER’S AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? Michter’s is a truly great brand. I love their whiskey, both working with it and drinking it, and I just wanted to do it justice by making a good fun drink. Why not make a delicious tiki-style drink with some great rye? WELCOME BACK TO THE T25. HOW’S THINGS BEING GOING AT MECHANICS INSTITUTE? Very good! Thanks for having me back. How are things at Drinks World? (EDITOR’S NOTE: (LAUGHS) NOT QUITE THE REPLY WE EXPECTED, BUT GREAT THANKS! LOOKING FORWARD TO HAVING A DRINK WITH YOU AT OUR T25 EVENT IN AUGUST!) WHAT DO ENJOY DOING ON YOUR DAY OFF IN PERTH? I have a pretty great couch, so I spend a fair bit of time on that. Other than that, I enjoy walking my dog and playing basketball. I’ve also been known to spend a lot of time playing Super Nintendo and Nintendo 64. WORD ON THE STREET IS THAT YOU’RE A BIT OF A WHISKY COLLECTOR. CAN YOU SHARE WITH US YOUR MOST RARE AND BEST WHISKIES? WHILE YOU’RE AT IT, MAYBE YOU COULD TELL US WHERE YOU HAVE IT STASHED…? I’m pretty good at hoarding anything booze related, from cocktail shakers, to vintage spirits and signs; you name it and I likely have it! I do have a lot of whisk(e)y in my collection. My favorite bottle would probably be one of the first ones I bought, an Ardbeg Lord of the Isles. I stash them everywhere: my house, my parents’ house, behind the bars, or anywhere there’s space! Hopefully the collection will find a home in one of our new bars soon. WHAT’S THE STRANGEST THING YOU’VE EVER WITNESSED IN A BAR? In 12 years I’ve seen a hell of a lot of weird happenings in bars. Probably the weirdest was years ago, when we had to ask a gentleman to leave. When he wouldn’t go, the police came and found a loaded spear gun and nunchucks in his trench coat. IF YOU WERE STUCK ON AN ISLAND AND COULD TAKE ONE OBJECT, ONE BOTTLE AND ONE PERSON, WHAT AND WHO WOULD YOU TAKE? I would bring a bottle of Michter’s Toasted Barrel Finished Bourbon, a glass to drink it out of, and my doggo for company.


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Nelson Rye Diver By Dimitri Rtshiladze INGREDIENTS: • 40ml Michter’s Rye • 15ml Tempus Fugit Crème de Banane • 20ml Buttered Crawley’s Orgeat • 30ml Lime • 30ml Pineapple juice • Dash Aromatic bitters GARNISH: Pineapple leaf METHOD: Add everything into a shaker, shake and strain over ice GLASSWARE: The prettiest glass you can find









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Contact Vanguard Luxury Brands









It’s all about the whiskey. DRINKS WORLD

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s the resident bartender superstar of Brisbane’s Cobbler, Ella has benefited from the mentorship of owner, selfie model and bartender legend Martin Lange. Over the last few years Ella has become one of Australia’s favourite bartenders, appearing in numerous national finals and this year making her second appearance in the T25. From what we’ve seen recently, she is definitely one to watch!

CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING NAMED IN THE T25 AGAIN. AS A KEY MEMBER OF THE BRISBANE BAR CARTEL, WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT THE LOCAL BAR SCENE THE MOST? At the moment, there is a massive gap between bartending generations in Brisbane. What I’m seeing is a large amount of new/fresh-faced bartenders coming up through the scene. It’s super cool to see people that are eager and interested, and how their fresh minds perceive things to learn and grow. There is going to be a hell of a lot of new weapon bartenders coming out of Brisbane soon. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT STARWARD WHISKY AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? I did a take on a Brooklyn cocktail. I thought it would be cool to do a stir down that represented the brand well, taking into consideration the “four seasons in a day” that Melbourne experiences. I chose to use banana liqueur to represent the heat we have up in Queensland and the tropical produce we have access too. IF YOU COULD HAVE A SECRET SUPERPOWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE? The ability to forget TV series/movies, so I can re-watch them without knowing what’s going to happen… RIP Ned Stark. YOU’VE STUDIED THE ARTS FOR MOST OF YOUR LIFE. HOW DO YOU EXPRESS THIS CREATIVE SIDE IN YOUR COCKTAIL MAKING? I think that every drink tells a story, whether that story is the trend that inspired it or the place that influenced it, or something completely bizarre. I like to use my creative background to be able to portray that story through the drinks I present. YOU’RE AN ADVOCATE FOR…. Good food and good people. I truly believe, if you surround yourself with delicious, wholesome food and genuine people to share it with, nothing else should matter… Much! IF YOU COULD HAVE A DRINK WITH ANYONE, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU ASK THEM? Quentin Tarantino. I’d ask him how much childhood trauma he had to become such a creative genius.

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Brisbane to Brooklyn By Ella Rhodes INGREDIENTS: • 50mls Starward Solera • 1Bsp Tempus Fugit Crème de Banane • 15mls Picon Biere • 10mls Dolin Dry Vermouth • 3 Dash Choccy bitters GARNISH: Orange twist, discarded. METHOD: Stir down, served up. GLASSWARE: Chilled Stemless Wine Glass

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his dapper gent is a bartending dynamo. Super hospitable, he has worked in nearly every Brisbane bar worth working in. As an eloquent linguist, when Elliot speaks, people listen, not sure if he’s taking them for a ride! He’s been a national finalist in Diageo’s World Class in 2018 as well as Beam Suntory’s The Perfect Blend in 2017 and numerous others. You’ll now find him at Maker, making exquisitely thoughtful drinks.

t o i l l E ascoe

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CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT HENNESSY AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? What can really be said about Hennessy that hasn’t been already? Quintessential to the genre, to many Hennessey IS cognac. It is a name permeated through not only the category and the industry, but social consciousness. Spanning the imaginative spectrum, it can conjure visions ranging from Chesterfields around a yawning fireplace, to VIP lounges with the thrum of classic hip hop in the background. It can be a quiet night of contemplation, or an exuberant occasion where we celebrate. In using this spirit, obviously I wanted to communicate what it is I enjoy most about Hennessy, aside from the fact that it is delicious, by using ingredients that were simple, approachable, and which all come together to celebrate the flavour of the cognac itself. The name of the cocktail, Paragon, denotes a person/object/concept/ideology considered a model of excellence. I chose it as a nod of respect to Hennessy itself, and to its ability to transcend boundaries across cultures and class barriers. In a word, if you want to know my role model, it is in a brown bottle. CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING NAMED IN THE T25 FOR 2018. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU GOT STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY? I think the phrase ‘dumb luck’ covers it well. From my ‘responsible’ coming-of-age at 18, I have enjoyed the artistry and ritual (not to mention the ingestion) of mixed drinks. Even beforehand, I found something so alchemically curious about the dusty and (mostly) never-touched bottles in my parents and grandparents liquor cabinets. I recall thinking to myself one day, that seeing as I was spending so much time (and not to mention a few pay checks) in bars anyway, that I may as well be on the other side. I flat-out lied my way into an interview with Marco Nunes a few months later, having absolutely no idea of the terrifying army of talent behind that bar. I really lucked out, being exposed to people such as Nick Edwards, Pez Collier (for whom I picked up many a purple cloth), Krystal Hart, Nick Royds, Rob Scott, Andrew Cameron, and of course Edward Quatermass, with whom it is now my very great pleasure to serve toasted sandwiches with. A few months into Papa Jacks, at a Havana Club competition, two large men in severe suits grabbed me by the arms and frog-marched me to the VIP lounge of Press Club. I had only the vaguest idea who the hell they were and I can only recall thinking, with a resigned sigh, that I was about to get a solid beating. It turned out to be Dominic Xavier and Martin Lange, who would become over my three or more years at Cobbler both my mentors, and my best friends – tumultuous at times admittedly, but that’s the nature of strong personalities. Hospitality has shaped my personality and outlook on the world in a myriad of ways, some infinitely subtle, some blatantly extant. I am grateful for it all. FROM COBBLER TO MAKER, YOU SEEM TO HAVE A PENCHANT FOR GENTLEMANLY VENUES. COULD YOU SHARE WITH US YOUR SECRETS TO BEING SO SUAVE AND DEBONAIR? Well, I must say this is definitely the first time an interview question has made me blush, slightly. I would hardly call myself suave or

debonair, indeed my service style is generally boisterous, bordering at times on obnoxious. I think generally being disposed to runningoff-at-the-mouth, I try to focus on a style of interpersonal interaction that aims to be genteel without being obsequious. Think of an old-school butler; they serve their house with dignity and gravitas, and act as a close confidant to their employer, making them feel comfortable. I have been incredibly lucky in my career trajectory. The venues in which I am privileged to serve have always been of the style that allows me to execute drinks and service to a level that I find aesthetically satisfying. NOW LET’S CHUCK A 180 ON THAT, WHAT’S YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENT BEHIND THE BAR? Arguably, depending on who you ask, most of my hospitality career could be seen as a protracted moment of embarrassment behind the bar. There have been some actually spectacular disasters behind both Cobbler and Maker over the years. However, the one which springs to mind and really causes my stomach to churn uncomfortably happened at Cobbler. Sitting upstairs, overlooking the bar, a pair of incredibly beautiful women were ordering drinks. From memory, it was some kind of incredibly punchy Lagavulin stir-down we had on the menu at the time, and a glass of Grenache. Being young, cocky, and slightly inebriated, I decided to make a spectacle of myself ascending the ladder, drink in either hand, to deliver them to the ladies up and over the back bar. This was Icarian ascent, successful even if my terrible chat was not. It was all going swimmingly until the front toe of my Doc Martin slipped off a rung, and the scene became what I’m told could only be compared to as a hybrid of a fireman ladder-slide and a slightly overweight Labrador tumbling down some stairs, as I went very forcefully earth-wards. Nothing but a few tender spots and a bruised pride, but man oh man did I learn a lesson that day. DO YOU HAVE A SECRET HOBBY? You mean aside from dressing up as an anthropomorphic bat and executing my own vision of vigilante justice? Not really so much as a ‘secret’ hobby per se. I have a fairly eclectic range of interests, from Japanese Stone Gardens to extreme technical death metal. Outside of the industry, I play the piano to a reasonable degree of proficiency, so I guess that would be a ‘secret hobby’ insomuch as locking oneself into a sterile white room to argue with a giant box of strings and hammers can be considered so. ON YOUR DAY OFF, WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN BRISBANE? I enjoy getting out into nature, where I can take a break, take off the human suit, expose myself to the elements, and silently stalk the woods as a gaunt and grim 6’4” moon-tanned construction not meant for polite society. I also enjoy siting with a wine glass of whisky and a book. I really enjoy putting on headphones and after dusk and taking long and meandering walks alone around the city. Days off are mostly solitary, or spent with my younger brothers, or a select circle of friends.


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Paragon By Elliot Pascoe INGREDIENTS: • 45ml Brown butter-washed Hennessy XO • 15 ml Amontillado sherry • 10 ml Banana and bay leaf liqueur • 2 x Dashes Saline • 1 x Dash Orange bitters GARNISH: Dehydrated banana with mace demerara sugar glaze METHOD: Stir it down, serve it up GLASSWARE: Nick & Nora

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Please enjoy responsibly.


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van is a humble gent who has massive potential after being taken under the wing of ‘Big Daddy’ Alen at Shady Pines and learning a thing or two about whiskey and cocktails. After taking out the Perfect Blend as an apprentice in 2017, he has continued to rise to the top and now tends bar at Sydney’s Bulletin Place. CONGRATULATIONS ON MAKING IT INTO THE 2018 T25. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY? My hospitality journey started out like most people. I was in that interim period between high school and figuring out what was next. Fresh-faced and 18; Dad breathing down my neck to get a job, I figured, why not start pouring beers at the pub I’m at most weekends anyway. Bathurst isn’t a big town, you have the same regulars coming in every few days and I think that developed my appreciation of the sense of community that’s at the heart of what we do. I really took it seriously when I moved to Sydney and started with the Swillhouse group. That’s when my mindset evolved from this is a fun way to make money to this is legitimate and this is a career. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT JÄGERMEISTER AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? Jägermeister has suffered from a bit of cultural stigma, but it is actually a really complex product. There are 56 different ingredients that make up its whole. This cocktail is about touching on and coaxing out those core flavours and presenting a drink that shows how legitimate Jägermeister can be in a modern cocktail culture. Think dark chocolate, stewed fruits, pepper and herbs. AS A YOUNG GUN NOW GAINING WIDER RECOGNITION FOR YOUR DEDICATION TO THE CRAFT, WHAT’S SOME ADVICE YOU’D GIVE TO OTHER YOUNG BARTENDERS? Find balance. We have all had a hard time with that and it’s definitely something that I’m still figuring out. Study, go to events and meet as many people as you can. Figure out what drives your creativity and passion. Be yourself and be nice. In terms of being the best you can be, I think what separates good bartenders from the best - aside from everything I’ve just mentioned - is a sense of proprietary ownership. Treat the bar like it’s yours, and the whole floor rises. You’ll make better drinks and decisions and improve the customer experience. WHAT’S A NEW INGREDIENT THAT YOU LOVE TO USE AT THE MOMENT? I think every ingredient needs to be legitimised. If it doesn’t fit, don’t try and make it just because you like it. Most of the time drinks with two fresh ingredients are better than ones with five sh*t ones. More generally speaking, I think our industry and society have a long way to go in regards to normalising the use of native ingredients. It’s still a bit of a fad or hot topic when it should really hold a legitimate place in our culinary identity. It needs to move from a ‘buzz’ concept to something that is integral to our industry. DO YOU HAVE A NICKNAME AND HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOURSELF? Stroevey, I guess. My Dad taught at the same school for 30 years and I kind of inherited that one. I like to think I’m just being myself, passionate, focused and honest. Hopefully not a w*nker and someone you can go for a beer with. WHAT’S NEXT ON YOUR BUCKET LIST? I’ve just moved over to Bulletin Place so, I want to throw everything at that for a while. There are a few new ideas on the horizon. Paul Hammond and Tim Phillips are two bartenders that I respect so much and there’s a lot to learn from them moving forward. I have some study, travel and stuff coming up too. I’ve been progressively building links with suppliers, farmers and communities over the last year so I’m looking forward to continuing that. I’ll be stepping away from the competition side of things until the big one rolls around again next year. We’ve got some stuff in the works for that. Killer.

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n a Ev eve o r t S


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Buck Wild By Evan Stroeve INGREDIENTS: • 20ml Jägermeister • 20ml Dry vermouth • 15ml Apple cordial • 15ml Chocolate husk syrup • 15ml Lemon • 4 Dash Pepper leaf tincture GARNISH: Mint sprig and ground cacao METHOD: Whip GLASSWARE: Frozen Rocks Glass

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ayden is the brain behind one of the most unique bars in Melbourne - Above Board. Beautifully stripped down and uncluttered, his venue is focused on serving delicately balanced cocktails in a room that sits no more than 20 people. Hayden has got serious bartending chops from his days as the opening head bartender at the Merchant Hotel in Belfast, and rocks his signature white rimmed glasses with style.

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CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT WEST WINDS CUTLAS GIN AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? West Winds Cutlas is a punchy little number sitting at 50% ABV, and I honestly wanted to create a tasty cocktail utilising all the botanicals. The coriander stood out a lot, so I paired that with Mancino Bianco Vermouth, which also has some similar flavour profiles. I rounded it out with the freshness of apple and nuttiness of chestnut from the Le Birlou liqueur, which complements the bush tomato found in West Winds Cutlass. CONGRATULATIONS ON MAKING IT INTO THE 2018 T25. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY? Thanks ever so much. I started out a long time ago. The first bar job I had was pouring wine, opening beers and making G&T’s in my Dad’s house back in the 90s. I started travelling when I was 18 and found myself collecting glasses and helping out in a hostel in Austria, while enjoying the ski season. My bartending career really kicked off when I met Sean Muldoon and started working as his main man at The Merchant Hotel in Belfast. Working at The Merchant Hotel created the path that I am now on and I wouldn’t change it for the world. WHAT’S ONE OF YOUR BEST MOMENTS BEHIND THE BAR? There are way too many to even count! I’ve been super lucky to meet some really famous people and some of my favourite moments have just been watching people having fun. But the best moment was when I met my now wife, Erin. Her smile changed the outcome of my life forever. DO YOU COLLECT ANYTHING? I used to collect books, but not so much anymore. IF YOU WERE STUCK ON AN ISLAND AND COULD ONLY TAKE ONE OBJECT, ONE BOTTLE AND ONE PERSON, WHAT AND WHO WOULD YOU TAKE? I would definitely take my wife Erin, a bottle of Krug Clos du Mesnil 2000 and a 20kg kettlebell.


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Farewell Cocktail By Hayden Scott Lambert INGREDIENTS: • 20mls West Winds Cutlas Gin, • 40mls Mancino Bianco Vermouth, • 10mls Le Birlou • 1 dash of Angostura orange bitters GARNISH: Fancy lemon twist METHOD: Stir over ice and strain into an ice-cold glass GLASSWARE: Small Coupe

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x-pat Englishman, James Connolly, has been doing amazing things in Perth for over 10 years. In his third year in the T25, he has become a bit of an elder statesman for the Perth scene, mentoring young bartenders in the art of looking serious but really having a good time whilst doing it. Balancing being a full-time dad with the drinks programs across the Long Chim group, he certainly has a lot on his hands. WELCOME BACK TO THE T25. WHAT’S THE BIGGEST THING THAT’S HAPPENED TO YOU IN THE LAST YEAR? The past year has been another massive one! Poppy, baby number two, came along and is adorable! We also opened a Long Chim in Seoul, South Korea, which was an amazing experience! CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT NUSA CAÑA AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? This is the first cocktail I have ever made with Nusa Caña, so I was seriously pumped! I haven’t done anything too crazy, as I really wanted to let the rum do the talking. I’ve been playing around with this drink for a little while, and Nusa Caña is the final part of the puzzle. With rum drinks, it’s pretty easy to go tiki, but I wanted to channel some ‘tropical sophistication’! To do this, I’ve added some other flavours and textures that help create a well-rounded and flavourful Nusa Caña drink! The best thing about this drink is you can make this in pretty much any bar. IF YOU WEREN’T BARTENDING, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING? I really can’t imagine doing anything else. Maybe something outdoors? But not too outdoors, as I need to protect my delicate ginger skin! I would need shade available at all times… WHAT IS IT WITH YOUR OBSESSION OF KAFFIR LIME LEAVES AND WHERE DID THAT BEGIN? I don’t remember the first time I came across one, but it was definitely in Australia. I remember being like, ‘Woah! Wtf is that? It smells amazing!’ And then I went out and bought a plant the next day. Now it’s a bit of a joke with other bartenders, but working at a Thai-influenced venue, it’s pretty easy to work it into most drinks. Lets face it; it smells and tastes pretty damn good too! NOW THAT YOU’RE A DAD, HOW’S THE WORK LIFE BALANCE GOING? My wife is the real MVP! She is the kindest and most hard-working person I know. She makes me look good on a daily basis, but being a Dad is the best job in the world. Sorry boss! Now, the best thing about knocking off from work is coming home. Some days are really hard and the lack of sleep can be a challenge, but when you get home and you have two little tackers absolutely pumped that their dad is home, it gives you a lift! My son, Johno, is already funnier than I ever was and his haircut is way cooler too! WE COULDN’T MISS ASKING YOU A QUESTION ABOUT THE CRICKET, KNOWING THAT YOU’RE SUCH A FAN. THOUGHTS ON WHAT HAPPENED WITH THE AUSTRALIAN CRICKET TEAM THIS YEAR? Surely they were ‘at it’ in The Ashes too… *Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.* That’s the only explanation. That and the English being rubbish at best. Can we ban Smith for longer? Say, until September 2019 (laughs)? On a serious note, the fallout from this can only be good for the game as it was getting a little ugly at times and I think everyone, especially the Aussies, have had a bit of a wake-up call.

*Nusa Cana is imported by Artisan Handcrafted


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Tropical Sophistication By James Connolly INGREDIENTS: • 50ml Nusa Caña Rum • 2 Kaffir lime leaves • 2 Bsp. Rose’s Orange Marmalade • 15ml Fresh lime juice • 15ml Mandarine Napoleon • 5ml Malibu • 3 Dashes Regan’s Orange Bitters • 1 Dash Saline solution • 45ml Tonic water GARNISH: Kaffir lime leaf and blood orange wheel (dehydrated) METHOD: Add everything to the shaker, except for the tonic. Shake hard for ten seconds. Fine strain into a chilled glass. Add tonic, fill with ice, garnish and serve. GLASSWARE: Stemless wine glass

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Nusa Cana is imported by Artisan Handcrafted


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force to be reckoned with that has the pillars of the world at his feet, James is one of the most loved and respected bartenders in Australia. Until recently, he plied his trade at Australia’s most awarded whisky bar – The Baxter Inn. This man is truly unstoppable, winning the 2018 BACARDI Legacy Competition and previously the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge as well as being the newly named Creative Director at Four Pillars gin.

WELCOME BACK TO THE T25. IT’S BEEN A YEAR OF SUCCESS FOR YOU AFTER WINNING BACARDI LEGACY AUSTRALIA. YOU’VE ALSO RECENTLY BEEN APPOINTED CREATIVE DIRECTOR OF FOUR PILLARS GIN. WHAT MAKES A GUY LIKE YOU TICK? I’ve had some amazing experiences this year! Making the Top 3 of BACARDÍ Legacy Australia, touring BOCADO, being able to represent Australia in Mexico City and finish in the Global Top 3 are moments I’ll never forget. Topping that, I was fortunate enough to start a new role with Four Pillars as Creative Director – Gin Drinks. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT FOUR PILLARS AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? Matt Jones, Cameron MacKenzie and Stuart Gregor founded four Pillars in late 2013 and the brand is based in the beautiful Yarra Valley, Victoria, in the heart of wine country. My cocktail, Redbone, is based on a pairing of Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin with cheese. The gin, puff pastry and quince, give a really nice autumnal vibe. It just works. YOU’RE A PRETTY COOL AND COLLECTED KIND OF GUY. CAN YOU SHARE WITH US AN EMBARRASSING MOMENT YOU’VE HAD BEHIND THE BAR? That’s the first time I’ve been called cool and most likely the last… I’ve got more embarrassing moments than I’d like to admit, however, having to convince family members to leave the bar after overstaying their welcome or breaking the seal of a cocktail shaker while making an Espresso Martini on a white top are fond-ish memories. WHAT ARE YOU LOVING ABOUT THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY RIGHT NOW? The industry as a whole is in a place I’ve never seen it in before, and it’s really inspiring. There’s progressive thinking and movements happening on equality, sustainability, locality, training and development. IF YOU HAD A TIME MACHINE, WHICH COCKTAIL ERA WOULD YOU GO TO? I’d like to see what’s being done fifty years from now. Have bartenders been replaced by robots? Has drinking been criminalised? Do we even Instagram cocktails? These are the things that matter… WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO ON YOUR DAY OFF IN SYDNEY? I like to hang out with friends and family, hit up a few bars and get behind the mighty Sydney Swans! #gobloods


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Redbone By James Irvine INGREDIENTS: • 30ml Four Pillars Bloody Shiraz Gin • 30ml Quince bitter* • 30ml Puff pastry vermouth** • 30ml Filtered water GARNISH: Lemon disc GLASSWARE: Rocks *QUINCE BITTER RECIPE • 700g Campari • 350g Quince • 105g Caster sugar • 30g Fresh lemon juice • 2 Lemon peeled and de-pithed • 5g Malic acid Method: Place all ingredients into a Cryovac bag and seal under pressure. Set ANOVA to 55 degrees Celsius and sous vide for 55 minutes. Once ready, place in an ice bath and chill. Once chilled, refrigerate for 24 hours. Filter and store in a sterilised container and keep refrigerated. **PUFF PASTRY VERMOUTH RECIPE • 750g Oscar.697 Rosso Vermouth • 6 Puff pastry sheets, baked and cooked Method: Line six food filters with the puff pastry. Pour vermouth through the puff pastry filter. Collect and filter through oil filters and store in a sterilised place. Keep refrigerated.

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cocktail: dry island gin ‘walking dead’

Four Pillars began with a love of gin, craft, cocktails and distilling. We wanted to get all of that into a bottle, so you could taste all of that in a glass. @ fourpillarsgin | DRINKS WORLD

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ne of Perth’s finest bartenders, Joe has been quietly building a reputation for being the consummate gentleman that is one of the best in the Wild West. After a brush with fate and almost seeing the pearly gates, Joe is back behind the stick, making his third appearance in the T25 and reaching new heights with his glorious liquid libations at The Halford Bar.

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CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT SOUTHERN COMFORT AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? Southern Comfort is one of those brands that’s been around forever. Not always popular on the cocktail bartender scene, the company has refocused and released some interesting expressions (Black and 100 Proof) that have sparked the interest of bartenders. The focus has been put back on a quality whiskey base, and bartenders are getting back on board. During my research, I came across an interesting reference to Southern Comfort in Trader Vic’s Book of Food & Drink. It turns out the Trader was a huge fan, and his passion inspired me to do a tiki styled drink. After linking that with Southern Comfort’s New Orleans heritage, the drink almost made itself! The ingredients are all signatures of classic New Orleans cocktails, which came together perfectly. The name came from Trader Vic saying that Southern Comfort, “Can be blended into many fine libations and noggins.” As I read that, I thought it was a great name for a drink. WELCOME BACK TO THE T25! WHAT’S HAPPENED FOR YOU IN THE LAST YEAR PERSONALLY AND PROFESSIONALLY? Well, since last year I’ve moved into a new role and am now running Halford Bar in the Perth CBD. It’s fantastic! It’s a great small venue with a major focus on cocktails and spirits, in particular whisk(e)y. It’s one of the few bars in Perth that has a high proportion of it’s sales focused on cocktails and spirits (around 80%). The team is a great mix of older guys and new staff, all with a great passion for friendly service. Halford is also part of the State Building precinct, which includes Long Chim, Wildflower, Petition, Post and The Como Hotel. It’s a great project to be involved in as all the venues work together. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS. Three isn’t enough. IF YOU COULD HAVE A DRINK WITH ANYONE, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU ASK THEM? To be honest, that’s not something I’ve ever really given much thought to. I prefer to live in the moment and enjoy the company I’m with at the time. That being said, I always enjoy catching up with the mates I grew up with. We’re a pretty close group who all went to school together. Somehow, we’ve all managed to keep in touch pretty regularly – not as often as we’d like though! Whenever we get together we always have a great time. IF YOU COULD OPEN YOUR OWN BAR, WHAT THEME WOULD IT BE AND WHERE WOULD YOU OPEN? This changes so frequently! I’m a Perth guy, born and raised, and I’m pretty close with my family who are almost all here, so it would definitely be a Perth venue. Where in Perth? Who knows! As for the theme, I’m not stuck on a single one. Like most bartenders my age who’ve dreamt of opening bars, I’ve got a long list of places I’d like to open. It’s dependent on location and the space, as well as what the market is wanting at that time. If I had to pick one to make a reality though, it would be a venue solely focused on fizzes. It would be called ‘Let’s Get Fizzical’, bartenders would be called ‘Fizzicians’, you’d come in for ‘Fizzical Therapy’ and all the drinks would all be fizzes with pun names like ‘Edward Fizzerhands’ or ‘High-Fizzability’, to name a few from a long, long list. It’s something I’ve joked about with friends for ages, and just seems so much fun. Plus, I love fizzes! TELL US AN INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOURSELF THAT NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW. I often make drinks without absinthe or crushed ice, despite including both in this year’s T25 entry! (Laughs) A while back, Chris Hysted-Adams was in Perth and we were chatting over the bar. I think I poured him a drink I’d done for Bacardi Legacy that year, which was Bacardi Carta Blanca, Bacardi 151, Cointreau, lime, orgeat and raspberry all shaken and served over crushed ice. He pointed out that the drinks of mine he remembered almost always had crushed ice or absinthe in them. It’s become a running joke with a lot of my bartending friends, every time I create a drink for a new menu. I love the depth that absinthe brings to cocktails and crushed ice drinks are just so damn refreshing!


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Libations and Noggins By Joe Sinagra INGREDIENTS: • 60ml Southern Comfort Black • 30ml Lime juice • 20ml Crawley’s Orgeat • 5ml Absinthe • 3 x Dashes Peychaud’s Bitters GARNISH: Go as tiki as you can! Fire is also always good METHOD: Add all to a shaker with ice and shake. Strain over cubed ice in your favourite tiki mug, and cap with crushed ice. Garnish by dashing extra Peychauds over the crushed cap. Add a mint sprig, lime wheel and a flaming absinthe soaked cherry GLASSWARE: Tiki mug

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©2018 Sazerac Co, Inc. All rights reserved. SOUTHERN COMFORT is a registered Trademark

Smooth drinking Whiskey, enjoyed responsibly


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ver the years, Jono Carr has developed an impeccable reputation as being one of the most polished, professional and friendly bartenders in Australia. Making his second appearance in the T25 this year, and having worked in some of Sydney’s best bars including Tokonoma and Kittyhawk, he is now the man behind the stick at the beautiful Door Knock in Sydney. WELCOME BACK TO THE T25. IT LOOKS LIKE YOU’VE HAD A BUSY YEAR WITH COMPETITIONS AND DOOR KNOCK. WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR HIGHLIGHTS OVER THE LAST 12 MONTHS? Professionally, opening Door Knock and working alongside the amazing Nat Ng has been inspiring. Personally, buying an apartment with my lady Michelle has been a long-time goal that has finally been achieved. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT TANQUERAY FLOR DE SEVILLA AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla is a new expression that celebrates the Seville orange and is a recipe by Charles Tanqueray himself that was never made, until now. It has a great body and is a touch sweeter, so it lends itself to a spritz style cocktail. I wanted to make a spritz that could be enjoyed in the cooler months, celebrating the winter solstice. The salinity from Manzanilla and Talisker, along with the warming honey, ties it all together.

WHAT ARE YOUR HOPES AND DREAMS FOR THE YEAR AHEAD? Continuing the success of Door Knock, giving BOTY a good nudge and then moving to the UK for a few years, are all on the list. YOU’RE AN ADVOCATE FOR… My nieces being able to walk down the street safely whenever they damn please. DO YOU COLLECT ANYTHING? Yeah, but with the impending move overseas I’m trying to stop hoarding so much bar sh*t to be honest. IF YOU WERE STUCK ON AN ISLAND AND COULD ONLY TAKE ONE OBJECT, ONE BOTTLE AND ONE PERSON, WHAT AND WHO WOULD YOU TAKE? All I’ll need is a hammock, a never-ending bottle of tequila and my lady. I’m assuming there are coconuts to eat and drink and that we’d be picked up in a week or so.



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Solstice Spritz By Jonothan Carr INGREDIENTS: • 30ml Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla • 20ml Manzanilla sherry • 10ml Talisker 10 • 10ml Smoked honey • Top with soda GARNISH: Orange twist, olive and a pinch of salt METHOD: Build ingredients, stir and top with soda. GLASSWARE: Stemless Flute

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ou might know of Kurtis as the young gun behind the drinks across the Public House Management group in Sydney. Living on the Northern Beaches, you’ll often find him paddling out to catch a wave, to get away from it all and just chill. But when he works, he works hard, and he’s definitely a bartender on the rise, taking out Beam Suntory’s The Perfect Blend in 2018.

CONGRATULATIONS ON MAKING IT INTO THE 2018 T25. CAN YOU TELL US HOW YOU GOT STARTED IN BARTENDING? I was working in bars while studying architecture at Sydney University, but didn’t take it too seriously until I had finished my degree. Once I’d finished, I redirected my creative thought towards drink creation and liquid form, going full steam ahead in the hospitality industry, and I haven’t looked back! CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT AUCHENTOSHAN AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? Auchentoshan has a sweet, delicate flavour profile, highlighted through its rich vanilla and fruit notes. It’s a true expression of a single malt whisky, distilled west of Scotland. The name translates to the corner of the field and can be described as a breakfast whisky. Matured in first-fill American bourbon casks, the process is what gives the liquid its golden hue and rich flavour. The drink is inspired by cool winter mornings in Sydney, where lemon and honey tea, ginger and whisky, all play a big part in fighting the cold during flu season. The flavour profile somewhat encompasses all of these elements, but in a thoughtful, fun way, and creates a drink that’s complex, intricate and very quaffable. AS A YOUNG GUN MAKING HEADWAY IN THE INDUSTRY, WHAT ARE SOME OF THINGS THAT HAVE HELPED LEAD TO YOUR SUCCESS? As a young bartender, I was told by one of my mentors that “as much as you think you know, you know nothing.” This stuck with me to the point that I became obsessed with the idea that I wanted the feeling of constant and never ending improvement. Our industry is moving so quickly that if you don’t dedicate a big part of your life to it, it’s going to leave you behind.

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WHAT’S ONE OF YOUR MOST EMBARRASSING MOMENTS BEHIND THE BAR? I think this story was published late last year, but for those who didn’t see the article, it involves hazing one of our young bar backs and his revenge, in which I essentially shattered a good portion of our back bar glassware. Having not picked up on his prank until a month or so later, he well and truly won that battle. IF YOU HAD A TIME MACHINE, WHICH COCKTAIL ERA WOULD YOU GO TO AND WHO WOULD YOU HAVE A DRINK WITH? There’s something that excites me about the thought of drinking in a little jazz speakeasy in the 1920s during Prohibition, with one of the greatest artists of all time, Pablo Picasso. Sharing a drink and getting a glimpse into the great man’s creative mind would be priceless. YOU’RE KNOWN FOR YOUR 45K-STRONG INSTAGRAM FOLLOWING. WHAT IMPACT HAS HAVING THE ACCOUNT HAD ON YOUR CAREER AND WHAT’S THE WEIRDEST MESSAGE OR COMMENT YOU’VE RECEIVED? It has definitely afforded me some incredible opportunities, but I have always maintained that I want my work behind the bar and in-venue to be a true reflection of me within the industry and as a bartender. As for some of the things people write to me, let’s just say, I get some pretty entertaining/worrying/ funny and straight-up hilarious messages each day. Keep them coming!

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Morning in the Field By Kurtis Bosley INGREDIENTS: • 40ml Auchentoshan American Oak • 12.5ml Ginger liqueur • 10ml Beeswax and tonka amontillado sherry • 20ml Fresh lemon • 10ml Simple syrup • 2 Dashes Hopped grapefruit bitters GARNISH: Davidson plum and finger lime dust METHOD: Shake and strain GLASSWARE: Rocks Glass

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BORN & RAISED IN THE CITY Auchentoshan® Scotch Whisky, 40% alc/vol. ©2017 Auchentoshan Import Company, Deerfield, IL


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ou’ll find Matt taking over the reigns as general manager at Melbourne’s Black Pearl, and continuing the lineage of talented bartenders who have trod the boards in this incubator of greatness. Matt recently took out the Woodford Reserve Cocktail Challenge and continues to shine as a thoughtful and polished bartender now and into the future.

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CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT ARDBEG AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? My greatest memory of Ardbeg is finishing off a magnum of the sweet nectar on my last shift at Bulletin Place – my ‘childhood’ home. This was chased with half a bottle of Ruinart Blanc de Blancs. I decided to bring this memory to life through uniting these two elements. I used strawberry gum - a natural flavour enhancer - to bridge the gap and allow the Ardbeg to pop! The Ardbeg An Oa is perfect for this - well rounded and perfectly integrated. CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING NAMED IN THE T25 FOR 2018. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU GOT STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY? I come from a long line of publicans, some fictitious some not, read into that what you will. After six years of university, I made a fortuitous venture into the world of bartending and Adi, Tim and Shay ensured I stayed there in flavour town. YOU’RE ONE OF THE BLACK PEARL CREW TO MAKE THE LIST. WHAT IS IT THAT MAKES THE VENUE PRODUCE SOME OF AUSTRALIA’S BEST BARTENDERS? Good people attract good people! As far as jobs go, working at the Pearl is the real deal. Stick around for the 10 hours we are open, and you’ll see the transition from early on high end cocktail service to late night wine disco. It’s intense, and forces you to be an extra version of yourself. Luckily in hospitality, that’s a good thing. WHAT’S THE STRANGEST THING YOU’VE EVER WITNESSED BEHIND THE BAR? A man gulped down an entire Jack and Coke once, ice and all. That was pretty great. WHEN YOU’RE OLD AND GREY, WHAT’S YOUR PLAN AFTER BARTENDING? I plan to drop off all social media and relocate to New York. I’ll get heavily involved in the arts and fashion scene under a pseudonym, of course. I’ll get in all the tabloids, make the worst connections, then drop back to Australia to buy a property in an emerging town and live a quiet life. DO YOU HAVE A SECRET HOBBY? Well, I really enjoy making homemade martinis and converting ordinary bathrooms into extraordinary steam rooms. Oh, and dress ups. I love dress ups.


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Hardest Part of the Job By Matt Linklater INGREDIENTS: • 30ml Strawberry gum infused Ardbeg An Oa • 7ml Rock candy • Top with Chandon NV Rosé GARNISH: Smouldering strawberry gum leaf METHOD: Stir Ardbeg and candy, strain and top GLASSWARE: Nick and Nora

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Please Drink Responsibly


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ichael has garnered a reputation as a creative bartending dynamo and is the co-founder of Sydney’s PS40. Having bided his time as a learned bartender, he burst onto the scene in 2016. Michael is obsessed with cool tools and the science of fluids in his quest to make the best tasting sodas to go with fine spirits.

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT JACK DANIEL’S AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? Jack Daniels! Everyone knows Jack. Especially in shot and mixer form, but because of its unique filtering process it actually is a very versatile cocktail spirit. Chicha Morada and Jack Daniels share similar bases. Chica is made from purple maize and is a fruit forward tea that we brew. Single O Specialty Coffee helped us come up with the style of coffee used in this drink, which is a chilled filter coffee that is not overpowering but punchy in flavour at the same time. WELCOME BACK TO THE T25. WHAT’S BEEN YOUR BIGGEST HIGHLIGHT OF THE LAST YEAR? Thanks! Definitely launching our soda company, PS Soda. It’s been a labour of love that has been in the research and development phase for over three years, so to see bottles going out to the production space and bar is very surreal to see. We are now available in Sydney and Melbourne. IF YOU WEREN’T BARTENDING, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING? I’ve recently been making ceramics as a hobby! So probably that, or living on a small farm. Either would be pretty amazing! IF YOU WERE GOING TO MAKE A NEW PS40 SODA, WHAT’S A FLAVOUR YOU’VE THOUGHT OF USING BUT HAVEN’T YET? There are a few creative ideas Thor and the team have flying around, but something we haven’t done yet is a shrub soda. It’s still on the testing board, but it would be great to see how that would work out. IF YOU COULD HAVE A DRINK WITH ANYONE, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHAT WOULD YOU ASK THEM? It would be my wife! I’d ask her how her day was. WHAT’S AN INTERESTING FACT NOT MANY PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT YOU? I was at university for many years studying medical science, trying to become a doctor, before I dropped out and started bartending full time. Imagine getting treated by me, now there’s an image you don’t want!

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Michael Chiem


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Whip It Good By Michael Chiem INGREDIENTS: • 40ml Jack Daniels • 15ml Amaro mix • 30ml Single O Chilter Coffee • 20ml Chicha morada • 5ml Sugar syrup • 2 x Perilla leaves GARNISH: Whipped chicha morada yoghurt and perilla leaf METHOD: Shake and fine strain over ice. Place whipped yoghurt on the top and garnish with perilla leaf. GLASSWARE: Stemmed rocks

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ick has definitely had a great year, making his first appearance in the T25 and the national finals of the Perfect Blend 2018. Under the guidance of Ollie at Adelaide’s Maybe Mae, he continues to find respect and support from judges around the country. Nick has made an impact as one of the bartenders on the rise. CONGRATULATIONS ON MAKING IT INTO THE 2018 T25. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU GOT STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY. It’s a huge privilege! I started out as a quiet and introverted kid picking up glasses in an Irish pub. The sense of camaraderie from my co-workers there, and the process of learning and mastering each new challenge, got me well and truly hooked! CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT MR BLACK AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? Mr Black is a gluten free and vegan liqueur that retains amazing integrity in bold and evocative flavour. My inspiration for this cocktail was cinema and its ability to evoke emotion, ideas and a sense of legend. WE HEAR THE BUZZ WORD ‘SUSTAINABILITY’ THROWN AROUND A LOT IN THE INDUSTRY. HOW DO YOU TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION SUSTAINABLE PRACTICE AT MAYBE MAE? It’s just about being conscious and mindful each day, then after that it all becomes common sense. How can I make my cleanup at the end of shift easier? Reduce what goes in the trash and

you’ll carry less out later. Paying too much for produce? Try to extract flavour or second use out of every gram you buy, and watch your margins slowly improve. WHAT’S THE MAYBE MAE TEAM’S GO-TO JAMS FOR CLOSING UP SHOP AT THE END OF A HECTIC NIGHT? There’s a whole mess of a playlist of non-stop belters that we chuck on when we start cleaning up, but Low Rider by War is currently on high rotation! YOU’RE A FOOD LOVER AS WELL AS A DRINKS LOVER. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE LATE NIGHT BAR SNACK? I’m a real sucker for fried capers or a pack of salt and vinegar chips. IF YOU WERE STUCK ON AN ISLAND AND COULD TAKE ONE OBJECT, ONE BOTTLE AND ONE PERSON, WHAT AND WHO WOULD YOU TAKE? If I were stuck on an island, I would definitely want to bring a book on outdoor survival, a shipwright, and a bottle of Port Ellen 37 Year Old.


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Fade to Black By Nick Corletto INGREDIENTS: • 30ml Mr Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur • 25ml Popcorn washed Buffalo Trace • 15ml Salted pineapple skin syrup GARNISH: 70% Dark chocolate and popcorn METHOD: Combine ingredients and stir to dilution. Serve. GLASSWARE: Rocks

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llie is the creative force behind Adelaide’s enigmatic Maybe Mae and has developed a deserved reputation and talent for assembling beautifully complex drinks. Descending from winemaking royalty, he has an incredible palate for bringing together fine and balanced flavours in his drinks, and leans heavily on his sous vide machine. Making his second appearance in the T25, he is fast becoming one of Adelaide’s most respected bartenders.

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CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT SLANE IRISH WHISKEY AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? Slane Whiskey is a blended Irish whiskey, and it’s comprised of grain whiskey parcels aged in virgin American oak, ex-bourbon and oloroso sherry casks. These components result in a more generous spirit than is typical of other Irish examples. With whiskeys of this ilk, I typically find that a ‘highball’ style serve is a great way to accentuate the spirit. Bringing in barley tea and a vanilla-spiked whey as a sweetener, I have tried to create a breakfast style highball cocktail. CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING NAMED IN THE T25 AGAIN THIS YEAR. WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME OF YOUR HIGHLIGHTS IN THE LAST YEAR? I have been fortunate enough to be involved in the opening of a bunch of new venues across different genres and offerings in the last 12 months. It has been equal parts challenging and rewarding to really push the parameters, in terms of how I think about drinks, to create unique offerings. My main focus, Maybe Mae, also turned four this year and that was a proud moment for me. YOU COME FROM A WINEMAKING FAMILY, SO THE ALCOHOL BIZ IS DEFINITELY IN YOUR BLOOD. WHY PROFESSIONAL BARTENDING OVER WINEMAKING? I’m not sure that I’ve actually made that decision yet! I’m just a few subjects off from graduating with a winemaking degree. I hope to find myself in a position where the two passions are not mutually exclusive in my day-to-day. I think flavour, above all else, is my real interest. Whether it be food, wine, spirits or cocktails, as long as my life stays revolving around flavour I’m happy. YOU’RE CLEARLY A BIT OF A BURGER FANATIC WITH YOUR BURGER JOINT BREAD & BONE. WE HAVE TO ASK THE AGE-OLD AUSSIE QUESTION: BEETROOT OR PINEAPPLE, OR BOTH? I don’t f*ck with pineapple – pizza, burger, you name it… It stays in my fruit salad. Beetroot is definitely dependant on the bun; new school brioche is too sweet and soft for beetroot, but old school servo rolls can showcase beetroot with absolute aplomb. YOUR COCKTAIL BAR, MAYBE MAE, IS DEFINITELY A NOD TO OLD HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR. IF YOU COULD HAVE ONE DRINK WITH ANY OF THE CLASSIC MOVIE STARS, WHO WOULD IT BE? It would be hard to go past Bill Murray. I think that would be a great time. That said, I would definitely slurp down a martini with Uma (Thurman) given the opportunity. IF YOU WERE STUCK ON AN ISLAND AND COULD TAKE ONE OBJECT, ONE BOTTLE AND ONE PERSON, WHAT AND WHO WOULD YOU TAKE? I would bring my iPod, a bottle of Chablis, and probably a six-pack of cold beer instead of a person. I don’t know a single person I wouldn’t get sick of.


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Breakfast Highball By Ollie Margan INGREDIENTS: • 45ml Slane Irish Whiskey • 20ml Barley whey* • 90ml Soda GARNISH: Lemon wedge METHOD: Build GLASSWARE: Collins

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*BARLEY WHEY RECIPE • 300g Milk • 100g Lemon juice • 100g Barley tea (chilled) • 100g Sugar • 1Bsp Vanilla paste Method: Combine all ingredients and leave to curdle for 15 minutes. Pass twice through a coffee filter (use same filter both times residual curds act as a filter medium). Store in fridge.


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art of the Italian expat bartender ‘mafia’ currently taking over Australia, Orlando has been anointed as the next bartender boss of Melbourne, taking out Diageo WORLD CLASS Australia 2018. You’ll find him making exquisite drinks at the incredible Lumé restaurant, with him certainly knowing his way around a roto-vap or two. He’s been honing his skills for years, and is a flavour force to be reckoned with.

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CONGRATULATIONS ON MAKING THE T25. CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU GOT STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY? I’m originally from a small town in the south-east of Italy called Castiglione d’Otranto. I grew up in a big family and fell in love with receiving, hosting and greeting people at home. Then I found a way to do that as a career. Now, I look after the bar at restaurant Lûmé. I’ve been in this hidden-away terrace house in South Melbourne for the last two and half years. Here, I have the possibility to learn, master and understand the whole picture of hospitality. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT TANQUERAY NO. TEN AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL. Tanqueray No. Ten was released back in 2000 and brought a breath of innovation to the way gin was crafted at the time. It features zesty and floral characters due to the use of fresh citrus and chamomile during distillation, which makes it a natural fit for zesty and bright cocktails, and its generous 47.3% ABV allows the flavours to flourish when shaken or built with soda. With my drink, I wanted to integrate citrusforward notes without just relying on the juice. I wanted to use ingredients that reflect the DNA of Tanqueray No. Ten. For instance, I’ve used yuzushu, made with one part one-year-old sake and one part yuzu juice. This particular procedure juices the fruits with skin on, ensuring all the sweet, sour and bitter flavours of the fruit are retained. I’ve also made a ‘cordial’, with mainly lemon myrtle and aniseed myrtle. These elements will give a boost

to the citrus, not just on the palate but more importantly the aroma of the drink itself. My aim is to reimagine the structure of the Tom Collins without ignoring the tradition of this classic cocktail. 4. YOU’VE BEEN A PROFESSIONAL BARTENDER IN ITALY, LONDON AND NOW MELBOURNE. WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE CITY FOR BAR CULTURE? I’ve been in Melbourne for four years now, and it’s still a city overwhelmingly recognised for its small bar culture. But I keep my eye on what’s happening overseas as well - there are some exciting things happening in London, New York and Paris at the moment.

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hospitality related ones. Read anything that can help shape the story of the drink, presentation and performance. Information is everywhere - your job is to collect the relevant pieces and connect them to your story. Share your thoughts with colleagues and get feedback. Repetition - Make your drink multiple times until it reaches its best version. Create an online document where you can record any inspiration and can edit it wherever you are. Be hospitable and remember why you’re here.

YOU’VE HAD A PRETTY HECTIC YEAR ON THE COMPETITION FRONT. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO BARTENDERS LOOKING TO ENTER COMPETITIONS FOR THE FIRST TIME? And it’s still on! The grand finale is yet to come! I’m very excited about the WORLD CLASS Global Finals and to represent Australia on a global stage. The obvious advice would be to think outside of the box. I know everyone says that, so let me explain.

WHAT’S AN INGREDIENT THAT YOU’RE EXCITED TO BE WORKING WITH IN YOUR VENUE AT THE MOMENT? I have a few that are floating around the walk-in fridge and dancing in my head at the moment. One of the most exciting is pineapple quince, freshly produced by our local farmer. It has a tropical aroma of pineapple on the skin. We cook it with a bone-dry apple cider to give an extra layer of fruit, texture and firm orchard fruits notes. We then make a Collins with Glenkinchie 12 year-old, coffee-buttered verjus and soda. ‘Southern Collins’ is the name of the cocktail.

1. Don’t be closed off to ideas when stuck behind your marble/wooden bar top. Read carefully what the competition guidelines ask you to do/present. 2. Talking to people from other industries helps me expand my thoughts and formulate a plan, and having a plan is extremely important. 3. Reading books helps me a lot too, and not just

APERITIVO OR DIGESTIVO, CHOOSE ONE AND EXPLAIN. Both. I’m Italian! Aperitivo to start and digestivo to end. This is how you roll. One opens the mind and stomach before the meal to come, the other punctuates the meal’s end. They work together, not alone, to shape the perfect meal.


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Improved Collins By Orlando Marzo INGREDIENTS: • 40ml Tanqueray No. Ten • 10ml Heiwa Tsuru-Ume Yuzushu • 30ml Native citrus cordial • Top with Soda GARNISH: Lemon coin METHOD: Build GLASSWARE: Highball/Collins

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s resident siren at Melbourne’s Black Pearl, Shay is a bartender on the move. Starting in her hometown of Harvey Bay, she completed stints in Sydney’s Bulletin Place and Big Poppa’s before eventually finding her calling in the world famous Black Pearl. Known for her calmness under pressure and penchant for a good stiff drink, Shay makes her first appearance in the T25 this year.

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT PAMPELLE AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? Pampelle is a delightful grapefruit aperitif from France. For this cocktail, I took inspiration from my years living in London, spending lazy summer afternoons in the park catching the annual three weeks of sunshine and sipping spritzers until the sun went down. CONGRATULATIONS ON MAKING IT INTO THE 2018 T25. HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY? It was a happy coincidence. I was working in a crumby pub in the UK to fund globetrotting, only to discover I actually enjoyed the work I was doing. IF YOU WEREN’T BARTENDING, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING? Delivering pizzas. If I wasn’t delivering margaritas, I’d be delivering margheritas! Also, I’d be utilising my time to campaign for free tomato sauce with all pies sold across Australia, for starters, and then the world. IF YOU COULD HAVE A SECRET SUPERPOWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE? I would love to have the ability to talk to dogs. WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY IN MELBOURNE? Having worked in both Sydney and Melbourne, I can truly say that Sydney excels during the day and Melbourne dominates the night. I find people in Melbourne to be more friendly and happier in their own skin.

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n i a l r e b m Cha DRINKS WORLD

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Sundowner Spritz By Shay Chamberlain INGREDIENTS: • • • • • •

30ml Pampelle 10ml Pineapple vinegar 10ml Lime juice 1 Bsp. Olive brine 30ml Soda 120ml Dry prosecco




GARNISH: Grapefruit wedge and three skewered olives



METHOD: Built and served over cubed ice GLASSWARE: Stemless wine glass

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ou’ll usually find Tom in the basement at Perth’s Dominion League, serving strong drinks and neat whiskies in his laconic and beguiling style. As a T25 regular and one of Perth’s bartending cartel, he is also known as the baby-faced assassin and will lull you into a false sense of security before serving you a drink that will put you face down, stat!

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT EL DORADO RUM AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? El Dorado is an awesome 12-year-old Demerara rum from Guyana in South America. It’s sweet up front, with fruit and spice, and then dries out at the finish. This rum doesn’t mess around. Great juice. WELCOME BACK TO THE T25. THREE YEARS IN A ROW! PEOPLE REALLY LIKE YOUR MAD SKILLS. WHAT’S THE SECRET TO BEING TOM KEARNEY? Having disheveled charm lowers expectations. I have also found that you don’t need to be the loudest person in the room to get ahead. TELL US BIT ABOUT HOW DOMINION LEAGUE IS GOING? Dominion is wrapping up in the next few weeks, so we are very busy planning a week-long blow out right now.

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WHAT’S ONE OF YOUR BEST MOMENTS BEHIND THE BAR? The escalation of events at Dominion ‘staffies’ (after shift drinks). Let’s just say, it often features a lot of rosé. YOU WERE A ZOOLOGY STUDENT RIGHT? WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE ANIMAL AND WHY? Mitch Gurrin in a monkey suit. I think that’s selfexplanatory. DO YOU COLLECT ANYTHING? Whisky and hats, but I never wear them because they make me look like a tool.


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El Rey’s Elixir By Tom Kearney INGREDIENTS: • 50ml Coconut Oil El Dorado 12YO • 10ml Wattleseed Adelaide Hills Rosso • 25ml Sour pineapple sherbet • 12.5ml Tigernut and pandan orgeat • 15ml Egg white GARNISH: Dehydrated pineapple and ‘Gold Dust’ (roasted wattle seed, tigernut, Cacao, salt) METHOD: Dry shake and ‘wet’ shake, double strain and garnish GLASSWARE: Goblet

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DRINKS WORLD @eldoradorum_aus



rish is currently one of the top hats at famed ‘ginstitution’, Melbourne’s Gin Palace. She has a serious reputation for never being further than an arm’s reach of a dry martini, and has the confidence and swagger to demand the attention of a room. As a first timer in the T25, she is definitely not to be messed with. CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT ST GERMAIN AND THE INSPIRATION BEHIND YOUR COCKTAIL? St. Germain uses only fresh elderflower blossoms from the French Alps, which grow for a short four – six week period in spring. Once the delicate flowers are collected, they than are bicycled back to the nearby village and are then macerated post-haste to ensure freshness of flavour. Inspired by seasonal produce, I selected fruits at their peak that complement the flavours of elderflower. Gin is the obvious spirit accompaniment, and what better than Rutte Celery Gin to add a grassy note and spicy complexity? CONGRATULATIONS ON BEING IN THE T25 THIS YEAR. TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU GOT STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY? After leaving home at 16 and needing to pay my way while studying, I took on night work at an Italian restaurant and did some questionable bartending. Inspired by a thirst for travel and an interest in various cuisines, my studies turned to tourism. I also sprinted through a number of chef-related courses, ranging from Thai cookery to chocolate making and everything in between. At 18 years old I left hospitality but kept finding my way back, eventually working as a bartender at a nightclub on the side of other jobs. Nightclubs teach you how to work fast and efficiently, and how to minimise your space when working with others. Everyone should try this before cocktail bartending! From there, I worked with some of the best bartenders in the business at a high volume corporate bar and restaurant, which taught me classic cocktails and motivation for self-learning. Finally, I found my home at Gin Palace and seven years (and a lot of shenanigans) later, here we are!

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WHAT’S ONE THING YOU LOVE AND ONE THING YOU’D CHANGE ABOUT THE HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY? I love the community created around our craft and the escape it offers our fellow comrades and consumers alike. Watching people remove the mask as they mentally and physically unwind in your bar is exhilarating! I would get rid of the extortionate tax applied to spirits in Australia. I’m not a cheap drunk. IF YOU COULD HAVE A SECRET SUPERPOWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE? I would love to always have the correct amount of change or blindly pick up the correct amount of napkins per people at a table... Not all heroes wear capes. YOU’RE AN ADVOCATE FOR… Passion. “If you enjoy what you do you will never work a day in your life,” said every parent ever. But seriously when you live, breath, dream of, question everything you do professionally, it shows. IF YOU WERE STUCK ON AN ISLAND AND COULD TAKE ONE OBJECT, ONE BOTTLE AND ONE PERSON, WHAT AND WHO WOULD YOU TAKE? I don’t like the sun or the beach so for my object I would want a plane, a pilot to go with it and a bottle of either cold water or room temperature gin.



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Always Eight O’Clock By Trish Brew INGREDIENTS: • 20ml St~Germain • 40ml Rutte’s Celery Gin • Top with homemade kiwi fruit, fennel & grape soda GARNISH: Fennel and kiwi METHOD: Build GLASSWARE: Fancy highball

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Enjoy Responsibly DRINKS WORLD


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Profile for Hip Media

Drinks World Australia Edition 32 / T25 Australia 2018  

Drinks World Australia Edition 32 / T25 Australia 2018  

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