WORLD CLASS IS BACK!
ALSO IN THIS ISSUE: U K B A R S • K N OW YO U R B E E R • D I S CO D R I N KS • S E L L I N G P R E M I U M P R O D U C TS
The 2014 winner Charlie Ainsbury explains why you should get involved
RCS LIXIR BOBIGNY 393 611 561
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Glass: Rocks / Tumbler Garnish: Lime wedge Ingredients: 30ml MIDORI 1 lime wedge (squeezed) Top with dry ginger ale tir Method: Build over ice and stir
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s 2014 draws to a close, how would you describe your year in hospitality? Scott Leach, the president of the Australian Hotels Association (NSW), referred to it as a year of victimisation of the sector, saying the outcomes of the legislative agenda over the last 12 months had been “at times unfair and disproportionate and a killer for investment”. Taking a good old-fashioned swipe at the government, he added: “Fact is a currency of little value in the debate around public policy on liquor at the moment. Balance and fairness seem lost to the ever increasing need to pacify vocal minority groups.” There aren’t many pub and bar operators in the Sydney CBD or Kings Cross precincts who would disagree with those words. The lock-out has had a major impact on many licensed businesses there. But it’s not just Sydney’s hospitality sector that’s being victimised. The mainstream media continue to demonise the booze business more generally, proving again that largescale media organisations rarely let the facts get in the way of a good story. Nonetheless, the facts are worth airing once in a while. Australians are drinking less; but they’re drinking better. That’s good news for everyone (except the media corporations, which always prefer a bit of doom-mongering). It’s good news for producers, getting a better return for each litre of liquor they make; it’s good for consumers (and their well-being); and it’s good for hospitality operators because premium products tend to yield higher margins. It’s particularly good for bar operators because bars are where people usually go when they want to drink premium. As our business feature on pages 32-38 suggests, bars need to work at taking advantage of this trend. It isn’t enough to stock a range of premium products and hope that they sell. Consumers expect a bit more than that. They want
an experience to complement the premium drink they’re buying. They may be paying a bit more for that drink but
MANAGING DIRECTOR Simon Grover
they still want to feel they’re getting value for money. The experience is what they value most. The bar industry is generally very good at creating those experiences. Bars create worlds for consumers to escape into. They take customers on journeys; back through time, in the case of speakeasy-style bars; or, in the case of bars like Enrique’s, Lobo Plantation and Papa Jack’s, across the seas to a foreign land. But a premium bar doesn’t have to be ‘themed’. Some venues are just very good at hands-on service and communication. Some are just good at details. In the early 2000s, before the term ‘premiumisation’ had even been coined, I remember visiting legendary London bar Che, which was managed by Nick Strangeway. The service was always exemplary, and it was often the
PUBLISHER Paul Wootton pwootton@intermedia. com.au EDITOR-AT-LARGE James Wilkinson jwilkinson@intermedia. com.au CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Jason Lyon, Fred Siggins, Meghan Coles, Tim Grey NATIONAL SALES MANAGER Thomas Rielly email@example.com
little, easy-to-accomplish things that made the difference. For example, staff made a point of welcoming customers as they walked in and saying goodbye to them when they left. Nick took that one step further. Many of the patrons paid their bills by credit card and Nick made sure he read the name on each card as he processed the payment. Afterwards, instead of “Goodbye”, he was able to say, “Goodbye, Mr Smith.” It was simple but it made things more personal. It was an effective way of making customers feel, if not like a million dollars, then at least $100,000. By the way, Scott Leach rounded off his recent, rousing speech to members of the hospitality sector with these words: “Be proud of who you are, what you do and who you represent.” If you’re working in the Australian bar industry, why wouldn’t you be?
NATIONAL SALES & MARKETING MANAGER Shane T Williams stwilliams@intermedia. com.au GRAPHIC DESIGN Ryan Vizcarra firstname.lastname@example.org PRODUCTION MANAGER Jacqui Cooper PUBLISHED BY The Intermedia Group Pty Ltd ABN 940 025 83 682 41 Bridge Road, GLEBE, NSW Australia, 2037 Telephone: 02 9660 2113 Fax: 02 9660 1883
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“The mainstream media continue to demonise the booze business, proving again that large-scale media organisations rarely let the facts get in the way of a good story” DISCLAIMER This publication is published by The Intermedia Group Pty Ltd (the "Publisher"). Materials in this publication have been created by a variety of different entities and, to the extent permitted by law, the Publisher accepts no liability for materials created by others. All materials should be considered protected by Australian and international intellectual property laws. Unless you are authorised by law or the copyright owner to do so, you may not copy any of the materials. The mention of a product or service, person or company in this publication does not indicate the Publisher's endorsement. The views expressed in this publication do not necessarily represent the opinion of the Publisher, its agents, company officers or employees. Any use of the information contained in this publication is at the sole risk of the person using that information. The user should make independent enquiries as to the accuracy of the information before relying on that information. All express or implied terms, conditions, warranties, statements, assurances and representations in relation to the Publisher, its publications and its services are expressly excluded save for those conditions and warranties which must be implied under the laws of any State of Australia or the provisions of Division 2 of Part V of the Trade Practices Act 1974 and any statutory modification or re-enactment thereof. To the extent permitted by law, the Publisher will not be liable for any damages including special, exemplary, punitive or consequential damages (including but not limited to economic loss or loss of profit or revenue or loss of opportunity) or indirect loss or damage of any kind arising in contract, tort or otherwise, even if advised of the possibility of such loss of profits or damages. While we use our best endeavours to ensure accuracy of the materials we create, to the extent permitted by law, the Publisher excludes all liability for loss resulting from any inaccuracies or false or misleading statements that may appear in this publication. COPYRIGHT (C) 2014 - THE INTERMEDIA GROUP PTY LTD.
50 DISCO DRINKS
Why kitsch creations are becoming cool again
IN THE COOLER The newest beers and ciders.
The low-down on Pilsner.
Four previous winners on how winning Diageoâ€™s contest has changed their lives.
All the latest industry news.
Perth bar operator Andy Freeman explains what makes him tick.
KNOW YOUR BEER
BEHIND THE BAR
The venues tipped to make waves in 2015.
How to capitalise on the trading up trend.
The new, revamped and rebranded venues opening around Australia.
The latest wine and spirit releases to consider for your back bar.
SOCIAL The parties and launches that everyone's been talking about.
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BACARDI Lion has announced the five Australian finalists for the Bacardi Legacy Cocktail Competition 2015. Australia’s ‘Five Most Promising’ cocktail entries are: •C hristian Blair from Rockpool Bar and Grill, Sydney, NSW, with The Diplomat; •J ames Connelly from The Angel's Cut, Perth, WA, with The Cantineros Kiss; •J oe Sinagra from Bobeche, Perth, WA, with Heart of the Nation; •S arah Fulford from Lily Blacks, Melbourne, VIC, with Giselle; and •A lissa Gabriel from The Press Club, Brisbane, QLD, with Bouteiller. Over the next three months, these five will partner with Bacardi to market and promote their cocktails, each with a budget of $2,000. They will then converge in Melbourne for the National Final, resulting in the Australian Bacardi Legacy winner being announced to compete against the very best from around the world. This year the Global Finals will be held in Sydney, an acknowledgement of Australia’s increasingly influential cocktail and bar scene.
CLASSIC COCKTAIL AT THE RELAUNCHED MANLY WINE
NEW FREE FOOD TITLE SAUCE WITH BARS&CLUBS SAUCE, a new free magazine for food and drink professionals, has launched this month and is distributed free with your copy of bars&clubs. With food becoming an increasingly important revenue stream for bars, pubs and cafés, Sauce will provide hospitality professionals across the board with the inspiration and business intelligence required to succeed in the competitive foodservice sector. Aimed at chefs, operators, managers and drinks buyers, each issue contains: • Profiles of successful chefs and operators • Foodservice trends and how to tap into them • Tips on marketing, menu development and training • Advice on increasing sales and generating profit • Top Drop – a section dedicated to drinks, with ideas and advice for sommeliers, managers and front of house staff Sauce will be published quarterly and distributed free with bars&clubs magazine. You can also visit www.saucemagazine.com. au to get your free digital edition. Sauce is published by The Intermedia Group, Australia’s leading independent business-to-business publishing company. Intermedia's portfolio includes bars&clubs, Australian Hotelier, Time Out and Beer & Brewer magazines.
MANLY WINE REOPENS WITH NEW LOOK AND FOCUS
THE BARS, THE EVENTS, THE THE DRINKS, DRINKS, THE THE PASSION BRANDS
BACARDI LEGACY COCKTAIL FINALISTS ANNOUNCED
THE Keystone Group has relaunched Manly Wine after the venue’s first extensive refurbishment since it opened in 2009. Along with a new cocktail focus, the venue is complete with an outdoor beachfront lounge providing a casual dining atmosphere that will welcome barefoot beach-goers. Group creative officer for The Keystone Group, Paul Schulte, was responsible for the refit. “We are very excited after five successful years… to see the maturation of Manly Wine into a sophisticated waterfront restaurant and bar,” he said. “The Keystone Group is growing up and we feel the relaunches of Manly Wine, Gazebo, and the opening of Champagne Room at The Winery highlight this important transition.” The renovated Manly Wine features white-washed timber furniture and an all-day raw seafood bar. The venue’s allday-dining policy allows early risers to kick off the day with coffee and a full breakfast transitioning to lunch and dinner and drinks as the sun sets. The indoor cocktail bar will serve rosé spritzer on tap while the all-Australian wine list includes a selection of easy-to-drink coastal wines alongside classic cocktails. Bar manager Federico Albano (ex-Soho House London, Palmer & Co.) is crafting monthly gin classic cocktails and has a list of gin and suggested garnishes plus a ‘house tonic’ and infused tonic matched with a gin each month. The venue is also rolling out Manly Wine Drinks Club – a monthly get together for hospitality and guests alike to learn about and drink a different wine variety, beer style, spirit or classic cocktail family. Manly Wine, 8-13 South Steyne, Manly, NSW 02 8070 2424
EARLIEST GIN RECIPE RECREATED IN FRANCE A recipe dating back to 1495 has led to the launch of a new gin from French producer EWG Spirits & Wine, the makers of G’Vine gin. The recipe was unearthed by drinks expert Philip Duff in an out-of-print Dutchlanguage history of jenever and shared with Jean-Sébastien Robicquet, master distiller and founder of EWG. His team, based in Villevert near Cognac, France, replicated the original recipe and created a modern interpretation of the gin. Recently, the company released a limited-edition ‘GIN 1495’ pack consisting of the two variants; Verbãtim, the 1495 original recipe, and Interpr tãtio, the modern version. “The 1495 recipe is not just the first chapter in a rich history of gin – this
historic recipe, based on grape distillate, is part of the very foundation of the category,” said Duff. Tasting notes for Verbãtim suggest notes of warm spice, pepper and sage, while Interpr tãtio offers aromas of juniper, citrus oil and rich spice. Both have an ABV of 45%. Only 100 sets of the gins have been produced, with one set for auction via the London-based Gin Guild. All proceeds raised from the auction will go to The Benevolent, a charity which supports members of the drinks community in times of need. Other sets will be available for auction as allocations to different countries are finalised. Australia is likely to be allocated one or two sets. Bids for the Gin Guild auction must be made by emailing 1495ginbid@gmail. com. All bids must be made in sterling and received by 1 January 2015.
THE CAMPARI CALENDAR’S JULY 2015 PAGE
CAMPARI UNVEILS THE 2015 MYTHOLOGY MIXOLOGY CALENDAR CAMPARI has officially unveiled the full imagery for the 2015 Campari Calendar, entitled Mythology Mixology. The calendar, which stars the French born actress Eva Green, is the 16th edition in the collection and is dedicated to celebrating Campari’s unique and intriguing history and the intrinsic stories linked to twelve of its best-loved classic cocktails. JARED PLUMMER LEADS A TRAINING SESSION
DIAGEO URGES LICENSEES TO INVEST IN STAFF EDUCATION
SYDNEY GETS NYE LOCK-OUT REPRIEVE
FOLLOWING its victory as Best On-Premise Training Provider at the ALIAs last month, the Diageo Bar Academy is calling for all its venue partners to invest in further education for their teams ahead of the busy summer season. Diageo Bar Academy’s account director Jared Plummer said the summer period sees an increase in the number of people celebrating in licensed venues around Australia, which increases the risk of incidents. The next three months will also see many licensees hiring casual and part-time staff to help cope with increased trade. “Summer presents itself as a high risk period for licensed venues and licensees,” Plummer said. “Firstly, you have new and sometimes inexperienced staff behind the bar, coupled with a rise in patrons, and compounded by an increase in drinking occasions. If you and your team aren’t prepared with the practical measures required to deal with a high influx of patrons, the season can pose a tense few months.” The specific skills covered by the training include how to be a great host and how to create a safe environment for all staff and customers alike. It also addresses how to monitor and manage customer behaviour, as well as providing some practical skills to help manage intoxicated or aggressive customers who need to be removed from the premises.
THE New South Wales Government has confirmed it will lift the 1.30am lockout restrictions on New Year’s Eve. Deputy Premier and liquor and hospitality minister Troy Grant said the decision was common sense for what is the biggest night on the Sydney calendar. “Sydney is the greatest city in the world to spend New Year’s Eve and I want people to have fun, be safe and look after their mates," he told The Daily Telegraph. “We recognise people want to celebrate the start of the New Year — but we also want to maintain there will be no change to the last drinks at 3am or the tough measures we have implemented to protect the community," he said. “This is about striking the right balance between common sense, industry and individual responsibility.”
TIME OUT BAR AWARDS REVEAL SYDNEY’S AND MELBOURNE’S BEST I
t has been a busy month for Time Out and some of the nation’s best bartenders, with the winners of the annual Time Out Sydney Bar Awards and Time Out Melbourne Bar Awards announced in recent weeks. For the first time in their history, the Sydney Awards were held not at a bar, but at the Wentworth Park Greyhounds. More than 1,000 guests were in attendance to see Earl’s Juke Joint take home the top gong, Bar of the Year, with the venue’s own Pasan Wijesena also winning Best Bartender. Another double winner on the night was Bulletin Place. The bar bagged Best Cocktail Bar while Matt Linklater won the Hot Talent Award. Also doubling up was Papa Gede’s, which won People’s Choice and Best Neighbourhood Bar. Baxter Inn won for Best Bar Team, The Cliff Dive for Best Party Bar and Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern for Best New Bar. When it came to food and wine, Rockpool Bar and Grill won Best Bar Food, while Bentley Restaurant and Bar won Best Wine Bar. Mikey Enright, who runs The Barber Shop, won the Legend Award.
THE BAXTER INN TEAM BEGI N THEIR LOW-KEY CELEBRATIONS
CHEERING ON THE DOGS IN SYDNEY
TIME OUT TAKES THE NEW HEIGHTS ENTERTAINMENT TO
PAPA GEDE'S WINS BEST NEIGHBOURHOOD BAR
CE CREW N ETIN PLA SIO THE BULL FOR THE OCCA D DRESSE
CHARLIE LEHMAN N TAKING THE MIC
GUESTS AT THE MELBOURN E AWA
MIKE TIME OUT’S AND RODRIGUES OM FR AM TE THE LE BON TON BOLS GENEVER AT THE BARBER SHOP
THE LOW-DOWN ON…
GENEVER THE BLACK PEARL TEAM CELEBRATE
MELBOURNE’S FINEST SOUTH of the border, the winners of the second annual Time Out Melbourne Bar Awards were celebrated at Fancy Hank’s BBQ Joint. More than 320 guests attended, from the industry’s elite to some of Melbourne’s most enthusiastic partygoers. Best Bar Team was won by Black Pearl, which celebrated again when bartender Will Sleeman won Hot Talent. It was also a good night for Bar Americano with Hayden Lambert taking home Best Bartender and the venue winning Best Cocktail Bar. The Everleigh was named the coveted Bar of the Year, The Beaufort won Best Party Bar, while newcomer Le Bon Ton took out Best New Bar. Iconic Melbourne venue Cookie won the Legend Award and People’s Choice went to Goldilocks. On the food and wine side, Best Bar Food went to Thomas Olive and Best Wine Bar was awarded to Harry & Frankie.
HAY BEST BARTENDER NIBBLES IN MELBOURNE
CELEB IN STYL RATING E AT MELBO THE URNE AWARD S
What? The traditional juniper-flavoured spirit from which gin derives (the Dutch word for juniper is jeneverbes – hence the name jenever or genever). Age: Certainly over 400 years old, possibly as old as 800. Nationality: Dutch and Belgian (with a bit of French and German). What makes it interesting? Any number of reasons. It combines the mixability of a white spirit with the complexity of a dark spirit. It’s a protected spirit category so can only be made in The Netherlands, Belgium and parts of France and Germany. In Jerry Thomas’s bible of classic cocktails, the Bartenders Guide, many of the gin drinks would have been made with a spirit that was closer in style to genever than modern gin. How’s it made? Fermented grain – rye, corn and wheat – is distilled into ‘malt wine’, which is then blended with a distillate of botanicals. Genever is pot-distilled, which helps give it the characteristics of a light whisky. While juniper is among the botanicals used, it tends to have a less dominant role than with gin. Genever can be aged or unaged. Key styles: Corenwijn is the maltiest style of all; oude is the traditional style of genever; jonge is the least malty style and the closest in taste to vodka. Why now? Bols recently relaunched its genever in Australia with a special evening at The Barber Shop in Sydney. The premium gin category is outperforming premium spirits; genever is arguably a natural extension. What’s its potential? Bols brand ambassador Dylan Howarth says, “As soon as people taste genever they convert quickly and enjoy drinking something a little different. The sky is the limit and other influential markets such as the US and UK are growing this category in double digit growth year on year.” Traditional serve: In a tulip glass filled to the top. A neat serve highlights genever’s malty complexity. And a cocktail? Howarth recommends ‘The Holland House Cocktail’, a mix of Bols Genever, fresh lemon juice, Bols Maraschino and dry vermouth. Not to be confused with: Geneva. That’s a city in Switzerland.
Diageo thinks super-premium tequila is a better long-term bet than Irish whiskey, says Jeremy Cunnington, senior alcoholic drinks analyst at Euromonitor International
obviously feels it can gain more traction and see stronger growth, if not in volume terms then certainly in value, despite the brand’s small size. The Don Julio brand has not only seen its share of the category grow from 1.3 per cent to 2 per cent between 20082013, it is also in the right place in the market, i.e. the super-premium end, to exploit the strong growth of tequila in the US – and possibly beyond.
For Grupo Cuervo, gaining control of Bushmills gives it control of an international brand and greater distribution heft when it comes to dealing with distributors in the US and globally. This is something the company needs now that it no longer has Diageo distributing its brands and its reliance on third party distributors. With the exception of the relatively small premium spiced rum Kraken, Grupo Cuervo lacks a portfolio of brands to help negotiate better deals with distributors, despite the scale of the iconic José Cuervo brand. This deal potentially offers a win-win situation for both parties and shows that Grupo Cuervo is determined to remain independent for the foreseeable future. For Diageo, the challenge will be to secure Don Julio’s growth in what may be a high margin but crowded market place. However, this will be a risk and it will be at the price of not being in the world’s most dynamic spirits category. For Grupo Cuervo, the challenge will be greater. It will have to try and find a way to grow the brand and create a unique identity for Bushmills but without Diageo’s distribution clout, although perhaps with a greater focus.
TOP FIVE IRISH WHISKEY MARKETS (% VOLUME) 2013
JAMESON DOMINATES THE IRISH WHISKEY CATEGORY GLOBALLY
USA FORECAST GROWTH 2013-2018
% CAGR 2013-2018
The key to this logic is the US, the key growth market for both categories. As reflected in the global figures, Irish whiskies will outperform tequila dramatically in CAGR, albeit less so in actual terms, but the key difference is in the underlying dynamics of each of the individual categories. In Irish whiskey Diageo has tried and failed to make Bushmills work in the US, with the brand’s share falling from 17 per cent in 2008 to 8 per cent in 2013. Category growth has continually been driven by Pernod Ricard’s Jameson brand. On the other hand, Bushmills’ continued failure over the review period can, in the early part, be put
“Part of the problem with Bushmills has been its ﬂavour proﬁle, which is less accessible than Jameson or Tullamore Dew”
GRUPO CUERVO SCALING UP
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE US FOR DIAGEO
down to a lack of corporate focus, but this cannot be said in recent years when Bushmills did enjoy support from the company and its failed launch of a honey variant can, with hindsight, be seen as a last stab at giving it a foothold. Part of the problem with Bushmills has been its flavour profile, which is less accessible than Jameson or Tullamore Dew, but it has also been Diageo’s failure to develop an Irish identity for the brand separate from Jameson, not just in the US but also globally. This is what William Grant is trying in the US, with some early signs of success, for Tullamore Dew. In tequila, Diageo
ABSOLUTE GROWTH 2013-2018
o Diageo has decided to swap Bushmills for complete control of the Don Julio super-premium tequila brand and US$408 million (plus regaining the production and distribution of Smirnoff in Mexico) in a deal with Grupo Cuervo. That decision may seem strange in the light of the expected global prospects of tequila and Irish whiskey, at least at first glance. The categories are expected to see Compound Annual Growth Rates (CAGRs) of 2% and 11% or 14 million and 16 million litres respectively between 2013-2018. However, the deal does make strategic sense for Diageo as well as Casa Cuervo.
IN THE US, IRISH WHISKEY IS PREDICTED TO GROW FASTER THAN TEQUILA BUT DIAGEO FEELS ITS SUPER-PREMIUM TEQUILA WILL RETURN GREATER VALUE
OPENINGS CHIFLEY’S BAR & GRILL TO OPEN IN CANBERRA CHIFLEY’S Bar & Grill, a new steakhouse and bar within the historic Hotel Kurrajong Canberra, located in Barton, ACT, will open its doors on Tuesday 16 December 2014, with Michael Chatto leading the kitchen. Chifley’s is named after the 16th Prime Minister of Australia, Ben Chifley. According to the hotel’s historical records, Mr Chifley made Hotel Kurrajong his residence of choice, and dined in the original restaurant up to three times a day, during his 11 years in office (1940s and early 1950s). With a strong focus on premium beef, Chifley’s features a stand-alone steak menu, where customers can choose from 18 different cuts including David Blackmore Wagyu and Cape Grim Black Angus, each listed with its weight, origin and marble scores. The quality of the product on offer will set a new standard in Canberra due to the grade of the beef and the number of different cuts available. Chifley’s wine list features over 120 local and international premium wines, overseen by Catherine Sharland. Formerly of Rockpool Bar & Grill Perth and Must Wine Bar, Sharland will relocate from the west coast to become Sommelier and Restaurant Manager at Chifley’s. Chiﬂey's, Hotel Kurrajong, 8 National Circuit, Barton, Canberra, ACT (02) 6234 4444
APPLEJACK LAUNCHES THE BUTLER APPLEJACK Hospitality, owned by Hamish Watts and Ben Carroll, has opened its fourth venue in just three years, The Butler. The bar and restaurant is located on Victoria Street in Potts Point, in the iconic site of Mezzaluna, and before that the restaurant Butlers. Applejack Hospitality group executive chef James Privett will be taking the helm of the kitchen with a menu boasting creative share foods with a peppering of French Caribbean flavours. The Butler will also have an extensive wine list and bar showcasing a broad selection of beers, ciders, spirits and cocktails to match the menu. A large outdoor garden terrace provides panoramic views of the city, while the interior has subtle botanical and colonial French themes. A relaxed and casual venue, The Butler has an emphasis on sharp service, delicious food and stylish drinks. The Butler, 123 Victoria Street, Potts Point, NSW (02) 8354 0742
THE GREENS BOWLS NORTH SYDNEY OVER SYDNEY’S lower north shore has welcomed a new venue with the opening of The Greens North Sydney, a neighbourhood eatery, bar, café, garden and bowling green with views of Sydney Harbour. The Greens has transformed the majority of the existing North Sydney Bowling Clubhouse and one of three bowling greens. Husband and wife kitchen team Lilly and Nathan Fasan, both ex-The Grounds of Alexandria, have created a menu that is uncomplicated, wholesome and designed to share. The bar is as much of a focus as the kitchen with bar manager Matt Le Rade (ex-The Roosevelt, Palmer & Co, and Pelicano) creating a playful and curious cocktail list ranging from the classics through to a Yuzu Daiquiri or Tequila and Chamomile Sour with a side of chamomile flowers. The outdoor Garden Bar will be mixing things up and serving cocktails and Bloody Mary’s three ways; red, yellow, green. The Greens will be a continually evolving space with exciting new elements added over time including a breakfast menu, summer yoga and movie screenings on the greens, organic markets and more. The Greens North Sydney, 54 Ridge Street, North Sydney (02) 9245 3099
LANEWAY BAR UNVEILED IN SYDNEY’S SURRY HILLS DELI Wine Bar has opened in the former site of The Red Door in Surry Hills, with the venue undergoing a swanky makeover transforming it into a more grown up venue for Sydney’s discerning wine lovers. The bar’s focus will be on a great wine list and a deli food offering of cheese, charcuterie and freshly shucked oysters. The cheeses and charcuterie will be prepared, sliced to order and weighed on vintage scales at the bar to either eat in or take away with accompaniments of fresh bread, pickles and fermented vegetables to create a relaxed, picnic style experience. Sommeliers will stand in place of bartenders offering table service throughout the bar, ensuring a high level of service and a wine list to die for. Belinda Mackie, formerly sommelier at Sokyo, will be taking the reins as wine bar manager and sommelier. “The idea behind Deli Wine Bar is simply somewhere you can go and get a fresh, simple bite to eat and enjoy a beautiful glass of wine, any night of the week,” said owner Darrell Felstead. “There aren’t enough wine bars in Sydney that offer something as simple and well thought-out without the wanky pretense, and we hope the good folk of Surry Hills will welcome this new concept.” The bar has its own entrance from Sophia Street, with the long-term aim of having a late night licence, creating a new hub for live music, great food and drinks for Surry Hills’ night owls. Deli Wine Bar, Sophia Street, Surry Hills, NSW 2010 (02) 9212 0335
This year, ALIA turned 21 and the Australian on-premise industry was on hand to celebrate in style…
inners of the 2014 Australian Liquor Industry Awards (ALIA) were announced on Wednesday October 29 at Luna Park, Sydney. Co-hosted by Intrust Super and IRI-Aztec, this year’s event was a double celebration as ALIA turned 21 and guests were invited to show their festive side by dressing to the theme: Celebrate With Colour. Pernod Ricard Australia saw much success, securing the lion’s share of awards in the wine and spirits categories as well as On-Premise Supplier of the Year. Justin Hemmes took out Publican of the Year and 2014 World Class finalist and Anchor Bar (Bondi) bartender Charlie Ainsbury won Bartender of the Year. Ketel One was awarded Best On-Premise Spirit with brand ambassador Chris Hysted doubling the win with Brand Ambassador of the Year.
AWARD SPONSORS 16 bars&clubs
e h t d Ainnners were: w
BEST ON-PREMISE LIQUEUR Winner: Chartreuse HC: St Germain
BARTENDER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Charlie Ainsbury, Anchor, NSW HC: Jimmy Irvine, Hinky Dinks, NSW
BEST NEW VENUE Winner: The Barber Shop, NSW HC: Hello Sailor, NSW
BEST VENUE RENOVATION Winner: Coogee Pavilion, NSW HC: Miss Moneypenny's, QLD
BAR OF THE YEAR Winner: Hello Sailor, Sydney, NSW HC: Black Pearl, VIC HC: The Barber Shop, NSW HC: Hinky Dinks, NSW
GROUP OPERATOR OF THE YEAR
Winner: Cliff Dive, NSW HC: Luxe Bar, WA
Winner: Swillhouse Group HC: Keystone Group
BEST SPORTS VENUE
Winner: Lewis Jaffrey, The Baxter Inn, Sydney, NSW HC: Petr Dvoracek, The Barber Shop, NSW
Winner: Golden Sheaf Hotel, NSW HC: The Light Brigade Hotel, NSW
BEST GAMING VENUE
BAR TEAM OF THE YEAR
Winner: Golden Sheaf Hotel, NSW HC: Crown Casino, VIC
Winner: The Baxter Inn, NSW HC: Black Pearl, VIC
BEST DRAUGHT PRODUCT
COCKTAIL SPIRIT OF THE YEAR Winner: Ketel One HC: Havana Club 7YO
Winner: James Squire One Fifty Lashes HC: Feral Hop Hog HC: Stone & Wood Pacific Ale
THANK YOU TO OUR NETWORKING BARS
ON-PREMISE TRAINING PROVIDER
Winner: Hugos Manly, NSW HC: The Glenmore Hotel, NSW
Winner: Sweet&Chilli HC: Pernod Ricard
PUBLICAN OF THE YEAR
BEST BRAND AMBASSADOR
Winner: Justin Hemmes, Merivale HC: Bruce Solomon, Solotel
Winner: Chris Hysted, Ketel One, Diageo HC: Mitch Bushell, Monkey Shoulder, William Grant & Sons
BEST NON-ALCOHOLIC Winner: Fever Tree HC: Bundaberg Ginger Beer
HOTEL OF THE YEAR Winner: The Oaks Hotel, NSW HC: The Glenmore Hotel, NSW
ON-PREMISE SUPPLIER OF YEAR Winner: Pernod Ricard HC: Diageo
n r e t s e W DOM S I W
The west coast bar scene has exploded over the past ﬁve years, and nobody knows it better than Perth local, Andy Freeman, owner of Luxe, Varnish on King, Darling’s Supper Club and the new The Flour Factory DESCRIBE YOUR APPROACH TO LIFE IN FIVE WORDS: Tenacious, passionate, curious, thirsty, family.
need to have an understanding of the industry because it can be tricky at times. And regular communications from HQ.
HOW DID YOU AND BUSINESS PARTNER SAM ASTBURY MEET? We met around the year 2000 at C-Lounge in Perth. Sam joined the bar team then. He worked with me running three bars in the venue when he returned from living in the UK. It was an iconic venue doing some great things with drinks at that time…
TELL US ABOUT SOME OF THE PROJECTS/ VENUES YOU WORKED ON/AT IN ASIA? A broad spectrum of international hotels, smaller private venues and global brands. Training thousands of people per year across Asia. Sam and I did this work together also – hence our discovery and love for Asian food and the subsequent birth of Darlings Supper Club. Our love for training and sharing our experiences / knowledge of the industry has helped us be better operators and communicators with our broad employee base.
WHAT’S A KEY INGREDIENT TO YOUR SUCCESS AS BUSINESS PARTNERS? In my opinion transparency is vital. Partners
WHEN DID YOU RETURN TO PERTH? Always lived here. I’ve just been overseas for weeks at a time, I guess… Perth has always been my home and my base. TELL ME ABOUT YOUR VENUES: Luxe Bar – iconic cocktail bar. Perth’s first “Style Bar” and part of the hospitality institution here in WA. Varnish on King – American whiskey basement bar with 5 star food and 80’s pop music… Darlings Supper Club – Chinese restaurant meets rock ’n’ roll diner. Trading until 3am every day of the week serving Asian fusion food and handmade dumplings with rock and roll music. The Flour Factory – our new project. Madrid Bar vs
New York Deli, on Queen Street. In-house bakery and butchery specialising in fortified wines and charcuterie. Playlist is funk/soul and reggae. WHEN PLANNING YOUR VENUES WERE YOU AWARE OF THE PERTH CITY LINK PROJECT? Absolutely – it was a massive incentive to do some projects near it for sure. HOW IMPORTANT IS COUNCIL PLANNING RESEARCH TO YOU BOTH WHEN LOOKING INTO NEW PROJECTS? City of Perth is very “pro”. They make life quite easy (thus far). HOW HAS PERTH CHANGED IN THE YEARS BETWEEN LUXE AND DARLINGS? Tons. More people like to drink AND eat… it’s more of a European style of entertaining, I guess. More bespoke offerings are popping up around the place and some operators are doing some really fresh things. There is still room for more cultured operators that are willing to push the boundaries.
WHAT KEEPS YOU MOTIVATED? My young family and awesome staff. The staff love what we do and I respond to that. FIVE THINGS YOU HAVE LEARNED ABOUT RUNNING A BUSINESS SINCE OPENING YOUR OWN VENUES. Use your accountant. Listen to the customers. Cash-flow is king. Don’t stick your head in the sand. And keep pushing – all the time. THREE THINGS YOUR STAR EMPLOYEES DO WELL Smile, product knowledge and eagerness to please/impress. SHARE WITH US A FEW AUSTRALIAN BARS/CLUBS THAT IMPRESS YOU… Brisbane Hotel Perth, it’s a Perth icon and was a real game shifter for “pubs”. Shady Pines and The Baxter Inn – both awesome venues that I think made the country stand up and take a look. WHAT’S THE WORST PART OF YOUR JOB? Coming home when the sun is coming up and dealing with drunk idiots. IF WE WANTED TO OPEN A BAR WHAT’S THE FIRST THING WE NEED TO KNOW? Crystal clear brand/concept and key senior staff that truly know what they’re doing. WHAT’S NEXT FOR YOU AND SAM? Hopefully smelling the roses for a couple of years… b&c
r e n s l i P In the ﬁrst part of our ‘Know Your Beers’ series, Stefanie Collins investigates Pilsner, the Czech beer style that’s loved all over the world PHOTOS COURTESY OF SPIEGELAU AND PLZE+ÊSK+¢ PRAZDROJ
or a beer that has pretty much conquered the world, the Pilsner style is relatively young, arriving with much fanfare in 1842 in the town of Plze in the Czech Republic. Brewing in the small Czech Republic town – formerly part of the Bohemian Kingdom – dates back to 1295 when the citizens of Plze were granted the right to brew beer by the monarch, King Wenceslas II. The town continued to brew right through until the 1840s when, legend has it, the townspeople and brewers were disgusted by the sight of 36 barrels of beer being rolled out of the central brewery and summarily poured down the drain. They had been declared “undrinkable” by
a city councillor and doomed to feed the fish. Now here things get a little hazy. History suggests that the people banded together to create a brewing collective that would ensure the quality of the town’s beer supply – a very serious matter, obviously. However, there are apocryphal historical rumours of brewing yeast being smuggled out of the Bavarian Empire by monks and more. What we do know is that gifted Bavarian master brewer Josef Groll from Vilshofen brewed the first batch of Pilsner in the new brewery. It was his magic combination of Saaz hops, the soft local water, the choice of lager yeast and the use of lighter malt that
became an overnight success and Plze ’s beer has been brewed in vast quantities ever since.
THE PEOPLE DEMAND GOOD BEER Interestingly, it was breweries born through the efforts of people power that have created the two, arguably, most famous Czech Pilsners in the world. Pilsner Urquell – literally Czech for ‘original Pilsner’ – is the beer of aforementioned legend. According to the brand, the original brewery, known as Burgher’s Brewery, was a direct result of the townspeople of Plze building and running a
KNOW YOUR BEERS
“It’s the one beer style that leaves you nowhere to hide from a brewing perspective” Neal Cameron, The Australian Brewery
If your customers like Pilsners… They might also like these beers:
SCHWARZBIER – a dark lager, it retains the crisp clean palate of a Pilsner but is more malt driven. A lighter beer than its colour suggests.
CZECH COOPERS AT WORK IN THE 19TH CENTURY
brewery for themselves in order to combat cheaper imported beers that were at risk of overwhelming the market. Similarly, the original Budweiser Budvar brewery was known as the Czech Share Brewery, and was built to improve the economic, and therefore political, standing of the native Czech population in the town of Ceské Budejovice – they had been lagging behind the migrant German community despite their majority. The Czech Share Brewery – the direct predecessor of Budweiser Budvar – was founded by Czech brewers and pumped out its first batch in October 1895 and is still going strong today with a recipe that is reportedly unchanged. Not to be outdone by their Bohemian cousins, Bavarian – German and Austrian –
breweries also got behind the Pilsner trend, creating their own versions of the golden beer for their own markets. And it was two Austrian breweries that created benchmark Pilsners that are now widely drunk around the world. Both Trumer Pils and the slightly lesser known Stiegl are widely distributed, with the former being touted as the world’s first ‘craft Pilsner’.
LET’S GET TECHNICAL Stylistically speaking, Czech (or Bohemian) Pilsner ranges from a light straw colour through to a light golden colour and is crystal clear. There should be a distinct hop nose with the spicy floral notes of the Saaz hop variety being particularly prevalent. The hop notes should carry through into the
BOCK – with several permutations, this is a heavier style with ABVs around 6.5%. Depending on the version they range in colour from golden (Maibock) to very dark (Dunkelbock). SAISON – a yeast-driven complex ale style with a generally fruity aroma and flavour. There should be lots of spice and medium bitterness. HEFEWEIZEN – known for its phenolic flavours of banana and clove. There is little hop bitterness, and a moderate level of alcohol.
THE ‘LAGERING’ FACILITIES AT PILSNER URQUELL
“I had seen a few examples of chestnut beers from Italy and given that Beechworth and Stanley are the capital for chestnut production in Australia it seemed only logical to brew a beer using them” Ben Kraus, Bridge Road Brewers
Key features of a classic Pilsner
• • • •
Colour: pale straw to light golden Liquid is sparkling, bright and clear Hoppier and more bitter than other lagers Some spicy, floral aroma thanks to the traditional Saaz hops • Czech Pilsners can also exhibit mild buttery, yeasty characteristics • ABV of 4.5-5.5 per cent
palate with a smooth, crisp and clean malty backbone in evidence. Some original Czech Pilsners will also exhibit yeast characteristics with mild buttery flavours and aromas. The average alcohol by volume for a classic Pilsner is 4.5-5.5 per cent. According to Ben Kraus, head brewer and owner of Bridge Road Brewers in Victoria, it is the hops that are the standout feature of a classic Pilsner. “For me a classic Pilsner is defined by the, relatively, liberal use of aromatic and bittering hops. Liberal when compared to other classic lagers such as Helles, or general mainstream euro or global lagers,” he says. “Pilsner Urquell is the original beer that defines the style, hoppy and aromatic with solid bitterness when fresh. Even much of the tired stock that finds its way to Australia is still evidently hoppy.” Appearance is important too and, according to Neal Cameron, Pilsner-phile and head brewer at The Australian Brewery in Sydney, this is one instance where it is perfectly okay to judge a book by its cover, so to speak. “It’s one of the purest beer styles – it’s all about a super pale, sparklingly bright body, a soft pillowy long lasting head, and a crisp
and assertive bitterness backed up with a distinctively Noble hop aroma from some of the oldest hop varieties there are,” he says. “It’s the one beer style that leaves you nowhere to hide from a brewing perspective. The Germans measure their brewers on how pale and bright they make their Pilsners and it’s there for everybody to see.”
THE PILSNER SPECTRUM According to the Beer Judge Certification Program (BJCP) Guidelines there are only three official types of Pilsner: German Pilsner, Bohemian (Czech) Pilsner and American Pilsner. However, if you consult a bit more broadly, there are a few more categories that crop up, including: European Pilsner, Asian Pilsner, Antipodean Pilsner, Craft Pilsner and Imperial Pilsner. It’s an interesting spectrum, and Kraus is a firm fan of the Antipodean (or New World) style of Pilsner, characterised by the use of New World hops instead of the traditional Saaz hop. “My preference for Pilsner is the New World style for which NZ is (in my mind) famous for,” he says. “Emerson’s and Croucher make two of my favourites – solid, dry pilsners with strong NZ hop characters.”
KNOW YOUR BEERS
Kraus himself has created what can only be termed a Craft Pilsner with his brewery’s popular Chestnut Pilsner – inspired by local produce and Italian craft beers. “[We wanted] to use local ingredients from our region as our one of our strengths and points of difference,” he says. “I had seen a few examples of chestnut beers from Italy and given that Beechworth and Stanley are the capital for chestnut production in Australia it seemed only logical to brew a beer using them. We didn’t at the time have a lager, so a milder style of beer – when compared with our bigger hoppy and malty ales – seemed appropriate given that the flavour influence of raw chestnuts is so subtle.” It’s possibly a wise choice, given that both Cameron and Kraus assert that genuine Pilsners are actually relatively rare in the market despite their apparent popularity – most are simply lagers mislabelled – with Cameron adding that it is a travesty for many ‘Pilsners’ from around the world to even carry the name. “You have to have drunk some of the world’s great Pilsners in the beer gardens of Bavaria or Plzeň to truly understand how magisterial these beers are and how poor
many of the copies are,” he says. The reason for this, according to Cameron, is that while certain conditions can be mimicked – he notes that Sydney’s water is not so different from Plze ’s – it is the lagering time that Pilsner Urquell and their counterparts give their beers that is the point of difference: 12 weeks at very cold temperatures is normal. The cost of the stainless steel and refrigeration in most other countries would be exorbitant, so brewing a genuine Pilsner is out of the question.
IF IT’S NOT CZECH BEER, IT’S NOT CZECH BEER Now, it is said that imitation is the highest form of flattery, which is of great comfort to the brewers of Plze seeing as though it is estimated that Pilsner is the most highly copied beer style of all time. The breweries were so flattered that they applied for – and were granted – Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status by the European Union for the term ‘Czech beer’. Now, much like Champagne, a brewery has to pass inspection to be allowed to label their creations as Czech beer. b&c This article was originally published in Beer & Brewer magazine.
Food matches for Pilsner
Pour it out
Pouring the beer from the bottle and into the proper glassware means the beer tastes better and gives your customer a better all-round ‘beersperience’. For Pilsstyle beers the best glass is, unsurprisingly, the Pilsner glass. The narrow style of this glass ensures that the traditional, brilliant golden colour catches the eye, while the relatively small volume of the glass ensures that the beer is drunk fresh and cold – with frequent top-ups therefore being essential. The geometry of the lip also dictates where on the palate the beer first hits – in the case of the Pilsner glass, this is on the midback palate where scientists have indicated the highest concentration of bitterness receptors lie.
A REUBEN PAIRS WELL WITH PILSNER
A proper Czech Pilsner is hard to beat when it comes to versatility in the world of beer and food matching. According to Tiffany Waldron, co-owner of Two Row Bar in Melbourne, a Pilsner’s best qualities are its cleanness and crispness, so keeping the flavours simple is important. For those who aren’t into anything fancy, rejoice, Waldron recommends going for something like a cheeseburger with bacon, crispy fish tacos with fresh salsa, or even pizza. And for sandwich lovers a perfect pairing has got to be a piping hot toastie filled with oozing raclette, mustard and smoked ham – a favourite at Two Row. If you’re slightly more hipster-leaning in your sandwich filling choice, then the currently popular Reuben – corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing on rye bread – is also highly recommended. The fresh, spicy flavours of traditional Thai and Vietnamese dishes are great with Pilsners, the beer providing a refreshing contrast to the zing of the chilli and herbs. Pilsners are also a perfect accompaniment to seafood dishes. Try one with oysters au natural or classic beachside fish and chips. Better yet, Google a recipe for oyster po'boys, the classic from the deep south of America that sees battered, deep fried oysters sandwiched between layers of French bread with a generous serve of fresh cabbage slaw and a dollop of hot sauce. However, don’t forget dessert. While traditionally the preserve of matches like Stouts, Porters, and Lambics, the refreshing crispness of a Pilsner is a perfect contrast for desserts like fruit-based tarts or honey-flavoured anything – cutting through the potentially cloying sweetness that those dishes can create. Of course, we can’t forget cheese either. Pilsners are best matched with washed rinds, as well as syncing perfectly with aged cheddar, preferably on a classic ploughman’s platter.
The UK continues to produce some of the worldâ€™s great bars. Here are some of the venues that will be making waves in 2015. Melita Kiely reports from the other side of the world
ondon is always described as the cocktail capital of the world – unless you’re talking to a New Yorker – but the UK has so much more to offer than what lies in the capital. The fun, funky joints that have populated London in the past couple of years, such as London Cocktail Club, secret speakeasy Call Me Mr Lucky and arcade heaven PimpShuei have caught on up north, with bars in Manchester and other major cities focused on giving guests a good time with quality cocktails to boot. Further north in Scotland is a maturing cocktail scene where some bartenders are taking inspiration from the culinary world to develop modern drinks with foraged ingredients; it’s amazing what you can find in Edinburgh city centre. Back 'darn sarf', the upscale hotel bar trend is continuing with speed, with one of London’s most prominent bartenders opening a second venue at the new Mondrian Hotel. One thing is clear across most establishments though – a singular focus on one particular spirit still prevails.
PORTSIDE PARLOUR SHOREDITCH, LONDON From humble beginnings as a pop-up rum bar, PortSide Parlour can now be found permanently
nestled in the hipster heart of London’s Shoreditch. Designed to emulate a “nautical antiquities shop” with its solid oak and copper bar, here you’ll find more than 80 varieties of rum on offer to whet your whistle. The cocktail menu will change from season-to-season, but
for now guests can expect signature serves such as the Smoked Apple Wood Old Fashioned and Squid Ink Martini. And for when you’re feeling a little peckish, there’s the seafood tapas menu, including octopus terrine and manchego-stuffed courgette flowers.
CRAZY PEDRO’S PART-TIME PIZZA PARLOUR MANCHESTER You may not have expected Manchester’s first mezcaleria to take shape in the form of a pizza parlour, but that is exactly what Crazy Pedro’s Part-Time Pizza Parlour is all about. Launched in October this year by the head of The Liars Club Lyndon Higginson and business partners Ross Mackenzie and Jobe Ferguson of Cane and Grain fame, Crazy Pedro’s serves New York-style pizzas whole or by the slice until 4am, meaning it’s accessible at any time of day. But the drinks here are just as important as the food, and guests can also enjoy tequila and mezcal, hard shakes and frozen cocktails.
DANDELYAN LONDON If you hail from the Big Smoke and you haven’t yet heard of Mr Lyan’s latest venture, Dandelyan, then where have you been? Located in Bankside’s Mondrian hotel, seasonal experimentation is the name of the game with botanyinspired cocktails that range from the boozy heights of the Concrete Sazerac to the surprisingly light and creamy Koji Hardshake. The interior is clad in chrome tables and dusty pink leather sofas with views overlooking the River Thames and St Paul’s Cathedral, offering sophistication in a relaxed atmosphere. Dandelyan has already received a rapturous applause from industry insiders and is a sure success for 2015.
TIMBERYARD EDINBURGH Timberyard was ahead of its time when it opened in 2012 serving the style of food and drinks better acquainted with the menus at Denmark’s Noma than a family-run joint in Edinburgh. Foraging is a big thing at this minimalist restaurant and bar, and staff venture out most mornings to pick Douglas fir or sea buckthorn. Shrubs are a key feature
of bar manager Jo Radley’s cocktail list – a particularly good Rum Shrub contains bramble, spruce vinegar, rum and grappa, while the Filthy Pig is a savoury medley of crackling, pickle and gin. It’s coming into its third year, but Timberyard is still leading the pack as far as Edinburgh – and the UK – are concerned.
BAR TERMINI LONDON The newest site from the Godfather of modern cocktails and founder of 69 Colebrooke Row, Tony Conigliaro, is gearing up to open on Old Compton Street any day now. Specialising in coffee and aperitivos – two of the hottest drinks trends to hit London right now, Bar Termini is set to be a more relaxed, informal and humble experience than Tony C’s world class molecular mixology hub in Islington. He’s keeping tightlipped about the concept just now, but Bar Termini is expected to be styled after a traditional Italian café. b&c This article was first published in The Spirits Business magazine – www.thespiritsbusiness.com
COCKTAILS AT PORTSIDE PARLOUR
UK BAR TO WATCH: HIGH WATER, LONDON
urham Atkinson, Bobby Hiddleston, Maria Johansson and Barbaros Inan first met behind the bar at Milk & Honey London several years ago. After forging a strong friendship, the team split, with Hiddleston and Johansson travelling to New York to open the Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog, while Inan manned the bar at Hawksmoor Spitalfields and Atkinson opened London craft beer pub The Hops & Glory. In April this year the four bartenders united once again to open neighbourhood bar High Water in London’s trendy Dalston, serving classic cocktails alongside modern, seasonal interpretations. Each name brings his or her own talent to the bar, with Johnsson specialising in wine, Inan and Atkinson craft beer devotees, and Scottish Hiddleston a natural whisky buff. The craft beer and wine list is kept fresh while a “chunky backbar” rich in Scotch whisky is constantly expanding. For all their knowledge and first-class experience, the High Water guys aren’t taking the game too seriously, and aim to offer something for everyone, from a fresh cold local lager to a rare brandy or bespoke Martini. Relaxed, approachable and with a regularly evolving menu, High Water is setting the bar for cool neighbourhood joints in London.
IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT THE DRINKS Former bars&clubs editor Sacha Delfosse is now managing Luxe Bar in Perth. Here’s what he’s learned about the bar business since starting there
fter spending the last three or so years as editor of bars&clubs, in May this year I made the move from Sydney to Perth. Soon after I was lucky enough to be given the chance to manage one of Perth’s iconic cocktail venues, Luxe Bar. Having last managed a venue in 2004, to say there was a lot to learn is an understatement. While many of the key hospitality principles remain the same, the industry has evolved in folds since I left it. While the crafting of quality cocktails is now an all important part of most premium bars in this country, and most bartenders worth their weight in gomme have a great understanding of all the spirit categories and an array of classic and
contemporary cocktails, one thing I have quickly discovered is that there is a great deal more to operating a successful bar than just having a kickass drinks menu and a back bar that’s the envy of your peers. Speaking of back bars, and speed rails for that matter, stock control is the back bone to any bar operation. You can’t sell what you haven’t got, and if you’re not selling what you have then sooner or later you’ll hit cash flow problems. Because Luxe Bar isn’t one of those venues that specializes in a specific category, the challenge is to have a limited selection of spirits from each category that cuts across styles, price points and marketing activity.
“The amount of data available can help you see the business in a different light, as numbers rarely lie” according to the par levels given to me by the previous manager, I forgot to factor in the increase in consumption a long weekend (and a large function we held that weekend also) would bring. By Sunday I found we were running very low on one of our staple products – vodka – as well as having drenched my beer supplies. Luckily I was able to get help from many of our neighbouring Beaufort Street bars, who kindly lent me enough stock to avoid running out. I literally had bartenders showing up with a spare bottle or two of vodka as they finished their shifts. Great solidarity, but not good for business. I quickly learnt you need to quickly identify the top selling items in your bar and always make sure you have some extra on hand. That said, having too many bottles of products that move slow in your storeroom can be detrimental, as that is dead money, just sitting there for weeks – or months – on end. Since most bars are small businesses, having thousands of dollars locked up in stock is something all owners want to avoid, as that money can be (and will probably be) used for other things – in many cases for maintenance and repairs of key equipment that is crucial to the business.
EQUIPMENT AND STAFF
Some brands people love (even if bartenders are not fond of them), other brands go from obscurity to flavour of the month, some brands might not be that well known but allow the bartenders to craft awesome drinks from them or give the consumer something different to sink their taste buds into. Not everyone that comes to your bar will want to be educated on the nuances of different rum styles, or care much for the back story behind the mezcal on your shelf. Many people just want a good drink at a decent price to enjoy their night out.
LEARNING THE HARD WAY My first weekend as manager was also a long (public holiday) weekend and, while I ordered stock
This brings me to my next point – the importance that items like refrigerators, lighting, glass washers, ice machines, tills, EFTPOS terminals, amplifiers, etc. play in keeping a bar running smoothly. If any of these things, and many other elements of a bar, stop working, you soon find out how crucial they are. Things break down all the time, and sometimes with a bit of ingenuity, luck or help you can get through the shift without them, but they will eventually need to get fixed and this will cost you time and money. Having reliable trades people that can come out and fix a faulty fridge or rewire your sound system at a moment’s notice is a blessing, but it’s a must to have systems in place to ensure all the bits and pieces that make your bar work are running smoothly. Staffing is another area a manager will have to spend a lot of time worrying about. It’s no revelation that people come and go much quicker in hospitality than in other industries. The challenge is finding the right people for your venue, making sure they are happy, and that they stick around as long as possible. Even if people are happy they may still need to
leave due to other factors, so making sure no one is irreplaceable is a smart way to approach things. I don’t mean this in a negative way, but if only one person on your team knows how to operate a certain piece of equipment or do a certain function and they leave, you will be screwed. Once you find a team that works well together, it’s important to encourage everyone to learn from each other and provide the time, resources and direction for your staff to learn as much as they can.
GET YOUR HEAD AROUND THE DATA One great advantage of the current hospitality industry now as opposed to a decade ago is the improvement in technology, especially when it comes to POS. The days of X and Z Read are long gone and now with a push of a button or two I can see what’s been sold, when it was sold, how much was sold over a certain period, and even who sold it. The amount of data available now is a touch overwhelming but is worth getting your head around as it can save you a lot of time and hassle in the long run. It can also help you see the business in a different light, as numbers rarely lie. Seeing where your revenue is coming from and where it is going allows you to establish better practices to maximize profits and lower costs – and that makes everyone happy. When I started working at Luxe Bar I tried to spend as much time behind the bar as possible, to get my head around the venue and dust off the old cobwebs. But I soon realised to be an able manager I needed to spend just as much time in the office. Working on spreadsheets, notes, reports, rosters, ordering forms, planning documents, etc. will consume a great deal of your time, but are necessary to make sure your bar is operating correctly. Staying organized and on top of your paperwork makes a huge difference in the long run. There are so many more factors that can shape a patron’s experience and image of your bar – from the way the security interact with them at the door, to the décor and lighting, the cleanliness of the bar, the state of your glassware, the bartenders’ attire, and much, much more. Serving someone the best Martini they had in their life will be diminished if they walk into the toilets and find they are a mess. Having a bartender drop gold-plated chat to a patron will quickly lose its charm if the beer they serve them is warm, the music too loud or the air-con too cold. Every little thing counts. b&c
P TOO F THE
L-R: CHARLIE AINSBURY, TIM PHILIPS, LUKE ASHTON AND ADI RUIZ
WORLD Why enter World Class? You’re looking at four good reasons right here. With World Class 2015 about to get under way, we talk to four previous winners about how the competition changed their lives
harlie Ainsbury, Luke Ashton, Tim Philips and Adi Ruiz are previous winners of World Class Australia. They’re on a boat. In the sunshine. Drinking cocktails. All of them agree that winning the contest has changed their lives in ways they could never have dreamed of. Although they do point out it’s not their boat. “You don’t understand how big this competition is,” Charlie says. “Even when you get all the way to the end, until you actually get to the Global Finals, you have no idea how incredible the competition is and what it does for you as a bartender.” As Charlie suggests, winning World Class isn’t just about the prize, even though, in the last few years, the prizes offered in the
national competition have been nothing short of extraordinary. In 2013, Luke won $100,000 to open his own bar. Earlier this year Charlie’s prize included trips to Scotland, Tennessee and Guatemala. In 2015, the winner will visit 80 of the world’s best bars – making the prize effectively a bartender’s bucket list. But winning goes beyond money and ﬂights and accommodation. As Luke says, “It opens all sorts of doors for you. It's opportunities to work with chefs, to work with publications.” For Tim, who won the global final in 2012, the opportunities have been truly international. “If someone had said to me four years ago that I’d be in Spanish GQ under the headline ‘The Lionel Messi of Bartending’, I would’ve told them you’re
absolutely kidding me. But because Diageo is the world’s biggest spirits company and this competition is so absolutely huge, these are the sorts of doors that open up.”
THE BENEFITS OF WINNING Winning is good for business, too. Tim and Adi are partners in Bulletin Place, which opened after Tim returned victorious from Rio. Tim is the first to acknowledge the bar has benefited from his World Class exposure. “I guess the global PR that World Class has given us has put a fair bit of coin through the cash register,” he says. “It’s brought in lots of customers, not just domestically but international visitors too and it’s definitely helped in terms of the Drinks International Top 50 bars poll.”
For Luke, winning has made the notion of a lifelong career in bartending “viable”. He says, “I’ve now got the opportunity to share with people what I think drinking culture should be about.” He’s clear that Diageo’s competition, with its pedigree and the column inches it generates, is helping position bartenders and the cocktails they make “as an extension of the culinary arts”. In other words, it’s not only raising the profile of top bartenders, it’s raising their status. Even Adi, who won the competition back in 2009, when the prize was “a bottle of booze”, describes how his victory “propelled” his career. He also highlights the knowledge that you take away from competing at the very highest level. “Throughout the whole competition, you’re getting massive inspiration, learning from everyone around you, which is fantastic,” he says. “In terms of personal lessons, you learn about the amount of commitment that’s required, the amount of work that you need to put into it.”
LEARNING TO WIN Which brings us to how to win. There’s no magic formula, of course, and each year Australia’s contest seems to get harder, with exacting challenges and hundreds of entrants. Globally, it gets harder to win, too – around 15,000 bartenders are now involved. With such competition, our winners all emphasise the dedication required to get to the top. “It’s basically a complete immersion that you have to go through if you want to take it out,” says Luke. Tim agrees. “It’s tens and tens and tens of hours that go into every concept you put behind every drink and every challenge. It’s one of the most labour heavy competitions any bartender can go through, if you want to do well. The preparation is intense,” he says.
“THE AMOUNT OF TRAINING THAT’S BEING INVESTED INTO ALL THE COMPETITORS MEANS YOU’RE NOT GOING TO LEAVE EMPTY HANDED” “I guess the thing for me was making sure I stood out and making sure I showed the judges something that I was pretty sure they hadn’t seen before. Coming up with that kind of innovation is tough. It’s very tough.” For Charlie, there’s no substitute for experience, particularly when it comes to the high-pressure crucible of the global final. “As daunting as it is to be in front of all those people, to be under so many restraints of time, and the fact you’re not eating properly and you’ve got jet lag – despite all of that – experience shines through,” he says. You can’t learn experience, of course. You’ve just got to do the time. Work, practise, prepare. And there’s no better preparation for one day winning World Class than entering it now and giving it a go. As Adi puts it, “Any experience you can gain at World Class, take it, and build it towards a future campaign. Chances are you’re not going to win the first time you enter. It’s something you have to ramp up towards.”
THE BENEFITS OF NOT WINNING It’s an important point to highlight – that there’s plenty to get out of World Class even if you don’t win. There’s networking, the sharing of ideas, plus the satisfaction and surprise of pushing yourself to new heights. Increasingly, World Class has become as much of a training event as a competition, with
entrants having access to experts and mentors, masterclasses on new techniques and trends, and feedback offered across the board. “The amount of training that’s being invested into all the competitors means you’re not going to leave empty handed,” Luke says. “You are going to walk away with some kind of learning experience or with something you didn’t know before you came into the comp.” Tim adds, “Losing 10 times as many competitions as I’ve actually won definitely helped me to win the competitions finally. Unless you get those losses out the way you’re never going to learn. You definitely take something out of World Class, whether it’s spiritually, whether it’s technically or whether it’s something else. Get in there. Get an entry in. Get it judged and then see where you go from there.” For Chris Hysted, who recently became Australia’s World Class brand ambassador, the training offered as part of the competition is a major part of World Class’s appeal. “I know a competition as big as this can be very scary to enter but the fact is that at every stage of the competition there’s something that you’ll gain from it,” he says. Having entered the competition on several occasions but never won, Chris adds that leaving the competition “a better bartender” is his “favourite thing about the whole experience”. That said, every year, someone has to win it. Your chances may be slim if you enter, but they’re zero if you don’t. “You’ve got to be in it to win it,” Tim says. “So don’t be intimidated by how many hoops you’ve got to jump through and all the rest of it. It all just starts with one drink in the first round.” b&c Entries to World Class 2015 open on 1 January 2015. Visit www.facebook.com/worldclassaustralia for more details.
A PREMIUM EXPERIENCE: THE BARBER SHOP IN SYDNEY
y l n o e h T
s i y wa
Sales of premium spirits continue to rise. Paul Wootton looks at how bars can best exploit this trend
few years ago, Pernod Ricard undertook some research in the UK, looking at the opportunity for premium spirits and the potential for trading up consumers. It found that consumers generally weren’t being upsold, despite the fact many of them said they wanted to be. There was a hunger to learn, to understand spirits and how to appreciate them – yet there were too few bartenders willing to guide consumers through that process. As part of its research, Pernod Ricard UK worked with a number of bars, training staff in some simple sales techniques. The results were staggering. In just four weeks, there was a huge increase in premium spirit sales in those bars – from 10 per cent of total spirits sold to 25 per cent. The training wasn’t about a hard sell. It was more about prompting and raising awareness. It proved that communicating, making a recommendation and reassuring consumers about their choice could go a long way. Australian bar-goers are also willing to trade up, if the offering and experience is right. You can see this most obviously in beer, where mainstream beer is in massive decline but sales of premium craft beer are growing at a rate in excess of 10 per cent. Premium spirits are in good shape, too, and they represent a huge opportunity for bar owners. In the US, where Americans have a real focus on upselling, premium spirits account for around 50 per cent of all spirits sold in the on-trade. That figure is considerably lower in Australia – and therein lies the opportunity. Data from market research provider Euromonitor International, for example, shows that premium and superpremium rum accounts for only 7 per cent of all rum sold, suggesting huge potential for growth at the top-end of that category.
THE GIN RENAISSANCE Gin has been the real success story in Australia over the last five years, according to Euromonitor, with premium gin enjoying growth of 16 per cent and super-premium gin soaring 28 per cent. By contrast, gins in the mid-priced and economy sectors have declined. Bars with a major gin focus such as Enrique’s, in Perth, and The Barber Shop and The Rook, both in Sydney, are benefiting from the quality gin trend and helping to drive it. Bombay Sapphire’s recent pop-up bar in Melbourne, Project Botanicals, has highlighted the popularity of premium gin among Australian drinkers. It’s been a runaway
KEYSTONE'S NEW CHAMPAGNE ROOM AT THE WINERY
“When you’re selling the more expensive stuff in your venue, you want to be delivering the experience that is complementary to that” success, with nine of the 12 evenings sold out and around 5,000 customers through the door. Diageo says its Tanqueray brand (Tanqueray and Tanqueray 10) has experienced value growth of 18.2 per cent in the year to October (Aztec MAT October 2014), outperforming the gin category as a whole, which has experienced 4.5 per cent growth in value over the last 12 months. A spokesperson for Diageo says that gin “fits seamlessly into the trend of premiumisation”, which the company expects to see continue, “as consumers seek out quality, authentic brands and experiences”. Gin is experiencing “a renaissance” in Australia, according to the company. As a trend, it shows no sign of easing up. “While it’s still a relatively small category, there’s a huge opportunity for growth in gin within the white spirits category and we’re very excited to be part of this,” the spokesperson adds. In other words, if you’re a bar operator and you’ve got no focus on gin, you might be missing a trick.
OTHER CATEGORIES Premium dark rum and premium tequila are also growing fast, albeit from much smaller bases. Premium tequila’s progress is in stark contrast to standard tequila, as Patrick McEwan, brand manager for Casa Herradura at Brown-Forman Australia, explains. “As a snapshot, one may be concerned with the MAT volumetric decline within the tequila category but if you look a little deeper you will find that mainstream brands are responsible for this and that premium 100 per cent agave tequila is performing extremely well. So much so that even with the decline in volume, the category as a whole is actually experiencing value growth,” he says. Value growth in Australia, driven by sales of premium and super-premium tequila, reflects the global trend and is a major reason why Diageo has relinquished Bushmills Irish Whiskey to Casa Cuervo in return for the rest of the Don Julio brand (see News Analysis, page 14). “The growing thirst for ‘real’ tequila is being fuelled by increased consumer (and trade) appreciation of the (not so) subtle differences between mixto and 100 per cent agave tequila,” Brown-Forman’s McEwan explains. He believes premium tequila offers licensees a genuine commercial opportunity. “The Australian market has matured considerably over the past five years and venue operators are realizing that unlocking this magical spirit has the potential to reap significant financial rewards,” he says. Much of what McEwan says is valid for other premium drinks categories, too. And it’s borne out by the stats, which show Australians are drinking less but drinking better. “The fact is that, within the current economic environment, people are frequenting bars less but when they do so are looking for an experience and are willing to spend more on luxury brands that they believe elevate their drinking occasion,” McEwan explains. “However, consumers are rapidly turning their backs on brands which are nothing more than mere ‘badges’ and are looking to engage with brands of deeper quality, authenticity and integrity. Herradura represents ‘real’ tequila from ‘real’ Mexico and is exactly why it continues to resonate and perform strongly.”
CAPITALISING ON THE TREND So if consumers are willing to pay more for what they drink, how do operators capitalise on that trend? Is it enough just to stock a range of premium brands? Not really, says Andy Gaunt, director of Source Consulting Solutions and the man responsible for the sales and marketing of G’Vine gin in Australia. For Gaunt, it’s important that operators
WHY UPSELLING VODKA WORKS Some bartenders may be tired of vodka but bar owners ignore the category at their peril. According to market research company Euromonitor International, super-premium vodka commands 11.2 per cent of all vodka sold, the largest super-premium share of any drinks category. There are opportunities for good margins here. Les Page, managing director of island2island, confirms that sales of super-premium vodka are buoyant. “Premiumisation has brought new interest and awareness to spirits as a whole and that can only be a good thing,” he says. “Consumers are demanding better quality spirits. The biggest shift we’ve noticed at island2island is with our Stolichnaya range of premium vodkas. Many more consumers are drinking super-premium and ultra-luxury vodkas, like elit by Stolichnaya, neat on the rocks.” Research suggests consumers are usually more willing to be ‘upsold’ when it comes to vodka. With whisky and rum, there are often age statements that can help consumers navigate the categories. But vodka, while accessible in terms of flavour profile, remains a mystery for many. “It’s a great opportunity for bartenders to use their knowledge of brands to encourage their customers to trade up,” Page says. “Premium spirit drinkers place a great deal of importance on provenance and heritage. They want to know more about what they are drinking and the origins of the drink. The more authentic the story, the deeper the connection and therefore the stronger the loyalty. Consumers look to bartenders to help them find the brand that works best for them.” When it comes to drinking premium, research by island2island shows the biggest uplift is coming from over 28-year-olds, both male and female, as a result of higher disposable income, an emphasis on drinking occasions and evolving palates.
“You want people to feel relaxed when they’re in the venue and not feel like they’re being pushed into something”
THE NEW TANQUERAY 10 BOTTLE
wishing to sell premium products create an all-round premium experience for their customers that goes beyond the drinks brands behind the bar. “When you’re selling the more expensive stuff in your venue, you want to be delivering the experience that is complementary to that in order to encourage a sense of value for the consumer,” he says. “That in turn encourages repeat purchase and good wordof-mouth and all of the things which result in good margin for the retailer in the first place.” Gaunt talks about creating “ritual and theatre” as part of that experience, particularly when communicating stories around brands and drinks. “I still have a bit of a bugbear about a gin and tonic that’s costing me oneand-a-half or two-times as much as a house gin and
CREATING AN EXPERIENCE: DRINKS TROLLEYS Drinks trolleys used to be associated with stuffy old hotels but in recent years fashionable bars and restaurants in the UK have enjoyed plenty of success with them. It’s not hard to see why. A trolley creates theatre, ensures staff get to communicate with customers and the visible cue prompts plenty of sales. In bars, they tend to be used as Martini stations, promoting premium gins or vodkas. But trolleys are also very effective at encouraging purchase of those rare dark spirits that have been gathering dust on your shelves. A serve of Rosebank 25 Year Old single malt has considerably more appeal if you can see the bottle rather than just reading it on a menu. Better still, if you can actually pick up the bottle and hold it, get a sense of the liquid history in your hands, well, you’re more likely to hand over your $50 for a nip. Super-premium vodka Absolut Elyx recently partnered with designer Sarah K to create the Absolut Elyx Station, a bespoke bar trolley that draws inspiration from the copper still used to make the luxury vodka. It’s basically a mobile Martini station, and comes complete with a copper vermouth atomiser, original 1948 design Finnish Martini glasses and a crystal cocktail mixer – so you can make the perfectly mixed Elyx Martini.
tonic that’s served to me in the same glass, with the same amount of ice, and pretty much a similar garnish to the house gin and tonic,” Gaunt says. “Okay, the liquid inside might be better, but it’s about people’s desires to trade up, it’s more than just the liquid or the product. It’s the other sets of feelings.” The theatre doesn’t have to be supremely complicated, either. It could mean premium glassware, a sphere of ice or a choice of tonics, for example. “I think we’ve seen that sort of ritual come out of Spain, with the shift to the ‘copa’ style of glass, the rounded wine glass, as a way of delivering a more elegant drink,” Gaunt points out. “If you talk to anyone that’s worked in Spain, they’ll tell you that’s been one of the most important factors of the gin category exploding – that creation of a ritual serve that is different from the norm.”
THE OPERATOR The gin-oriented Barber Shop in Sydney offers that kind of theatre. “We have some crystal tumblers that are pretty expensive,” owner Mikey Enright says. “We use those for the vintage gins we have. So if you order a vintage gin and tonic you’ll get that in a crystal tumbler with all the condiments.” These premium G&Ts are priced between $27 and $36; there are six variants available and they do sell. Enright agrees good bars need to offer a holistic premium experience. “It’s about chilled mixers, the right ice and nice glassware. And it’s about the touch and feel of the place,” he says. With The Barber Shop, it’s also about range. “We have gins that you can’t buy in Australia so we pride ourselves on having some really cool brands that you can’t
THE ABSOLUT ELYX STATION
see everywhere else,” he says. “We have a tonic list as well; so you spend an extra dollar and you get a choice of four different tonics.” Enright estimates between 8-10 per cent of G&T consumers will trade up to a premium tonic. Generally, customers will need to be prompted to do so, but Enright urges caution when it comes to the hard sell. “We do train staff to recommend something premium but I’m also wary of upselling. You want people to feel relaxed when they’re in the venue and not feel like they’re being pushed into something,” he says. “I like to keep it subtle and you need to read the signs of the guest. Some people do want to have that experience but some people don’t.”
TOTAL VOLUME BY PRICE TIER: AUSTRALIA 2013
PREMIUM GIN HAS A HUGE SHARE OF THE TOTAL CATEGORY; PREMIUM RUM HAS ROOM TO GROW
MARKET SHARE (VOLUME) OF PREMIUM & SUPER-PREMIUM SPIRITS IN AUSTRALIA
THE FUTURE OF PREMIUM Gaunt acknowledges the quality of venues such as The Barber Shop, but he thinks there’s an opportunity in the on-premise sector to use technology more effectively. He describes a promotion run by Godiva chocolate liqueur in conjunction with the Ritz Carlton in Tokyo a couple of years ago. “They created a scent that was pumped
PREMIUM GIN IS THE BIG SUCCESS STORY OF THE PAST FIVE YEARS
through the air conditioning of the lobby of the hotel,” he recalls. “They felt this full aroma was a really big part of the sales success.” He suggests that in the future we’ll see technology enabling more of these “immersive multi-sensorial consumer experiences” in the on-premise. “It might be using smells and sounds to create experiences or it might be something simple. Currently, the menu, the thing that you basically use to sell the products that make you money, is so often just a piece of card or a little bit of paper on a clipboard.” Gaunt points to restaurants in the US that have seen remarkable uplifts in wine sales when their wine lists are presented on iPads, allowing consumers a more interactive experience with the menus. But the future of premium isn’t all about technology, Gaunt emphasises. It might be freshening up your venue with a refit, to maintain customer excitement, for instance. “I think what The Keystone Group have done recently, redesigning some of their venues, is really interesting,” he says. “I think there’s a lot more potential for that – so that when people walk into somewhere, they go, ‘Wow’.” b&c
TRADING UP – THE ART OF UPSELLING By Ben Davidson, spirits education manager at Pernod Ricard Australia
INTRODUCTION Up-selling is an art not a science. There is no single way to achieve guaranteed success in up-selling every time; however there are ways to improve your success by paying attention to the customers ‘wants and needs’ and through your subtle powers of persuasion. It is vitally important that bartenders have the confidence to recommend a spirit from the back bar rather than just provide the ‘house’ selection when a mixed drink is ordered. Ultimately the reason for suggesting a more premium spirit is to enhance the guest’s experience in the venue.
WHY? When recommending a premium spirit to a customer it’s a form of interaction and engagement where the bartender can find out
information about the customer’s preferences and the customer feels ‘better served’. When giving a recommendation, the bartender feels more engaged with the customer and the job at hand, gaining more satisfaction from providing a premium spirit based on a recommendation. By moving more products from the back bar the bartenders can improve the ‘average head spend’ of customers, whilst at the same time enhancing the customers’ experience in the venue by providing them with a ‘better tasting drink’.
WHAT? There are two types of bartender: Passive Bartender – Is a bartender who is not fully engaged with the job at hand and the customers in the bar. They take orders, make drinks and put money in the till. A passive bartender is focussed on reacting to orders and doing the bare minimum needed to ‘get the job done’. Active Bartender – Is a bartender who is fully engaged with the job at hand and is mindful of the customers in the venue. They are welcoming,
smiling, interacting with guests, making eye contact, up-selling and enhancing the customer experience at every step of the way. An active bartender is focused on being proactive about what’s going to happen next and is integral to a positive customer experience. What kind of bartender are you?
HOW? A bartender is also a ‘sales person’ as well as a drinks maker. There are subtle skills required to be able to be a successful ‘upseller’. Confidence in product knowledge is the foundation for this. You’ll also need to rely on your ‘people reading’ instincts and intuition about the customer and the occasion they are celebrating regarding the appropriateness of the upselling moment. It is important to be able to memorise three things about the products that you will be recommending as part of your ‘reason to trade up’ that you may need to tell the customer. Equally important is to be able to know the prices of products that you are going to be suggesting.
Please sip our hand-crafted tequila responsibly.
ADVERTORIAL: PATRÓN – SOUTHTRADE INTERNATIONAL
Creating a multi-award winning world’s best tequila is simple when it’s a labour of love. Just ask Patrón’s Master Distiller, Francisco Alvarez…
How did you go from chemical engineering to working as an inspector for the Consejo Regulador Del Tequila (CRT)? It’s very simple, I needed a job! After I graduated from the University of Guadalajara in 1968, I was offered a job as a tequila inspector – one of the first tequila inspectors in Mexico as a matter of fact – at the Industry and Commerce Department here in Mexico. At the time, the CRT didn’t exist. How did the move from regulation to distilling happen? A former instructor of mine from the University of Guadalajara owned a tequila distillery and I went to work for him as the production manager there. How did you come up with the recipe for Patrón? Having been an inspector in the industry, I had a unique opportunity to sample many different tequilas and learn how different distilleries were applying tequila production techniques. So when I was developing the recipe for Patrón I applied much of that learning and determined, in my opinion, that the very best method for creating a high quality tequila was to marry the old-world tahona process with the more modern roller-mill method. I decided to make two different tequilas – one using the tahona and one utilizing the roller-mill – and then blend them together. The result of that is the recipe, still to this day, for Patrón tequila. Of course I think it’s the very best tequila ever produced, and clearly many other people do as well, and I can’t tell you how proud that makes me. Where does Patrón source its agave? We have long-term contracts with top growers in the region, farmers who have been cultivating agave for generations. We made a decision early on not to grow our own agave – we certainly could, but instead we prefer to purchase from trusted growers, and we’ve negotiated top-dollar prices with them to ensure we get the best of their harvest. It’s an agricultural product, so if something were to go wrong in a
particular agave field, because we don’t own it, we aren’t beholden to that crop. To maintain our high-quality standards, it’s far better that we purchase our agave rather than plant it ourselves – we’re purchasing the ability to pick and choose exactly which agave plants we want and don’t want. How is the agave roasted? Agave can be cooked in a variety of different ways. Some producers use massive autoclaves which quickly cook agave large amounts at a time. At Patrón we only cook our agave in small capacity, traditional brick ovens, a process which takes a full 79 hours to complete. You have acted as a consultant to many other distillers; what is the question that most distillers/producers ask of you? The question I hear most often is “Why?” Why does it matter what kind of agave, why does it matter what kind of ovens or fermentation vats or stills. Of course the better distillers understand that of course all of these things matter – to create a high-quality, ultra-premium spirit, each phase of the production process matters immensely, and that’s why everything we do at Patrón always meets our very high standards of quality and craftsmanship. The details matter. What advice would you give small bar owners interested in adding tequila to their bar? Tequila is a highly versatile spirit. Pretty much anything that you can mix with vodka or gin or rum, also tastes great with a top-end tequila like Patrón. Gone are the days when tequila was considered only for Margaritas or shots – bar professionals today are creating some wonderful, inventive cocktails using tequila as the base. What is next for Patrón? We’ve recently launched a new line of tequilas called Roca Patrón, created entirely from the tahona process and each finished at their own specific proof to bring out the optimal flavour and complexity in each. Those tequilas were introduced in the U.S. earlier this year, and will make their way to Australia in the future. b&c
IN THE COOLER
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STIRLING CASTLE IPA – 6.5% ABV Stirling Castle is a deep and richly coloured India Pale Ale with a flavour underpinned by traditional pale and amber malts. The beer has a full, smooth body and malty sweetness balanced with mellow English hops to provide a dry bitterness. Distinctive and intense aromas of tropical fruits and a long hoppy finish make for a full flavoured but easy drinking modern take on the classic India Pale Ale. Distributed by: CCA 132 653
THE HILLS CIDER APPLE AND GINGER HYBRID SERIES – 8% ABV Using fresh apples from the Adelaide Hills and fresh ginger from Buderim, Queensland, this golden straw-coloured cider has a nose of spicy aromatic ginger. A luscious, creamy palate leads to a drying finish with great length. It has no added flavours, sugars or concentrate. Distributed by: (bottles) Samuel Smith and Sons 08 8112 4200; (keg) The Hills Cider Company 1800 793 331
ROBOT NINJA SORACHI PALE ALE – 4.6% ABV Following Sorachi Lager, Nineteen33 has launched its second beer from the Robot Ninja brand, Sorachi Pale Ale. A generous blend of Sorachi Ace hops, Cascade and Amarillo hops gives the ale its fragrant bouquet and spicy flavour, with Robot Ninja’s signature underlying and very subtle sweet finish. Medium-bodied and complex, Robot Ninja Sorachi Pale Ale is available in bottle and keg. Distributed by Nineteen33 02 8599 1076
S P E C I A L F EAT UR E
DA, ATA C LOY RAND OR, B SAD N LIO BAS AM ARDI BAC
t e e Sw on i t a s n Se 44 bars&clubs
They haven’t always been the most fashionable bottles on the back bar; but – whisper it quietly – liqueurs are becoming cool again
n an industry where stories about provenance and legends surrounding brands are accorded so much importance, few categories can compete on the same level as liqueurs. Predating most of the spirits categories and claiming bragging rights to some lofty religious/ aristocratic beginnings, liqueurs have enjoyed a long running love affair with our tastebuds. Why then has there been a love lockdown on the category from large parts of the bar community? Especially when these unsung heroes of the back bar, lurking dustily behind that tasty new vermouth, can probably trace their family tree back much further than yours. There have been, of course, the closet admirers, sticking by their favourites and declaring their love in adrenaline-fuelled cocktail competitions. And there have also been those venues – probably not included in the ‘trend leading’ sector – that still sell the occasional B52 or Sex on the Beach, not because they’re in high demand but because reprinting a menu every 10 years is just too much hassle. But prevailing negative perceptions may be changing, as some of the previously unfashionable mainstays of the category are rediscovered and reassessed by top bartenders, not just in Australia but around the world. Simon McGoram of Sydney’s Neighbourhood Bar certainly thinks so. “The emphasis at the moment is on old-fashioned ﬂ avours like apricot brandy, crème de menthe, and maraschino – and they’ve given rise to more obscure cocktail favourites like the Millionaire No. 5 and the Charlie Chaplin appearing on menus,” he says. McGoram lets on that his ‘sneaky’ favourite cocktail of the moment is a Stinger – brandy and white crème de menthe shaken over ice. De Kuyper has clearly recognised this backwardlooking trend, launching a new range of ﬂ avours into the Australian market just last month. The Dutch brand, which can trace its origins back more than 300 years to 1695, introduced Apricot Brandy, Maraschino Cherry, Blackberry and the coffee ﬂ avoured Café de Crème to the local market in response to what it claims are strong global trends for cocktails with these ﬂ avours. And, just because they wanted to, they also threw in a new Banana and
Strawberry ﬂ avour as well – get that into your pineapples! The new ﬂ avours were launched in conjunction with De Kuyper’s international roadshow called The Works, which saw the brand’s global ambassador Arno van Eijmeren and world ﬂ airing champ Nicolas Saint Jean visit both Sydney and Melbourne to school Aussie bartenders in the art of creating a surprisingly vast array of tasty treats with liqueurs as their base. “De Kuyper works really closely with bartenders,” says van Eijmeren. “Whenever there’s a demand for something from that community, we adapt. Without bartenders, De Kuyper wouldn’t exist.” He cites the example of recent interest from the bartending community in Finland, which led De Kuyper to develop a cucumber liqueur for the market there. “Using fresh cucumber can make your drink watery very quickly,” van Eijmeren explains. “The fresh cucumber may not stand out as much as you want to, which is why that liqueur is so popular.” He adds, “De Kuyper isn’t in the business of setting trends; it’s the bartenders that set the trends.”
CURRENTLY TRENDING De Kuyper isn’t the only liqueur range to react to what bartenders want. Category whippersnappers Tempus Fugit have gathered quite the following here in Australia with their dedicated approach to lovingly recreating “liqueurs from the pages of history to satisfy the demands of the most discerning connoisseur”. Tim Philips of Bulletin Place in Sydney, Simon McGoram of Neighbourhood in Bondi and Tristan Fini of Ace Pizza in Perth are all fans of
SOLERNO SPRITZ Glass: Wine Ingredients: • 30ml Solerno • 80ml Prosecco • Top with soda Method: Stir into ice-fi lled glass and top with soda. Garnish: Slice of blood orange
DE KUYPER'S ARNO VAN EIJMEREN
Tempus Fugit, as is Joe Worthington of SoCal in Neutral Bay, who says, “Tempus Fugit Cacao, Crème de Menthe, Kina, Crème de Noyaux and Grand Classico are all super premium, versatile with cocktails and bloody sexy to look at. That Crème de Menthe on ice is an after dinner hit. Mix it with the Cacao and you have yourself a British classic; After Eight!” The company’s magnifi cent packaging, combined with its focused approach to giving defunct liqueurs a new lease of life, has won over bartenders here in Australia. Even those who claim that they steer clear of liqueurs (you know who you are) have fallen for the brand’s charm, which has spawned a trend of its own; rediscovering classics all over again with potentially more authentic products.
INNOVATION AND TWISTS ON CLASSICS That’s not to say that the entire liqueur category is shaping itself around the fashions of yesteryear. Innovation continues to occur within the sector, with the creation of new products such as Solerno, part of William Grant’s portfolio, which is still in its fi rst year in market locally, and Pavan, the beautifully bottled Mediterranean liqueur made with Muscat grapes and a touch of orange blossom, which has been gaining strong traction in Australia since its introduction to the market in April 2013. Jonte Highton, of the Soleil Pool Bar in Brisbane, is a big fan of Pavan. “It has a unique ﬂ avour profi le that can appeal to the ﬂ oral, fruity palate, but also imparts a delicate ﬂ avour to many dark spirits,” he says. “The Bitter Sweet Symphony (Belvedere vodka, Pavan liqueur, Aperol, fresh strawberries, lime and gomme) is one of the most popular cocktails on our house list.”
LIQUEURS BOLS AND THE TRADE THE TEACHINGS OF ARNO At the recent De Kuyper workshop in Sydney, global brand ambassador Arno van Eijmeren offered plenty of advice to bartenders. Here are some of his key tips:
• • •
• "You don’t have to have 100 cocktails on your menu to be special. You can be special with just five drinks." • "A good drink is one you can order multiple times." • "It’s not rocket science but using vessels other than ordinary glasses inspires the customer. It’s just nice to do things that are out ARNO VAN EIJMEREN of the ordinary." "We train our staff not to talk about themselves but to listen. Ask the right questions and that will get the conversation going. A ‘listening ear’ is what we miss in bartending these days." "We use a lot of nutmeg and crushed juniper berries in drinks with no alcohol so you get a spiciness and a more interesting taste." "At the end of the day you want to make money. If a drink’s not working, do something about it. If a bottle’s not selling, make it happen." "Names of racehorses make good names for drinks."
But Pavan acknowledges that not everything is sweet in the world of liqueurs. “The liqueurs category is stable in Australia but it is also under a lot of pressure. A lot of that comes from other categories such as vodka launching ﬂ avoured variants that have a direct impact on the liqueurs category. That factor, combined with lack of liqueur innovations, is putting pressure on the category,” says Mariana Ugarte, assistant brand manager at Suntory. Pavan seems to have safeguarded its position for the moment though, as Aussie bartenders continue to sing the praises of its refreshingly sweet disposition that lends itself to any spirit base, long and fruity punch style drinks, summer-style sangria or just ﬂ ying solo over ice. “Twisted classics also represent a great opportunity for emerging brands,” Ugarte adds. The Monaco Margarita is a good example of a new liqueur adding a different dimension to a traditional cocktail (see box-out). “Pavan also works so well in sangria,” Ugarte says. “It mixes very well with red, white or sparkling wine, which combined with some fresh fruits and soda water or lemonade, can make very basic, yet delicious sangria.”
LUXURY AND REFINEMENT Category stalwart Grand Marnier has been popular since the early 20th century when it was consumed neat or on ice as the after dinner choice of guests at the Hotel Ritz Paris and also aboard the doomed Titanic. Embodying luxury and refi nement, Grand Marnier is less about riding on the coat-tails of emerging trends and more about sticking to its ancestral guns. The liquid has changed little
since its creation in the late 1800s and its unique Cognac base continues to appeal to bartenders the world over – so much so that, according to the brand, there’s a bottle of Grand Marnier in just about every bar in the world. Grand Marnier began to show up in cocktails throughout the 1930s, most notably when it appeared in The Savoy Cocktail Book in the drink ‘Satan’s Whiskers’. It also triumphed at what must have been one of the industry’s fi rst signifi cant cocktail competitions, when Arthur A. Tarling won fi rst prize for his creation the Red Lion at a contest hosted in London in 1933. Commenting on the use of Grand Marnier today, Adam Devermann, Grand Marnier’s brand ambassador for Asia Pacifi c, says, “The most interesting thing is how people are adapting Grand Marnier to local ingredients and how well that is working. Watch out for our 100-year anniversary edition perfect serve. With a frozen tea ball serve, it is simple and brilliant.”
MONACO MARGARITA Glass: Cocktail Ingredients: • 30ml Pavan Muscat Grape Liqueur • 30ml Sierra Silver tequila • 15ml pink grapefruit juice • Wedge of lime squeezed Method: Shake and strain into a cocktail glass Garnish: A salt rim and lime wedge
Among the historical navel-gazing, the 1980s continue to creep surreptitiously back on to menus. Shamelessly hustling their sweet, layered ‘retro’ drinks of the past, there will be plenty of bartenders out there who have already embraced the gum-stinging joy of 80s-style liqueur-laden drinks, smugly claiming that they loved blue drinks before the comeback on Facebook began. Enjoyed in disco drinks across the world, the Bols brand’s Peach ﬂ avour and Blue Curaçao variants are the best sellers in its range. Dylan Howarth, brand ambassador for Bols, puts the continued success of its liqueurs down to the brand’s relationship with the trade. “It is 100 per cent committed to bartenders; the liquid and shape and feel of the bottle have all been led by the trade,” he says. “Even though it is a large commercial entity, Bols remains wholly ﬂ exible and can respond quickly to market activity and growing developments.” During summer in Australia, Howarth claims that the Lychee and White Cacao ﬂ avours “always ﬂ ex their biceps” in long refreshing serves with ginger ale and soda. But he sees future trends here picking up on the American movement towards pumpkin ﬂ avours, spiced and barrel aged cocktails and the continuing success of anything ﬂ avoured with coffee.
WHERE NEXT? So where does all of this drawing of family trees, dusting off the past and innovating for the future leave the category? According to market research provider Euromonitor International, if you strip out bitters and cream liqueurs (which are struggling), the rest of liqueurs experienced year-on-year growth of 6.5 per cent in 2012-13. That’s down from the previous year but given the recent emergence of new offerings, upweighted marketing activity around some of the oldest brands and the move back towards irreverent and fun drinks, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the rate of growth continue to rise again in the near future. In the fi ckle world of bartending though, where trends ﬂ uctuate more wildly than a week of Melbourne weather, who knows where our emerging love reunion with liqueurs will take us? What’s certain, however, is that the category’s long history and enigmatic past has earned it a defi nitive place at the heart of the cocktail world. And if Chartreuse can continue to be relevant more than 400 years after its creation, it seems likely there’s plenty of life – and growth – left in the category yet. To paraphrase Kermit, it’s not easy being green… but it’ll do fi ne. b&c
GRAND MARNIER MASTERCLASS
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JASON LYON
Step Step by
GLASS: Cocktail INGREDIENTS: • 30ml Grand Marnier liqueur · 30ml Cazadores Reposado tequila · 30ml freshly squeezed lime juice · 2 barspoons of castor sugar · Coarse salt GARNISH: Lime wedge STEPS 1. Rim glass with lime, then salt 2. Squeeze fresh lime and add to shaker 3. Add sugar and stir 4. Add Grand Marnier 5. Add Cazadores tequila 6. Add ice and shake 7. Double strain 8. Garnish and serve
WHAT YOU’REg Mixin There are hundreds of liqueurs available to inspire bartender creativity. Here are some current favourites
“Cointreau is a wonderfully versatile liqueur, with a refreshing, fruity flavour accompanied with a decent ABV. It is a perfect base for creating serious, alcohol forward cocktails as well as light-hearted tropical drinks. It pairs particularly well with something with strong herbal notes, like either of the Chartreuse liqueurs, which have a rich heritage and really need to be ois The Menage à Tr used more often to encourage customers to GLASS: Coupette enjoy these great liqueurs.” INGREDIENTS: Josie Blanchard, manager, CHOW!, Darwin • 20ml Cointreau • 20ml Yellow Chartreuse • 20ml Remy Martin VSOP • 10ml chilled water • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters • 2 dashes Regan's Orange Bitters • Whole cinnamon quill METHOD: Smoke coupette glass with cinnamon. Stir ingredients over ice, strain into prepared glass. GARNISH: Flame orange zest over top, run around rim of glass and discard.
“Chartreuse is our favourite. It’s an irreplaceable flavour. It’s just a great accent. If you need to give something a little spice, Green’s there. If you need to give something a little bit more sweetness, the Yellow’s in play.” ADI RUIZ, BULLETIN PLACE, SYDNEY “I RECENTLY DISCOVERED FRANGELICO’S VERSATILITY. THERE’S NOTHING QUITE LIKE IT ON THE MARKET. WHEN MADE RIGHT, A FRANGELICO AND LIME WITH ICE STIRRED DOWN IS QUITE TASTY.” ANDY NGO, MANAGER, LUXE BAR, PERTH
“BLUE CURAÇAO... I LIKE TO USE THIS LIQUEUR TO BRING MORE FUN VIBES BACK TO THE COCKTAIL. I LOVE MAKING DISCO COCKTAILS, AND THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT!” Rinna Kato, Barport, Brisbane “I’M A FAN OF THE NEW AVION ESPRESSO. IT ACTUALLY TASTES LIKE COFFEE AND GOES DOWN WELL AS A SHOT, PLUS IT BRINGS IN GOOD GP FOR THE BAR.” SACHA DELFOSSE, VENUE MANAGER, LUXE BAR, PERTH
“YOU KNOW WHAT’S ALWAYS BEEN A FANTASTIC LIQUEUR? LUXARDO MARASCHINO.” Charlie Ainsbury, The Anchor, Sydney
JOSIE BLANCHARD'S THE MENAGE À TROIS
“YOU KNOW WHAT I'M REALLY INTO? THERE’S A MOB CALLED TEMPUS FUGIT, A SWISS COMPANY DOING A WHOLE BUNCH OF DELICIOUS GEAR AT THE MOMENT. THEY’VE GOT A QUINQUINAS OR QUININE WINE WHICH I’M HAVING TO STOP MYSELF PUTTING IN EVERY SINGLE NEW DRINK I CREATE AT THE MOMENT. IT’S BLOODY DELICIOUS. THEY DO A GREAT CRÈME DE MENTHE AS WELL. WHAT YOU FIND IS ONE BOTTLE OF CRÈME DE MENTHE IS EXACTLY ONE LIFETIME’S SUPPLY, YOU KNOW. THIS ONE YOU MAY ACTUALLY GET THROUGH A BOTTLE OF, IT’S PRETTY GOOD.” TIM PHILIPS, BULLETIN PLACE, SYDNEY
“I REALLY LIKE SOLERNO BECAUSE IT’S FRESH, COMPLEX AND NOT TOO SWEET – AND IT MAKES A DRINK POP.” James Connolly, Enrique’s, Perth
“I don’t know that everyone’s got a favourite liqueur. As I see new things arrive, I like to play with them. In terms of bartenders’ ketchup, for me it’s a bottle of Amaro Montenegro. You can’t go wrong with that stuff. You put it in a shoe and it tastes delicious.” LUKE ASHTON, VASCO, SYDNEY
“I LIKE PAVAN BECAUSE IT’S LIGHT, REFRESHING AND FRUITY, MAKING IT GOOD FOR SUMMER DRINKS.”
“JOSEPH CARTRON APRICOT BRANDY IS ONE OF MY FAVES. IT BRINGS SWEETNESS, COMPLEXITY AND IT ROUNDS OUT A DRINK. YOU CAN USE IT WITH ANY SPIRIT AND YOU JUST WON’T BE DISAPPOINTED.”
BEN GREENHAM, ENRIQUE’S, PERTH
MISCHA BONOVA, ROCKPOOL BAR & GRILL, SYDNEY
“Neighbourhood stocks a range of liqueurs called Tempus Fugit – the range is made up of largely defunct liqueurs that have been given a new lease of life by the brand (American-owned but Europeanproduced). My closet favourite cocktail is the Stinger – brandy and white crème de menthe shaken over ice.” SIMON MCGORAM, NEIGHBOURHOOD, SYDNEY
D CLOCKWISE FROM BOTTOM: GRASSHOPPER, ELECTRIC ICED TEA, THE HARLEM, HARVEY WALLBANGER
o c s i D nks i r D TRENDS
Feeling blue? You’re not alone. Bartenders from all across the globe have started to embrace those neon drinks from the 1970s and 80s that time (and common sense) nearly forgot. Paul Wootton reports
artenders all across the globe are doing what would have been unthinkable 10 years ago. They’re making – and liking – blue drinks. The charge has been led by New Zealand’s Jacob Briars and the UK’s Jake Burger, who can’t resist an opportunity to turn a perfectly naturally-coloured drink, well, azure. Briars kick-started the trend on an international level when he created the Corpse Reviver Number Blue, a comic twist on the Corpse Reviver Number Two. All very amusing. But then in 2012 Briars, Philip Duff and Sebastian Reaburn hosted a seminar on blue drinks at Tales of the Cocktail, thereby giving blue drinks an air of academic respectability. Meanwhile The Artesian, that swish and venerated bar in the Langham Hotel in London put a Blue Lagoon on its menu. Five star hotel approval was bestowed. In fact, The Artesian introduced an entire section paying homage to disco drinks, including twists on a Rum Runner and Sex on the Beach. Its current menu features a version of the Banana Daiquiri called How Do You Say Banana Daiquiri?
In other words, the bar voted best in the world no less than three times, has embraced all those kitsch drinks many of us thought had been permanently filed away under ‘E’ for embarrassing or ‘N’ for naff. So what’s going on? The answer is simple: it’s fun. “What do you think when you see a blue drink? It puts a smile on your face,” says Arno van Eijmeren, global brand ambassador for De Kuyper, which makes one of the bluest blue curaçaos on the planet. “I believe that’s one of the key things: making drinks fun again, especially with all the terrible news in the world.”
“You add good liqueurs, fresh fruit and the knowhow we have now and they can be great drinks” In many ways the blue drink phenomenon feels like an extension of the trend for Tiki drinks: the cocktails are fun, they’re vibrant, they have colourful names. The difference is that drinks such as the Mai Tai and the Zombie have never been far from a good bar’s classic cocktail menu; whereas disco drinks, especially blue drinks, have long been in the wilderness. If you liked them, you’d never admit to it; a bit like Wham! or tofu.
But the cocktail pariah is coming in from the cold, thanks to bars like The Artesian and the short-lived but critically-acclaimed New York venue Golden Cadillac, which used modern bartending techniques to add sophistication to Long Island Iced Teas, Harvey Wallbangers and Tequila Sunrises.
MAKING HORRIBLE DRINKS BETTER On Australian shores the revival of disco drinks has yet to fully take root. But you’ll find it in pockets. The Anchor’s Charlie Ainsbury says he’s been making lots of Grasshoppers lately. “Some of the drinks from that time were horrible,” Ainsbury explains. “But some of them, like the Grasshopper, have a formula that works. Mint and chocolate go together. You add good liqueurs, fresh fruit and the know-how we have now and they can be great drinks. Just like a Piña Colada. Most of those are horrible when you’re using canned pineapple and all that kind of stuff. “In terms of disco drinks being a revival, it’s more about plugging the knowledge we have now into the formula.” As Ainsbury suggests, the 1970s and 80s were not decades of high quality craftsmanship when it came to drinks. Hospitality had an even more transient workforce than it does now. There was little in the way of training.
ARNO VAN EIJMEREN MAKING THE HEISENBERG
g r e b n e Heis
Not all blue drinks are retro or twists on old classics. Some are very modern inventions. At a competition in Germany, Arno van Eijmeren, global brand ambassador for De Kuyper, collaborated with a number of bartenders to create the Heisenberg, inspired by the hit TV series Breaking Bad and the main character Heisenberg’s blue crystal meth. The cocktail is now served at van Eijmeren’s bar ‘Dr.’ in Rotterdam, Holland. “Blue drinks are back,” declares van Eijmeren. “That’s how we see it.” The drink mixes 40ml of Del Maguey Crema de Mezcal (a nod to Breaking Bad’s Mexican storyline), 15ml of De Kuyper Blue Curaçao, 20ml of fresh lime and 5ml of orgeat. Shake with ice, fine strain into a chilled glass and garnish with grapefruit zest. “When we make the drink we put on the Mexican song telling the story about Heisenberg from the series,” van Eijmeren adds. “We put on sunglasses when we serve it. Heisenberg started making meth because he needed the money, so we garnish the drink with some American dollars served alongside it. People love it.”
Fresh produce was rarely found behind the bar. Juice was something you got from a can. Russ McFadden, bar manager at Gazebo in Sydney, describes it as an age of “commercialisation and mass production” when “everything was designed to last longer”. It followed the Second World War and Vietnam. Food was tinned; liquid was pasteurised. “It was a bit of a nail in the coffi n for some of the really great cocktails that were around,” McFadden says. It wasn’t until the late 1990s and early 2000s that fresh ingredients started to fi nd their way back into bars in any meaningful way. “It makes sense that around about now, we can look at the kitsch drinks from the 1970s and 80s and ask, ‘What can we do to make this drink better? What can we do to make it fun for consumers? What can we do so it’s not actually a horrible Type 2 diabetes-inducing beverage?’” McFadden says.
THE FUN OF THE FARE As a proper revival, he thinks disco drinks have yet to have their time. “They’re starting to hit the mainstream, certainly in the US and certainly in London. But I think they’ve been a little more diffi cult for bartenders to really get to grips with. The kind of classic drinks that were revived in bars like Milk & Honey – bartenders love them because they’re spirit based. They can get really nerdy over the liqueurs and spirits that nobody’s really come across. They can hand chip their ice. They can buy fancy, Japanese bar tools. They can make drinks that only bartenders want to drink.”
Which brings us back to fun. The modern cocktail revolution has been terrifi c in terms of increasing the quality of drinks and the variety of spirits and liqueurs available. In that sense, customers have never had it so good. But there are times when bartending can get too nerdy and too introspective, when bartenders forget about customer enjoyment. “The whole prohibition, speakeasy trend is great,” says McFadden. “Those bars are great places to go for a date or if you want to have a late night drink. But in some of those bars you almost get told off for wearing the wrong thing, for talking too loudly or for choosing the wrong drink. At the end of the day, most people go out because they want to have fun.” That’s something that Australia tends to do well. Maybe it’s the innate hospitality of Australians but bars like Hello Sailor in Sydney, The Anchor in Bondi, The Kodiak and Black Pearl in Melbourne are characterised by fun. “You can go and get great drinks in all of them, but they’re really good, fun, party bars,” says McFadden. That makes disco drinks such a natural fi t for Australian venues. Unlike some other classic cocktails, they don’t demand to be taken too seriously. They’re party drinks. They’re designed to put a smile on your face and a twinkle in your eye. Will they take off again in Australia? Are we likely to see Harvey Wallbangers gracing the menus of the country’s fi nest watering-holes? “I don’t see any reason why there won’t be a lot of twists on that style of drink,” says McFadden. “I think it’s entirely possible.” b&c
“At the end of the day, most people go out because they want to have fun” – Russ McFadden, Gazebo
TRENDS HERE, GAZEBO’S RUSS MCFADDEN SUGGESTS FOUR DRINKS TO GIVE YOUR COCKTAIL LIST A RETRO TWIST.
They’re all easy to make, they’re all full of colour and they were all massive hits 30 or 40 years ago. Dig out that Donna Summer LP and start shaking.
THE HARLEM Glass: Collins Ingredients: • 80ml fresh pineapple juice • 50ml gin • 10ml maraschino liqueur Method: Shake with ice and strain A maraschino cherry, a wedge Garnish: A maraschino cherry, a wedge of dehydrated pineapple and fresh mint Using an Australian gin can Comment: Using an Australian gin can make the old classics feel more relevant to customers, and links the Old World with the New. Origin: Usually attributed to the Cotton Club, which was located in the Harlem neighbourhood of New York in the 1920s and early 30s.
HARVEY WALLBANGER Glass: Collins Ingredients: • 50ml vodka • 90ml freshly pressed orange juice • 10 ml Galliano liqueur Method: Stir with ice and strain into an ice-fi lled glass Garnish: Orange wedge, maraschino cherry and mint Comment: Golden Cadillac in the US used clarifi ed orange juice in its Harvey Wallbangers, which gives them a more sophisticated, less ‘disco’ look! Origin: The Harvey Wallbanger, hugely popular in the 1970s, was thought to have been invented in the early 50s and named after a Californian surfer called Harvey. Donato ‘Duke’ Antone, who invented the Rusty Nail, is usually credited with creating the drink but recent investigation suggests that the Harvey surfer character and the ‘history’ of the drink may have been invented in the 60s by Galliano executives keen to sell more of their liqueur.
HARVEY GER WALLBAN
ELECTRIC BLUE ICED TEA Glass: Sling Ingredients: • 25ml lemon juice • 10ml vodka • 10ml gin • 10ml white rum • 10ml tequila • 10ml De Kuyper blue curaçao ELECTRIC BL UE • Lemonade ICED TEA Method: Shake with ice and strain into an ice-fi lled Collins glass. Top with lemonade Lemon slice, orange wedge Garnish: Lemon slice, orange wedge GRASSHOPPER and a maraschino cherry Comment: The lemonade lengthens the Glass: Cocktail Ingredients: drink but also sweetens it to provide • 45ml crème de menthe balance. • 45ml crème de cacao Origin: This is basically a blue version • 45ml cream of the Long Island Iced Tea, using Method: Blend ingredients together with ice in a blender blue curaçao (providing an orange Garnish: A chocolate-dusted mint leaf ﬂ avour) instead of cola. While its Comment: This is a sweet drink but the longer you blend it the more water you name suggests a drink created during Prohibition, the invention of the original add to the drink, which helps dilute the sweetness. Blending also introduces air into the drink, giving it a wonderfully smooth, light texture. Long Island Iced Tea is now usually Origin: Believed to have been invented by Philibert Guichet Jr., the owner of a New attributed to Robert ‘Rosebud’ Butt Orleans bar called Tujague’s. He entered the drink into a New York cocktail contest, from Oak Beach Inn on Long Island, where it placed second. Bizarrely, the contest is thought to have been held in 1928 New York, some time in the 1970s. – before Prohibition was repealed. The Grasshopper became very popular in the It’s not clear who fi rst switched the 50s and 60s, especially in America’s Deep South. Tujague’s still exists today and blue curaçao for the cola – probably reportedly sells hundreds of Grasshoppers each week. someone from TGI Fridays.
BEHIND THE BAR THE PRODUCTS EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS MONTH
KAKUBIN 1SUNTORY WHISKY Created in 1937, Japanese whisky Kakubin is fi nally available in Australia following Suntory’s launch on to the local market in September. Kakubin, which translates as “square bottle” in Japanese, is credited for inspiring Japan’s recent highball craze, where scores of consumers drink Kakubin from an ice packed highball glass topped with soda water and a squeeze of lemon in specially created bars throughout key cities. “Japanese whisky has taken Australia by storm and the response to our portfolio of luxury whiskies – Yamazaki, Hibiki and Hakushu – has been incredibly positive,” said Yosuke Minato, GM of trade marketing and corporate planning for Suntory Australia. Suntory Whisky Kakubin is available now at bars and liquor stores throughout Australia for RRP$48. Distributed by: Suntory 02 9663 1877
GLEN GRANT 2 10YO SINGLE MALT WHISKY This Speyside Single Malt from one of Scotland’s best selling producers has long been a favourite of whisky guru Jim Murray. He awarded the Scotch 95 points out of 100 in his Whisky Bible 2013 and claimed it wa,“unquestionably the best offi cial 10YO distillery bottling I have tasted… might well have been a contender for Scotch of the year”. Rich in colour, it lingers in the mouth with a soft, almond fi nish and added intensity to Glen Grant’s familiar orchard fruits. Aged in bourbon casks, the 10YO is available in 700ml bottles, in cases of six. Distributed by: Campari Group 1800 856 939
CREEK RYE 3KNOB BOURBON
Voted world’s best at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Knob Creek Rye Bourbon is a tasty addition to the burgeoning rye
whiskey category in Australia, which is currently experiencing 60% volume growth (Aztec MAT to April 2014). Produced in small batches, aged in the deepest charred barrels and bottled at 100% proof to maintain the distillery’s fondness for big ﬂ avour, its bold spiciness is underpinned by notes of vanilla and oak, with a warm smooth fi nish – perfect for the usual suspects, such as a tasty Old Fashioned or Manhattan, as well as contemporary long drinks such as Knob Creek Rye with fresh pressed apple juice. Distributed by: CCA 132 653
ITALIAN BOYS 4TWO PROSECCO
In partnership with Brunetti and That’s Amore, Two Italian Boys 2013 vintage Prosecco DOC, is produced in Valdobbiadene, Treviso – Italy’s best Prosecco-making region, just below the Alpine area of Veneto. Distributed by Two Italian Boys, a collaboration of three families that have a strong passion for sharing good food and
wine in great company, this Prosecco is the only foreign-produced dry sparkling wine in the company's range, which otherwise includes Italian-specifi c wine styles produced in Riverina NSW. Distributed by: Two Italian Boys 02 6963 0200
APPARENT 5HEIR CUVEE BRUT NV
Heir Apparent is next in-line to the Grant Burge Sparkling Pinot Noir Chardonnay NV, capitalising on the growing Australian sparkling $15$20 category. Made from traditional sparkling varieties of Chardonnay (67%) and Pinot Noir (33%), this wine exhibits subtle hints of fresh green apples, bread and lemon citrus. The palate is rich and creamy with complex almond and biscuit ﬂ avours, supported by a fi ne bead. Distributed by: Burge & Rathbone Fine Wine Merchants 1300 853 544
6LUC BELAIRE ROSÉ
Luc Belaire Rosé is a sparkling
wine produced in Provence-AlpesCôte d’Azur in the south of France. It's crafted from a blend of Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah grapes selected for their vibrant, fresh character; these are the three preferred grapes for Provence’s best rosés. Belaire is aged to give it an enlivening effervescence before bottling, creating a beautiful sparkling rosé with aromas of strawberry and blackcurrant and a vibrant blushed coral hue. A fi nal 100% Syrah liqueur de dosage adds a sweet – but not too sweet – nuance, resulting in a perfect harmony of aroma, taste, body and fi nish. It can be served on its own, presented within a sparkling cocktail or paired with your favourite dish. RRP of $54.99. Distributed by: SouthTrade International 02 8080 9150
CLASE AZUL AÑEJO
Casa de Vinos, importer of Clase Azul Tequila, has launched Clase Azul Añejo and Clase Azul Ultra, two exclusive premium tequilas.
The Clase Azul range includes four different aged tequilas and La Pinta, a pomegranate premix. Gold Medal winner at the San Francisco Wine and Spirits Competition, all Clase Azul products are produced from 100% organic blue agave, each grown for a minimum of nine years before harvest. The agave is slow cooked using a traditional brick oven for 72 hours. Clase Azul uses a trademarked yeast strain for the fermentation process to create depth of ﬂ avour. Each Clase Azul bottle takes two weeks to handcraft using the fi nest ceramics. Distributed by: Casa de Vinos 03 9681 8006
YOUNG HENRY’S NOBLE CUT GIN
Australian brewery Young Henry’s is turning its talented hands to distillation with the launch of its new product Noble Cut Gin. Made from a 100% grain base, fermented at the Young Henry’s Brewery and distilled in Sydney within a new 20 plate, 2000L distillery imported from the
US, the gin will retain a London Dry style but with local ﬂ ourishes such as a new varietal hop from Tasmania called Enigma, which adds a ﬂ inty white wine characteristic reminiscent of Chablis to the profi le. Further native nods see the inclusion of pepper berry and bush tomato, along with cascara (the skins of the coffee pods) from friends of Young Henry’s at Toby Estate, and locally grown Sencha tea from Perfect South. With a light, ﬂ oral perfume and spicy notes, the preferred garnish to complement Noble Cut is ruby grapefruit and thyme. The gin will initially be available in hand-picked bars and for takeaway at the brewery with further distribution to follow. Distributed by: Dan Hampton email@example.com
released its 26 Year Old Excellence Single Malt in honour of Glenfi ddich’s line of continuous family ownership since William Grant founded the distillery in 1887. With a vibrant, yet soft and delicate expression, this whisky features a deep and complex balance of sweetness and dry oak tannin that’s bound to excite the palate and awaken the nose. Distributed by William Grant 02 9409 5100
EWING 10J.R. BOURBON Warner Bros. has launched this four year aged Kentucky Bourbon inspired by bucket-hat wearing, iconic Texas tycoon J.R. Ewing from the TV show Dallas. With a light amber colour and a classic bourbon profi le, the novelty
GLENFIDDICH 26 YEAR OLD EXCELLENCE
factor alone may see this product
After more than a quarter of a century spent maturing in American Oak ex-bourbon casks, Glenfi ddich has
planning your next hostile takeover.
fi nd some demand in the Australian market. Best consumed while Distributed by: www.jrewingbourbon.com.
l a i c So
THE PARTIES, THE PEOPLE, THE PASSION, THE DRINKS
WHAT: CHAMPAGNE ROOM OFFICIAL OPENING WHEN: October 28 WHERE: The Winery, 285A Crown St, Surry Hills, Sydney LOWDOWN: The Winery in Surry Hills and PerrierJouët Champagne launched their new collaboration Champagne Room. Guests enjoyed prestige cuvées from Perrier-Jouët including Grand Brut and Blason Rosé, matched to luxurious menu items; caviar, oysters, lobster tail and charcuterie plates. The Champagne Room features booths with bells that light up to place a bottle order or a top-up of champagne, and is the fi rst Australian venue to offer the iconic Belle Epoque by the ﬂ ute. DEBORAH KEMP, PAUL SCHULTE AND ADAM HEATHCOTE
DIAGEO'S JEFF LEMON AND SEAN BAXTER
JUSTINE SCHOFIELD AND MATT DORAN
WHAT: JOHNNIE WALKER BLUE LABEL ROOM LAUNCH WHEN: October 29 WHERE: The Stables Sydney, Royal Randwick Racecourse, Level 4, Grandstand GUESTS: Matt Doran, Justine Schofi eld, Joe Snell and Arrnott Olssen LOWDOWN: Johnnie Walker revealed its new Blue Label Room at The Stables Sydney, which includes a lounge area and outdoor bar. Guests were welcomed into the sophisticated space with ‘Blue Silk’ Old Fashioned cocktails made with Johnnie Walker Blue Label, a salted caramel syrup, maple syrup and smoked Apricot Bitters. The intimate event was hosted by whisky expert and MasterChef Australia 2014 contestant, Sean Baxter, who is the National Brand Ambassador for Diageo Reserve Whisky.
SHANNON HARLEY AND HEIDI FINNANE
THE DRINK CABINET CREW, GUENAEL FILY FROM LUCAS BOLS AND MIKEY ENRIGHT
WHAT: BOLS GENEVER HUIS AT THE BARBER SHOP WHEN: November 10 WHERE: The Barber Shop, Sydney CBD LOWDOWN: To celebrate the Australian launch of the original white spirit, Bols Genever, The Barber Shop was transformed into a Bols Genever Huis, giving guests the ultimate genever experience. Guests were treated to cocktails made in Crawley's Imperial Shaker – a 6ft tall contraption billed as the world's rarest and most expensive cocktail maker. THE INDUSTRY'S FINEST SLURPING GENEVER IN A Kopstootje-Slurp TRADITIONAL FASHION bar was also set up with guests partaking in a traditional Dutch drinking ritual whereby you slurp genever with your hands behind your back.
TOBY FRANKLIN AND KYLIE FARRINGTON
CALVIN HARRIS TAKES TO THE STAGE
DANCING UP A STORM AT BACARDI TRIANGLE
WHAT: BACARDI TRIANGLE EVENT WHEN: October 30-November 2 WHERE: On a private island in the heart of the Bermuda Triangle LOWDOWN: 12 lucky Australian winners, alongside Jaime Wirth (Drink n Dine Group) and Jonathan Sherren (JBS Hospitality) attended the Bermuda Triangle event. Over three action-packed days Bacardi Triangle delivered poolside sets from worldclass DJs, a Black Magic Halloween party headlined by AC Slater and performances by the likes of Calvin Harris, Kendrick Lamar and Ellie Goulding. Guests got to enjoy all of this on a private island in the heart of the Bermuda Triangle.
Boutique Drinks Festival
AUGUST 2015 MELBOURNE ROYAL EXHIBITION BUILDING
CHAMPIONING PREMIUM DRINKS
Now in its 12th year of publication, Bars & Clubs has become a showcase of what the industry has to offer, covering the current trends, idea...
Published on Nov 7, 2014
Now in its 12th year of publication, Bars & Clubs has become a showcase of what the industry has to offer, covering the current trends, idea...