GETTING THE MOST OUT OF YOUR MIXER SELECTION
THE COCKTAIL TRENDS YOU NEED TO KNOW
THE LITTLE CHANGES YOU CAN MAKE ACCORDING TO MR LYAN LTD
BUILD THE RIGHT CAREER THE EXPERT ADVICE YOU NEED TO READ
AMERICA Why American whiskey is bigger and better than ever
WHEN: Wednesday 12th October 2016 WHERE: Randwick Racecourse PRE-DRINKS FROM: 6.00PM DRESS: Australian Theme or Cocktail COST: $250 per seat (ex GST) or $2500 per table (ex GST) BOOK ONLINE TODAY: www.liquorawards.com.au or firstname.lastname@example.org
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There is more Bourbon currently aging in Kentucky than there has been in decades. Here’s why.
NEWS All the latest industry news.
PREMIUM MIXERS When around 75 per cent of most of the drinks that go over your bar is mixer, you would be crazy if you didn’t stock the best.
Fred Siggins has scoured the world to bring you an update on the drink trends that you need to know right now.
AUSTRALIAN DRINKS FESTIVAL Get the low-down on everything that happened over the massive weekend in Melbourne in July.
Iain Grifﬁths is part of Mr Lyan Ltd, the world-leading sustainable bar group.
The new, the revamped and the rebranded venues opening around the country.
Our panel weighs in on the issue of creating and managing a successful and sustainable career in the bar industry.
These are the local brands that stood out for the trade and the punters at the Australian Drinks Festival.
Turns out the Margarita is not Mexico's favourite way of serving up tequila.
No need to ask where all the rum has gone with these on your back bar.
he Australian Drinks Festival is done and dusted for another year, and it was a great event all round. And while it was fabulous to see so many industry members
in attendance and trial some truly amazing products from all facets of the industry, what was really great were the speakers – specifically Iain Griffiths from Mr Lyan Ltd and the amazing panel we put together from some of the knowledgeable folks in the industry. I know I’ve spoken about it before but the importance of sustainability cannot be undersold. And Iain’s talk on how to make small changes in your own bar was truly inspirational. But what also came up was career sustainability. Before we put together the speaking program I put some feelers out in the industry and what I heard back, overwhelmingly, was that bartenders want advice on how to stay in the game long term. No longer are people dipping in and out of the industry – they are looking to create long term plans that see them staying in the bar world. Creating a legitimate career trajectory that will
see them through the next 20 years of their working life. Unsurprisingly, the session was the biggest one of the entire weekend, with loads of bartenders turning up to hear what they should and – perhaps more importantly – should not be doing. There were a lot of expletives (over the loudspeaker no less, love your work team) and the advice ranged from the obvious things that everyone ignores – wear better shoes dammit – to the profound – you are a brand and you have to manage your social media profile like you would an actual brand. I cannot thank the panel members enough for giving up their Sunday afternoon to come and speak, you are all amazing people. Cheers,
Stefanie Collins Editor, b&c
MEET OUR NEW NATIONAL SALES MANAGER We are excited to introduce you to Samantha Miller, who joined us recently as National Sales Manager. Samantha has been working in the hospitality industry in various capacities since she was a teenager. She has worked as a chef for establishments such as Merivale, Daydream Island Resort, Novotel, Yellow Bistro and many more. After ten years in the kitchen she decided to change paths and ventured into the sales side of the industry, working for Southern Hospitality. With a great handle on the industry from all different angles, we think she is a great fit for b&c. For all your advertising enquiries, please contact Samantha on: E: email@example.com T: 0404 183 107
CORRECTION Last issue an incorrect tasting note was published for the ultra-premium vodka VDKA 6100, it should have read: VDKA 6100 is an ultra-premium vodka from New Zealand which recently received a Gold (highly-recommended with 91 points) at the Ultimate Spirits Challenge 2016. VDKA 6100 is sourced from the pristine natural environment of Reporoa, and fermented using fresh seasonal whey and a hand-cultivated strain of yeast. It is then finely distilled and filtered being finished by blending with natural New Zealand spring water for an unrivalled crisp clean taste. The result is a smooth and distinctive vodka with an unctuous mouth feel and hints of citrus and pepper.
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NEWS VIBE THE BARS, BARS, THE THE EVENTS, EVENTS, THE THE DRINKS, DRINKS, THE THE PASSION BRANDS
JIM BEAM HAS A NEW LOOK First announced in April, Jim Beam’s global packaging redesign is now live in Australia. The redesign marks the first significant changes to the Jim Beam Bourbon bottle in decades, and will apply to the entire Jim Beam portfolio, giving it a harmonised, premium new look in more than 100 markets around the world, including the brand’s other three largest markets, the US, Germany and Japan. Shane Richardson, Managing Director of Coca-Cola Amatil’s Alcohol & Coffee business said: “Given the global strength of the Jim Beam brand and its status as the world’s number one Bourbon brand, this is a very significant initiative. “The rebrand is part of a considerable investment in growing not only the Jim Beam family but also the Bourbon category, which is the biggest spirits category and clearly of great importance to our customers.” Jim Beam White, this month’s cover star, is first cab off the rank, with Jim Beam Black, Jim Beam Honey, Jim Beam Devil’s Cut and Jim Beam Bonded following in a staged rollout across August and September. The updated bottle and exterior styling give the iconic Jim Beam bottle a bolder, more rectangular structure, with more cleanly designed labels to better represent the premium Bourbon inside, which is not changing and still follows the same Jim Beam family recipe used over the past two centuries. Aside from the new premium bottle structures, other features include premium label enhancements including extra fine detailing, crafted borders, foil finishes, refined embossing and a matte paper stock. The premium bottles also include matte finished shrink sleeves along the closure.
SUGAR TAX COULD HIT BAR PRICES Greens leader Richard Di Natale has called for a 20 per cent “sugar tax” on soft drinks, which he says could lead to a 12 per cent fall in consumption. The UK government recently introduced a similar tax and the Greens claim that the measure would collect around $500 million a year. The tax would add around 20 cents to the price of most soft drinks in a supermarket. The UK tax will apply from 2018 and will see two separate tax rates added to drinks depending on the sugar content. The Greens’ proposal is for a flat 20 per cent tax to apply to all water-based drinks which contain more than five grams of sugar per 100ml. The concept of a sugar tax is something that has been widely pushed by celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, but rural health minister Fiona Nash told Fairfax Media that the idea was “a lazy solution to a complex problem.” Responding to the Greens proposal Australian Beverages Council CEO, Geoff Parker said: “We are disappointed by the extremely simplistic approach being taken by the Australian Greens in relation to tackling obesity rates. “There is no substantial evidence globally that a soft drink tax would have any meaningful impact on improving community health. In fact, research from the McKinsey Global Institute found that a 10 per cent tax on high-sugar products would be one of the least effective measures in combatting obesity, ranking 14th out of 17 intervention methods. In contrast, portion control had the highest estimated impact with the most cost effective measures. “The soft drink category contributes just 1.7 per cent of the daily intake of kilojoules for Australian adults. In addition, nearly one in two drinks consumed is a non-sugar variety (42 per cent volume share in 2011, compared to 30 per cent in 1997).”
NEW ON-PREMISE SUPPLIER Three of Australia’s major on-premise wholesalers have come together to form 100Proof, a new independent on-premise drinks specialist. The company is formed from Liquid Mix in Western Australia; Paramount in Victoria and New South Wales; and Liquid Speciality Beverages from Queensland. It will be led by general manager Duncan Baldwin, who previously worked with on-premise wholesaler Matthew Clark in the UK, before moving to Australia where he has worked for Westfield and Suntory. 100Proof has said it will be a “one-stop drinks solution delivering extensive product ranging, marketing support, staff training and other tools to over 5,000 restaurants, bars and hotels around Australia”. “The growth of small bars in Australia has brought a new energy and dynamism to the bar and restaurant culture,” Baldwin said. “Customers are not looking for the standard fare. They want a personalised approach that acknowledges their differences and helps to make their venue be successful and stand out from the crowd. All venue owners and managers want to deal with people who share their passion for the bar and restaurant industry and who understand how different running a bar is to running a bottleshop.” In a statement about the establishment of 100Proof, the company sought to explain that it will be business as usual for the existing customers of the three businesses involved.
CINEMA PRE-BATCHED COCKTAILS Melbourne bar scene stalwart The Everleigh is taking its prebatched cocktails to the mainstream, announcing a partnership with Palace Cinemas. While Palace Cinemas have been licensed for a number of years, cinema goers are now able to sip on one of the ‘Famous Four’ bottled cocktail range. The ‘Famous Four’ is of course a classic selection of drinks including a Manhattan, a Negroni, a Martini and an Old Fashioned. While pre-batched or bottled cocktails have been kicking around on the bar scene for a while – think White Lyan in London and Please Don’t Tell in New York to name just two heavy hitters repping the trend – the concept remains fairly unknown among mainstream Australian drinkers. Each of the single-serve cocktails is mixed to the exacting standards of the team at The Everleigh bar, recreating the experience of a premium serve in a location that isn’t normally associated with high class bar service.
What sets super-premium vodka apart?
Beluga Vodka is one of a kind due to its special natural ingredients and unique production technology. Ingredients for Beluga Vodka come from the heart of Siberia and include special malt spirit derived from 100 per cent wheat grain as a result of a natural fermentation process and pure artesian water, various extracts and infusion and Siberian herbs. On the other hand, stands unprecedented vodka-making technology which includes a "resting period" during which the spirit can mature and achieve perfect balance. As a result, we receive a product of unmistakable smoothness.
Why is it important for venues to have a super-premium vodka on their list?
The super-premium vodka category is growing rapidly every year, which means the demand is also on the rise. Thus there are more and more people coming to the venue for a unique drinking experience and highest quality product. Having a selection of superpremium vodkas speaks for the image of the account and reassures clients of the quality of the service they can get.
What are the common mistakes venues make around vodka and how can they be avoided?
The vodka category should not be simpliﬁed down to basic mixtures. Super-premium vodka consumption implies a speciﬁc drinking, serving and pairing ritual which assures a unique drinking experience for the consumer and great value for money. Despite being a white spirit, high-quality vodka is a complex and self-sufﬁcient drink which has to be enjoyed properly.
What is so special about the 115th anniversary series vodka?
Beluga Celebration is a limited edition Beluga Noble, released to commemorate the 115th anniversary of Mariinsk Distillery which is the only place where Beluga Vodka is created. This special bottle is our tribute to the century-old factory which carefully preserves the ﬁnest traditions of vodka-making and naturally combines them with a modern approach and innovative technologies. We are proud to be a part of this history.
What are the fundamentals of vodka and food matching?
Beluga Vodka's taste is reﬁned and complex. Being a gastronomic vodka in the ﬁrst place, Beluga is perfect in combination with caviar and other haute cuisine appetisers. When it comes to Beluga food-pairing, the main rule to follow is that the dish should accentuate and highlight the bright character and exquisite taste of our product and not suppress it in any way.
Is there a signature serve for Beluga?
Beluga Vodka's perfect serve is neat with haute cuisine food-pairing or on the rocks with a touch of citrusy zest notes. The unique taste and strong character of Beluga Vodka does not require additives. It is perfect and sufﬁcient on its own.
KICK-BACKS FOR EARLY CLOSE TIMES BLACK TRUFFLE GIN Stone Pine Distillery has launched the second of its seasonal releases, a black truffle gin, at the Australian Drinks Festival, with the distillery commenting that the gin was very well received by consumers and trade. While some European distillers have produced truffle gins, Stone Pine believes this is a first for Australia and the gin also celebrates local ingredients – including truffles sourced locally from three truffle farms in the Central Tablelands of NSW within a 50km radius of Stone Pine Distillery. It’s a very small release and though expensive, the added price is simply the result of the cost of the truffles. The gin retails for $135 a bottle and also contains botanicals such as black pepper, flaked salt, juniper berries, coriander seed and orris root. The only botanical that is not Australian is the juniper, which is very difficult to source locally. This is Stone Pine’s second seasonal release, following on from the summer Orange Blossom release, which proved highly popular and was actually picked up by Noma during its pop-up in Sydney.
The liquor industry has blasted the ACT Government, saying a further 25 per cent increase to already high licence fees is a “blatant cash grab” and “unacceptable”, while ACT bars have been offered financial kick-backs to close early. To put it into perspective, the ACT already has the highest licence fees for retail liquor outlets of any Australian state or territory. In 2010, the standard licence fee for a retail liquor outlet in the ACT was $3055. If the current ACT Government proposal proceeds, this fee will rise to as much as $24,498, which is an increase of over 800 per cent in six years. Meanwhile, that same Government has said that small ACT bars with less than 80 patrons that close by midnight can have their licence fee cut by 75 per cent. Adrien Murphy, owner of Jim Murphy Airport Cellars in the ACT, says the increase is “madness” and “doesn’t make any sense”. “The ACT Government is saying at the moment that if you’re drinking at a bar until 12am with 80 patrons or less, that everyone is going to go home because there is no pre-loading happening in this bar,” said Murphy. According to the ALSA submission, if the increase goes ahead, there will be significant negative consequences for small businesses, including reduced customer service, and the vibrancy of Canberra as a destination for domestic and international tourists.
NON-ALCOHOLIC DISTILLED SPIRITS Diageo, through its funding program Distill Ventures, has invested in Seedlip, a British company which produces non-alcoholic distilled drinks. Set up last year by entrepreneur Ben Branson, Seedlip currently has two varieties and Branson is hoping the investment will help him to produce more varieties and expand outside the UK. Branson said that Diageo’s support was a “huge statement of credibility for us,” adding, “We don’t want to be small. The problem of what to drink when you do not want to drink [alcohol] is not small. We’ve got big plans and scary dreams.” Helen Michels, global innovation director, futures team for Diageo, said: “Seedlip is a company of exceptional quality with a visionary founder offering a ‘sophisticated alternative’ to alcoholic drinks.”
KEYSTONE GOES INTO RECEIVERSHIP Morgan Kelly and Ryan Eagle of Ferrier Hodgson have been appointed receivers and managers to the Keystone Hospitality Group. In a joint statement, Richard Facioni, Executive Director Keystone, and John Duncan, Managing Director Keystone, clarified the company’s position. “Two years ago The Keystone Hospitality Group undertook a major expansion program, including acquisitions, to become a significantly larger, national group. Keystone today is an operationally strong business with over 1,000 employees across the country, with a number of iconic venues and brands within its portfolio and a highly dedicated team. However, the debt raised to undertake its expansion, combined with changes to the local market, including lock out laws, have placed significant financial strain on the business. As a result, the senior lenders to Keystone took the decision today to appoint receivers to the group to pursue a sale process. All our venues will continue to operate as usual and Keystone’s management will be working closely with the receivers during this process to ensure minimal disruption to the business and to ensure a successful outcome to the sale process.” IMPACTED VENUES The venues included in this appointment are: Bungalow 8, Cargo Bar, Chophouse Perth, Chophouse Sydney, Gazebo, Jamie’s Italian Sydney, Jamie’s Italian Perth, Jamie’s Italian Canberra, Jamie’s Italian Brisbane, Jamie’s Italian Adelaide, Jamie’s Italian Trattoria, Kingsleys Brisbane, Kingsleys Woolloomooloo, Manly Wine, Sugarmill Hotel, The Rook, and The Winery. The Group has been placed into receivership by a syndicate of lenders due to an inability to reach agreement with the Board on key aspects of the Keystone Group’s financial structure. Receiver Morgan Kelly said the venues will continue to trade on a business as usual basis while the Receivers assess each venue in preparation for a sales campaign. “Given the current buoyant hospitality market we anticipate a lot of interest in the sale of the venues. The venues in the Keystone Group comprise some of the most iconic and well-known brands in their respective markets. The sale of the group represents a unique opportunity for the right operator and is particularly suited to hospitality specialists interested in expansion. The sale process is expected to commence shortly,” Mr Kelly said.
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DIMMI OFF PEAK LAUNCHES Australia’s biggest online hospitality booking system has rolled out a new service, Dimmi Off Peak, aimed at filling tables in slow times. The Dimmi system is popular with bars and restaurants alike, with a network of over 2500 venues using the online booking service across the country. “It’s a yield management system that operates in a similar way to the dynamic pricing structure used by airlines and the hotel industry i.e. different times and days are charged at different rates. And it’s the first of its kind in the Australian hospitality industry.” The system has had a soft launch in both NSW and Western Australia, with the final national roll-out recently completed. The system could have wide ranging benefits for the hospitality industry in an environment that is seeing numerous venues shut their doors. “It’s designed to help restaurants improve their profitability and efficiency, and attract customers during quieter times, by offering a percentage of these ‘quieter time’ tables – which could normally be vacant – at a reduced rate,” says Dimmi. “It’s up to the restaurant to decide when they activate Dimmi Off Peak and at what rate, to ensure its best suited to their business.” Examples of potential options include: 20 covers at 20 per cent for Monday to Wednesday, or 10 covers at 20 per cent on Thursdays, and so on.
ittyhawk, sits at the top of Phillip Lane in Sydney's CBD and is a complete overhaul of the old Bull and Bear site into a 175 capacity, high-volume cocktail bar. The concept is quite unique and extremely detailed, with co-owners Jared Merlino, Michael Hwang and Eddie Levy, inspired by the Liberation of Paris on August 25, 1944. The venue reflects the specific point in history, referencing the cultural melting pot of a city full of freed Parisians and victorious American GIs in everything from the interior and signage to the menu and cocktail list. The venue is large and the renovated back bar has space for over 900 spirits, with the list being heavily weighted toward rum and rye whiskey. The drinks list was reportedly a full team effort with group bar manager, Andres Walters, and group operations manager, Paige Aubort (ALIAâ€™s Bartender of the Year 2015), guiding the process. There is a selection of classics as well as bespoke cocktails that highlight the rum and rye focus, like the aptly named Rum & Rye, or the Memphis Belle. Following with the French focus, there is also an extensive wine and champagne list of over 80 bottles. Alex Zabotto-Bentley, from award-winning design agency AZBcreative, collaborated on Kittyhawk bringing the interior styling to life, and no aspect has gone unnoticed. The venue is accessed through antique French walnut doors with cast iron fittings, while the bar area features plenty of bespoke detailing, centred round a 12-metre long, hand-crafted American oak bar. No detail has been overlooked with vintage frames, original 1940s posters and real WWII paraphernalia dotted throughout the rooms. Antique tiles were sourced to custommake a one-of-a-kind mosaic flooring, while the conservatory features Parisian-style bistro lighting for authenticity. The detail is so complete that even the cocktail menu is designed to resemble a Kittyhawk plane mechanicâ€™s manual.
NEW, REFURBISHED, REFITTED & RESTORED VENUES NOW OPEN AROUND AUSTRALIA.
BRIGADE ROOFTOP & LOUNGE Woollahra’s historic, art-deco hotel, The Light Brigade, is soon launching two new spaces: the Brigade Rooftop and Brigade Lounge, offering spectacular views of Sydney’s skyline and harbour. Brigade Rooftop is an open-air bar that sits 83 metres above sea level, while the iconic level two pink powder room has been transformed into Brigade Lounge: a chic, 1920s-style bar. The Bayfields worked with renowned interior designers SJB on the development to reflect the impressive view it offers on each level. “The Brigade Lounge is about discovery. The walls are finished in a thick textured render, inspired by the original wall finish, and painted deep peacock blues and dusty pinks. A glossy indigo tiled bar has brass edged mirrors and brass shelving and it leads out to a tucked away external terrace”, says Jonathan Richards, Director at SJB. “By contrast the Brigade Rooftop is all about full exposure. We have designed a circular bar that fans around the terrace to enable the visitor full access to the horizon. It’s a space with tall olive trees, perimeter gardens, and resort furniture under a white timber and bamboo canopy”.
BIG POPPA’S Jared Merlino also teamed up with business partner Lewis Jaffrey to launch another venue, Big Poppa’s the same week as Kittyhawk. A different style of venue, this restaurant and bar on the former site of Hello Sailor features classic Italian food, cheese, and hip hop music. While it might seem like a disparate blend of features it works, and the venue is decked out with the same attention to detail as the menu – the top level is a classy and comfortable Italian restaurant, while the basement level is darker and more intimate. Veteran bartender Bobby Carey is behind the bar, serving up a diverse range of cocktails – blue drinks for everyone – in the basement level bar, while an immaculate mosaic of Biggie Smalls gazes up from the centre of the floor. Both the venues have opened at a time when the Sydney bar scene is looking to counter the loss of revenue due to the lockout laws and if the rave reviews are anything to go by, they’ll be around for a long time yet.
MOYA’S MOYA MOYA’ S JUNIPER LOUNGE The hidden gin bar is the latest addition to the Redfern small bar explosion. The “old world” cocktail bar’s focus is gin and classic cocktails collected from recipes from the past 200 years. “The idea wasn’t so much to be specific to any certain era or style, but to draw influence from different times and styles as gin evolved from the early 18th century when it was seen largely as the scourge of the lower classes to the introduction of the cocktail on the London scene in the early 20th century,” says co-owner Charlie Casben. And with moody lighting, old world touches and drinks like the Charlie Chaplin (sloe gin, apricot brandy and lime juice) and their version of the Poet’s Dream (Hendricks, dry vermouth and Benedictine, “dressed with” orange bitters), it certainly fits the bill. There is also plenty on the menu for those that don’t fancy a bit of mother’s ruin – local and international craft beers, and an international wine list with 15 by the glass. Try the Sunday brunch too – Red Snappers with freshly juiced tomato, served alongside smoked snapper rolls.
t turns out that in fact the Paloma, not the Margarita, is Mexico's most popular way of serving tequila in cocktail form. Despite the fact that when everyone thinks tequila cocktails they think of the classic lime-driven cocktail that is the Margarita, when in Mexico itself, it is the Paloma (it means dove) that really steals the show. Unsurprisingly, the history of the Paloma is shrouded in mystery, lost in the annals of time and all those signifiers of that fact that the drink probably appeared in a few places around the same time. One version of the story holds that the creator of the Batanga (Coca-Cola, tequila and lime juice) is also the creator of the Paloma. It’s credible, and the legendary Don Javier Delgado Corona – owner of the must-visit La Capilla bar in Tequila, Jalisco seems like as good a candidate as any. How the drink spread from Mexico to the US is a little clearer, with a cross section of sources pointing the finger at Evan Harrison. The bartender published a pamphlet called Popular Cocktails of The Rio Grande, which plays on the citrusproducing region of Texas where a lot of the US’ grapefruit is farmed. The fact that the Paloma, when served in Mexico, uses grapefruit soda and not actual grapefruit juice doesn’t seem to have been translated. The lack of popularity of the drink relative to the Margarita seems to be due to a raft of factors, however author Teresa Finney recently pointed out that the Margarita came to popularity during the 70s alongside the development of premixes and slushy machines. It was very easy to mass-produce and serve, unlike a Paloma which requires soda. Regardless, while it is tempting to compare the Paloma to a Margarita, the cocktail really is in a class of its own, and is well worthy of a spot on a good cocktail list.
JUICE OR SODA? Traditionally, in Mexico, grapefruit soda is used instead of fresh juice and soda water. That’s a two-fold problem for us here in the Antipodes, with Mexican and US brands like Jarritos and Squirt being both hard to find and non-cost effective; and the fact that your customers will probably prefer you juice them a grapefruit for the sake of flavour. That said, there are plenty of boutique grapefruit sodas on the market if you feel like putting the “traditional” option on your menu.
PALOMA GLASS: Collins/highball INGREDIENTS: • 120ml Fresh grapefruit juice • 15ml Fresh lime juice • 60ml Jose Cuervo tequila • 80ml Soda water • Salt • Grapefruit wedge
METHOD: Salt half the rim of your glass. Combine the grapefruit juice, lime juice and tequila in glass. Add ice, stir down and top with soda water. Garnish and serve. GARNISH: Salt rim and grapefruit wedge. NOTE: For a different angle, try using a reposado or anejo tequila.
The Cantarito is the cousin of the Paloma and is also pretty popular in Mexico. Simply add a touch of lemon and orange juice to your tequila/grapefruit/lime combo for a bit more depth of flavour. Another variation on the classic comes from the Stone Rose Lounge in New York City – here they infuse Thai chilli into Aperol before adding 20ml to a traditional Paloma recipe. The Aperol adds a touch of bitterness while the chilli leaves the drinker with a slight tingle on the palate – just be careful to not over-infuse the chilli, you’ll end up with a bit more than a slight zip and some potentially cranky drinkers. b&c
BACKSTAGE SINCE 1795 The Story At the start of their 1972 American tour, the Rolling Stones attended a party at the Trident Bar in the Bay Area of San Francisco, famed for its beautiful waitresses and musical pedigree. During the party, the band wanted to try something a little different so they asked barman Bobby Lazoff to create them a unique new cocktail. The result was a Tequila Sunrise using Jose Cuervo Silver. The drink became official “tour pick” for the most groundbreaking of all rock tours, involving a private plane with the famous tongue logo, glamorous celebrity hangers-on, stays in the Playboy Mansion and media coverage akin to that of a Presidential election. Thanks to Jose Cuervo history will always remember the legendary “Tequila Tour” of ‘72.
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n i a I s h t i f f i r G
As one half of Mr Lyan Ltd, Iain Griffiths is a world authority on sustainable bar practices. In his presentation at the Australian Drinks Festival he discussed “Chasing the Sustainability Unicorn” and how his bars made small changes to create huge differences.
y name is Iain Griffiths and myself, and another gentleman, Ryan Chetiyawardana, have a company in London called Mr Lyan – it’s a childhood nickname of Ryan that he took on first as a consultancy name and that we’ve now turned into a company. In fact, on July 18 this year it was three years since we signed our first set of keys. We’ve got two bars in London and they are really what we’re going to talk about. We have done a few other projects along the way, but from the beginning with our bars we had a real ambition and a focus to lead the change that we wanted to see in our industry. Food and drink is the hottest ticket in town right now, it’s like the oil of the eighties. Every investment company, when you look at Silicon Valley, that’s where the investment is going, and people are looking to it because there is a high return on revenue and there’s a real notion of luxury around food and drink. It’s 2016, luxury is no longer what you wear, but it is where you choose to eat and drink. And by virtue of that fact, we felt that there is a big onus on our industry to really step up and be accountable for every single aspect of what we do. The food and drink world is a huge waste producer. That’s a fact. It’s how it is. Really, it’s best described as if you are thinking about waste as a timeline. So you have a product and it gets created, it gets packaged, then it gets shipped to the bar, then the bar uses it and throws away what they don’t use. Then you get your delicious cocktail, or lovely plate of food. What we have chosen to do with our bars is try and attack that timeline and really disrupt the way that waste efficiency is approached on the timeline.
We have one bar called White Lyan – it doesn’t use ice, it doesn’t use citrus, and we make everything ourselves. From the water that we charcoal filter right through to the fact that we make our own gin, vodka, rum, rye, bourbon, scotch, wine and beer. In all honesty when we built it the mood board was “80s cocaine den”. When you walk into White Lyan, it’s rather minimalist, it’s very, very monochrome – we wanted to build a cocktail bar for people that didn’t like cocktails. There’s no 15 minute wait for drinks, there is a stripper pole in the basement, there’s red fluorescent lights. We wanted to have fun and we wanted to create a bar where people enjoy every single element of the bar experience in the most atypical fashion, ever. At White Lyan we do a huge amount of pre-batching. What we do is we get the drinks, we put them together ahead of time, we pre-dilute them, we pre-chill them, and it wasn’t our mission but what we wound up creating was something similar to a bottled cocktail bar. But we wanted something more than that as well. What we did there was attack the beginning part of the timeline, when we worked with distilleries and they shipped their liquid to us in reusable containers and by virtue of that point right there, we have reduced packaging waste by about 80 per cent compared to a normal bar. White Lyan is a seven-day-a-week operation that holds 80 people – it’s busy on the weekends, and we’re busy during the week – and for a bar that size you’d normally fill a residential size garbage bin about three times over, each time on a Friday/Saturday night. We would probably fill one of those bins in an entire week.
When you go to the other end of that timeline and you look at how you have produced that cocktail – it’s delicious, it goes out to the guest, and you start throwing away all your extra bits and pieces, that’s where Dandylyan really steps up. Dandylyan looks at closing the loop, as it were, on waste production. So, one of the drinks we do is called our Trash Bin Mojito. Because what we wanted to do there was really stop wasting one of the most key ingredients that every single bar has in them: mint. A mojito today is still probably the most ordered cocktail in the world and by virtue of that fact, we are throwing away so much unique flavour and wasting so much on that one single drink every day, we wanted to really look at that drink and figure out how we could address the issues with it. Dandylyan is in a luxury hotel. White Lyan is at the arseend of a ghetto street in East London. Dandylyan is on the South Bank, 4.8 million people will walk past the front of that bar this year alone. It seats 96 people, holds another 50 standing, there’s a 270 seat restaurant next door, a 300 capacity rooftop bar, 360 hotel rooms, a cinema, a spa, a gym. The idea with the Mondrian is that once you walk in those doors, you have no reason to leave – Dandylyan is a real feature of that.
MINT CONDITION But with all of that happening and all of those mojitos being served from all of those three bars, we wanted to see “Ok, let’s look at mint”. So we started playing around with different elements of it and if you think about it we are so attracted to the tips and the leaves, because that is the pretty part of it all. But they don’t magically get their flavour via osmosis – it comes from the stem and the base, and we’re throwing out mint stems again and again. So we went to the partners in the hotel and we said: “Ok, we’re going to reduce our mint consumption”. Which sounds like the most boring thing in the world, we’re aware of that, but we figure if we start with this one little thing that’s the point of all of this, if you start with one little element it’s amazing what else you can steamroll along the way. So we got together and we worked on an infusion technique with the mint stems. All we do is we take 10 per cent by weight of mint stems – once you pick the leaves off it – and soak it in the rum for 24 hours, then take it back out again. By virtue of doing that – and we do it with the bourbon for Mint Juleps as well – we’ve reduced the amount of mint that the Mondrian needs to buy, by 50 per cent. It doesn’t sound like a lot but when you tally it up at the end of the year, we stopped the hotel from buying 2500 pounds of mint. Every single year. If you stack up 2500 pounds of mint, you realise how much produce that actually is. And it helped get this big corporation with loads of acronyms and spreadsheets galore to really understand what we were trying to do and what we wanted to achieve.
SUSTAINABILITY IS UNSEXY There are two elements we get asked about when we’re talking about zero waste. We don’t tend to use the word sustainability because it’s a really unsexy word. At the end of the day if we want to be more waste efficient, we need to find a snappy catch phrase – it needs its own marketing department. When you do look at zero waste, there are two things you should be aspiring to do: one of them is reduce and the other is reuse, and they work in tandem with each other. When you reuse you pretty much always reuse. So, you want to buy less of an ingredient, but you’re going to have to buy a little bit of it to begin with, but then you can work out how to reuse along the way.
DISCLAIMER This is not a new notion. We did not invent this, this is not something that we created. Pre-industrial revolution, this was all common practice. One of humankind’s most primal instincts is to use everything whenever possible. Somewhere along the way we forgot about it, and the notion of convenience subverted any form of waste efficiency. This is a concept that we need to relearn. St John’s restaurant in London created the concept of nose-to-tail. So if they bring a pig into their restaurant, they use every single element of it. But whether you’re talking about a floral element like mint or an animal, we need to as a community push forward and create a movement to use every element where possible.
KEY ADVICE ZERO WASTE So when I titled my talk I called it Chasing the Sustainability Unicorn because right now in the industry, everyone is aspiring toward these sustainable practices. Everybody is looking toward it to see how they can better improve their waste efficiency, which is brilliant. But zero waste is not attainable, I don’t think. It’s a harsh reality that we really need to face up to at some point. There are some brilliant people out there that are doing some amazing things working towards it all – Douglas McMaster has a restaurant in Brighton in the UK and he has worked with a wellknown restaurateur here in Melbourne to produce a restaurant that has gone the closest to zero waste. But there is still a lot that you can’t control – you’ve got the burning of fossil fuels for waste efficiency, you’ve got packaging where sometimes that small boutique truffle oil company in Italy doesn’t give a shit about being waste efficient – they’ll only ship it to you in a glass bottle and if you say “Well we’ll only do business with you if you make it reusable”, they’ll just tell you where to go.
For bartenders: zero waste is not achievable. It’s what we should all aspire toward, and whenever we say that, someone always says: well, why should I bother? And we say this: go back to your venue tonight and at the end of the night look at all the garbage bags of waste you have in your bar. Consider a few different strategies you would be able to do to reduce your bar’s waste by 10 per cent. Then look at every single bar on a busy strip – consider, if we could get every single bar on that strip to reduce their waste by 10 per cent. Then what about the whole CBD? Then citywide, then eventually the whole industry. If we achieve 10 per cent less waste it’s such a mammoth step. That is the reason to try.
THINK ABOUT IT
DON’T DO IT
Our favourite notion that we charge people with considering along the way to become more sustainable is: put a monetary figure next to what you’re doing. So that when you have that boss that says not to do something, turn around and show them what a month’s worth of doing the thing will save. That is how we got the Mondrian Hotel to consider it.
Next time you go into a bar and you see something wasteful – don’t call the bartender out on it. Don’t turn around and say “Well this guy told me…”. One, that is going to ruin our reputation, and two, everyone is trying in their own way. Support those that are taking great steps, but know that as a whole community, we all need to take it one step at a time.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SPECIFICS OF HOW WHITE LYAN AND DANDYLYAN APPROACH SUSTAINABLE COCKTAIL CREATION BY HEADING TO PROFESSIONAL.TOPSHELFSHOW.COM.AU AND CLICKING ON THE FEATURES TAB.
DRINKS WITH DE NIRO IN NEW YORK
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While the focus on quality spirits comes naturally in a bar environment, around 75 per cent of each drink is the mixer. We investigate the science behind what makes a premium mixer just that, and what you need to know before choosing your bar’s selection.
While the mixer market has often lagged behind the spirits market in terms of popularity and innovation, there are plenty of options in the space so that you can avoid drowning your bar’s excellently curated top shelf in sub-par mixers. The key is knowing what to look for. Shehan Ananthakumar, assistant brand manager at Schweppes, says that a quality mixer will enhance and complement the flavour of a fine spirit, rather than overpower it. “This is important in ensuring that the integrity of the drink is maintained to allow the blend of flavours to come together as intended,” he says. “Just as important is the mixing ratio, ensuring the right balance of spirit and mixer to allow the flavours to work together.”
CREATORS OF THE FINEST MIXERS SINCE
SCHWEPPES, DEVICES AND SCHWEPPERVESCENCE ARE TRADE MARKS USED UNDER LICENCE IN AUSTRALIA BY SCHWEPPES AUSTRALIA PTY LTD
Michael Chiem of soda-focused bar PS40 – they make their own in-house - believes that despite the importance of mixers, the market is a little blown out on one side. “With soft drinks, there isn’t a massively wide availability of a range of soft drinks. When you consider how many gins there are on the market compared to how many tonics there are especially,” he says. “Most soft drinks are mass produced, whereas sodas should be designed in the same way we look at cocktails – a gin and tonic should be greater than the sum of its parts.” It’s something that Andy Gaunt and the team at Fever-Tree also agree with wholeheartedly. Born amidst the gin-boom in London, the brand was a response to a glut of boutique spirits.
“We thought we’re investing all this time and effort into making great spirits with real quality differentiation from other products, but when three quarters of your drink is the mixer, it really drowns that wonderful spirit when your only choice was really something with artificial flavours, preservatives and artificial sweeteners,” he says. “You just lose all of the benefits of spending your money on a good spirit. So when your customers are getting a drink that is often 75 per cent mixer, why wouldn’t you be putting as much emphasis as possible on the quality of the mixer that you’re adding to the very specific spirit that either they have chosen, or you have guided them to?
ANANTHAKUMAR: Quality mixers stand out from the crowd through a unique depth and complexity of flavour, adding more intrigue to a drink. Crafted with real ingredients, botanical extracts and time tested recipes, the difference in flavour profile is distinct, and delivers a mixed drink that delights the tastebuds through the rich and full bodied flavour.
BUILD IT WELL
So you’ve spent hours poring over your spirits list (pun intended), so now what are you going to mix them with? “Choose a brand that your patrons know and trust. Some of the finest mixers have been around for over 150 years and have been finessed over time to meet the evolving consumer palate,” says Ananthakumar. “Today’s consumers are savvy and know what their favourites taste like. Selecting a trusted brand will give confidence to your patrons while delivering a taste that delights the consumer.” Don’t be afraid to let your customers vote with their wallets either – the trend for premiumisation isn’t just restricted to the spirits selection. And offering a healthier version of a classic can be beneficial – especially if bars wind up getting slugged with the proposed sugar tax. “To me it’s all tied up in a general better understanding of produce and a general theme of understanding what you’re spending your hard earned money on, and what you’re putting into your body. There is more education than there ever has been before, the internet has helped with that – it has democratised a lot of information,” says Gaunt. “We really want to make sure that when we spend our money, we get the best that we can and that’s coming into the drinks area.” Gaunt suggests that unlike a lot of things people purchase, drinks are relatively cheap and people appreciate being given a choice. It’s all tied into general concerns about what we eat, what we drink, sugar levels, provenance, where our produce is sourced from and made. “All these things play into the world of drinks as much as they do in other sectors too,” he says. “People realise that for a couple of dollars extra they can have something truly differentiated from a flavour and quality point of view. So bartenders and bar operators all need to be aware of this and make sure there is the right level of choice.”
SIZE DOES MATTER!
CHIEM: Look at bottle size and how that works with your bar as all bars will have different serving methods. Everyone differs in what they want out of a mixer, so we’re looking at a 330ml bottle and that is mainly based on volume and usability. There is nothing worse than having to constantly open two bottles just to make the one drink. So often, especially with 200 or 250ml bottles, you’ll end up using three quarters of a full bottle to finish a G&T for example and then for the next serve you have to use a little bit of the last bottle, then open a fresh bottle. And it’s a big thing for bartenders because we want to make things as easy as possible but also it’s a little better for the environment, in terms of how much glass is being used. So with 330ml bottles, you can make three G&Ts and throw out three bottles, not four.
Schweppes: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE
n 1783, Jacob Schweppe perfected the art of carbonating liquid on a commercial scale, setting into motion a beverage revolution that far exceeded his wildest dreams. Over 233 years later, Jacob’s legacy lives on, with innovation, craft and quality at the heart of Schweppes’ philosophy for a brand that has truly stood the test of time. Since their humble beginnings, Schweppes’ mixers have delivered a unique depth of flavour achievable by no other, with time honoured recipes that have been kept closely under the guard of few master blenders. With real, quality ingredients sourced from all over the world and extensive, masterful processes to create the mixers loved by generations, it’s no surprise that Schweppes is one of the world’s longest standing brands. With product stories so hard to believe, it’s undeniably fascinating that Schweppes has kept them a secret for over two centuries. Everyone’s favourite friend of gin, Schweppes Indian Tonic Water, uses carefully selected lemons and oranges gently peeled from the fruit. The peel is steeped up to 12 months, then cold pressed to release the natural citrus flavours. A unique blend of citrus oils is then added and combined with quinine derived from the bark of the cinchona tree, sourced from tropical plantations. With an equally time staking process, Schweppes Dry Ginger Ale uses a unique blend of two types of ginger, sourced from Australia and the opposite corner of the globe. The ginger
root is steeped up to 12 months and combined with citrus oils. The secret? Chilli, sourced from India, one of the world’s hottest climates, giving Schweppes Dry Ginger Ale its unique, bold taste. But the stories don’t end there. Schweppes Lemonade is carefully made using a hand crafted recipe containing a bespoke blend of lemon and lime oils, blended for days until perfect, whilst the fruity flavours of the Schweppes Agrum Collection utilise natural oils from citrus peels such as grapefruit, mandarin and kalamansi lime, giving it the fresh, zesty finish enjoyed mixed or on its own. Even the simple Schweppes Soda Water is created through the blending of mineral salts with triple filtered water, infused with a little something they call “Schweppervescence”. Whilst spirits are usually the hero of any drink, we believe the mixer is just as important. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, there are certainly easier ways to make a mixer, but then it wouldn’t be Schweppes.
JACOB SCHWEPPE BROUGHT LIQUID TO LIFE IN 1783 WITH THE CREATION OF BUBBLES,
SCHWEPPERVESCENCE.® HIS LEGACY OF PASSION, INNOVATION, CRAFT, QUALITY & REAL INGREDIENTS LIVES ON TO THIS DAY. SCHWEPPES
HAVE A UNIQUE DEPTH OF FLAVOUR CREATED
RECIPES THAT HAVE BEEN CRAFTED AND REFINED FOR OVER 230 YEARS.
SCHWEPPES ‘HAMILTON’ BOTTLE, 1809 DESIGNED TO LAY FLAT ON ITS SIDE, THE CORK WAS KEPT SATURATED AND EXPANDED TO RETAIN CARBONATION SCHWEPPES, DEVICES AND SCHWEPPERVESCENCE ARE TRADE MARKS USED UNDER LICENCE IN AUSTRALIA BY SCHWEPPES AUSTRALIA PTY LTD
The perfect springtime cocktail jug, with refreshing notes of mixed citrus, watermelon and fragrant coriander. GLASS: Jug INGREDIENTS: • 120ml Gin • Schweppes Agrum Citrus Blend • 12 Coriander leaves • Watermelon, cubed • 2 Limes, quartered METHOD: Gently crush coriander leaves and watermelon cubes together in a jug. Add ice, gin and squeezed lime wedges. Top with Schweppes Agrum Citrus Blend and stir well.
FLAVOUR TOWN Ultimately the flavour of the mixer comes
back to the quality of your selection. From a bartender’s point of view, if you are looking to deliver the best possible tasting drinks that you can, you need to look for mixers that are going to enhance the spirit you are pouring. Of course, quality flavour in the end product means, quality ingredients used in creation. It’s a no-brainer. While your customers will often automatically order what they know they like, that doesn’t mean that they won’t be willing to experiment, if your menu offers them some options. “It’s interesting with our bar to have people come in and try their own combinations and see what works,” says Chiem. “There are certain things that always match – like pairing our Blackstrap Ginger Beer with rum is an obvious one. It’s nice to be surprised though – our Smoked Lemonade has become a bar favourite with gin. It’s cool because I don’t
think I have ever served a gin and lemonade before in my 10 years of bartending.” There are plenty of overseas flavour trends to try out in your mixer selection too. “Bitter Lemon is an unsung hero in the mixers category. Ever popular in European markets, it delivers an intriguing bite and sharp flavour profile driven by natural quinine,” Ananthakumar says. “Australian taste palates are evolving, with consumers looking to try new and different flavours. Consider bold flavours such as blood orange as an enticing extension to your mixers range.” And with the massive focus on gin these days, it also helps to have a range for consumers to try with the different styles of gin on the market. “I think it’s cool to have two different styles of tonic, one being a little bit more neutral and another being a little more flavour forward,” says Chiem. Don’t forget that the staples are just that for a reason though. “Indian tonic water and dry ginger ale
were first created over 140 years ago and are certainly still staples behind the bar today,” says Ananthakumar. “The versatility of these mixers allows them to pair effortlessly with a variety of spirits and, of course, you can’t forget soda water.” Speaking of ginger, winter is the optimal time to drink ginger – it enhances the spicy and smoky flavours of different styles of whisky and everyone knows about the health benefits, it’s perfect for fighting off a cold, right? Regardless of the potential medical benefits, ginger is a natural flavour enhancer, so it pays to choose your ginger beer and ale with care. “What a lot of people don’t know is that a lot of mainstream mixers, from a cost point of view, have taken out real ginger for ginger flavouring because it’s cheaper,” says Gaunt. “It still gives the spicy effect because they use paprika, but if you want to bring out the best in your spirits you really need to be looking at a mixer that uses real ginger, because that’s giving the flavour enhancing quality.”
NAMED BEST SELLING AND TOP TRENDING TONIC WATER BY THE WORLD’S TOP 250 BARS* * Fever-Tree was recently named Best Selling and Top Trending Tonic Water by 250 of the World’s Best Bars interviewed as part of Drinks International’s Best Bar Brands Report 2015. ™Fevertree Ltd.
ICE ICE BABY
CHIEM: One thing that pisses me off the most is people who use warm mixers. It’s really important when you set up a bar, if you are using bottled soft drinks, that you have the fridge space for it. And to make sure that the soft drink that you’re using is cold already. Otherwise it defeats the purpose of having nice mixers. It loses a lot of its gas straight away and a lot of mixers will lose their carbon dioxide straight away.
Even though it’s not massively exciting at 10pm over the bar on a Friday night, carbonation is important.
WHY? “What we discovered in our research ten years ago is that carbonation, so CO2, we like it because the carbonic acid plays on our tongue. It’s a natural toxin and our body reacts to it by releasing endorphins, which bring pleasure,” says Gaunt.
AND THAT MEANS… “Soft drink companies have used really big bubbles that release lots of CO2 on your tongue so more endorphins are released and it’s more pleasurable.”
BUT? “What we have found is that big bubbles and lots of CO2 actually closes down the ability to transport flavour.”
WHAT SHOULD YOU LOOK FOR? “We feel that it is important for bars that want to serve the best to really think about the level of carbonation in the mixer they choose. We want that high level of carbonation, but very, very small bubbles. More like a champagne mousse almost, because that is going to be a much better flavour deliverer – and that, ultimately is what you are trying to do, create great tasting drinks.”
MIX IT UP, NO REALLY
CHIEM: I think mixers are getting better and better and it’s really important to keep changing things and keep moving forward, rather than fixing onto three or four products. We’re hoping that every time someone comes into the bar there will be a new seasonal soda on, just like any brewery with their beers.
WINTER IS HERE Fever-Tree’s Andy Gaunt discusses perfecting long wintery drinks.
he start point is always the simple, classic dark spirits drinks. We’re not trying to change those – things like a great Bourbon and cola, a good Dark & Stormy, a Scotch and ginger ale. These styles of drinks have become popular for a reason and, even in winter months, there is still a sense of refreshment that people are looking for. Amp Up The Flavour – Look to play with those great flavours that we associate with winter – the lovely vanillas in whiskies, those lovely spicy combinations that we find in aged spirits. Ginger is a great warming flavour that works really well when combined with the flavours that are created during barrel aging. Garnish With Care – The trick is to play around with garnishes and tease out some of those botanicals and flavours in the mixer. To be brutally honest we don’t go subscribe to one
garnish in the way that people do with say a gin and tonic and a slice of lemon. DARK SPIRITS We’ve really turned our attention to the world of brown spirits because we think it’s about time that people who want to drink a great Bourbon and cola can have the choice to trade up. The rich complex flavours of cola have really been forgotten because there really is only one ubiquitous choice of cola. So, if you’re trying to tease out those rich warming flavours of winter time, you want a cola that is going to bring the flavour. HOW TO SERVE: Bourbon & Cola: I think it’s quite fun to use a vanilla pod. Partly because it plays into those natural flavours but also partly because it’s a natural stirrer and we don’t like using plastic stirrers. We find most Bourbon and cola
drinkers get served a short glass with crappy ice, a great Bourbon and some gun cola and a plastic straw. Serve it with a nice vanilla pod, it creates a great aroma, and it’s a nice twist on a garnish. But equally, a nice little twist of orange brings out those citrus elements in aged Bourbons. Scotch & Ginger Ale: In many ways whisky and ginger ale is one of the world’s finest combinations of mixers and spirits, and indeed one of the first. Ginger ale was created before tonic water actually. Dave Broome, the whisky writer, published a book last year called The Whisky Manual and in that he was looking at how Scotch can and should be drunk and he says that ginger ale is the Rita Hayworth of the mixer world, and whisky’s finest mixer. If you think a garnish is needed, go for a slice of fresh ginger. But I think a great whisky and ginger ale without a garnish is just as powerful.
ith American whiskey production at a 48 year high and more than 6.6 million barrels of Bourbon ageing in Kentucky right now, it’s safe to say that it’s more than a passing fancy. According to James France of Vanguard Luxury Brands, which imports Michter’s, the market demand is showing no signs of slowing. “Demand for premium, genuine small batch American whiskies is incredibly strong. Supply of aged products is very tight and we always sell out of our aged Michter’s whiskies as soon as they land,” he says. Hugh Robertson, junior brand manager of Buffalo Trace agrees, pointing to solid growth in the US market as well as Australia. Rachel Merritt, who tends bar at the brand new rye-focused Kittyhawk in Sydney, says that there has been an obvious surge on a global level. “Not just with Bourbon but especially with rye,” she says. “Production’s gone up over the last couple of years, a lot of the distilleries went from producing a rye mash once or twice a year, to doing it say eight times a year, due to demand increasing.” Nick Cozens, bartender at Eau De Vie
Melbourne and our cover star this issue, says that American whiskey has been a staple in Australia for very a long time. “It’s just got that little bit of softness that you don’t find from the Scotch whiskies and I think the Australian palate has really started to change toward that a little bit,” he says. “People just want that little bit of smooth caramel flavour going on. It’s all about people getting their facts straight and knowing that it doesn’t just have to be nightclub bourbon and cola anymore.”
WHY SO POPULAR? As for why consumer interest continues in the category, the answer is simple. “Taste, quality, heritage, variety, mixability – and it tastes great straight or in craft cocktails,” says Robertson. Cozens says that there has been a noticeable upswing in people seeking higher end American whiskies too. “We never used to have a massive selection of American whiskey compared to the Scotch whisky, but a lot of the bigger brands have really brought to light how many amazing American whiskies there are out there so people have started trying new things.”
KEEP COCKTAILS FAMILIAR COZENS: We like to keep it toward aspects that people know. So we take classics and move them along slightly to take people to the next level. So we still want people to be familiar with things – for example along the lines of the Whiskey Sour we’ve got a cocktail that is essentially that but with a little bit of blood orange liqueur, fig and cinnamon bitters and for the egg white component we’ve gone for a Marsala wine foam on the top. That way people understand all of the flavours that are going into it – you want people to be able to enjoy it and to understand what is going on.
BRAND STORIES MATTER As Robertson points out: “Consumers are looking for truth and authenticity, over storytelling and mass marketing.” France agrees, saying that consumers are well-researched and looking for “authenticity”. “They expect premium products to be made in their own distilleries; not made somewhere else and re-branded,” he says. Taylor Scelzi, of The Glenmore in Sydney, says that knowing a brand story can be what gets a customer over the line. “It provides a level of tangibility to the drink and helps customers to understand the construct of what they are about to enjoy before they even begin. Whether the whiskey be corn-based, rye or even one of the few wheat bourbons, a lot of customers will have predispositions towards whiskey or will have a sip and not fully understand what they are tasting. Therefore, a good story and an explanation of the process involved can help customers grasp the entirety of what they are about to taste.” Which brings us to…
DO YOUR HOMEWORK “I think it’s essential in any serious bar,” says France. “People are paying good money for their drinks and they like to hear the inside stories about them from the bar staff. It adds to their experience.” His caveat to that is “don’t be a bore by telling them how much you know”, and Robertson agrees, suggesting “quick fun facts, rather than longwinded stories”. Merritt reinforces that the key is pegging the flavours to something the customer already knows.
“We get a lot of people come in who say things like ‘I don’t drink rye, but I’ve been to Lobo and I drink rum’. Then to start, instead of dumping a whole lot of knowledge on somebody, we say ‘Right, but what do you look for when you drink a rum? What do you look for when you drink a Scottish whisky? What sort of flavours do you like?’” she says. “And then from that you can choose something that’s similar to what they would already drink so that they can be introduced to the spirit in a way that isn’t ‘Well this is what I like, so this is what you should try’.” Scelzi adds: “Get them thinking of their own favourite flavours and when you do introduce the brand in the end it’s not overwhelming for them because in a way they discovered it themselves.” If they’re after a mixed drink try prompting them says Cozens. “It’s important to know where their palate is at, at that time. One of my favourite questions to ask is: ‘What would you drink if you’re going out for a night on the town? Do you drink a gin and tonic?’ And if they say a vodka, lime and soda, you have a pretty good idea of where their palate is at,” he says. “It’s about knowing your client and knowing your back bar as well. No one doesn’t like whiskey. They might think that they don’t but there is 100 per cent a whiskey out there that everybody will enjoy – something like Jim Beam White is going to go down pretty easy, just with a bit of ice in there.” He adds that it is about making sure people leave happy. “We want them to drink whiskey, we don’t want to send them away or say to them ‘No you have to drink it like this’ or ‘You’re drinking it wrong’,” he says. “So if they want their $50 whiskey with cola, and they’re going to enjoy it, that is all that matters.” b&c
RUM & RYE AT KITTYHAWK
RYE SO SERIOUS? Rye is coming more to the fore in the American whiskey category, and according to Merritt, a lot of that has to do with bartenders taking an interest and dragging their customers with them – something Kittyhawk has taken to heart. “Kittyhawk itself has actually been reverseengineered from a cocktail which is on the Lobo Plantation’s menu. The Rum and Rye – an Old Fashioned-style drink with equal parts rum and rye stirred down with bitters and sugar,” she says. “So the whole idea was just to take that drink and expand on it, and think of new and interesting ways that we could use rye. And try to introduce people to it in a less intimidating way. Yes we do the boozy, stirreddown drinks that you associate with whiskey, but we also try to do fun things with it as well, so that we can get women drinking it, and get people who maybe wouldn’t have chosen a whiskey cocktail to choose a rye whiskey cocktail. “One of the drinks on the menu is called a Blinky Bill, and we take the Jim Beam rye and we make a toasted coconut rye with it. So you get a really nice, light coconut flavour that comes through with the spices of the whiskey. And that’s mixed with grapefruit, pomegranate and some Cherry Heering. So with that, we’ve done something that is the complete opposite that people would think about when they think about drinking rye whiskey.” And subverting customer expectations has been working exceptionally well, with customers loving the menu and it’s variety of drinks. The Glenmore is also upping its rye game, running the month-long Rye July festival this year. “Anyone who calls Rye whiskey boring better prepare themselves to be called a liar. Rye whiskey has a great level of spice and strong flavour to it,” says Scelzi. “While I would suggest there are tastier whiskeys to enjoy neat, I feel that its popularity right now is attributed to its ability to mix well with a wide range of different flavours. “We launched a barrel-aged Old Fashioned to kick off Rye July, steering away slightly from the true classic and adding some extra flavours of rich, dark muscovado sugar as well as a hint of sherry to sneak in some hidden flavours for those customers who are new to the whiskey world. My cocktail bartenders love playing around with rye in any way they can, such as our twist on a Hot Toddy, which has increased spice and maple flavours for these cold winter months.”
Contact Vanguard Luxury Brands www.vanguardluxurybrands.com.au
Itâ€™s all about the whiskey.
MATUSALEM Matusalem Solera 7 is a premium aged gold rum that utilises the Solera System (seven years) and is true to its Cuban provenance. As with so many other successful Cuban companies, the Alvarez family fled Cuba with the rise of the Castro regime. It is now bottled and produced in Santiago, Dominican Republic where the environment – weather pattern, sugar cane, soil and water – is most similar to Cuba. Still, the same recipe and strict standards that were developed by the company’s founders remain the foundation of Matusalem Rum. The founders believed the key to crafting the finest tasting rum was an old aging process. The name, Matusalem derives from Mathuselah, the Old Testament patriarch who lived for 969 years. Matusalem’s 139-year-old recipe is derived from a Spanish technique traditionally used to craft the finest brandy, sherry and cognac to create a smoother more flavourful rum. In colour it is gold with a rich amber cast, while the rich aromatics give a whiff of sweet molasses, caramel and creamy vanilla. The palate is soft with sweetness being key, as bourbon-like wood notes highlight the flavours. The aromatic flavours leave a trace of vanilla and caramel on the finish.
STOLEN SMOKED RUM
Bacardí Fuego is a newly released spiced rum that has been aged in charred oak barrels. Blended with a selection of spices, Bacardí Fuego is a premium quality rum that is smooth enough to be enjoyed over ice but versatile enough for cocktails. For over 150 years Bacardí has remained family owned and family made. Passing knowledge from generation to generation, Bacardí’s master blenders have created Fuego, their new premium spiced rum. The family have survived years of oppression and exile from Cuba but to this day continue to thrive, driven by an ongoing passion for producing quality rums. The rum is golden in colour with a hint of red, while its aroma is of sweet oak, vanilla and nutmeg, followed by chocolate, cinnamon, butter and lemon peel. On the palate this spiced rum shows flavours of chocolate and chilli, and mellow oak. There is also warm Christmas spices, dried fruit raisins, figs, walnuts and macadamia. The finish again shows chocolate and chilli, with plenty of nutmeg and warm spices, then chilli heat and long soft chocolate. For those looking to pair it, it makes the perfect accompaniment to classic foods like burgers, fried chicken and ribs.
When Stolen created their unique version of a spiced rum, they wanted to do something completely different. As passionate rum drinkers, they were tired of overly sweet and simplistic flavour profiles that defined the category. Stolen Spiced Rum was their brainchild, with a unique infusion of natural flavours from around the world. The result is a layered and complex flavour profile and what really stands out is the smoky finish, so it is only fitting to give the smoke the headline it deserves – hence the rebranding to Stolen Smoked Rum. The change celebrates the true essence of Stolen and its unique position in the rum category. Stolen Smoked comes from a world-class distillery in Trinidad and Tobago. They take column-distilled rum – aged in ex-whiskey barrels in the Caribbean – and infuse it with a unique blend of natural ingredients from around the world, including refractionated Arabica coffee beans from Colombia; vanilla from Madagascar; fenugreek from Morocco (which imparts a slightly sweet, nutty flavour) and the smoke of American hardwood, captured in liquid form. The result is heady and masculine – with toffee and vanilla aromas on the nose, coffee, smoke and butterscotch finish on the mouth. Serve straight up, or as a Smoked Espresso Martini.
TRENDS Following on from his previous column, bartender extraordinaire Fred Siggins tackles the cocktail trends that you really need to know about.
oking my head into the bars of Australia to see what’s on the bubble is one of the great pleasures of my job. I’m consistently impressed by the creativity and innovation happening on cocktail lists all over, and having judged a few comps and travelled a bit lately, there are some trends developing that are worth taking note of. Here are some of the best and most interesting things I’ve seen to watch out for.
COCKTAIL OMAKASE There’s a small but persistent trend developing in bars in The United States towards cocktail omakase – derived from the theatrical and intimately personal experience at high-end sushi restaurants where you relinquish control and the chef creates a surprise tasting of the night’s dishes. At bars like New York’s Amor y Amargo and L.A.’s The Walker Inn, selecting the omakase option will get you a series of drinks over the course of your evening, essentially taking you on a journey of the bartender’s creation. The idea is a natural extension of several things we’ve already seen, including the Bulletin Place style of changing the menu daily based on seasonal ingredients, the “bartender’s choice” option now a staple of good cocktail bars, and Speakeasy Group’s cocktail degustations (differing from the latter in that it’s more about the drinks than pairing with food, and you don’t need to book a whole table). It’s a great opportunity to play with lower alcohol products and more savoury flavours to avoid sugar and booze overload over the course of several drinks. It can also be a fantastic way of showcasing a particular seasonal ingredient in several different ways – a technique our
own Curtis Stone has made a name for himself doing at his LA restaurant Maude. Australia’s obsession with native and seasonal ingredients seems the perfect inspiration for a few cocktail omakases of our own.
TIKI TIME! I probably don’t need to tell you this, but Tiki is back in a big way. From the opening of new venues like Pretty Mama in Melbourne and Sydney’s upcoming Tsunami Joe’s, to Tiki-focused cocktail comps, to the inclusion of Tiki drinks on industry-leading menus from Baxter Inn to Black Pearl, tropicana has come out of the dark days of syrup-laden shame and into the light of the modern craft cocktail. Bartenders across Australia have also come to realise that our customers don’t always want a Hanky Panky, or the hanky wanky that often comes with boozy, bitter and esoteric classics. They want fun, freshness and escapism – something Tiki offers in spades. We’ve also got guys like Jeff “Beachbum” Berry publishing amazing tomes of Tiki knowledge (his smartphone app is awesome, too), doing the same for tropical drinks that Wondrich did for pre-prohibition classics. And with all that knowledge to back us up, plus access to amazing tropical fruit, Australia is set to take its rightful place as a haven of tropical goodness.
HIGH-BALLIN’ The 1970s American highball is one of the great mixed drink categories, but they’ve seen little action in the third wave cocktail revolution. These drinks like the Cape Codder, the Harvey Wallbanger and the Bay Breeze are ripe for an update, and could easily come to represent a key part of any good bar’s business model. The main benefits are cost and booze. They’re not as pricey as a full cocktail, and you can knock back a few without leaving your legs at the bar. The problem with cocktails is that they’re delicious (and super easy to drink if the ‘tender knows what they’re doing). I can’t even count how many times I’ve received my frosty daiquiri to realise only minutes later that I’ve just killed $18 and several hundred thousand brain cells. And while a G&T, wine or beer can feel mundane at a nice bar, highballs can still have the fun and intrigue of a full cocktail if there’s some creativity involved. Highballs are also a great way to get wary consumers exploring the back bar and trying new things. While they may not be willing to take a punt on a $24 Pisco or mescal cocktail, offer them a $12 highball and watch them get excited. PS-40 is already leading the charge (pun intended), offering their range of house-made sodas with a nip of house spirits for high-falutin’ high-ball action, and down south Waterslide Bar has a highball section in the list with both oldschool and original creations.
COFFEE SEE, COFFEE DO It’s funny, y’know, after years of making fun of the Aussie obsession with espresso martinis, one of America’s latest trends is the resurgence of coffee-based cocktails. Maybe it’s because they’ve finally figured out how to make a decent drop. As the obsession with quality coffee picks up steam
all over the world, there’s more crossover than ever between barista and bartender. In pursuit of the perfect coffee shot, baristas now painstakingly control every aspect of the process, from the pH, temperature and pressure of the water to the exact weight and coarseness of the grind. The guys at White Lyan have already taken to weighing rather than measuring their ingredients for increased accuracy and consistency, so don’t be surprised to see others follow suit. Cold drip has also made its mark in the bar world, bringing coffee to bars that can’t be assed with espresso machines and offering myriad opportunities for cold infusions of anything you can pick, grind or filter. Twenty Seven bar & restaurant in Miami (from the same group who brought us Broken Shaker), are doing just that with a cold dripped cocktail on their menu that changes monthly. Next challenge: get new-make whisky to taste aged by filtering it through various dry ingredients.
SALTY DOG The older I get, the less interested I am in sweet things, and the more I get obsessed with chemical flavours like salt, sulphur and slate. Lucky for me, judicious pinches of sodium chloride are becoming de rigueur on the cocktail scene. Salt’s not just for your Bloody Marys and Margaritas anymore, with briney numbers aplenty like James Crinson’s winning entry for Bacardi Legacy NZ this year, the Te Anaka. Honeyed and sweet, the drink is finished with a spray of sea-salt and lemon brine, perfectly balancing the sweetness and counteracting the off-putting smell of eggwhite. On the other hand, a dish of smoked salt presented to judges at The Perfect Blend Victorian finals alongside Mason Terrett’s delicious take on an Old Fashioned enhances rather than mitigates sweetness. A pinch on the tongue before a sip of the drink kicks the palate into high gear instantly, brings out all the sherry and fruit characteristics of the whisky, and turns an otherwise simple drink into a real experience. More please. b&c
CONSISTENCY GUARANTEED ALL YEAR ROUND Your cocktails should be treated the same as the beer, wine and spirits on your menu – they should taste the same every time. REÀL Cocktail Ingredients guarantee customers consistent flavoured cocktails. Fresh fruit oxidises very quickly, meaning your venue can be left with high wastage costs. REÀL Cocktail Ingredients use the highest quality fruit, and with a shelf life of up to 90 days, once open, you get consistency of flavour, as well as consistency in LUC and consistency in cost of goods. Traditional syrups contain little to no fruit and are primarily water, sugar and artificial flavouring. The REÀL Infused range contains little to no water, and close to 100% premium fruit puree. That is why some of the best bartenders around the world incorporate these products into their menus. For more information on distribution or how to use, please contact your local SouthTrade representative or call (02) 8080 9150.
HOW TO HAVE A REAL CAREER IN BARS
At this year’s Australian Drinks Festival we gathered a panel of some of the most experienced bartenders, managers and owners on the Melbourne scene to share some wisdom and some truth bombs.
THE PANEL • Iain Griffiths, Mr Lyan Ltd • Jenna Hemsworth, Black Pearl • Gorge Camorra, Camorra Liqueurs • Christian McCabe, Embla • Stefanie Collins, b&c • Jess Ho, Smalls • Hayden Lambert, Above Board • Alex Ross, House of Correction Group
"What a lot of people don't understand is that shit sticks." – Alex Ross
WHY HAVE YOU STAYED?
all inspire each other. But yes, we work hard and it tires you out but it really is about working with inspirational people.
IG To be perfectly honest there have been times when I thought about checking out. But then there has been the motivation or the opportunity to do something new and interesting. My body and my mind has certainly wanted to tap out at times but there is an allure to this industry when you love it and a passion that just keeps bringing me back. JH I’ve come from a different background, a science background. I’ve done a degree in biomedicine but I’ve decided this is what I want to do for my career. I’ve been asked thousands of times – mostly by my mum – why I’ve chosen to just be in bars. But it’s not “just being in bars”, there’s an allure. It’s comes down to how I get to make people feel – I get to walk away from my job at the end of the day knowing that I have made someone’s day. It’s something that I get satisfaction out of and if you love what you do, well, as long as I love it, I will be in this game.
JHO I came across from a chef background and then I moved front of house and from there it just sort of grew because I learned how to be managerial and all the boring stuff and all of sudden, years have passed.
GC Passion is everything. I gave up a successful business to come and work in this industry and I would have been making more money if I had stayed. But you live it, you breathe it, you love it. I still have sleepless nights thinking about things and I drive my wife crazy. But if you struggle to come to work – give it away. CM It’s a bit of a trap to be honest. I tried to give it away a few times, but for me it’s about having a team of people to work with where we
HL I got into it because I had nothing better to do. It’s true. I didn’t have a good education, I didn’t like school too much, and I decided to travel around the world without much money and bartending was a way of keeping the travelling going. And then from there I’ve become institutionalised. You try to get out but there are no real options to get out and no matter how hard I try to diversify I always end up back in the bar industry.
AR I’ve tried to get out so many times it’s not funny. I’ve already pretty much checked out physically. I have a constant armband because I can’t physically shake hands anymore and that is after 20 years plus in this industry – my body has broken down. So now I deal more with operations and with brands and I’ve found ways to make this industry still work for me. It’s hard – you try to get out of this industry and all of you fuckers keep dragging us back in – it’s something we can’t get away from because you’re all so goddamn beautiful. It’s an industry I don’t want to get out of because I’ve found a wonderful, supportive community full of interesting, intelligent people.
HAYDEN LAMB ER
CHOOSE YOUR MOVE WISELY IG Integrity is the single most important thing you have. You are only as good as your last shift, and when you leave a business with a certain reputation, wherever you move onto next, that reputation comes with you. It’s not to say that if you put yourself in a bad place you can’t fix that reputation, but every single move within my own career – and I’ve made some massive cockups along the way – it’s always been about fixing what has been done wrong then looking for what I want to achieve next. And going about that knowing that I’m the sole person accountable for that. JH I’ve been, in the last couple of years, guilty of leaving a lot of jobs and moving around quite a bit. Which can be seen as unreliable in the industry. Job satisfaction is such an important thing. If you’re not being treated the way you feel you should be treated – if you’re not learning, if you’re not fulfilled, remember that you’re going to be at your job more than you’re not going to be at your job. It’s taken me a long time to find something that I’m really satisfied with, but every single job I’ve taken has been strategic – what am I going to gain from this? What am I going to learn? How can I add another facet to my skills? Even if they haven’t been longstanding jobs, the skills that I have learned at each one has worked for me. Be confident in yourself and what you need for your career. GC As you get a bit older and a bit more well-known in the industry, there are a lot more people who want to work with you and collaborate, so for me it’s a bit more about learning to say no. You can’t do everything. So pick things that you are passionate about and that you love, and work hard at that. At the start of your career, well not everyone wants to be a bartender all their life, so the natural progression is being a rep or a brand ambassador and so forth. Pick things that you’re passionate about and be strategic. There is nothing wrong with making money by being strategic. CM It’s very important to constantly evolve and make sure that whatever you do is relevant to what you want to do in the end, because it’s easy for it all to fade away. Working on your weaknesses is the best thing you can do. So when you become good at something, pick something else to work on. I haven’t worked for somebody else for 15 years now, but I still learn stuff off my staff every single day. Everyone is better than you at something and I think it’s an important skill to find out what that is and how you can absorb all that information and use it to your advantage. It’s a dynamic industry that we’re in and it keeps everyone on their toes, but it means that everyone JESS HO who thinks they can become better at one thing and do that for the rest of their life is going to get left behind.
JHO It doesn’t matter where you work you need to be able to work with people who are younger than you, older than you, that come from a different situation to you. Don’t close yourself off to it. It’s about being tolerant and letting people say what they need to say – if they have an amazing idea then work with them. Work out what needs to be done, break it down into x/y/z and cost it out. And focus on the guest. They’re not our customers – they’re our guests. We treat them like you’re welcoming them to a dinner party in your home. It’s a huge part of the industry and sometimes our egos get out of control and you need to remind yourself that you work in the hospitality industry. HL I think because I fell into it any kind of structure is a foreign idea. I slept with a lot of people to get where I am – so that has been my strategic move from day one. It was really tough when there are so many knockbacks. But really, if I had to go back and speak to the young bartender that I was a long time ago, I would say be cautious with your decisions, find really good mentors, don’t believe in the hype and don’t believe everything you read about competitions around making you the best bartender on the planet. It feeds into something that doesn’t exist. As a young bartender look toward mentors who have had long, good careers and look at your trajectory in the same way as a young chef looks at getting into the top restaurants. Don’t take any shit. There are plenty of owners out there that will tell you that you have to work an extra fifty hours without pay because that’s what passion is about. That is the biggest load of balls. Bankers are passionate people and they get paid. I’m a passionate person and I deserve to get paid. If you want to succeed you will progress naturally. Your ambition and drive and tenacity will bring you that success – people will seek you out. There are people here, we will go to their bars just because we know of them, that’s a success in its own right. AR I want to touch on how you perceive yourself and how others perceive you as your own brand. Now, social media is a lot of fun and working in bars is a lot of fun and you can get messed up and you can talk about all these people that you’re messing around with, but what a lot of people don’t understand is that shit sticks. If you’re going to start putting yourself out there on social media and building yourself up, regardless of whether you know it or not, your social media accounts are part of your brand. Us as individuals are each a brand and this is where the integrity that Iain mentioned comes in – there are a lot of people mucking around, but do you want this shit to come and hit you five, 10 or 15 years later? Do you want this to be out there when you are starting to represent a brand or owning a bar? Think about what you’re doing and be strategic about how you’re representing yourself. This is something I didn’t realise I was doing for many, many years, and then halfway through I realised that I was being cautious deliberately. Not because of my mum and my dad – fuck that, they know what I’m like – but because of what I wanted to achieve and because I knew that this was out for everyone to see. How do other people perceive you? IAIN GRIFFITHS What have they seen? We don’t know what the big picture is, because social media has only been around for about 10 years. We don’t know who is watching.
MAKE GOOD CHOICES & AVOID BURNOUT AR There is a simple difference, particularly when it comes to bartending between male and female skeletal structure. It’s not sexist, it’s just fucking science. When it comes to shaking, doing it above your head for the sake of showmanship, it’s not going to help you in the long term. If you’re going to make a career out of this you have to look after the muscles in your body. The bottom line is, for females, shake in front of you, shake forward and back in front of yourself. With men, shaking over your shoulders? There has got to be better ways. You have to look after yourself if you want to be in this industry long term. Find ways to keep your body in check and strengthen your muscles and to strengthen your core to make sure that you don’t fuck yourself up. I’ve been doing this for over 20 years, and you have to figure out a way to survive, otherwise you’re screwed. HL I’ve never been the picture of health so I’ll keep this simple. I’m pretty unhealthy right now but that comes down to a lot of time spent abusing my body. When anyone asks me if I drink, I don’t really drink too much because I’m on the verge of 40 and I’ve been doing this since I was 17. So by the time I was 24 I was pretty much at the peak of my ability to take as many drugs and drink as possible and then I settled down and decided to get married and have a family. Looking back now, I wish I had implemented different ways of dealing with the stress, the late nights, and the constant interactions with human beings. It’s a very one-way street in hospitality. We give a lot. Also, if you’re a young bartender, start at a big venue and work your way down to a small venue – I think Iain will agree that it’s been a long time since we’ve shaken any cocktails. JHO Everyone knows that I love a drink, but at the same time it is about knowing when you can have one and when you should stop. Everyone here has been in the situation where they are the youngest person in the room and then suddenly, they’re not. And when you realise that, you go “Fuck, I need to stop partying every single night”. It’s about making sure that you can still function. It’s about not being a dick. Don’t be a dick to other people, but also don’t be a dick to yourself. CM It’s strange to be getting exercise advice from hospo professionals but exercise is important. I’ve found that having a lot less shots has definitely helped my general health and they do take a toll on you eventually. Yes, they’re fun but try not to do one with everyone and try to clear your head I guess so you can get up and exercise the next day. You are going to be old and ragged one day.
GC Wear good footwear. There is nothing worse than going home and you can’t recover because your legs are sore and I’ve found that ALEX ROSS I was wearing fancy looking shoes, but I’d have a sore back the next day. So changing my footwear made a massive difference. We’re in an industry where it is very easy to create addictions. Whether it is alcohol or drugs or it can be ego. I have a massive ego. We sort of get to the stage IG Act like you care what this where we think that we’re more important than industry looks like tomorrow. what we actually are. We don’t cure cancer. We’re Because if you don’t, then you bartenders. Be humble. should leave.
JH That’s probably the best advice you can get – keep your ego in check and remember what you do. Sometimes you can get caught up in the idea that everyone is in your bar to have a good time and I am providing that good time, therefore they must love me. But the next person will come in, and the next person… you have a shot with all those people every single day, it’s not great. I’m the youngest person on this panel, I’m just starting out in my career, and still finding it difficult to keep up. And if I’m feeling that at the beginning of my career, imagine how it’s going to be 10-20 years down the track. You need to take care of yourself. It is the most important thing. I work in a high volume bar where it is constant physical stress. So you have a couple of shots and you don’t feel it because of the stress, but the next day you’re going to feel the compound of the hangover, a back ache from bad shoes, if you’re not shanding correctly, your arms are hurting. The best thing is to stay healthy – I’m not saying don’t drink but that is a part of our lives – but having a good relationship with medical people and being honest about your lifestyle and saying “I would like some pointers on how to stay as healthy as I can”. I want to be doing this in 20 years and see you across the bar and say “Hey let’s have a shot”. IG At the end of the day we need to be accountable for the culture that we are bringing into our community. We talk about longevity and sustainability and yet there is that notion of bravado and how many hours did you work this week? How many shots did you do at the bar? How many shifts can you still pull? All those elements at the end of the day comes down to a bit of a dick swinging contest which forces our bodies into this constant competition with each other. If we want to have this longevity, it’s time for everybody to turn around and be more accountable for that. Be accountable within your own staffing culture and be accountable within this wider community. It’s not about who does all those things the biggest, the baddest, the hardest. If we do want to be bartenders in 15 years’ time, the more moderate of those things you do, that’s the way we’re going to have bartenders with 20 year careers.
JH Stand up for yourself. I’ve actually had some people tell me that I would never get anywhere in this industry, that I’m only here because I’m female. Stand up for yourself and know what you have to offer. It doesn’t matter who you are, don’t let people walk over you. GC Give back to the industry. Winning cocktail competitions is a lot of fun, but so is teaching other people your craft and inspiring people to do what you do, that is cool too. Help other people. CM If you do decide to do this, have a bigger vision than you might originally go for. It’s easy to try and do something safe and small – but if you’re starting your first venue, if you’re going to fail, fail gloriously and on a big scale. If it’s half a million bucks or five million – you’re never going to pay the bank back on a bartender’s salary so go big. JHO Make sure you get paid. Everyone deserves to get paid. People will contact you and ask you for advice and to help them out – a very smart man once said: “Fuck you, pay me”. Know your worth. HL We’re bartenders, ultimately we are all replaceable. But when you step into your bar, aim to be that one person who is irreplaceable. Make yourself that person. AR Go home, get some fucking sleep, eat some food, and think about yourself long term. We have lost way too many beautiful people in this industry because people who serve booze think they’re immortal. Guess what? You’re the same as the person you serve. Look after yourself.
BLIND BEER TASTING WITH THE BEER DIVA
LOY CATADA AND ANDY WREN AT BOMBAY SAPPHIRE
KAREL REYES MAKING CUBAN COCKTAILS FOR MONIN
666 VODKA WAS A HIT
THE BEER DIVA â€“ KIRRILY WALDHORN
INVESTIGATING THE BOUTIQUE SPIRITS ALLEY
AUSTRALIAN DRINKS FESTIVAL
Australian Drinks Festival
CELEBRATES A THIRD SUCCESSFUL YEAR The third running of the Australian Drinks Festival (formerly Top Shelf) was held last month, with visitors and exhibitors enjoying another successful show. Here’s what happened.
THE BOUTIQUE SPIRITS ALLEY
LEARNING TO MAKE COCKTAILS
DISCUSSING BRANDY IN THE BOUTIQUE SPIRITS ALLEY
he Australian Drinks Festival took place over 16-17 July at the Royal Exhibition Hall in Carlton, Melbourne, with a wide range of beer, wine and spirits exhibitors for visitors to see as well as a strong line-up of educational masterclasses and presentations. Event director, Paul Wootton, said: “It was another successful year for the Festival and the feedback from visitors has been amazing. This year, the introduction of live music and cocktail masterclasses helped create more of a festival atmosphere as did great new pop-up bars from the likes of Jameson, Hendrick's, Cointreau, Beluga Vodka, Fine Wine Partners, Auchentoshan and Star of Bombay. “The boutique spirits alley again proved very popular – throughout the whole weekend it was so busy it was almost impossible to move down there. The presentations and seminars were also very well attended. “The type of visitor we attract to the show is very important to us, especially where there is so much alcohol freely available. You have to strike a balance – between getting numbers through the door and attracting visitors that are genuinely interested in discovering and learning about premium drinks. By and large, we get that spot on. “I’m pleased too that new exhibitors to the show have already given us very positive feedback with many surprised at the quality and engagement of visitors – and many telling us they’ll be back again next year. “Finally, I’d like to thank our event partners Sweet & Chilli for again looking after our feature areas faultlessly and in an exceptionally professional manner – and to thank my whole team for all their hard work in pulling off another great show.” Alex Ross, operations manager for House of Correction Group, and a panellist at the show said: “The Australian Drinks Festival adds such value to our industry. Getting the chance to experience so much creativity, great brands, the ability to showcase loads of small businesses, incredibly talented bartenders, inspiring international guests and a fantastic networking opportunity. It was an awesome weekend, well done.” The presentations were well received over the weekend with plenty of bartenders and members of the trade heading to the festival to hear Iain Griffiths from Mr Lyan Ltd present, as well as participating in a panel session with well-regarded members of the local bartending community. For more on the presentation content flick through this issue or head to professional.topshelfshow.com.au to learn more about sustainability, collaboration, and creating a viable career. b&c
AUSTRALIAN DRINKS FESTIVAL
LEARNING ABOUT AUSTRALIAN RUM
DAVE KERR POURING MARTINIS
CHASING THE SUSTAINABILITY UNICORN WITH IAIN GRIFFITHS
THE 666 FLAVOUR TRUCK
THE GIN QUEEN IN ACTION
PLENTY OF SAMPLES IN THE BOUTIQUE SPIRITS ALLEY
AUSTRALIAN SPIRITS PROMOTION
There was plenty of unique Australian brands on show at the Australian Drinks Festival this year, and the punters were loving it.
ith the influx of visitors greeted by the eye-catching 666 Vodka truck right off the bat, it was clear that the Australian spirits producers had come out in force for the third year of the Australian Drinks Festival. And there was plenty of interest from both the trade and the consumers when it came to chatting to the brands and enjoying the drinks on offer. Nip of Courage returned this year with a slew of Australian distillers in tow, highlighting the amazing array of Australian spirits that they have on offer in their portfolio. With brands like Stone Pine, Young Henrys, Belgrove Distillery, Black Gate Distillery and McHenry Distillery (to name a few) there was certainly plenty to choose from. Australian botanicals in gin are being sought after like never before – Stone Pine’s Australian first Black Truffle Gin was very well received at the
AMBRA LIMONCELLO Ambra Liqueurs was founded in 1998 by Italian born, Libero De Luca. He was in the restaurant game for 40 years, and during that time he noticed the popularity of Italian liqueurs, and decided to introduce them to Australia using his old family recipes. Every lemon is peeled by hand, to ensure that none of the bitter pith goes into the mix. That means that four to five hundred kilograms of lemons are painstakingly prepared. New owners Nando and Peppe have continued this passion, continuing to create Ambra Limoncello using a recipe that is 100 per cent natural and free from artificial colours, flavours or preservatives. It is hand crafted using the freshest fruit, in this case lemons grown in South Australia. Ambra has become Australia’s best-selling Limoncello because of its traditional family recipe and finest local ingredients. For more information please contact Think Spirits, (02) 4577 7800.
show when it premiered. The Tasmanians were out in force, with Hobart No.4 and Poltergeist Gin flying the flag for the apple isle. The former is made by the distillers at Sullivans Cove when they’re not making whisky, while the latter is from a haunted estate. While vodka occasionally gets a bad rap from bartenders, there are plenty of local distilleries that are not only filling the void for consumers who want a quality local vodka, but also changing industry minds. 666 Vodka, Fire Drum, and Hippocampus (they also make gin) all use the bountiful local grain industry to create vodkas that are second to none in quality. But Australian brands aren’t just excelling in the white spirits realm either – Mr Black’s coffee cocktails were flying off the stand, Ambra Limoncello shows how the Aussies can beat the Italians at their own game, and St Agnes brandies are proving that the Europeans don’t have a monopoly on quality.
666 VODKA 666 Pure Tasmanian Vodka is a taste of Tasmania. It begins life as Tasmanian barley that’s harvested, mashed and fermented. As with every element of the production, the distillers handle the fermented barley gently, moving from fermentation to slow, single batch distillation using copper pot stills. After pot distillation the spirit is mellowed with charcoal. This final filtration is done slowly, using only the highest grade activated charcoal, ensuring that all the impurities are removed, while retaining character and flavour. The final stage of production is blending the pure vodka with the world’s purest rainwater, from Cape Grim. The result is a velvety smooth, yet distinctly clean tasting, pure Tasmanian Vodka. The year it launched, 666 Vodka was awarded a Gold Medal in the 2010 San Francisco World Spirits Competition – the first Australian vodka to receive the prestigious honour. For more information please contact Think Spirits, (02) 4577 7800.
Thank you to our participating brands The team at the Australian Drinks Festival would like express our thanks to all of the exhibitors who put in so much hard work at the festival this year. We appreciate your support and we’re committed to listening to your feedback to make next year’s show even better.
BOOK YOUR 2017 AUSTRALIAN DRINKS FESTIVAL EXHIBITOR SPACE please contact Shane T Williams for rates and a floor plan. Email: email@example.com Mobile: 0431857765
‘A stand-out event in Australia’
A FRESH POUR EVERY TIME
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 Jul 8, 2016
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...