Five Brisbanites make the top 25 in prestigious bartending competition | Gourmand and Gourmet

Five Brisbanites make the top 25 in prestigious bartending competition

  • Food & Booze
In news that makes us want to go grab a drink, stat, five Brisbane bartenders are the running to become the world’s best mixologist after making it through to the second round of the prestigious Diageo Reserve World Class bartending competition. Hosted by Diageo, big-time beverage company responsible for the likes of Smirnoff and Baileys, the annual competition showcases the creativity, technique and flair of the word’s best bartenders; see also Drink Shrink, Psychologist and Drunk’s Best Friend. The world finals are a way off yet though. Our fabulous Brisbane bartenders still have to shake off each other and 20 competitors from New South Wales, Victoria and WA in the next round of the Australian competition to be held in May.  From there, five of our greatest boozers and shakers will go on to the Australian final, where one talented lad or lass will earn the title of Australia’s best bar tender before competing in the world final. Aside from representing our sunburnt country at the world finals, the Australian winner will also get flown around the globe to undertake 150 hours of intensive cocktail training, the opportunity to create their own blend of small batch Bundaberg rum, plus a lazy $100 000 to kick start their wildest liquid dreams. Sounds like a pretty sweet prize to us. Want in on the action? The five Queensland beverage engineers shaking things up hail from The Walrus Club, Fourth Wall, Cobbler, Kerbside and Black Bird. Here’s a sneak peek of the creative concoctions that got them through to the top 25. Rinna Kato | The Road Less Travelled | Black Bird A cocktail inspired by Rinna’s time in Japan, London and Queensland comprised of Johnny Walker Double Black, pineapple and coconut shrub, lapsang souchong syrup, grated coriander seed garnished with black sesame biscuit and kataifi pastry. Alexander Boon | Attack of the Killer Pluot! | Fourth Wall Inspired by Alex’s love of B-grade horror films, the cocktail combines Bulleit Bourbon, pluot (a genetically modified hybrid of the plum and apricot), Luxardo maraschino cherry liqueur, fresh pineapple juice and fresh lemon juice. Dominic Xavier | Das Ist Berlin | Cobbler Inspired by Dom’s home town of Berlin, his cocktail combines Zacapa 23, Kummel & Hallertauer hop aeropressed plum tea, gebrannte mandeln syrup, chocolate bitters and smoked bratwurst foam. Alex Archibald | The New Farm Sour | Walrus Club A rustic take on the classic whiskey sour using locally sourced peaches and figs from the New Farm markets. The figs and peaches are turned in a jam then shaken up with Johnnie Walker Gold Label scotch, fresh lemon juice and egg white, then served with a float of Baronia Marsala and a sprig of rosemary picked fresh from the gardens of New Farm. Matthew O’Sullivan | The Rise and Fall of Fortitude | Kerbside Taking inspiration from Fortitude Valley’s rich history, the cocktail combines Bulleit Bourbon, fresh ginger, cloudy apple juice, caramelised pear syrup, apple balsamic vinegar, lemon juice and home made ginger, cloves and star anise syrup. Meet you at the bar. Words by Sam Geldard