Bar Week 2015 Wrap Up

Sydney Bar Week 2015 kicked off with a bang, or rather a shake and a stir with veteran bartenders at The Barber Shop in Sydney’s CBD.

Bar Week 2015

Here is a wrap up of the events we attended during Bar Week 2015.

Vintage Cocktails with Veteran Bartenders

Bar Week 2015
Vintage Cocktails with Veteran Bartenders

Vintage Cocktails with Veteran Bartenders kicked off the first of the Bar Week events at The Barber Shop with eight six industry veterans behind the stick preparing vintage cocktails. Behind the stick were Mikey Enright, Jamie Terrel, Ryan Magarian, Phil Bayly, Nigel Weisebaum and Ollie Stuart.

The vintage cocktails were:

  • Martinez by Jamie Terrel
  • Hanky Panky by John Gakuru
  • Corpse Reviver #2 by Ben Davidson (absent)
  • Bijou by Ryan Magarian
  • Pirates Punch by Jason Crawley (absent)
  • Matador by Phil Bayly
  • Fine & Dandy Collins by Nigel Weisebaum
  • Three Dots & A Dash by Ollie Stuart

More photos of the event on the Gourmantic Facebook page.

Native Cocktails & Canapes

Bar Week 2015
Native Cocktails and Canapes

Sunday lunchtime saw a top event at Clubhouse Rosebery with a degustation of Native Cocktails and Canapes featuring 666 Vodka, Melbourne Gin Company, The West Winds Gin and Beenleigh Rum.

Four creative cocktails with native ingredients by bartender Guido Sardi were paired with delicious canapes:

  1. Chieftain with Sydney Rock Oysters, The West Winds Gin Sabre, bush tomato and pepperberry syrup, fresh mandarin juice, wattle seed tincture, Prosecco and Stone and Wood beer ice.
  2. Wild One with Sears scallops, tomato and basil salsa with 666 Vodka, lemon juice, Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay, lemon thyme bitters and topped with strawberry gum soda (shown above)
  3. Bushtucca: Wagyu tataki, shallot &crispy shallots with Melbourne Gin Co, Maidenii classic & sweet vermouth, pepperberry tincture, bush foam and a pepperberry spray perfume.
  4. The Snifter with coconut ice cream, smoked pineapple salsa, chilli with Beenleigh Rum 5yo, Tio Pepe sherry, smoked ginger/agave nectar, lemon myrtle bitters.

More photos of the event on the Gourmantic Facebook page and Instagram.

Bartender Blackjack with Michter’s Whiskey & Aviation Gin

Bar Week 2015
Bartender Blackjack

Earl’s Juke Joint in Newtown hosted a fun afternoon of Bartender Blackjack with Michter’s Whiskey & Aviation Gin.

With Matt Magliocco of Michter’s Whiskey and Ryan Magarian of Aviation Gin on board, there were plenty of opportunities to taste the American whiskey and enjoy gin cocktails. Brett Harris of Button Bar won first prize in the Blackjack tournament.

More photos of the event on the Gourmantic Facebook page.

The Bartender Bumfight

Bar Week 2015
Bartender Bumfight

From Newtown, it was a jaunt to Middlebar in Darlinghurst for Bartender Bumfight shenanigans with teams competing in front of 8 judges.

Teams of two went head to head, or jigger to shaker with Nathan Beasley of The Black Pearl in Melbourne taking out the winnings.

More photos of the event on the Gourmantic Facebook page.

Diplomatico Rum Masterclass

Bar Week 2015
Diplomatico Rum Masterclass

Monday afternoon kicked off at the Lobo Plantation with a Diplomatico Rum masterclass with Jose Ballesteros (Diplomatico President), Tito Cordero (Master Blender) and Patrick Rabion (Global Export Director).

The masterclass, similar to the one which we attended earlier in Melbourne, highlighted the various types of distillates from different stills that go into making the prestige rum.

More photos of the event on the Gourmantic Facebook page.

Top 10 Most Influential 2015

Bar Week 2015
Top 10 Most Influential

The top 10 Most Influential were announced at the Gazebo in Potts Point:

1 Anton Forte & Jason Scott
2 Tash Conte
3 Tim Philips
4 Sven Almenning
5 Andy Freeman
6 Jason Crawley
7 Mikey Enright
8 Dan Woolley
9 Phil Bayly
10 Nathan Beasley

This year, the top 8 finalists of Bartender of the Year competition were announced on Facebook. They were to compete in front of 500 industry professionals at the Bar Awards. The finalists were:

Brendon Osmers, QLD
Kal Moore, QLD
Lee Potter Cavanagh, NSW
Priscilla Leong, VIC
Joe Sinagra, WA
Lewis Halls, VIC
Michael Chiem, NSW
Jenna Hemsworth, VIC

More photos of the event on the Gourmantic Facebook page.

Idiot Savant Awards 2015

Bar Week 2015
Gregor de Gunther MVP Prize: John Gakuru

From the Most Influential List to the Idiot Savant Awards held at Tio’s in Surry Hills. Mitch Bushell put on a stellar (and hilarious) presentation of the winners which were voted by peers.

Here is the full list of winners:

Worst Brand Shit: Camorra Fairy Floss Liqueur
Most Tolerant Partner: Jenna Hensworth
Most Ruckus Bar: The Black Pearl
Best Brand Cat: John Gakuru
Least Graceful Drunk: Jez Spencer
Worst Product: Fireball
Best Party: PDT at The Black Pearl
Worst Chat: Dr Phil
Bad Bitch Award: Alex Ross
Most Dangerous Drinking Partner: Mitch Bushell
Gregor de Gunther MVP Prize: John Gakuru

More photos of the event on the Gourmantic Facebook page.

Indie Tasting

Bar Week 2015Indie Tasting

One the most anticipated highlight of Bar Week 2015 kicked off at Frankie’s Pizza on Tuesday with the Indie Tasting showcasing over 50 brands.

It was full house at Frankie’s Pizza by the Slice and a great opportunity to taste a variety of gin, rum, vodka, tequila, mezcal, vermouth, liqueurs, whisky, whiskey and talk to the people behind the brands.

The event was also the debut of Schitski Vodka which we featured on Cocktails & Bars earlier in the week.

So many spirits… so little time.

DSC03237L to R: Ian Burrell, Patrick Rabion, Tito Cordero & Jose Ballesteros

There were 9 seminars held at Frankie’s Fun Room which included Ian Burrell, Global Rum Ambassador and founder of RumFest, Aviation Gin founder Ryan Magarian, and the Diplomatico Rum team with their exquisite Single Vintage from 1997 and the soon to be bottled 2002 Single Vintage.

We look forward to more Indie Tastings during Bar Week.

More photos of the event on the Gourmantic Facebook page.

Bar Awards 2015

Australian Bar Awards 2015 Winners
The Gresham Team

The Bar Awards, or the Oscars of the Bar Industry were held at Doltone House in Pyrmont with 500 industry professionals in attendance. The Gresham in Brisbane took out Bar of the Year and Lee Potter Cavanagh won the Bartender of the Year competition.

Here is a full list of the winners of the Bar Awards 2015 including Bartender of the Year 2015.

More photos of the event on the Gourmantic Facebook page.

After Party 2015

Bar Week 2015
The Cliff Dive

Andy Penny and The Cliff Dive hosted the first of the two after parties. Entrance was by way donation of canned food to the Sydney City Mission, a great initiative of giving back to those in need. The other after party was held at Henrietta’s Supper Club in Darlinghurst.

Editor’s Note

Before I sign off with my customary, “Until Next Year”, Bar Week is the equivalent of Christmas for us here at Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars.The series of events and parties bring together many of our industry friends locally, from all around Australia and abroad, and offers a chance to forge new friendships.

Thank you Australian Bartender Magazine, David & Amy Spanton, and Sam Bygrave for all your efforts in putting on an amazing Bar Week every year.

Until Next Year!

More photos of Bar Week including the Bar Awards are posted on the Gourmantic Facebook page.

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.