World Class Australia First Round Qualifier 2013

World Class Australia competition returned to Sydney Glass Island for a three hour cruise as twelve of the country’s top bartenders competed in the first round qualifier with Sydney Harbour as its backdrop.

World Class Australia First Round Qualifier
World Class Australia on Sydney Glass Island

Stylish passports issued by World Class with voting cards were handed out to guests prior to boarding Sydney Glass Island. The itinerary being set, the passport awaited your ‘Arrival’ stamp from your cocktail destination. Cocktail stations were set up on the lower deck where aficionados tasted, talked and debated their choices before casting their votes.

The competition featured Martini Experience, Vintage Cocktail, American Cocktail and After Dinner Cocktail as categories, with premium spirits from DIAGEO, Ketel One Vodka, Tanqueray TEN, Bulleit Bourbon and Ron Zacapa 23 Rum being the base spirit.

Martini Experience with Ketel One Vodka

World Class Australia First Round Qualifier
Krystal Hart

Krystal Hart (Canvas – Brisbane) prepared The Ketel One Beholden Martini, made with Ketel One vodka with an Italian vermouth, citrus, orange blossom and fennel notes accompanied with a paprika and bay leaf smoked herring. To start, there was an aroma of paprika and bayleaf water and to finish, a palate cleanser of pineapple and barley water.

World Class Australia First Round Qualifier
Phil Gandevia (Dr Phil)

Philip Gandevia (The Roosevelt – Sydney) served up Together Again to the tune of Frank Sinatra in the background. the cocktail was made with Ketel One vodka, Amontiliado Sherry and Jans herbal liqueur lovingly stirred and strained into and garnished with a cumquat. The drink is a modern take on the cocktail Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin had at The Roosevelt.

World Class Australia First Round Qualifier
Rob Libecans

Rob Libecans (Black Pearl – Melbourne) prepared The Fly and the Loaf with Ketel One vodka, Lillet blanc, Liquor 43 vanilla liquor and reposado tequila served with carbonated grapes wrapped in blanched orange rinds and a small piece of brioche.

Vintage Cocktails with Tanqueray Ten Gin

World Class Australia First Round Qualifier
Andrew Bennett

Andrew Bennett (The Classroom – Perth) prepared The Tanqueray Toffee Apple, with Tanqueray Ten gin shaken with an apple cider reduction and served with toffee apple.

World Class Australia First Round Qualifier
Kari Chambers

Kari Chambers (I Know A Place – Melbourne) served Bella Rose, made with Tanqueray Ten gin, pomegranate syrup, Yering station Rosé, served straight up in an Aperol dust rimmed glass. A cupcake made using the same ingredients as the cocktail was served for “heirlooms in passing” as inspired by Kari’s grandmother.

World Class Australia First Round Qualifier
Luke Ashton

Luke Ashton (The Roosevelt – Sydney) prepared The Modern Love Cocktail, made with Tanqueray No Ten gin, herbal Italian liqueur and a house blended Parfait Amour with bespoke fragrances delivered by an atomiser.

American Cocktail with Bulleit Bourbon

World Class Australia First Round Qualifier
Chris Hysted

Chris Hysted (Black Pearl – Melbourne) served The To-Go Drink, a creamy cocktail made with Bulleit Bourbon with spiced apple, vermouth and almond. The To-Go is named after the New Orleans To-Go cup. If you haven’t finished your drink at a bar, the unfinished drink is poured into a “to-go” which you can take away with you.

World Class Australia First Round Qualifier
Jessica Arnott

Jessica Arnott (Gardel’s Bar – Sydney) prepared 1956 – An American Cocktail, made with Bulleit Bourbon bottled with homemade pumpkin pie infused spirit, smoked maple syrup and chocolate bitters. The drink was served with a slice of ‘Elvis’ cake – banana slice, peanut butter frosting with ham and bacon topping, smoked pecan brittle and a toy. The 1956 is an homage to two great American inventions – cocktails and rock and roll.

World Class Australia First Round Qualifier
Tim Laferla

Tim Laferla (Mechanic’s Institute – Perth) prepared A Diplomatic Resolution, made with Bulleit Bourbon, cranberries, complex spice and a touch of smoke from ex bourbon barrel wood chips. This take on the Sazerac is served with Bulleit-soaked dried cranberries. The name refers back to early American history as cranberries were used as a peace offering between the Indians and Pilgrams.

After Dinner Cocktails with Ron Zacapa 23

World Class Australia First Round Qualifier
Christian Blair

Christian Blair (Eau De Vie Bar – Sydney) prepared his Finca la Perla Zacapacino, a blend of Ron Zacapa 23 rum, coffee liqueur, maple and chocolate bitters topped with aerated banana and toasted rice-infused tres leches sauce.

World Class Australia First Round Qualifier
James Connolly

James Connolly (El Publico – Perth) served up Senor Alexander made with Ron Zacapa 23 rum, Amaretto, Fernet, condensed milk and Mezcal. The cocktail was a feast for the eyes as well as the palate with a banana milk paletto to roll in a chocolate soil.

World Class Australia First Round Qualifier
Sarah Fulford

Sarah Fulford (Gorski & Jones – Melbourne) prepared Dopo Chena made with Ron Zacapa 23 rum and Tawny Port combined with a herbaceous Amaro, Aperol and a hint of Fattorie Giacobazzi Saba, an organic balsamic vinegar made from Trebbiano grapes.

The competition was judged by industry experts as well as guests casting their vote for their favourite cocktail in each category.

The Winners

World Class Australia First Round Qualifier
L-R: Winners – Luke Ashton, Christian Blair, Krystal Hart, Jessica Arnott

The winners were announced on board, with Krystal Hart from Canvas winning the Martini Experience category, Luke Ashton from The Roosevelt winning the Vintage Cocktail category, Jessica Arnott from Gardel’s Bar winning the American Cocktail category and Christian Blair from Eau De Vie Bar winning the After Dinner Cocktail category.

The second round will be held in 2013.

For a photo gallery of the event, visit Gourmantic on Facebook and “Like” the page.

World Class Australia First Round Qualifier 2013 was held on Thursday 22 November 2012 at Sydney Glass Boat. Gourmantic attended the event as a media guest.

Photography © by Kevin Burke for Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved.

About the author

Kevin Burke

Kevin Burke is the Co-Founder of Gourmantic. He was first carried onto a plane at 3 months old. He enjoyed it so much, most of his efforts have been to get back in them to travel. He has lived on 3 continents and in addition to his love of travel and food, he is passionate about wine, chocolate and music.