World Class Australian Finals 2015

The winners of World Class Australia Finals for 2015 were announced last night at a black-tie cocktail event held at Strickland House in Vaucluse with Jack Sotti of Boilermaker House taking out the top title.

World Class Australian Finals 2015
Jack Sotti, World Class Australia 2015 Winner

The competition finals were held over two consecutive days where the finalists attended a series of workshops then competed in five challenges. The winners of the individual challenges are:

World Class Australian Finals 2015
Five Category Winners

Beauty of Blends: Thalita Alvez ; The Veggie Revival: Rowan Furlong; The Welcome Drink: Sacha Leonard; World Class in a Cocktail: Jenna Hemsworth; Against the Clock: Pez Collier.

The competition was hosted and judged by renowned whisky writer Dave Broom; Three Blue Ducks restaurateur Darren Robertson; Founder and Director of Edinburgh bar and restaurant, Bon Vivant, Stuart McCluskey and former World Class winners Tim Philips of Bulletin Place, Luke Ashton and Charlie Ainsbury of This Must Be The Place.

Dave Broom presented the Beauty of Blends workshop where finalists crafted a blended whisky that works well as a cocktail base, before creating the cocktail. Darren Robertson hosted The Veggie Revival workshop where contestants had to create savoury cocktails with a thorough understanding of how they work and how the drink is to be balanced  on acidity, sweetness and bitterness.

Matt Preston, Luke Ashton & Charlie Ainsbury judged The Welcome Drink, featuring low ABV cocktails with the knowledge of how to balance cocktails at a lower proof. Stuart McCluskey hosted the Rituals of Service where the judging criteria was heavily weighted to how bartenders talk about their drink and bring it to life for the judges. Tim Philips led the Against The Clock challenge, a skills and speed test where competitors had to create 3 famous cocktails in 5 minutes.

World Class Australian Finals 2015
Top 25 World Class Finalists

The twenty five bartenders from around Australia competed for the title are: Alex Archibald (Papa Jack’s), Brendan Keown (Baxter Inn), Cameron Pirret (Lychee Lounge), Daniel Gregory (Lefty’s Old Time Music Hall), Edward Quatermass (Maker), Jack Sotti (Boilermaker House), Jenna Hemsworth (Lui Bar), Jono Liu (Archie Rose), Jonathan Minihan (The Toff In Town), Lette Needham (Nant Whisky Bar), Manuel Alvarez (The Hazy Rose), Martin Lange (Cobbler), Mattia Arnabaldi (Stitch), Matthew Linklater (Bulletin Place), Matthew Stirling (Black Pearl), Nathan Beasley (Black Pearl), Pez Collier (Lychee Lounge), Phillip Louis Weber (Enrique’s), Rinna Kato (Blackbird), Rollo Anderson (The Rook), Rowan Furlong (The Victoria Room), Sacha Leonard (Double Happiness), Simon Audas (Sokyo), Thalita Alves (The Gresham) and Tom Pearson (The Press Club).

The World Class Australian Finals for 2015 were held at the historic Strickland House in Vaucluse overlooking the magnificent views of Sydney harbour  on Sun 10 May and Mon 11 May.

Congratulations to Jack Sotti who has won a trip around the world to explore 80 bars and will take on the world’s best bartenders at the Global World Class Competition to be held in Cape Town, South Africa in September.

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.