Month: May 2013

Drinks With… PKNY’s Richard Boccato

You know an operator means business when they head to NYC, scouting out one of their best bar operators and getting them involved here in Australia. That’s exactly what Damian Griffiths — the man behind Alfred & Constance — did, snagging NYC tiki man Richard Boccato, with the result being a pitch-perfect Tiki bar by the name of White Lightning. Boccato was recently out in Australia to do some training at White Lightning, and we took the opportunity to ask him a few questions.

Tonic! Bitters & vermouth to fix what ails you

Easing the ills of mankind with booze and herbs has a long history. It goes back at least to the days of Hippocrates, the ancient Greek known as the father of western medicine, who proffered a recipe for vermouth to cure jaundice, rheumatism and menstrual pain, among other things. He died in 370 BC but the idea of a herbal potion would kick on.

Download our 150th issue now!

Our 150th issue is now live in the Australian Bartender app in the Apple App Store. You can check out all three trends from the last 150 issues, watch the How To video (we step through the Tommy’s Margarita), and look at how trends in bar food have changed from the days when the $5 steak was actually a meal. We visit Mexico again for part two of the agave spirit tour, as Dave explores the rustic, boozy charm of Oaxaca. You can check out the Workers in Balmain, all the latest bars, and loads more.

Bar Awards voting closes tonight!

That’s right folks, voting for the Australian Bartender Bar Awards — the biggest and most prestigious awards in the Australian bar industry that recognises the best and brightest in the bar business — is closing tonight! You’ve got until midnight this Friday to vote — that’s tonight!

Blended whisky put to the test

Poor old blended whisky. In this brave new world of boozing, where ballsy ryes proclaim their 95% rye mash bill, of high proof spirits and super-hopped IPA’s, spirits like blended whisky can get a little lost in the noise. It’s not that the spirits aren’t well made — on the contrary, really, because the art of blending and creating a consistent product year in and year out is one of the toughest gigs in the business.

Find a way in to the Soda Factory

When you step off the street and enter the hot dog joint, you have to find your way through a secret entrance to get to this new bar. No, it’s not PDT in New York and you’re entering via a Coke machine door and not a phone booth, but you get the idea.

Inside the bar is stripped back and designed to look like a disused soda factory; the island bar that centres the room will be familiar to anyone who can remember a night at the old Mars Lounge, which used to occupy the site.

Dumplings and wine bar to open in Walsh Bay

We’re wondering why this hasn’t been done before. As we talk about in this month’s Trend section, food and drink are hand in glove more than ever before. And right on-trend comes Lotus Dumpling Bar, due to be open June.

Profanities and streams of whisk(e)y flow at the Mixxit Chronicles

Mixxit Chronicles have returned — and their training session on Scotch and Irish whiskies have been a hit with bartenders in Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney. We popped by the session held last week at Sydney’s The Wild Rover and spent the better part (in more ways than one) of the afternoon sipping whisk(e)y and hearing the profanities pile up in an entertaining fashion.

Watch Meehan, DeGroff, Petraske, Zaric — hell, everyone who’s anyone in US bartending

Watch the trailer for the doco, Hey Bartender, being released throughout the States and to iTunes (our fingers are crossed for Aussie distribution). The movie follows the fortunes of two bartenders — one of them at New York bar Employees Only — and features the biggest names in US bartendeing. Bartenders like Dale DeGroff, Jim Meehan (PDT), Julie Reiner (Flatiron Lounge), Sasha Petraske (Milk & Honey), Dushan Zaric (Employees Only), Simon Ford (86 Company) all make appearances in the film. And there’s more gold to be found at the facebook page.