Month: June 2013

Start dreaming of $10,000 & a trip to Trinidad thanks to Angostura!

Though Australia might be in the miserable midst of dreary old winter right now, there’s one cocktail comp that will have you thinking of a warmer climate: witness the return of the Angostura Global Cocktail Challenge for 2013.

This year the prize for taking out the national final has been bumped up to a cracking $10,000 in cash money and a trip to sunny Trinidad to compete in the global finals. The winner will also secure $5,000 worth of stock for his venue, so there’s incentives all round!

Announcing all the 2013 Australian Bartender Bar Awards Finalists!

Since the end of voting in May, Bartender HQ has been buzzing – working tirelessly to thin down what was a jam-packed selection of venues, owners and bartenders. It’s finally done and the results are presented below. From what we can see they are the best and brightest of the Australian bar industry, drawn from a seriously talented pool who work tirelessly to keep their cities and towns at the forefront of fun

Mark Ridgwell on a flavoursome future

Why not a Taste the Spirit Movement to encourage more recognition for spirits, like wines, as products of nature and more, as products of history and legend, with tastes, flavours and colours to reflect an immense diversity of local custom and ingredients capable of generating drinks for every occasion?

I’m prompted to ask the question by Café Pacifico’s recent closure, surely a bar to represent a benchmark for expressing a team’s passion for a spirit and a bar that demonstrated everyone’s right to enjoy spirits beyond brand statements but as memorable drinking experiences particularly those who arrive at a bar full of prejudice or just ill-informed.

The changing face of bar food — and a recipe for the Wild Rover’s sausage roll

Cast your mind back to the early 2000’s and eating and drinking were two separate things, done in two different places. Without a strong history of restaurant bars like other countries — see London and New York for healthy restaurant bar culture — drinking used to be confined to the pub or the high-end style bars (as they once were called).

The Butterworth

The Butterworth, in the heart of Perth’s CBD and located in Exchange Plaza, has been kicking goals with the food, but it’s the drinks that we’re interested in — and with good reason. The cocktail bar is headed up by Mike de Vos (check out our Introducing section this issue) who is lending the skills he’s used at Luxe and Bobeche while he waits for his own bar to get up off the ground.

Diner drinks and live music at Adelaide’s Jack Ruby

A touch of Americana has come to Adelaide in the guise of Jack Ruby. Not the putz who assassinated the guy who assassinated JFK — but a bar that takes it’s cues from the great culture of diner food in the States, from New Orleans to the Midwest, Texas and California.

Introducing Perth bartender & new bar owner, Mike de Vos

Having worked his way around some of Perth’s best bars, this up and coming bartender is about to launch into the world of bar ownership for the very first time. Plans are well underway for his new bar, Choo Choo’s, to swing open the doors, so we though it was the right time to ask him a few questions about where he’s been and what he’s done so far.

Who boasts the best bourbons?

For bourbon to be labelled as such, US regulations state that it must be distilled to not more than 160-proof from a fermented mash of not less than 51 per cent corn and stored in charred new oak. But this still leaves a lot of room for different styles, as were to find out with the line-up of bourbons here.

Watch our How To on the Tommy’s Margarita

There’s something inescapably rustic about tequila. It’s more in the idea than the product itself. Although the spirit itself is capable of being a rareified, elegant spirit — and often is — so much of the imagery around it brings everything back to the haciendas and agave fields of Mexico — a dusty, dilapidated glamour it has made all its own.

Lucky Jim? Lucky you don’t have his hangover…

Vodka arrived on the scene later than other cocktailing spirits, only really hitting its stride after the second world war had wrought its destruction. So on the topic of vodka, the pages of the old cocktail books we often turn to are, for the most part, silent. Lucky, then, that there’s a rich vein of vodka coursing through the pages of some of the 20th century’s greatest writers…