45ml scotch whisky
15ml wattle toffee liqueur
10ml dry manzanilla sherry
2 barspoons of mead
Mix all ingredients in a tempered tumbler. Set alight and slowly pour from one vessel to the other. Once the liquid is sufficiently heated, extinguish the flame by placing one cup on top of the other. Pour into a brandy balloon garnished with a toasted sesame rim.
Adapted from a recipe by Greg Sanderson in Shaken, Stirred, Flamed & Thrown: Cocktails Done the Eau de Vie Way
Story by Sam Bygrave
Photography by Peter Czeczon
In the Top 10 round of the 2012 Bartender of the Year competition Greg Sanderson wowed the judges with this drink in the way he presented it on stage.
“I guess most people will remember me bringing out a double barrel shotgun on stage and slamming my blazer down the barrel,” said Sanderson.
“This sounds extreme, but it is how we try and present most of our cocktails at Eau de Vie — with theatre. It was fun, something different and added the wow factor to separate the memory of the presentation in the judges’ eyes from the rest of the crowd.”
And it must have made an impression on the judges: Sanderson took out the title of Bartender of the Year thanks to his drinks and his performance.
This warming drink brought sherry and scotch together, and now that the nights are colder, it’s an example of a flamed and thrown drink done properly. It’s also a good example to those bartenders out there preparing for this year’s Bartender of the Year competition. They’ll need to nail their presentation skills because the standard is always high — and with the winner taking a trip to Havana, Cuba, we expect some pretty memorable performances on the big night in September.
But the important thing to remember, said Sanderson, is you need a good drink.
“Be careful,” he said, “all the wow factor in the world won’t make up for an unbalanced, bad drink.”
Shaken, Stirred, Flamed & Thrown: Cocktails the Eau de Vie Way
If you’re looking for more examples of inventive, creative drinks, you don’t need to look further than Shaken, Stirred, Flamed & Thrown: Cocktails Done the Eau de Vie Way. Put together by owner Sven Almenning and the Eau de Vie teams, it’s a good read with some cracking drink porn.
You can pick up a copy through good bookstores (like Gleebooks and Berkelouw Books, among others), at the bar in Sydney or Melbourne, and online via onlybitters.com.