Ones to watch in 2016: Priscilla Leong


Priscilla Leong, The Beaufort, Melbourne

Priscilla turned in a great performance on stage for the final round of this year’s Bartender of the Year sponsored by 42BELOW and De Kuyper, and was a great performer in each round of the competition. That’s why we reckon she’s one to watch in 2016.

What’s it feel like to make the final round this year?
Pretty lucky. Still can’t believe I made it through.

How did you prepare for the comp this year?
There’s no secret to it and the answer is nothing special; my downfall in the past was never being focused enough to pass the exam and get into the next round. I knew I wanted to do well in the exam so I pushed myself to study intensively in the month coming up to the competition. 


Can you describe what it’s like to step on stage in front of 500 of your peers and make drinks?
It didn’t feel like I was in front of 500 people and normally that wouldn’t stump me anyway. The fact that everyone was so distracted and not paying attention was kind of a relief. To be honest, the cameras were a little more intimidating than the people. Also I think I wasn’t in the right head space that night and I don’t know why but nerves got the better of me. I don’t usually get stumped by public speaking but I guess the idea that so many amazing people that I respect had been up there before me in the past made me think twice about getting up there.

What was the atmosphere of the Top 8 group like? 
Highly competitive and yet strangely encouraging. Everyone was quietly nervous and self-focused but were still kind and encouraging at the same time. Some presented themselves more eloquently and confidently than others and if they had any nerves or fear, they certainly did not show it. It was inspiring to see and I’m proud and greatly humbled to have been surrounded by these people.

Take a look at one of Priscilla’s recipes below:

Able Tasman
40ml 42BELOW Pure
40ml Amontillado Sherry
10ml Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
1ml of savoury tincture
(A saline solution infused with shiitake mushrooms, citric acid and sugar.)
2 dashes Peach bitters
2 dashes Angostura bitters

All ingredients are stirred over ice and strained into a chilled champagne flute or sherry wine glass. Garnish with a side of olive oil and sea salt seasoned samphire on crostini. A spray of Laphroaig mist over the top to reinforce the aroma of the sea.


No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.