Ones to watch in 2016: Sydney’s Michael Chiem


Michael Chiem, The Lobo Plantation, Sydney

Michael Chiem had a memorable — if somewhat wet — performance in the final round of the Bartender of the Year sponsored by 42BELOW and De Kuyper, and it marked his second Top 8 placing in as many years. He’s been a regular feature as a finalist in cocktail competitions throughout 2015, and we expect 2016 to be no different — perhaps he can avoid spraying the Bartender of the Year hosts and the cameraman with champagne next year, though?

What’s it feel like to make the final round again this year?
Great to see that last year wasn’t a complete fluke. I definitely feel like I improved from last year’s performance!

How did you prepare for the comp this year?
It was a bit of a last minute preparation to be honest, so just a bit of cramming a couple days before exam day. I wish I had practiced some blind tastings and researched sponsor products, as I completely failed that section. 


Can you describe what it’s like to step on stage in front of 500 of your peers and make drinks?
Easier going second. It’s a blur, before you know it it’s all over!

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

Liquid Swords

50ml Cognac
15ml De Kuyper Blue Curacao
20ml Pineapple Dashi
20ml lime
2 dashes black walnut leaf spirit

Shake and strain. Garnished with a togarashi rim.

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