Ones to watch in 2016: Brendon Osmers


Brendon Osmers, The Gresham, Brisbane

Brendon pulled out all the stops in the tough Bartender of the Year sponsored by 42BELOW and De Kuyper exam. The Brisbane based bartender from The Gresham performed admirably in the final round of the competition, and it’s his all-round performance that marks him out as one to watch in next year’s competition.

What’s it feel like to make the final round this year?
It’s amazing. Seeing the ever increasing talent and knowing the effort that the bartenders who show up for the exam have, it’s great to get through. Some top people miss out.

How did you prepare for the comp this year?
Lots of note taking… Annoying Sean Forsyth for taste testers. A bit of blind tasting with the bar team. Finding friends in our neighbourhood bars doing the exam, and flinging questions at each other.


Can you describe what it’s like to step on stage in front of 500 of your peers and make drinks?
It’s a little nerve-racking due to the stakes… and it’s an honour knowing some of the experience in the room. But we do make drinks and chat for a living, so you just re-assure yourself of that. It’s nothing new, when you simplify it.

What was the atmosphere of the Top 8 group like?
A great group of people. A different set-up and hence, feel. Last time I was in the Bartender of the Year final, it was at the trade show, and we were all in the same setup area. This time we had our own little spaces, kept to ourselves a tad, focused, and mingled with the arriving crowd a bit more. Everyone was still offering help when we ran into each other though, and that’s one of the beautiful features of our industry… that camaraderie!

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

Fig ‘n’ Delightful

50ml 42BELOW Pure
25ml Fresh Fig purée 
25ml Lemon juice
10ml Honey water (2:1)
Pinch of toasted & cracked fennel seeds (8-10) NB/ toasted one small jar with a few drops of Bitter Truth JT decanter bitters

Shake and strain over ice in a double old fashioned glass. Garnished with a fennel top, fig flower, & toasted fennel seeds.

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