These were the 10 biggest bartending stories of 2015


Well, what a year 2015 was. We’re going to take a break online until from today until January 11th. We’ve got some big things planned in 2016, but for now, we wanted to share with you the biggest and most read stories of 2015.

The top 10 is below — kicking off with the inimitable Charlie Lehmann — a look at the stories that made the top ten give a pretty good indication of where the bar industry is at. So, without further ado….


10. Opening a bar? Here’s how not to spend your cash


Could Charlie Lehmann, co-owner of Sydney’s Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern, be one of our industry’s great iconoclasts? He’s certainly on the invite list of any good party, and he’s got runs on the board as an owner of one of Sydney’s favourite bars (they took out Bar Team of the Year at this year’s Bartender Magazine Australian Bar Awards). He’s also written our favourite line of the year: “You need your bar to look pimp, so you go out and buy a giraffe.” Wisdom awaits in them words.


9. Inside the new wave of Paris cocktail bars

Paris is known for its storied cocktail bars, some of which have been around as long as a Hemingway novel. But there’s new kids in town, challenging those old traditionalist ideas, and winning awards. Here’s our wrap of what’s happening in the City of Lights.


8. WA’s Ben Greenham wins Disaronno Mixing Star

We were stoked to be involved with the Disaronno Mixing Star competition earlier this year, and judging by the readership on this story, the standard was pretty high — it was Ben Greenham, who was then at Enrique’s School For To Bullfighting, who took out the top gong.


7. Ten things I hate about you, customer

This may have been the seventh biggest story of 2015, but it was certainly the most controversial. Written by Joe Worthington with tongue firmly planted in cheek, it was discussed in the bartending groups across Facebook — some people for it, some people against it. Read and figure out what you think.

blue flamingo

New Perth bar, Blue Flamingo, set to open soon

Maybe it’s because Nick Harris has run Perth’s tequila institution, El Publico, and the goodwill that all that tequila spreading brings; perhaps it’s because the Perth scene is one of the most exciting places to drink in the country. Regardless, the news that this renovation of a space at the Leederville was widely circulated on social media before its opening.

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5. Here’s six new bars making Adelaide drinking great

The bar scenes in Melbourne and Sydney are well established; Brisbane has matured, and Perth has made a splash. But will 2015 be remembered as the year that Adelaide’s bar scene arrived? Australian Bartender editor Sam Bygrave loved what he found when he visited Adelaide early this year, and there’s been a bunch of little bars that have opened since then (he’s looking forward to going back).


4. Seven tonic waters rated — which makes the best G&T?

Many of us love a Gin and Tonic, particularly during the warmer month of January, when this story was posted. We used one gin to road test seven different tonic waters — one of which was a supermarket home brand tonic — with some interesting results.


3. here’s the Top 100 Most Influential List for 2015

We have held The Most Influential List is every two years since 2009, and this year’s list, sponsored by Angostura Aromatic Bitters, boasted the biggest names in the industry. The Top 100 was published in August, about a month out from the big Most Influential List Party sponsored by Angostura Aromatic Bitters and held at Gazebo during Sydney Bar Week.


2. Be a better bartender: it’s all about hospitality

Alex Gilmour — who these days you see plying his trade (and his love of agave) at Tio’s Cerveceria in Surry Hills — wrote this post back in April. It was drawn from his experience hiring new staff, and it resonated widely with the bar industry. It might seem redundant to say that to be a better bartender, it’s all about the hospitality, but it needed to be said.


1. Here’s the 2015 Australian Bar Awards finalists!

Every year this post vies for the top spot, and with good reason — it’s the big announcement of the finalists for the Bartender Magazine Australian Bar Awards.

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