These are the bartenders taking on the 2018 Bartender of the Year sponsored by BACARDÍ & De Kuyper

Australian Bartender’s 2018 Bartender of the Year sponsored by BACARDÍ & De Kuyper is upon us, and here are the bartenders with the guts to take it on.

It’s the toughest  and longest-running test of bartending ability, with the list of previous winners reading like a Hall of Fame of Australian bartending royalty.

It all begins with the famously tough exam, taking place on Monday 17 September at NOLA during Sydney Bar Week; it cranks up a notch with the Mystery Box round following the exam, and culminates in the pressure cooker environment of the Bartender Magazine Australian Bar Awards, where the Top 8 — the best the country has to offer — will showcase their skills in front of some 600 of the industry’s best and brightest.

This year we’ve got some special masterclasses taking place right after the exam, and you won’t want to miss these — stay tuned to for more information.


Taking place over two days during Sydney Bar Week, the Bartender of the Year sponsored by BACARDÍ and De Kuyper has got a great prize in store for this year’s champion. Not only will you score national bragging rights as the top bartender in the country, you’ll also go on a bartending trip to remember to visit Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans.

And, new to the competition in 2018, the winner of the Bartender Magazine Bartender of the Year sponsored by BACARDÍ & De Kuyper will this year also win a wildcard entry into the next BACARDÍ Legacy Australian Final.

If you’ve thrown your cap in the ring, kudos to you. You’ll soon receive an email with further details about the competition. If you don’t see your name on the list opposite, it’s not too late to enter the Bartender of the Year sponsored by BACARDÍ & De Kuyper. Just send your details to competition organiser Sam Bygrave at

Here’s how the competition works — if you’re a competitor, keep an eye on your email inbox as more thorough guidelines will be through to you soon.

Round #1

Date: Monday 17 September
Time: 9:30am – 12pm
Venue: NOLA Smokehouse & Bar, Barangaroo

The Written Test…
The first round is the famously tough bartending exam, testing your knowledge of spirits, cocktails, bartending and more. Bring
a pen, get there on time, and hang about after the exam for two special masterclasses and to find out who makes the cut to
the Top 16.

Round #2

Date: Monday 17 September
Time: 1pm – 3pm
Venue: NOLA Smokehouse & Bar, Barangaroo

Mystery & Speed Round
Those who make the Top 16 will then go into the Mystery Box Round. The mystery box challenge will test your speed, creativity,
and classic cocktail knowledge behind the stick in a high pressure environment; the Blind Tasting will test you on just how well you
know your spirits.

Round #3

Date: Tuesday 18 September
Time: 5:00pm
Venue: The Bar Awards at Doltone House

The Top 8 Mixology Round
The Top 8 round takes place at the most prestigious event on the bar industry calendar: the Bartender Magazine Australian Bar Awards. There, on stage in front of 600 industry heavyweights you’ll prepare two drinks showcasing all the skills you can bring to bear — and one of you will Australia’s ultimate bartending title.

The Competitors

Aaron May, Pocket Bar NSW
Abigail Stavrow, Cloudland QLD
Adam Bastow, Iku Yakitori Bar QLD
Aidan Beiers, Black Bear Lodge QLD
Alex Johnston, Hot Tamale NT
Alex Archibald, Beneath Driver Lane VIC
Alex Marsoukas, Bad Love Club VIC
Alexander Brinsdon, Barbossa Bar & Bottle Shop QLD
Alexander Griffiths, Union Electric VIC
Angus Neale, Madam Queenie WA
Anneliese Grazioli, Hot Tamale NT
Arran Raeburn, The Walrus Club QLD
Ash Barrett, Queen Chow Enmore NSW
Ashely O’Neill, The Denman Hotel Thredbo NSW
Baxter Pickard, Rupert on Rupert VIC
Bill Ng, Tokyo Bird NSW
Bobby Carey, Bentley NSW
Brendan Robson, Helvetica WA
Cassandra Sultana, The 18th Amendment Bar VIC
Cheng Chang, Lotus DIning Group NSW
Chris Hammond, Bulletin Place NSW
Chris Mons, A Cheeky Few SA
Christian Liebenatus, Palmer & Co NSW
Clare Davis, Gurdys NSW
Conor O’Brien, Earl’s Juke Joint NSW
Cory Hodgson, Lockwood QLD
Daisy Bracewell, Grain NSW
Damien Kos, The 18th Amendment Bar VIC
Dan Wall, The Bibliotheca Bar & Book Exchange SA
Dan Carr, Mechanics Institute WA
Daniel Noble, Old Mate’s Place NSW
Daniel Pennefather, Blackbird Bar & Grill QLD
David Rofe, The Swinging Cat NSW
David Aznar, Cambus Wallace QLD
Dean Buchanan, Long Chim WA
Di Nelson, The 18th Amendment Bar VIC
Elliot Jennery, The Duke of Clarence NSW
Elouise Bliss, Emirates One & Only Wolgan Valley NSW
Emma McPherson, The 18th Amendment Bar VIC
Evan Stroeve, Bulletin Place NSW
Faranak Layeghi, Skycity NT
Francesco Turrini, Eau de Vie NSW
Felix Glass, Opera Bar NSW
Fraser Pollard, Akiba ACT
Gillian Kady, Alfred’s Pizzeria WA
Glynn Firth, The Clock Hotel NSW
Gorge Camorra, The 18th Amendment Bar VIC
Gregory Perrot, NOLA Adelaide SA
Hannah Bolt, This Must Be The Place NSW
Hayley Laurendet, Archie Rose NSW
Hyeonseok Kim, Upside VIC
Iain Ling, The Lincoln VIC
Ingrid Archer, The Everleigh VIC
Jaaidev Vidyadharan, TWR, Crown Towers Perth WA
Jacob Burnham, Angus & Bon VIC
Jacob Cohen, Three Wolves QLD
Jade Wood, House of Brews QLD
James Hartop, Prohibiton QLD
James Pennefather, Bobeche WA
Jane Zou, The Swinging Cat NSW
Jared Huk, Hooch & Fellow QLD
Jeremy Palazzo, Killara Estate VIC
Joey Folkersma, Chow! NT
Jordan Hess, Cloudland QLD
Joshua Crawford, Mjolner Melbourne VIC
Joshua Pahl, Mjolner Melbourne VIC
Joseph Chisholm, Brooklyn Standard QLD
Joshua Thomson, Prohibition QLD
Jude Carson, Barangaroo House NSW
Kate McGraw, Solera NSW
Kayla Grigoriou, Bar Torino SA
Kieran Lee, The Barber Shop NSW
Kurtis Bosley, Public House Management Group NSW
Laura Aikin, Chow NT
Les Marjoram, Rum Bar Airlie Beach QLD
Liam Gavin, Door Knock NSW
Louis Danzer, Henry Deane NSW
Louis Howlett, Hemingway’s NSW
Marcos Steinenbohmer, The Flour Factory WA
Mark White, Mechanics Institute WA
Mark Leahy, Black Pearl VIC
Mason Grave, Town & Country NSW
Matthew Linklater, Black Pearl VIC
Matthew O’Sullivan, Press Club QLD
Matthew Zarimis, Hot Tamale NT
May Chow, Long Chim WA
Michael Keogh, Maybe Mae SA
Michael Calamante, Supernormal VIC
Michael Anmendola, Eau de Vie NSW
Mika Gleeson, The Long Goodbye NSW
Natasha Capol, Ms G’s NSW
Nathan Barnes, Papa Gede’s NSW
Nereida Ryan, Solera NSW
Nic Train, Flaggerdoot VIC
Nicholas Starr, Moya’s Juniper Lounge NSW
Nick Tesar, Bar Liberty VIC
Nick Vecera, Solera NSW
Nishan Adhikari, The Clock Hotel NSW
Noah Lloyd, Press Club QLD
Orlando Marzo, Lûmé VIC
Oscar Giardinazzo,  VIC
Jack Palazzo, NSW
Otis Noble, Heya Bar QLD
Owen Glover, Lotus Dining Group NSW
Phillip Woods, The Brisbane Hotel WA
Phillip Weber, El Grotto WA
Pouya Khoshtarash, Sandbar Skycity NT
Priscilla Leong, The Baxter Inn NSW
Reece Southern, Proof NSW
Roman Kristek, Solera NSW
Ross Treasure, Caballitos WA
Ryan Gavin, Rockpool Dining Group NSW
Ryan Lane, The Gresham QLD
Samantha Wade, The Henry Jones Art Hotel TAS
Sheridyn Gaylard, Bad Frankie VIC
Simone Sanna, 1806 VIC
Theo Hampshire, Supernormal VIC
Thiago Silva, Mjolner Melbourne VIC
Thomas Hart, Door Knock NSW
Thor Bergquist, PS40 NSW
Toby Hiscox, Kittyhawk NSW
Will Turner, Maybe Mae SA
Zachary Morgan, Black Pearl VIC