There were close to 450 entries into The Perfect Blend 2018, which saw 79 state finalists compete across Australia and New Zealand, before their number was whittled down to the final two winners at the national final in Byron Bay in May: Kurtis Bosley in the Professional category, and Tim Pope in the Apprentice category.
One big focus of The Perfect Blend this year has been on sustainability. In Byron Bay, the competitors would have to not just make drinks that incorporated second-use ingredients to minimise waste whilst bringing the maximum in taste, they also received some wisdom in how to incorporate sustainability within their own lives through their early morning yoga workshop.
“The sustainability thing is so prevalent in the industry at the moment, and it’s a big part of what we’re doing in the bar day to day,” said Professional category winner Kurtis Bosley. “It’s being more mindful and more conscious of that stuff, and the competition brought out that thoughtfulness behind the bar, which was really good to see.”
Apprentice category winner Tim Pope agrees with Bosley. “Sustainability is super important. The actual attitude change from bartenders has been incredible — so many bars I know of are ditching all their plastic straws. It’s only once you become aware of it do you realise how much actual waste is put out.”
For more on second-use recipes and techniques, visit www.the-blend.com.au and check out the winning recipes below.
Recipe by Tim Pope.