ICYMI: These were the 7 biggest stories in October


Welcome to November, folks. This month has traditionally been seen as the start to the silly season — and we expect the champagne to be flowing from here.

But before we move ahead, it’s always worthwhile to look back and take stock of what the big stories were in October. Tim Philips had some advice for mixologists (spoiler alert: master the basics); you were also interested in who made it to the Top 8 for Bacardi Legacy; who took on the new Mr Black ambassador gig, and how four bartenders reinvented the Angostura Lemon Lime & Bitters, and more.

Take a look below at the top stories for October.

If this is a golden age of bartending, asks Tim Philips, why do so many drinks suck?
Tim Philips. Original photo by Daniel Boud.

“As I’m handed my cocktail, an innovative foraged-woodruff-distillate-highball, I remember being told; “We are in the Golden Era for cocktails.” I put down the drink, before being able to take a sip as it overflows on to my hand. As innovative as it is, the drink physically has too much liquid in the glass. My memory goes back to reading; “We are in a time when bartending has never been as respected and revered”. I take an awkward slurp of a sip. I’m reminded, “this is a time when more money is spent on bar design, training, experimentation. Mixologists around the world have more and more access to whatever it is they desire to push their creative boundaries.” I concede that for sure, as I resolutely swallow the mouthful I’ve just taken. This cocktail sucks.”

That’s just the first paragraph of this piece by Tim Philips, which was shared more than 200 times on Facebook across the bartending world. If you haven’t read it yet, it also offers up the key to a great Daiquiri. Read the full story here.

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Take a look at the 10 new cocktails on Mjølner Sydney’s new list

Alissa Gabriel, bar manager at Mjølner, Sydney.
Alissa Gabriel, bar manager at Mjølner, Sydney.

Sydney bar and restaurant, Mjølner, is a little over a year and a half old, and things have been going well for the viking-inspired venue. The early success of Mjølner encouraged them to open a second outpost of the venue in Melbourne, which opened earlier this year, and bar manager of the Sydney operation Alissa Gabriel has just released their first major update to the cocktail list.

Gabriel, who has been on board with the venue since its June 2017 opening, has switched the focus on Scandinavian ingredients from the previous menu to ingredients that the seafaring vikings of yore would have encountered on their travels, she says, which has opened up new frontiers for the list to explore. Read the full story — and get a look at the great photos — here.

Here’s the Australian Top 8 for the BACARDÍ Legacy Global Cocktail Competition 2018/2019

Bacardi Legacy has grown to be one of the world’s biggest cocktail competitions, and you were all super interested to find out who it was who made the cut of the Top 8. They’ve since held the semi-final to determine the three bartenders who will join Bartender of the Year Jenna Hemsworth in the final Australian round, and they are: David Robinson (NT), Millie Tang (QLD), and Will Krepop (VIC).

Read the full story here.

Here’s how four top bartenders reinvented an icon, the Angostura Lemon Lime & Bitters

From left: Bobby Carey, Daniel Gregory, Ellery Low, and Dean Buchanan.

We’re drinking better these days. Never before have we had so many great bars to visit, and the standard is higher than ever — it’s what the customer wants. The modern drinker is out and about looking for an experience, and often visiting more than one bar in a night. With that comes the need for no-alcohol drinks.

That’s the idea behind the House of Angostura’s Reinvent An Icon competition, which sought to uncover what the iconic Lemon Lime & Bitters might look like when the creative talents of the country’s best bartenders were unleashed upon the recipe.

Read the full story here.

Mr Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur appoints global coffee ambassador

Left, Mr Black co-founder Tom Baker, with newly appointed global coffee ambassador for Mr Black, Martin Hudak.

Mr Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur, one of the most awarded coffee liqueurs, has officially announced their first Global Coffee Ambassador, Martin Hudak.

This role will see Hudak focus on leading the company’s coffee mixology focus, and bridging communications between coffee drinkers, bars, restaurants, retailers, distributors, and press.

Hudak previously worked as a senior bartender at The American Bar at The Savoy, London, and in 2017, became Champion at the 2017 World Coffee in Good Spirits competition. Prior to that, Hudak has shaken and stirred at the world finals for HCGP, Beefeater MIX LDN, Absolut Invite and the national UK final of World Class.

Read the full story here.

The latest PS40 cocktail list is about to drop — get a look here

At the 18th annual Bartender Magazine Australian Bar Awards, the team from Sydney bar PS40 were recognised for their outstanding cocktailing efforts and picked up the title of Cocktail List of the Year for the second year running — no small feat.

So when we heard the latest PS40 cocktail list was about to land, well, we got excited.

And so did you guys, by the looks of things, lapping up the design and presentation of the drinks PS40-style.

Read the full story — and get a look at the menu — here.

Nick & Nora’s is now open — take a look inside here

Nick & Nora’s, Parramatta. Photo: Jiwon Kim

Nick & Nora’s is the latest bar to come from the Speakeasy Group, and represents their first foray into Parramatta — the geographical heart of Sydney.

As with all things Speakeasy Group — whom you may know from such award-winning bars as Eau de Vie Sydney and Melbourne, Boilermaker House, and Mjolner Sydney and Melbourne — they’ve brought their signature flair for the extravagant to the new venue, which might be their most ambitious yet.

Read the full story and look inside the bar here.

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