The Melbourne hospitality scene packed out the Gershwin Room at Hotel Esplanade, affectionately known as The Espy, and watched eight bartenders go head to head to see who could make a round of four drinks faster and better than the rest.
Earlier in the day, 18 women went through the preliminary round to whittle the competitors down to the final eight.
The semi-final round on the night came down to four women: Mjølner’s Alissa Gabriel went up against Black Pearl’s Shay Chamberlain and won, booking her spot in the final, whilst Millie Tang was victorious over Eau de Vie’s Chelsea Lamperd.
Gabriel and Tang then faced off in the final round, with Gabriel managing to finish making her drinks before Tang; a couple of errors in Gabriel’s drinks, however, meant that Tang was able to pull past and take out the title.
It’s the second year in which Speed Rack has been staged in Australia, with Tang having finished second last year behind Priscilla Leong.
Speed Rack is a competition founded by American bartenders Ivy Mix and Lynnette Marrero to put a spotlight on the great female bartenders working in the industry, and all proceeds from the events go to supporting breast cancer education, prevention and research.
The night was emceed by industry stalwart Alex Ross, and Mix and Marrero were in Melbourne especially for the event.