Lee Potter Cavanagh took out the number two spot in the 2019 Bartender of the Year comp

LPC takes out second place in the 2019 Bartender of the Year. Photo: Christopher Pearce

He’d been there before, in fact, he’d won it before back in 2015. But unlike most, Lee Potter Cavanagh from Sydney’s Rosenbaum & Fuller decided to give the country’s toughest comp another crack.

Here, Cavanagh shares some advice and what it was like to win the Bartender Magazine Bartender of the Year sponsored by BACARDÍ & De Kuyper and why he decided to try again.

Lee Potter Cavanagh
Rosenbaum & Fuller, Sydney

After having won the comp back in 2015, what was it like stepping onto the big stage once again?
Thrilling! It’s always an honour to be in a room with other passionate bartenders trying to advance bartending.

You’ve seen a few trends come and go in your time — where do you think the bar world is going in 2020?
More awareness of where our ingredients come from and the impact their use has. As a result of this I think it only makes sense to see a dramatic increase in attention to and use of Australian spirits.


Can you describe what your idea of a great bar experience is? What do you want when you go to a bar?
It’s hard to put a finger on exactly but for me it’s mostly about genuine engagement with the people who work and drink there. A great bar feels like the kitchen at a great house party.

What do you think makes a good bartender become a great bartender?
Persistence and enthusiasm for others’ company and enjoyment.