Can you feel it? It’s December, and that means that right now you’re scrolling through an onslaught of end of year best of lists — and yes, we’re about to add to that.
Each year there’ are volumes of new cocktails created by you, and we’re lucky enough to run a few in Australian Bartender each month in print and online.
Below we’ve listed the 10 best cocktail recipes — the most popular — from 2019. Some of them come from new bars — like New Bar of the Year, Cantina OK! and some come from veritable bar icons, such as Bulletin Place.
Some of the recipes below hew closely towards a classic construction with but a few ingredients, and more than a couple get geeky and utuilise fermentation techniques.
What they all have in common, however, is that you;’ll want to have more than one of them.
2019 has been a delicious year.
The team at Bulletin Place are well-known for putting a new list of five drinks together each and every day they’re open, working with the best produce that is available at any given time.
They’re also diving deep into the world of ferments, and this recipe demonstrates how making your own in-house ferment can give a unique twist to classic recipes.
For the Lacto Fermented Macadamia Honey
We love coffee in Australia, and the Espresso Martini continues to be popular with punters. But we think you’d be hard pressed to go past this Irish coffee recipe from Sydney’s Maybe Sammy, the winners of the 2019 Cocktail Bar of the Year title at the Bar Awards.
Recipe by Maybe Sammy, Sydney.
Like a little theatre with your drinks? That’s what you get when presented with this take on the Pina Colada from Old Mate’s Place. Not only is it hidden inside a book on serving, when you pour the drink from the flash into the glass you’lll notice the colour is missing too — that’s the result of a lot of pre-shift prep work.
For the Pineapple water:
For the Pineapple Rum:
For the Pineapple Dust:
For the Pineapple Flavour:
For the Piña Colada Marshmallow:
Above Board’s Hayden Lambert has been making this recipe for a while, and it follows his classic-driven, less is more approach to making cocktails. It doesn’t disappoint.
Adapted from a recipe by Hayden Lambert, Above Board.
Cantina OK! Has been 2019’s most talked about bar, and with good reason: the owners of Tio’s Cerveceria opened their pean to mezcal in a small, back alley space the size of a car space, and they’ve been busy every night since then thanks to great flavour combinations, hospitality, and drinks like this.
Hot and cold, and full of flavour. This Africola from PS40 is the perfect nightcap (though we’ve started our nights on it, too). It’s an idea that took them countless iterations to get just right, and get it right they did. It’s delicious.
Recipe adapted from PS40, Sydney
This year saw Alex Gondzioulis from Sydney’s Bulletin Place take out the top spot in the Bartender Magazine 2019 Bartender of the Year sponsored by BACARDÍ and De Kuyper, and naturally you were interested in this recipe — it was one of the two winning drinks that took him there. The Gondz, as he’s known, scored off the charts with our judges this year.
The team behind Tokyo Bird and Osaka Trading Company opened Bancho late last year, and this recipe for their Matcha Chocolate Negroni is a great example of their style. The key ingredient, if you ask us, is the Suze — it provides the earthy base for the matcha and chocolate to bounce off. Delicious stuff.
Recipe from Bancho, Sydney
Matt Whiley and his team at Scout Sydney do things a little differently — they are, for instance, closing the bar’s residency at the top of The Dolphin in Surry Hills in just a couple of weeks in search of new digs next year — and their take on the classic Whisky Sour is no exception (it’s probably the best take you’ll taste, too).
Recipe from Scout Sydney.
For the hazelnut bourbon, fatwash 1L of Bulleit Bourbon with 250ml of hazelnut oil, freeze, and filter.
For the watermelon vodka, take the fruit of one watermelon and juice. Add equal parts of watermelon juice and Ketel One Vodka together and distil at 55 degrees in a rotary evaporator.
OK, so Two Schmucks isn’t an Australian bar, but this is certainly one of the tastiest drinks we’ve had the pleasure of sticking in our face all year. The Barcelona bar’s use of gin, apple and celery shrub, lemon, and absinthe in the mix makes it quite possibly one of the freshest tasting drinks going around.