The Blend by Beam Suntory celebrates bartenders and the moments made possible by our industry this World Bartender Day

The Blend, Beam Suntory’s trade advocacy program, launches an online photography exhibition on its community platform – shining a light on bartending professionals, and the importance of bars within communities.

The artists of flavours, the creators of experiences, the magicians of mixology.

Master your craft

Share your craft

Celebrate your craft

The Blend, Beam Suntory’s global trade engagement platform, is bringing the bartending community together to celebrate the moments made possible by our industry this World Bartender Day (24 February). The global campaign – spanning Europe, Australia, Asia and the USA – aims to honour the talent, creativity and skill at the heart of the profession and encourage consumers to reflect on and celebrate the role bartenders play in their lives.

Bars and bartenders help to craft hundreds of special moments in local communities around the world every day. From birthdays and first dates to reunions after work. But their importance isn’t always celebrated, and many personal stories remain untold.

To shine a light on their talent and skill, The Blend has collaborated with internationally-renowned photographer Jennifer McCord, visually depicting the personal moments that five bartenders knew hospitality was where they wanted to thrive and progress.

Jennifer, who is best known for bringing the artistry of music legends including Ellie Goulding and the 1975 to life, has worked with photographers across the USA, Germany, India and Australia, to encourage consumers to view bartending through a different lens.

Culminating in a digital and touring physical exhibition of raw, unfiltered images, the campaign aims to celebrate bartending as a career – sharing just a snapshot of industry stories, and in turn inspiring and encouraging others from our sector to do the same.

Bartenders including Sarath Nair from Bangalore, Magdalena Karkosz from Munich, Sarah Proietti from Sydney, Emma Alexander from Denver and Sly Augustin from London have all shared their personal career stories, which live alongside the inspiring photography collection.

The intimate collection will live in a digital exhibition on, before touring the UK, USA, Germany, India and Australia in a series of one-of-a-kind exhibitions later this year – raising money for our industry and celebrating the special moments we all help to facilitate.

Meimi Sanchez, Senior Brand Advocacy Manager, The Blend Global said: “The Blend by Beam Suntory is our global community trade platform, created to inspire, educate and connect the hospitality industry and we live by our ethos of ‘By Hospitality, For Hospitality. That’s why [NM1]  this World Bartender Day we’re creating an exhibition of intimate stories and photographs of the unsung heroes behind the special moments we celebrate in bars. Bartenders all over the globe have unique creativity and talent that deserves to be showcased and celebrated. Here’s to our bartending community across the globe!”

Introducing the global bartenders featured in the exhibition who are, here to tell their own story about our community and industry:

Sarah Proietti, Maybe Sammy, Sydney:

“The customer interaction and opportunities for growth and advancement in the industry are unmatched in my opinion. It’s the buzz that I get when I’m serving customers cocktails. Whether connecting with guests, crafting unforgettable experiences through impeccable crafts and ambiance or building a harmonious and uplifting team, it’s all ignited in my passion and motivation as a bartender. That’s exactly why I have no regrets about my decision to stop working in finance and to pursue a career in hospitality”.

Sly Augustin, Trailer Happiness, London:

“When I was younger I always wanted to pursue a career in comic books and having worked as a freelance graphic designer and web developer for a few years you can see where my creative passions were born from. Having worked in the industry for 11 years now, I can honestly say it’s the responsibility of owning someone’s happiness and enjoyment for a night, is what makes me want to continue working in this industry for the rest of my life. Trailer Happiness is an inclusive space where everyone is welcome, even when I used to visit the bar as a consumer myself I always felt that the space was special and helped to craft special moments for me and my friends.”

Emma Alexander, Freelance, Denver:

“I had no idea I could make a living or even a career from making drinks. It’s deeper than that for me. It’s a creative outlet, it’s culinary, it’s chemistry, it is a way to communicate without words. It’s my love language. I’ve been in the industry for 26 years now, wild I know. Working through various stages of management, from a coat check attendant, to a shot girl and then a bartender. If you’ve been in the industry as long as I have you will understand how it feels. Once a bartender… always a bartender. You will always find me behind the bar.”

Magdalena Karkosz, Schumann’s, Munich:

“For me I always had a feeling that I would become a bartender. I’ve always had a passion inside me to make people happy. All I want is for people to feel at home and happy in my bar. To me it’s more about making drinks, it’s all about the people. It’s an amazing feeling that every night the guests have decided to come to your bar to spend their time and to create special moments.”

Sarath Nair, Copitas Four Seasons, Bangalore:

“My love for hospitality started since I was a kid, serving water in the temple during special occasions. The joy I used to get when people looked at me and smiled. It gave me immense happiness and satisfaction. Now working in the hospitality industry, I still enjoy sharing positivity, stories and optimism with my customers. I do see my role as more than a bartender. I am a part time creator and a full-time narrator, who is aiming to create a beautiful experience and moment in someone’s life journey.”

Everyone in the industry is encouraged to join The Blend to view the exhibition and share their stories on the website and social using the #WorldBartenderDay @TheBlendGlobal.