Brandy’s raisiny richness has always been something to return to in the colder months; a comforting hug. You can drink it neat, of course, but when it comes to mixed drinks there are really only two seminal brandy cocktails: the Brandy Crusta and the Sidecar
Tag: Cara Devine
Ask any bartender about their sherry selection and their eyes will light up with a feverish passion. And port, once the preserve of red-nosed captains of industry straight out of a Dickens novel, has finally taken its rightful place on cocktail lists alongside the vermouths and quinquinas who have reigned as undisputed champions of the fortifieds for far too long.
The team behind it are the type to inspire devotion. Rob Libecans, Ryan Noreiks and Matt Stirling are industry veterans with world renowned bars on their timesheets. They have been running a successful pop-up and consultancy business under the name Fancy Free for the past few years.
“The Spritz is one of those simple cocktail templates which provide endless opportunities for riffs for imaginative bartenders. You just need a little bitter, a little sweet, and the all important bubbles.”
“Long hours, physically and emotionally demanding work, patchy pay… It’s not difficult to see why there was an exodus of seasoned hospitality professionals, and those that have stayed are more aware of their worth and what they will tolerate.”
Here are a couple of tried and tested recipes (from Chris Hysted-Adams from Moon Dog World in Melbourne & Cara Devine herself who is a writer and manager at Bomba in Melbourne) to chuck in your slushy machine or blender and get your guests through the last few weeks of summer.
Joining the hospitality industry two weeks before Covid lockdowns hit your city may not be the most auspicious of starts, but Australian Bartender Magazine Bar Awards Rookie of the Year Grace Rawlins has gone from strength to strength.
“Frozen Daiquiris were being served at La Floridita in the early 1900s, and when the electric blender was popularised by Fred Waring in 1938 he took it to famed ‘home economist’ Mabel Stegner who then included a Strawberry Daiquiri recipe in her 1952 book ‘Electric Blender Recipes’…”
“Plus, if you’re a bar that serves sherry by the glass, having a Rebujito on your menu is a no brainer; it’s the perfect vehicle for a bottle which has lost its just-opened freshness but is still perfectly fine for mixing…”
“I genuinely love good food and booze. I love the cultural and social histories tied up in it, the transportative effect it can have – and working in the industry, not only do I get to spread that love and those stories, but I can eat and drink like a baller on a budget.”
Music has a way of bringing people together and creating a space for collective joy. It can also be hugely polarizing and your venue’s choice of it can separate your guests in a way the cocktail list never will.
During lockdown, the Social Exchange was live each night at 6pm AEDT Tuesday – Saturday, with The Exchange Brand Ambassadors across Australia hosting their own episode weekly. Each episode averaged over 1,600 views and over 30 comments from the trade community.