Each year the authoritative judging panel of Diageo Reserve World Class enters, analyses, and awards the Australia’s bar scene to celebrate its top performers. Swarms of talent stand behind bars across the country each and every night, ensuring that not only are we pulled into a world of well-made cocktails and well-selected spirits, but we feel welcomed and comfortable at our favourite drinking establishments. The ones who perform the best are curators to the highest degree, helping us cultivate our tastes and discover new favourites so that we get the most out of our visit to some of the best bars in the country. This top 20 list lets us know which bartenders are going that extra mile for their customers.
Whittled down from more than 480 entries, and then a further 100 – a difficult task no doubt – the top 20 now begin on a journey of even harder work and even more dedication, seeing as they will all be competing in the Australian Grand final of the Diageo Reserve World Class in Sydney on Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th June.
From submitting a “visually stunning and delicious” cocktails specially made for the competition, to charging through challenges like “Set the Scene” and “Create the Memory”, these 20 bartenders have scored the highest on qualities like artistry, innovation, balance, technique and visual aesthetic. The ultimate winner, announced 6th June, will go on to win an all expenses paid trip to Scotland and also fly to Bangkok to take part in what’s being called a “World Class Bootcamp”, designed to prepare them for success at the Global Finals, held in Mexico City this August.
Past Australian winners have included Charlie Ainsbury and Luke Ashton, both of whom own This Must Be The Place in Darlinghurst, Sydney; and Jack Sotti, who you can find at Melbourne’s excellent Boilermaker House.
Let this be a little guide for you, letting you know where the best places to grab a drink are, and who to hope is mixing up your next cocktail. The top 20 in no particular order are:
- Alex Boon of Seymours Cocktails & Oysters, QLD
- Andrea Gualdi of Maybe Frank, NSW
- Cameron Pirret of Seymours Cocktails & Oysters, QLD
- Christian Blair of Annata, NSW
- Edward Quartermass of Maker, QLD
- Ella Rhodes of The Gresham, QLD
- Elliot Pascore of Maker, QLD
- Elliot Bell of This Must Be The Place, NSW
- Jake Down of This Must Be The Place, NSW
- James Irvine of The Swillhouse Group, NSW
- Matthew Follent of Bar 1806, VIC
- Matthew Linklater of Black Pearl, VIC
- Michael Chiem of PS40, NSW
- Nick Tesar of Bar Liberty, VIC
- Orlando Marzo of Lume, VIC
- Phil Spector of Bulletin Place, NSW
- Rohan Fisher of Boilermaker House, VIC
- Simone Sanna of Bar 1806, VIC
- Thomas Angel of Kiyomi, QLD
- Thor Bergquist of PS40, NSW
For more information click HERE.