Aussie’s best mixologists do battle


This June, Australia’s leading mixologists competed for the prestigious title of the country’s Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year, and a not-too-shabby $100,000 prize at the National Finals at The Star, Sydney.

A Taste of World Class was on the first night. Here, the bartenders spent all day racing around finding fresh ingredients to construct new cocktails which they matched to dishes prepared by the chefs at Black by Ezard. These were then served to the ticketed guests and judged by a panel of industry experts, including Adriano Zumbo and last year’s global winner Tim Philips. This event was won by Ben Blair, from The Corner House in Bondi.

The ‘Build Your Own Bar’ Challenge saw the bartenders creating their own pop-up bars, from which they served another freshly created cocktail for guests and judges alike. Each bar took on the personalities of the bartenders and the spirits they served, resulting in a unique experience for all involved. This event was won by Rinna Kato, of Bacchus in Brisbane.

The final night was purely a celebration of the bartenders and the liquid they serve, with the overall winner of the competition being announced as Luke Ashton from Vasco, Surry Hills. He’s currently over in France, competing for the global crown and title of World’s best bartender. Luke took away a cool $100,000 to put towards his own bar.

Check out the below gallery of the proceedings.