World Class Cocktail Festival
Sydneysiders will get the chance to sip cocktails from some of the world’s best drinks-makers in September, as more than 50 bartenders descend on the city for the World Class Cocktail Festival. Over more than a week, some of Sydney’s best bars and restaurants will partner with big names in the international bar scene to create pop-ups, one-off experiences, parties and many, many drinks.
Ago Perrone, director of mixology and Martini master at The Connaught (currently number one on the World’s 50 Best Bars list) in London, will be on drinks duty at Bennelong for one night only, with a food menu by chef Peter Gilmore to match.
Over the other side of Circular Quay, lauded London bar Lyaness will pop up in fine diner Quay. For three nights, Lyaness’s highly awarded owner and bartender Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr Lyan) will host a supper club serving Johnnie Walker Blue Label cocktails alongside dishes by Gilmore.
Norwegian bartender Monica Berg from London bar Tayer & Elementary (number two on the World’s 50 Best) will take over Shell House’s gorgeous Clocktower Bar for one night only.
And Roy Choi, LA food-truck pioneer (he founded cult-fave Korean-Mexican taco truck Kogi) and co-host of The Chef Show with Jon Favreau, will be a major drawcard at a pop-up Margarita and taco party at Hickson Road Reserve. He will team up with Taco Truck's Raph Rashid, who helped lead Melbourne's food-truck scene, on a special menu for the celebration. There'll also be Margs from El Loco, and food from Ricos Tacos and Melbourne’s Beatbox Kitchen.
Fred's ex-head chef Danielle Alvarez will also curate an all-female line-up of chefs to take over Shell House's Dining Room on September 14 for a one-off dinner. Expect a five-course menu of dishes from Trisha Greentree (Fratelli Paradiso), Analiese Gregory (ex-Franklin, Bar Brosé), Jemma Whiteman (Ante) and Rosa Scatigna (Shell House), accompanied by cocktails made by Singapore-based bartender Bannie Kang.
Re- co-owner and bartender Matt Whiley will continue his sustainability mission with a week-long circular economy experiment. The Barber Shop, PS40, Old Mate’s Place and The Lobo will use each other’s food and bar waste to make new cocktails. Meanwhile, Frankie’s will host a burger and bourbon bash, and debaucherous basement bar Ramblin Rascal is throwing a robe party.
There’ll also be events at a slate of other bars, including Earl’s Juke Joint, Double Deuce, Maybe Sammy, The Rover, Hickson House and Dean & Nancy’s. Interstate bars, such as Melbourne’s Black Pearl, will also be popping up over the 10 days.
The festival coincides with the global final of Diageo’s World Class Bartender of the Year competition. Nick Tesar, from Melbourne’s Bar Liberty, will be up against 50 other finalists for the title of global bartender of the year, announced on September 15.
And while that’s plenty to be going on with, expect more announcements in the coming weeks.