A trip to Fantasy Island*


This weekend, Cockatoo Island will become my idea of a Fantasy Island. There will be drinks, talks, Julio Bermejo will be on hand making his fantastics Tommy’s Margarita.

You’ll get to try some delicious cocktails like Tattoo and his lady friend are enjoying in the picture above.

The Saturday has already sold out, and this is by no means an event for everyone. You should probably only go if you like $6-$8 cocktails and one or more of the brands listed below.


$15 admission (plus booking fee; cocktails, samples and food not included). Cocktail Island will use “Cocktail Currency”- purchase these tokens to buy well-priced cocktails


Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 November, 11am-6pm (general public)

Monday 21 November, 11am-5pm (hospitality trade day)


Cockatoo Island Convict Precinct will be transformed into a “piazza” with tasting rooms and a cafe


Cockatoo Island is just a 12-minute ferry trip from Circular Quay. Services run 7-days a week. To plan your trip contact Transport Info on 131 500 or visit 131500.com.au
Water taxis available by request. Marina for private boats to dock for two hours at Cockatoo Island, should you be up for partying like a rockstar

Visit http://www.cocktailisland.com.au/ for further information.

*No guarantees on the presence or otherwise of your very own midget butler.


A little bit of opportunism – Movember Cocktails from San Diego

Everyone does Christmas, thanksgiving and Halloween drinks these days. Few of them raise as much of a chuckle as these two from Saltbox in San Diego for Movember. The one on the right is a garnished Tom Collins, called the Tom Selleck. Classic.

These were both published, with the photo above on the Discover SD Blog. I’d suggest going over there and having a look.

If you’re looking for someone to sponsor, my mate Joe is having a crack this year. It’s for a great cause and he needs all the help he can get. You can make a donation, and check out his picture diary here.


Get your jugs out

Sometimes, being involved in charity work means waking up early, exercise or something outside of the general terms of reference for many of whom drinking and a good night out are clear winners in the pastime stakes.

Luckily, Bacardi have team up with Madame Brussells to deliver a tasty event that is all for a good cause. Climb the stairs tomorrow night for some pink drinks a good time and the type of cackling, throw your head back laughter that can only be found on the best astro-turfed balcony in Melbourne.

6-9pm. Tuesday the 15th of November at 59 Bourke St. $40 donation a requiremnet of entry. Auction to follow.



Rematch Beeyatch

Many of you might think that bartenders are a bunch of moustachioed, tatooed, flat cap wearing tip hounds. You might even believe that they are allergic to sunlight and claw and hiss at you when encountered beyond the safety of three feet of wood.

It’s no my place to say whether that’s true or not, but if you’d like to go to where the wild things are and see for yourself, head down to The Standard on Sunday to watch them hoot, holler and mix up a storm. I’ll take no responsibility whatsoever if you kick on to the afterparty at LoFi.


Johnnie Walker Double Black

It’s taken almost a year since the global launch, but Johnnie Walker Double Black has finally tipped over to general availability on these shores. Blended whisky mavens will have spotted bottle in travel retail (duty free) for a few months now, but 7500 facebook fans now have bottle adorning their desks and lining their stomachs.

While the blended whisky market has seen Black Bushmills and Black Grouse already adding a hint more smoke, the innovation seems to have remained poorly comunicated here, and it seems that the momentum they’re building towards the consumer launch on Wednesday means Johnnie will get the lion’s share of the credit in bringing a bit more west coast mouthfeel into play.

Any existinfg fan of the single lighthouses of the wild west, like Talisker, Port Ellen, Lagavulin, Ardberg or Caol Ila will probably be a little disappointed with the amount of smoke that comes to the palate. This is possibly because the smoke not only comes from the heavy peated malt whiskies in the blend, but also from a heavy charring of the finishing casks. Essentially, you light a fire in the barrel and char the insides before filling it with liquid.

It’s a good entry point to the land of salt and smoke, it will work well in a cocktail too. The signature serve is on a sphere of ice, and it performs well in a highball. If you want to mix a cocktail, try it out in a dried out Bobbie Burns, 60mls Double Black, 10mls Italian Vermouth, 1 barspoon Benedictine. Stir it down over ice and strain it up

Expect to part with $65 if you’re looking to add a bottle to your liquor cabinet, and it’s a quality blend with some good smoke at that price.