Tim Philips is Australia’s first ever World Class bartender.

It has been an exhausting week here in Rio de Janeiro, but our boy has come good and taken the 2012 World Class title as his own.

The whispers had been building over the week; the strength of his Bill Murray Blue Label bottle serve, a standing ovation from Gaz Regan in cocktail mastery for the frankly wonderful presentation that is the Reincarnation flip and frankly diamond chat all week meant there were many who were casting an eye his way in the challenges.

It wasn’t all perfection. A failed blaze on day one shook some of the confidence from Tim, and a Ramos Gin Fizz produced beautifully but sadly sans Gin meant the decision heading across the causeway to Isla Fiscal was anything but a sure thing.

Tim is a deserving winner. He brings creativity and hospitality together in a way that will always have me visiting his bar, wherever it is. (Just quietly, he’s about to open doors on his own)

I’ll be the first to admit I whooped when his name was read out, he’s allowed the handful of Australians that made it to Rio to be a real part of his journey and we’d been talking him up proudly all week. It felt personal to the team and we’ll be celebrating tonight with him.

The win will change the course of Tim’s life in ways he’ll only now be starting to appreciate. It will mean travel and profile for him and it will mean great drinks and hilarious stories for us. I can’t wait to see how it goes.

It’s also something the whole of Australia should be proud of. Tim is a representative of an increasing strong national style. The other bartenders who took part in the Australian World Class comp and anyone in the lucky country who aspires to making a better drink will benefit from the exposure Tim’s win will bring.

I’ll be writing up the week Tim’s had in more detail, with pictures of the drinks and some of the other competitors in the coming week. Now, I think it is time for a drink. Responsibly.


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