Event, Melbourne

One more night for this pearl

 

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I’ll be the first to admit, I’m late to the party on this one.

For the past six days the crew at Black Pearl have been part of a collaboration with Bacardi, leading up to tonight’s Legacy Cocktail competition final.

What it means for you is a list of 10 Bacardi cocktails, including Fred Siggins’ excellent Empire of Dreams, are up for grabs from one of the most talented bar teams in the country.

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Get down there tonight to try some of these great drinks and stick around for the party when the Australian winner of tonights Legacy comp is announced.

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In case you’ve never been, the Black Pearl can be found on Brunswick St in Fitzroy, number 305.IMG_5890 IMG_5893 IMG_5902

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Event

Melburnians. Forget the Cup and put your money down on this.

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Turns out that #baxterchef isn’t the only person from Masterchef willing to turn their hand to pairing dishes with cocktailian creations.

Bombay Sapphire are stepping things up a notch with MasterChef judge Gary Mehigan, matching 10 dishes with each of the botanicals which give Bombay Sapphire its world famous taste. The ‘Urban Turban’ Raj Nagra has put his head together with Sean Forsyth on the cocktails and will be returning to his homeland to celebrate and invigorate the trade.

35 smacks gets you 2 dishes and 2 cocktails, with the option of buying more should you be hungry, thirsty or just greedy.

The event is running at 64 Sutton, a new warehouse venue on the cities upcoming Northern fringe. Places are limited, and it is all only going down between the 10th of November and the 6th of December.

www.projectbotanicals.com.au for all the details and tickets.

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE PROJECT BOTANICALS POP-UP BAR//

Cocktail

Paired Dish

Almond Swizzle Pacific Oysters
Lemon Thyme Collins Crisp Tostaditas with Cured King Fish
Juniper Sublime G&T Blue Swimmer Crab Toasts
Liquorice Hanky Panky Liquorice Grilled Quail
Angelica Negroni Tartine of Field Mushrooms
Coriander Chinese Lantern Vietnamese Rolls with Yellowfin Tuna
Cassia Blackberry Fix Sticky Braised Pork Ribs
Cubeb Berry Fizz Crunchy Chicken Slider
Grains of Paradise Flip White Chocolate & Pepper Berry Cheesecake
Orris Root Aviation Strawberries & Cream

196DISCLAIMER: My team and I are working with Bombay Sapphire to bring this idea to life.

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Event, Unusual Martinis

A really tasty appointment

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The extremely welcoming welcome drink, Joe McCanta’s Le Fizz.

Most brands lead with their credentials.

Most brands spend a long time talking about themselves, how their artisanally sourced ingredients are transmuted in branded gold in specially designed hand-packed mud houses by indigenous banjo players.

Most brands  spend so long talking about themselves I’m too thirsty to truly appreciate the first sip.

Most brands are not Grey Goose.

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A couple weeks back, I was deemed sufficiently influential to attend #tastebyappointment, the elegant branded consumer experience being rolled out around the world by Grey Goose.

Tucked carefully upstairs in a private room at Gowings, the world’s best tasting vodka™ decided to talk not about itself, but about taste and its very personal nature.

I commence with a flute of Le Fizz.

Frustrated by guests reaching not for vodka but for Champagne at events, Global Grey Goose Ambassador Joe McCanta devised this elegant twist on a French 75 to satisfy the style choices of his guests while also driving depletion. The mix of St. Germain, lime juice and Grey Goose is bought alive with a dash of soda. The pleasing result is further proof that everything does indeed taste better for the addition of the beautifully bottled elderflower liqueur. My only complaint is that the first three glasses must have had holes in them, given they seemed to be drained very quickly.

Almost too soon I am ushered into a beautifully arranged room and shown a place at the well-set table.

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Cue Joe McCanta.

In the galaxy of global brand talent, McCanta truly shines. His easy Californian charm holds the rooms attention as he introduces the evening and bids us all to try what turns out to be a yeasty and somewhat average piece of bread adorning our side plates.

It turns out, the trick of taste is intentional, McCanta has asked the kitchen to omit salt from the mix. A smear and a sprinkle transforms average to outstanding.

Salt rocks, if you’ll pardon the pun.

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Our second lesson arrives as the entree.

Three morsels epitomise sour, sweet and bitter. This exercise is about determining our own, unique personal taste preference.

Unsurprisingly, things turn out bitter for me.

The lesson is reinforced by some cut crystal cocktail making. Building our very own vodka old fashioned tweaked to match salty, sour, sweet and bitter is surprisingly engaging distraction.

There is vigorous agreement around the table of our own flavourful superiority.

My bottle seems emptier than most.

I make another.

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The main is placed before me.

Steak.

The third lesson is about umami.

Not a large wave that crushes coastal villages, but the flavour that enhances everything else.

Potentially a little  je ne sais quoi.

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The steak comes paired with a truffle martini.

$600 worth of black truffle, sous vide’d into the Grey Goose. James Marcel Bernard Wynn-Williams mentions other ingredients but my head’s too full of truffle to truly take it in.

My mind wanders to thoughts of geese stuffed for Christmas.

If you want to know what cocktail pairing with food is about, this is a great example. a mouthful of food and a mouthful of cocktail add up to something bigger.

Something better.

Something umami.

Unctuous, in the best possible way.

GreyGoose_TastebyAppointment_QTHotel_DLPhotography_190914_0571The meal finishes with a little pear-on-pear action.

A pear tart with some chilled Grey Goose Poire.

The buttery custard and almond crunch saves me from cloying sameness, but it is a hard landing after the tropospheric truffle.

I adjourn to the members lounge to pursue my bitter tastes.

Choice words and battle stories are shared by the gathering throng.

Something about cocktails in space.

Good times all round.

I try another.

and another.

and, responsibly, another.

 

All too soon I am in a cab atop the Anzac Bridge, peering West across the inky water at Glebe and my home beyond.

I am struck by the presentation of a vodka comfortable with who it is.

Comfortable to let me connect their brand to my experience.

Comfortable enough to let the passion of its people shine brighter than a neon POS display.

Most brands simply talk about themselves.

Most brands are not Grey Goose.

 

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Awards, Event

Time Out Bar Awards 2014

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Time Out y’all. So far ahead of the trends that they’re holding the 2014 Bar Awards in 2013.

What’s more, there is a Melbourne version for the first time ever, and the Sydney one will be held on an island during the day.

Ticket links at the bottom, after the nominees. You’d be mad not to get on board.

MELBOURNE NOMINEES

 

BEST BARTENDER

Tom Ambroz- Los Barbudos

Josh Crawford- The Rum Diary Bar

Hayden Lambert- Bar Americano

Evan Stanley- The Black Pearl

Alistair Walker- The Everleigh

BEST BAR FOOD

Bar Di Stasio

The Beaufort Bar

Cumulus Up

Hell of the North

Hihou

BEST ENTERTAINMENT

The Gem

Howler

Local Taphouse

Mr Wow’s Emporium

Shebeen

 

BEST FIT OUT

Bar Ampere

Bar Economico

The Everleigh

Hihou

Sweetwater Inn

BEST PUB

The Alehouse

The Gem

The Grace Darling

Local Taphouse

The Standard Hotel

BEST COCKTAIL BAR

Bar Americano

The Black Pearl

EDV

The Everleigh

Lily Blacks

BEST SMALL BAR

Bar Ampere

Bar Economico

Hihou

Los Barbudos

Whisky and Alement

 

BEST NEW BAR

Bar Economico

Bellota

Cumulus Up

Los Barbudos

The Rum Diary Bar

HOT TALENT

Jackson Evans- Misty Bar

Sarah Fulford- Lily Blacks

Lewis Halls- The Black Pearl

Jack Scotti- EDV

Dar Warren- 1806

 

BEST WINE BAR

Bellota

Cumulus Up

Gerald’s Bar

Hell of the North

Neighbourhood Wine

PEOPLE’S CHOICE

The Alehouse Project

Bar Americano

Bar Ampere

The Beaufort Bar

The Black Pearl

The Carlton Club

EDV

Los Barbudos

The Rum Diary Bar

Whisky and Alement

 

SYDNEY NOMINEES

 

BEST BARTENDER

Charlie Ainsbury- Eau de Vie

Jay Gray- Lobo Plantation

Lewis Jaffrey- Baxter Inn

Luke Redington- Hello Sailor

Adi Ruiz- Bulletin Place

BEST BAR FOOD

10 William Street

Mary’s

The Morrison

Rockpool Bar & Grill

Sokyo Lounge

BEST ENTERTAINMENT

Arcadia Liquors

The Beresford

Frankies

Midnight Special

Vic on the Park

BEST FIT OUT

Earl’s Juke Joint

The Henson

Lobo Plantation

Miss Peaches

Monopole

BEST PUB

The Courthouse

The Henson

Local Taphouse

Lord Nelson

The Union

BEST COCKTAIL BAR

The Barber Shop

Bulletin Place

Eau de Vie

Palmer and Co

The Roosevelt

BEST NEIGHBOURHOOD BAR

121 BC

Anchor

Hinky Dinks

Vasco

Wild Rover

 

BEST NEW BAR

The Barber Shop

Earl’s Juke Joint

Lobo Plantation

Neighbourhood

Wild Rover

HOT TALENT

Mischa Bonova- Rockpool Bar & Grill

Jonathon Carr- Wild Rover

Matt Linklater- Bulletin Place

Michael Nouri- Vasco

Sebastian ‘Cosmo’ Soto, Baxter Inn

 

BEST WINE BAR

10 William Street

121 BC

Love Tilly Devine

Monopole

Wine Library

PEOPLE’S CHOICE

Baxter Inn

Black by Ezard

Gardel’s Bar

Hazy Rose

Hinky Dinks

Lobo Plantation

Mojo Record Bar

Midnight Special

Palmer and Co

Wild Rover

Time Out Melbourne Bar Awards

Monday 25 November, 6.30-10.30pm

The Emerson, 143-145 Commercial Road, South Yarra

Tickets $50 (plus booking fee)

http://www.ticketpro.com.au/Time_Out/Melbourne_Bar_Awards_2014

 

Time Out Sydney Bar Awards

Sunday 1 December, 1-6pm

The Island Bar, Cockatoo Island

Tickets $50 (plus booking fee)

https://www.ticketpro.com.au/Time_Out/Sydney_Bar_Awards_2014   

For more information on Time Out Australia and the awards, visit www.au.timeout.com

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Event, Sydney

2013 Bar Week Ahoy

barweekSeriously, where has this fucking year gone?

It seems like about two seconds ago when Dave Spanton was talking about the changes to Bar Week this year and the shift away from an exhibition to an events schedule to engage consumers and trade.

You’re already too late for the workshops on the trade side, but there is still action to be had at parties, plus the Bartender Magazine Awards, which will feature the finals integrated into the dinner itself, which should be a hecklers dream as the trade degenerates over the course of the evening. http://www.barweek.com.au/#!parties/c1o5o

For those of you who sit in front of bars instread of working behind them, there are a bunch of options. Champagne tasting with paired nibbles at the Roosevelt, Malts at Eau de Vie, The Man vs Food Nacho Chili Challenge at the Cleveland and Woodford Reserve 5 course cocktail pairing menu at O Bar Dining. http://www.barweek.com.au/#!consumer-events/c207j

Less than two weeks to Bar Week people. Get involved.

www.barweek.com.au

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Event

Drinking makes you feel good.

Help this guy out, obviously punching above his weight

Help this guy out, obviously punching above his weight.

Some days, it feels like all being a fan of premium booze and crackin’ cocktails is only really good at emptying your wallet and giving you hangovers.

Somewhat rarer are opportunities to drink with purpose.

This is one of those times.

This is a story about a boy doing something for the woman he loves.

This is a story about said woman doing something big, something special and something that in no small way will change the world

Let me steal Tim’s word’s as they’re more heartfelt than anything I could muster:

Linn, my wonderful partner is finishing her Degree in Applied Social Science. She is specializing in coaching Psychology and part of finishing her degree involves 250 Hours Work Placement in an organization. Linn would like to do her placement at a charity based in Uganda called Woman Of Purpose International. This charity works to provide a society where vulnerable girls and women are empowered to live to their full potential. Read more below:

http://www.thefortressuganda.blogspot.com.au/

Long story short, this costs money to go over there. Linn will not be paid for her work, nor will she be helped with her flights costs, accommodation, and food there. This is not a holiday for Linn. She is going to Uganda to live within the community of these women, support them, and help these mothers get back into society. These TEENAGE women have been cast out of there society, usually for the “crime” of merely falling pregnant. This organization works to help them look after their children educate them, and support them into returning to their society.

So what can you do?

Head along to Bulletin Place this Sunday, the 8th of September from 4-8pm. Part with (more than) a few bucks and drink some booze that has been donated by some great companies. It might be your chance to actually see Tim Philips making drinks at his bar as well. There will be donations, there will be puns, there will be cocktails AND its for a good cause, so you can send a facebook status update to all those smug fucks who flood your social medias with their Dry July posts because drinking and charity are much better together than they are apart.

If you can’t make it along to the event itself, you can still contribute here http://www.youcaring.com/nonprofits/wopi/75884

See you there.

 

 

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