Industry News

This guy is yesterday’s news.

Diageo Reserve World Class Global Final 2013 - Day 5 - CIROC Party at Ushuaia
World Class 2013 is hours away from producing another World’s Best Bartender, and Australia waits with baited breath to hear if local-boy-done-good Luke Ashton will add the title to the lump sum he picked up for taking out the Antipodean leg of this years contest.

With all this anticipation flooding the internet, I felt it apt to pause for a moment and offer up a few words for a man who’s night can only end in the pangs of bitter disappointment.

Twelve months ago, Tim Philips was samba dancing with abandon as he assumed the title of World’s Best Bartender™ for his own.

Tonight that all comes to an end.

Sources close to Philips acknowledge a life where monthly first class travel, photo-bombing opportunities on Dutch grannies and intimate chats with Angus Winchester (albeit in front of camera and a studio audience) are no longer commonplace will be hard on the young man’s outspoken but impressionable psyche.

Expect to see a small shrine, with book display and honesty box for the fruits of his year (below) appearing at the venue very soon.

The book will be a memorial of the drinks of Tim Philips, hopefully a few puns too

The book will be a memorial of the drinks of Tim Philips, hopefully a few puns too

In all seriousness, you could not find a funnier, more humble guy for this honour and the trappings that come with it. I for one am looking forward to him actually making me a drink at his bar.

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Bar, Sydney

I review the most reviewed bar in Sydney right now

398057_487548354617067_1660761824_nThrough this rather nondescript and rather unadorned  doorway you’ll find a rickety staircase.

Climb two flights and you’ll enter a 50 odd square meter room where some of the best cocktails in Sydney, if not the world are served. The focus is on classic recipes, featuring seasonal local produce. The Wayward Lady that whet my lips laid mandarin, rum, lime & honey with a dash of Cynar across perhaps the most perfect balance. Taste snobs can roll the flavours across their tongues, marveling at the presence of each ingredient and the beautiful lingering finish. The less pompous would just stare, mouths agape, at the gorgeous, chilled stemware as the level of the delicious liquid drops to nothing with each tasty mouthful.

The six drinks change daily, so you’ll be presented with different choices when you step upon a stair and fight the crowds for one of four seats at the bar, or the handful of tables that crowd the room. My advice would be to pick any or all of them.

Some I’ve talked to seem to think the fit out doesn’t do justice to the hundred grand prize Tim Philips picked up at World Class last year, which is rather harsh given the swag was apparently 1,600 Edith Cowan’s short of that sum.  large cash and pouring prizes have only been introduced this year. The lighting’s low, the voices raised, a crate of whisky lurks stage-left for any wanting an education or something to tell their drinking buddies about. The back bar offers two stark shelves, more than making up in oddity what it lacks in variety.

The service proffered here is great. Adi Ruiz, Rob Sloane and Tim Philips have CV’s that read like a barfly’s wish list, and all share the glorious commonality of time served at the Black Pearl in Melbourne. Technicians behind the stick, their stars shine brighter still on the floor. Cocktail drinking as it should be; cracking liquid, cosy surrounds and people that make you feel right at home.

I might have been the last booze writer in Sydney to tick this one of my list, but if you haven’t found it (or heard about it) you should go.

Tonight, tomorrow night, every night.

I’m walking there right now.

On Google maps here and facebook here, in my mind forever. Well played lads, 263 out of 10.

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