Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner. Australian Bar Awards Winners

Australian Bar Awards WinnersWhile we wait for someone at Bartender Magazine to peel their face from the pillow and cobble together a press release, here’s what I’ve been able to glean from the social medias.

Bar of the Year: Shandy Pines, Sydney

Best Cocktail Bar:  Eau de Vie, Sydney

Best Bar Food: Hinky Dinks, Sydney

Best New Product Launch: Havana Club Aneo 3 (nice work papi)

Best New Venue Design: Palmer & Co, Sydney

Brand Ambassador of the Year: Sebastian Reaburn, 666 Vodka

Training Program of the Year: Mixxit

Bar Team of the Year: Black Pearl, Melbourne

Best Bartender’s Bar: Black Pearl, Melbourne

Small Bar of the Year:  The Collection, Melbourne

Best Drinks Selection: The Baxter Inn, Sydney

New Bar of the Year: The Baxter Inn, Sydney

Wine Bar of the Year: Cabiria, Brisbane

Best Speciality Beer Venue: The Local Tap House, Sydney

Bar Manager of the Year: Mike Enright, Merivale, Sydney

Rookie of the Year: Sean Chow, Press Club, Brisbane

Hotel Operator of the Year: Keystone Group, Sydney

Hotel Operator of the Year: Anton Forte and Jason Scott, Sydney

Outstanding Contribution: Michael Delaney, Melbourne

Cocktail List of the Year: Canvas, Brisbane

Best Music Offering: Oxford Art Factory, Sydney

Pub of the Year: The Norfolk Hotel, Sydney

New Pub of the Year: The Bottom End, Melbourne

And the big one, BOTY is……

Bartender of the Year: Greg Sanderson, EDV, Melbourne (here’s a photo, if you don’t know who he is already)

Awards, Bar, Sydney

I was drinking at the best new cocktail bar in the world on Friday night, where the hell were you?

Great news for the Australian small bar movement overnight, with leading light Eau de Vie snatching the honours at Tales of the Cocktail in Nawlins. This is an absolute testament to the house that Sven Almenning has built, and the quality of the talent producing drinks behind the stick there.

Sipping on a blue genever maitai with wintergreen essence on Friday night, the innovation, cheek and service were all in full display. This is a bar that revels in delivering world leading drinks in a way that stands out.

If you haven’t been, now would be the time. If you have been, at least you can say you knew about it before it was world famous.

Hearty congratulations for an amazing result.

Press release follows…

Eau-de-Vie was last night named as the World’s Best New Cocktail Bar at the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards.
The awards are held annually in New Orleans, and are internationally recognised as the industry’s biggest and most influential awards worldwide.

The Darlinghurst small bar was amongst stiff competition, with only New York City venues as other nominees:

World’s Best New Cocktail Bar

●      1534, New
York City, New York

●      Dram, New
York City, New York

●      Eau de Vie,
Sydney, Australia

●     The bar formerly known as (Painkiller),
New York City, New York

Sven Almenning, owner of Eau de Vie said ‘It’s a huge honour to be recognised on a global level like this, and the team and I are overwhelmed with the response we’ve had to Eau-de-Vie. We set out to create a small cocktail bar where quality of drinks and service are king… I hope that we’re helping to drive trends on a global level rather than just following whatever’s happening in London and the U.S which have typically been seen as the leaders in our industry.’

Apart from World’s Best New Cocktail Bar, Eau-de-Vie was also nominated for two other awards including:

World’s Best Cocktail Menu

●      Artesian at
The Langham, London, England

●      Eau de Vie,
Sydney, Australia

●      Mayahuel, New
York City, New York

●      Sanctuaria,
St. Louis, Missouri


World’s Best Drinks Selection

●      Artesian at
The Langham, London, England

●      Cure, New
Orleans, Louisiana

●      Eau de Vie,
Sydney, Australia

●      Employees
Only, New York City, New York

The awards and nominations are affirmation of what Eau-de-Vie prides itself on. With an extensive and intricately designed cocktail list, and an all-star team (which is fronted by Luke Redington), Eau-de-Vie is thrilled to have been recognised with such gusto in its first year and a half of operation, since January 2010.

On top of this news, the team is excited to announce that Eau-de-Vie Melbourne is opening soon. Come October, Eau-de-Vie will be venturing south with a new venue opening under the supervision of industry heavyweight Greg Sanderson. Having been in behind the bar for over 12 years and coming from Melbourne establishment Black Pearl and prior to that Mur Mur, Sanderson will take over the new venue in Melbourne CBD.

Competitions, Unusual Martinis

World Class: Erik Lorincz

Diageo’s World Class Competition unfolds a few times a year in Australia. In State Capitals around the country; shakers, stirrers, barmen (& women) and even the odd mixologist bring their A game and a great cocktail for a chance to pit their skills, share their knowledge and not inconsiderable banter and win a spot in the Australian finals and a chance at going to the Worlds.

Earlier in the week I was lucky enough to get some insight into the World Class finals from the 2010 winner, Eric Lorincz.

From its grassroots in each of the 3o something countries now a part of the global contest, the level of competition at each stage increases. The camaraderie between the contestants remains constant, but the judges especially elevates from the amateur enthusiast to the global elite. Peter Dorelli, Gary Regan, Hidetsugu Ueno, Dale DeGroff, Salvatore Calabrese & Alberto Soria judged the final six rounds.

“What’s most impressive about Diageo World Class is how every aspect of the craft of bartending is tested by the challenges and judges. You need to be creative, thorough and skilled – it’s daunting… These 21st Century bartenders are the pioneers of a new golden age of the craft,” said DeGroff.

Erik is every inch World Class, from his winning smile, to his expert handling of the journalists and their questions, through to the signature long pour on his Tanq 10 martini (which better aerates the beverage) not to mention the finickity approach to zesting the drink so only the lighter aromatics flavour the drink.

The contest has obviously been a big step up for the young man, Peter Dorelli has hired him to front the American Bar at the Savoy in London, which is where you’ll have to go if you want a long poured martini of your own.

I wonder how long it will be until the best in the world come to Australia. My money is on pretty soon…