Bar Week is a celebration of cocktail culture, quality spirits and mixology established by Australian Bartender Magazine. Originally a trade event, for the first time this year, Bar Week (22 to 25 September) opened to the public with a Drinks Fest, seminars, bar tours, a sailing event and a rooftop BBQ.
During the course of Bar Week, Gourmantic attended various consumer and trade events which we are featuring in this wrap-up review as well as in separate articles.
Bar Week 2012
Get Shucked! at the Morrison
Sydney Bar Week launched in style at Get Shucked, a gala dinner held at the Morrison Bar and Oyster Room, one of Sydney’s hottest new venues which we reviewed recently. ABSOLUT Elyx Dirty Martinis were served on arrival while a live band entertained guests with jazz tunes.
After a welcome address by David Spanton of Australian Bartender Magazine, guests were seated to a sumptuous dinner starting with freshly-shucked oysters from Macleay River, Port Stephens and Shoalhaven which Executive Chef Sean Connolly presented. A fragrant and deliciously creamy oyster and clam soup followed accompanied by Huber Gruner Veltliner white wine from Austria.
Click on the photo to navigate through the gallery
Jameson Spiced Apple cocktail, a blend of sweet and spice notes with the smoothness of the whiskey was as much delicious as it prepared the palate for the dishes that followed. The Palmers Island mulloway tail wrapped in prosciutto and sage oven roasted with red wine was tender and flavoursome. The free range lamb shoulder with raspberry vinegar and star anise fell off the bone and melted in the mouth. The duck fat chips were a hot item, and with two servings at our table, a potential stare down was averted. Jed Malbec wine from Argentina accompanied the main courses.
To finish, Chivas 18 Signature Serve was enjoyed with freshly-chiselled ice and a range of syrups (apricot and butterscotch, orange and chocolate or cherry and dark chocolate) which Pernod Ricard’s Ben Davidson presented. A dash of the orange and chocolate syrup opened up the Chivas 18yo flavours but neat on ice was the preferred choice.
For a full photo gallery of Get Shucked, visit the Gourmantic Facebook page.
Drinks Fest – General Public Day & Trade Day
More than 1450* members of the general public and 1800* trade visitors packed the Overseas Passenger Terminal where the Bar Week Drinks Fest was held over two consecutive days. For the first time ever, the event was open to the General Public, and despite a shy start to the 11.00 am session, Sydney-siders got into the spirit of the show. Boom! There were some amazing stands and quality spirits to discover as well as seminars by industry experts. Read our comprehensive review of Drinks Fest. Here is a photo teaser.
(* source = 4bars.com.au)
ABSOLUT Bloody Mary Bartenders Brunch
Over at Hugo’s in Kings Cross, it was an ABSOLUT feast with DIY Bloody Mary’s at the Bartenders Brunch. Picture an ABSOLUT Bloody Mary Buffet with a vast choice of regular and unusual condiments (mussel broth) lining up the bar. Yes please!
Benny D and Miss ABSOLUT of Pernod Ricard tracked back the history of the Bloody Mary as a kick start to Bar Week festivities. There was a mystery box competition, delicious pizzas from Hugo’s and a chance to kick back with a unique Bloody Mary made with either ABSOLUT, ABSOLUT 100, ABSOLUT Citron or a jalapeno-infused ABSOLUT.
Check out the photo gallery on the Gourmantic Facebook page.
Pirate Battleshots State of Origin
What does the Haka have in common with a fennel? Both competed against one another in Pirate Battleshots State of Origins. And this was no kiddies game!
Eight teams came head to head into battle, under the flags of their birth states: NSW, QLD, VIC, SA, WA, NZ, UK and Europe with the UK team taking out the title.
Don’t miss the full photo gallery on the Gourmantic Facebook page.
Jameson Bartenders Ball
The Jameson Bartenders Ball was a hot item to get into with the location and details only revealed a few days before the event.
Sweet&Chilli Australia put on a stellar job transforming the old Paramount Studios in Surry Hills into three different experiences in the multi-level location.
Smoke, haze, Irish greenery and a green-lit long bar with frenetic energy served up Jameson punch and cocktails with a top DJ line up from various top bars in Sydney. Down a few steps, and it was the Gentleman’s Room with Chesterfield lounges, book shelves and a buffalo head on the wall and a sneaker shine with cocktails made from the Reserve collection such as the Jameson Gold and Jameson 18yo and Redbreast Irish whiskey.
Down a few more stairs and the Jameson Diner drew the hungry crowds with an original menu of Jameson Shot Tails paired with Yummy Dogs. There was the Pickleback (Jameson and Pickle Water), Chilliback (Jameson and Cloudy Apple, Tabasco), Greenback (Jameson, Elderflower, Cucumber, mint, apple juice) and J-Spot (Jameson, Peach Schnapps cranberry juice) – all went down too easily with hot dogs from the Original Hot Dogs. Roller Derby girls served up RTDs from the boot of a car while a Wurlitzer Jukebox played retro tunes.
Some guests were spotted wearing a curious green item around their necks which we assumed was part of a Jameson secret society. We were told the item was made out of Jameson Irish Whiskey bottles but we couldn’t figure out how to join this VIP “club”. We even mentioned the words Sine Metu as a secret handshake…
The rest of the story is told in a photo gallery on the Gourmantic Facebook page.
Fernet Branca Bar Back Games
The inaugural Fernet-Branca Bar Back Games was a crazy and fun industry event. Bar backs are usually the unsung heroes, and on that night, they competed against the clock in a series of rigorous bar-related challenges such as the ice bucket relay, glass washing and polishing, citrus juicing and more.
Fernet-Branca and Coke flowed as the crowd of bartenders and industry enthusiasts cheered and heckled while DJ Blake Head was spinning cool tunes.
Click on the photos above to navigate through the cheeky sneak peek, then check out more of the action photos on the Gourmantic Facebook page.
Bartender Magazine Bar Awards 2012
Australian Bartender Magazine’s annual Bar Awards took place at Doltone House with over 600 of Australia’s finest bar professionals in attendance. The event also marked the end of Bar Week activities for 2012.
Greg Sanderson, EDV Melbourne, 2012 Bartender of the Year
What an amazing ride it has been this year! We certainly suffered a case of Bar Week withdrawals but it was not caused by any spirit or cocktail. It came from the buzz of being in the company of Australia’s finest in the bar industry.
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