Diageo is giving Melburnians another excuse to drink cocktails. (As if we needed one.) Their 3rd instalment of World Class Cocktail Week kicks off in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane on May 7th. The week is well timed – with the autumn chill setting in, we are migrating south from rooftop bars and into the cosy embrace of warm venues and warming drinks. A number of notable bars are participating this year, with events ranging from secret cocktails to native botanicals.
The Plus Ones were treated to a sneak peak of what’s in-store in the week to come with a special launch event at the award-winning 1806 bar. The chef and bartenders teamed up to present a five course menu paired with unique cocktails. The drinks presented an interesting array of flavours, with ingredients including red cabbage, lemon myrtle, earl grey, and campfire smoke. These cocktails were thoughtfully paired with food that complimented the flavours of both drink and dish. A surprise favourite was the Don Julio Resposado tequila with fresh turmeric, grapefruit, almond and lime. This bright yellow beverage was matched with savoury wild mushrooms and smoked pumpkin. Demonstrating their commitment to good hospitality, 1806 was also able to offer alternate food pairings that stayed true to the original flavour profiles while also accommodating certain dietary restrictions.
For those on the other side of the bar, the World Class Bartender of the Year competition recognises some of the best bartending talent from around the globe. An enthusiasm for top-notch drink culture in Australia was evident with more bartenders from Down Under entering the competition this year than the USA. (Our hosts at 1806 claimed three bartenders from Australia’s top 100.)
Not sure where to start? Theresa Winters, cocktail aficionado and Plus Ones Co-Founder, created a handy guide for exploring new drinks and new bars.
Jenny S. is an event adventurer. When she’s not attending live shows, you can find her sampling the latest craft beer or sipping a creative cocktail.
World Class Cocktail Week features seven days of masterclasses, tastings and tutorials.