The annual World Class Cocktail Week returns to Australia this May, with seven days of masterclasses, tastings and tutorials by some of Australia’s best bartenders and chefs. Celebrating its biggest showing yet with over 100 experiences across Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, the event runs from 7-13 May, culminating on World Cocktail Day.
Natalie Ng, Australia’s World Class Ambassador, said: “Shining a light on some of Australia’s best hospitality talent, World Class Cocktail Week celebrates the skill, creativity and inspiration that goes into creating cocktails. The events provide a fantastic opportunity for venues to showcase what they are best at and guests to experience cocktails in new, fun and interactive ways”.
More than forty events will be held across Sydney during the course of the week. Three of Bondi’s most beloved food destinations are joining forces for three-course roaming dinner, with each dish and matching cocktail served at a different restaurant on the same block – Neighbourhood, Drake and Milky Lane. The award-winning This Must Be The Place will present a multiple course exploration through the minds of the team, while Longrain serves up a specially created banquet matched with unique Asian-inspired cocktails. Sydneysiders can also enjoy an Italian Happy Hour, complete with aperitivo, mortadella and meatballs, at Maybe Frank, learn how to make sensational margaritas and tacos at home with Barrio Cellar, or taste their way through artisan gelato paired (and created) with Scotch whisky at The Wild Rover.
In a short Q&A with Michael Drescher, manager of Neighbourhood Bondi.
Q. Tell us about the Bondi Roving Dinner, what was the inspiration behind it?
As you’re more than aware Bondi Beach is (irritatingly enough) a bit of a bubble. Locals in the area rarely leave and have been teased for needing a day pack when going as far as Bondi Junction. This means we as local businesses see a lot of the same customers throughout the week and even on the same night. As a lot of our regulars quite frequently go from one venue to another within the same block this concept automatically jumped out as being a great idea for us all.
Q. What can people expect?
The idea is that customers will gain a humorous understanding of how Bondi locals give themselves a night whilst managing to only travel a few hundred meters. Starting with an entree and cocktail at China Diner, main and cocktail here and following with a creative dessert and one last cocktail next door at Milky Lane.
Q. What will Neighbourhood be serving?
We’re delivering a Johnny Walker Platinum Cabernet, with black tea, crème de cassis and malic acid – paired with Blackened rump cap with vanilla parsnip purée and taro chips.
Melbourne offers another forty bespoke cocktail experiences including a journey through the world of whisky at 1806, a luxury boat cruise with a three-course feast by Vaporetto Bar & Eatery and a cocktail-matched, five-course degustation at Hochi Mama. Melbournians can learn how to use native Australian ingredients in cocktails at Bad Frankie, taste ‘Seven Cocktails in Seven Days’ at The Ugly Duckling and celebrate the Negroni at Nieuw Amsterdam.
In Brisbane, bon vivants can choose from a cocktail menu designed by some of Brisbane’s best at The Bowery, select their own botanicals to create a dream gin and tonic at Pony Dining and drop into Buffalo Bar to pair a classic American Reuben Sandwich with a World Class Boilermaker cocktail. For southern US flavours, Seymour’s Cocktails and Oysters will host a New Orleans cocktail dinner inspired by historic New Orleans bars and restaurants, while The Cobbler presents an in-depth masterclass on creating whisky cocktails from the home kitchen.
World Class Cocktail Week will also see two of Australia’s most acclaimed bars swap residence for two night. Bartenders from Melbourne’s Black Pearl will trade places with the team from Sydney’s Bulletin Place, celebrating the close bond between the two bars – Bulletin Place’s founders, Adi Ruiz, Tim Phillips and Robb Sloan, became friends while working at Black Pearl and have retained that sense of comradery in their staff.