After chatting with a friend in the UK on Skype last night, I got to thinking about Australia the lucky country: the lucky cocktail country that is.
She was lamenting the limited options for a chilled-out girl’s night in her hometown of Birmingham and I couldn’t help but wax lyrical about cocktails with the girls in many a relaxed Brissie or Sydney locale. There are so many gorgeous little cocktail bars here – places where nothing but catch-up chitter chatter, dulcet tones of knowledgeable bartenders and clinking of glasses fills the air.
There was time when it meant showing your age to want to relax in a comfy armchair, sipping a cocktail, but no longer. And as it’s rare I want a night that ends with me carrying my fave green velvet heels and dance-weary feet to stand in an endless 2am taxi line while dreaming of my doona, it’s nice to know there’s another option.
But, given last year’s Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year (Erik Lorincz) is from the UK, surely my friend can find a few top-notch cocktail bars in the mother country. There are certainly plenty in and around London (East London has some particularly fine joints), but Birmingham? I wonder. I certainly hope so as it’s such a great city and, given the UK is my second home, I felt bad I couldn’t recommend any Brummy gin joints to her. I think I’d best start researching. Suggestions welcome.
In the meantime, and speaking of gin joints, here’s my fave vid from this year’s Global Word Class finals:
I know it’s a bit promo-licious, but it transports me to another place – which is exactly what a good bar and its bartenders should do.
This year’s Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year was crowned on the 14th July: Manabu Ohtake from Tower’s Bar Bellovisto, Japan. Aussie finalist Tim D Philips (from The Ivy Level 6, Sydney) placed an overall 6th (and 2nd in the Asia-Pacific Region). You can chart his progress through the finals over at his blog.
So I reckon we could do no better than to follow the CVs of World
Class bartenders like Tim D Philips and last year’s Aussie finalist Adam Brewer
- ’cause at the bars these guys call home a good night out will always follow.