Bartender of the Month
For those who don’t know, in the Archie Rose Bar in Rosebery we feature a bartender whom we admire for a whole month. We ask them to write a shortlist of around five drinks which we feature on a page about them and their venue. There are several perks of doing this. Firstly you, dear reader, get to drink a different style of drink. We show you a different approach to the one taken by our own staff. We also tell you about a venue we think you should check out. And in return our staff get some free training which is always good.
We’ll start with Jenna Hemsworth
Jenna has a wit dryer than her palate. 2017 saw her move from Melbourne’s Black Pearl to Sydney’s Restaurant Hubert. Hubert is without a doubt the restaurant sensation of the year. Tucked away in a basement on Bligh Street in the city, if you have been you haven’t lived. Go for the food, stay for the drink, remember the décor. Similarly if you are in Melbourne and haven’t been to the Black Pearl, one of Australia’s greatest bars, you’re missing out on the best drinks in town. Jenna’s list was inspired by her hair colours throughout the year. No exaggeration. If you do wander down the stairs at Hubert tomorrow you’ll spot her by seeking out the blue-haired diminutive damsel.
Jenna was a tough act to follow. So tough we had to use a whole bar. Bartender of the Month went interstate for the first time. The Gresham has Gourmet Traveller’s Australian Bar of the Year twice. It has its very own category of licence specially for them – a Heritage licence. It’s open 20 hours of the day and serves some of the best drinks in the nation. Along with the Bartender of the Month page the team flew down from Brisbane for one night only and educated the delicate flowers of NSW on the finer points of Milton Mangoes which is the correct term for a XXXX apparently. I drank a whole one. Which is good because it means I never have to do it again. I have successfully had that experience.
Phil “Dr Phil” Gandevia
After The Gresham, Phil “Dr Phil” Gandevia descended upon Rosebery. Ripping paperbark from the tree outside and setting it alight ensured it was hard to miss him. An acknowledgement of country and a method of smoking vermouth alike, Phil towered over his drinks list proudly brandishing his intelligence. Phil was bestowed the title of doctor by his peers in the bartending community due to his immense reserve of knowledge. His drinks were technical, intriguing and of course, delicious.
September sees a bright young thing flex her muscle behind the bar. Alissa Gabriel from Mjolner on Cleveland Street. Mjolner is easily the best viking-themed restaurant and bar in Australia. To pronounce it either rhyme it with ‘Viognier’ or just mumble “meow meow” like everyone else. It’s known for its unusual theming and imposing whisky collection (currently sitting pretty at 500 bottles), modern day carvery and custom knives. However the cocktail list is one to not be missed. There are some exceptional stars in that book. Alissa hails from Rockhampton in Queensland and brought with her some delightful touches of Australiana. There isn’t much on this good earth that is as Australian as her drink “That’s Not A Knife” which features Archie Rose White Rye and Bundaberg Sarsaparilla. I heartily recommend you try it. You have until the end of September, don’t say I didn’t warn you if you miss it.