The Two Jon’s Progress to the Finals
There is an aspect of bartending that guests may generally not know happens. It is an exciting and creative outlet that lets a bartender show off their knowledge and skills against other individuals or groups of bartenders. This is the slightly underground world of cocktail competitions.
As you can imagine, after seeing all the great television ads and billboards, alcohol companies can have quite a solid marketing budget. They also realise that a bartender can suggest with bias a certain product in their venue if they have a sense of ownership over said product. Thus companies hold incredible competitions with prizes like cash money and even trips to far away counties to visit remote distilleries. One comp even offered $100 000 to the winner to open their very own bar!
This is the dream, it’s called Diageo World Class Competition. We are pleased to announce that our very own Jonnie Liu is representing Archie Rose as one of the country’s Top 25 bartenders. Making it into the top 25 means that Jonnie has surpassed hundreds of other entries from all over the country within several rounds. The next round is a gruelling final two-day event on the 10th and 11th of May.
What’s involved is mostly kept under wraps until participants arrive. As an indication of what’s to come the competitors are told the basics; there will be 5 rounds, each held by a different mentor where they will learn or update their knowledge and then be judged on how well they interpreted that information and performed. Mentors include past winners of the Australian and Global World Class comp Tim Phillips, as well as international guest judges such as David Broome and Diageo’s Whisk(e)y expert whom they have flown in for the occasion.
The culmination of the event is all up to the bartender’s. They are given a brief to showcase their World Class journey in an 8 minute cocktail presentation with the underlying theme of a ritual or rituals. To be ready for this and the other rounds of the comp, Jonnie has been hard at study, reading old and new cocktail books, sourcing interesting ingredients and vessels, while also going out and foraging our lovely Australian flora and fauna to make into delicious cocktails.
Everyone at Archie Rose is proud of Jonnie and me particularly having managed to reach the top 25 last year and knowing what he’s in for in the final. If you have been served by Jonnie you will know he is a lovely and humble guy and deserves to do well. I’m sure he would appreciate support from guests, so come on down and give him a hug of support. Or not, but any encouragement can help with the nerves of competing, I can relate being currently in a different competition called Dissaronno mixing star, but that’s another story for anther post. Till then, thanks for the support people.