Thursday, April 21, 2011

World Class Gentleman's Cocktails

The Booze Braggart, Sven Almenning, Perryn Collier, Krystal Hart, Marco Nunes, Jay Lambert, and Jeff Lemon
After three days, three states, and three World Class semi finals, I must admit that I'm not feeling my most gentlemanly. A member of the sporting fraternity of bartenders and a Bon Vivant yes, but my weary liver is protesting today in a very ungentlentmenly manner. It was, however, all worth it.

Brisbane's semi final, taken out by Krystal Hart from Canvas, saw smoking guns, liquid nitrogen baths and whisky laced truffles bring the gentlemanly aesthetics of of the early 20th century into the 21st. Krystal combined Talisker 10 year old with a Branca Menta 'Switters' (sweetened bitters), and pear water to dilute, all chilled in a liquid nitrogen bath. The Talisker Pimpernel as the concoction was called, was also served with a poached pear again chilled in the aforementioned liquid nitrogen. Served on a embroidered napkin Kyrstal's delightful potion was a more-ish number delivered with style and flair.

The Talisker Pimpernel - a classy affair
The following day, after a visit to Brisbane's fabulous Cru Bar & Cellar to pick up my favourite Emmerson's Pilsner (more on this in a later post) it was off to Melbourne's 1806 to for the Victorian final. Making the top three was a duo from Fitzroy's Black Pearl - Angus Burton and Rob Libecans as well as the Western Australian state winner James Connolly from Defectors. It was the man playing the away game - Mr Connolly - who proved to be too much of a gentleman for the rest of the competition. 

The royally good Stevenson Cocktail
James' creation - the Stevenson - a kind of Sazerac twist was named after Robert Louis Stevenson who is his poem The Scotsman's Return From Abroad famously said "The king o' drinks, as I conceive it, Talisker, Isla, or Glenlivet." Indeed, Mr. Connolly's Talisker beverage, laced with an aromatic pink peppercorn syrup, Peychaud's Bitters and a sage tincture and served with a Talisker chocolate fudge treat on the side, did prove to be a royal potation. 

Day three saw me return to Sydney for Reserve's World Class NSW semi-final. Judging duties in my home town were handed over to Everyday Drinking's Ben Shipley who I perched my self next to at Tokonoma's bar for the majority of the event to stay close to the action. The quality in Sydney, it must be said, was out of this world. Performances by Eau De Vie's Luke Reddington and Duke's Luke Ashton were polished and professional and their drinks sportingly good to boot. Ultimately it was Level Six's Tim Phillips who took out the competition with his Royal Autumnal Flip a stately mix of Talisker whisky, a Ron Zacapa honey liqueur, fig conserve, lemon juice and a whole quail's egg.

Well done to all involved in World Class' Gentleman's Cocktail round. I can't wait for the Australian final in June.

Ps. Did anyone notice tht all the winning drinks were made with Talikser? 

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