Of A World Class Cocktail Competition
Previous entries include levitating cocktails, cocktails that change colour as you drink, cocktails served as edible ramen and cocktails served with hologram fish swimming in them.See our handpicked guides to Newcastle
When it comes to cocktail competitions the biggest global event is Diageo's World Class and Australia submits more entries than any other region each year.
To make it into the top 100 cocktail bartenders in the competition require the ability to balance flavours, challenge traditional methods and tell a great story, and two of Newcastle's best bartenders delivered despite more entries than any previous year.
The next round in the alcohol-fuelled 'Goblet of Fire' style competition sees the country's top 100 serve Johnnie Walker Blender's Batch whisky cocktails that "break the mould" with less than two weeks to put a show stopper together.
Ryan Hawthorne is no stranger in the Newcastle bar scene as manager and partner of Coal & Cedar. Ryan's round 2 cocktail entry is called Go Forth as an ode to the famous striding man, the Johnnie Walker logo.
Ryan explains, "Innovation and legacy combine to create a serve which would challenge even the most stubborn of critics to think twice about how whisky can be mixed. Scotch in cocktails is often used for its heaviest notes, big fruit/spice/peat. This is the easy route, other more delicate aspects can be lost or overlooked.
"The 'Go Forth' is an attempt to showcase those nuances that I picked up in the Johnnie Walker Rum Cask Finish, to create an approachable drink that would reach guests that often pass on whisky cocktails.
Surprise first-time entrant, Nick Rose from Reserve Wine Bar, has only been back in the industry for five months but is already busy recycling left-over wine into vermouth and putting a culinary spin on their cocktail list.
Nick has named his cocktail the Butter, Tea & The Darien Scheme. Named for the heart element of Johnnie Walker Blender's Batch Rum Cask whisky, John's own real-life job as a tea merchant and the quirkiest bit of Scottish history.So, what's in this intriguing cocktail?
The making of this looks more like a theatrical act and features liquid nitrogen and spherical balls flavoured with banana bread infused whisky!
Nick explains that it's all about taking a blended whisky, pulling apart the blended bits and deconstructing down into a tasting plate with everything.
If either of the locals win this round they will reach Diageo's top 20 showdown in Sydney for a chance to be named Australia's best bartender and be flown
to Berlin to compete against the best bartenders in the world.
Cocktail entries run at both venues from the 12th to the 24th of March.
Coal & Cedar: 380/382 Hunter St, Newcastle NSW 2300 - 0499 345 663
Reserve Wine Bar: 102 Hunter St, Newcastle NSW 2300 - (02) 4929 3393
(Nick has a limited number of cocktails so be sure to mention you want one when you book.)