Authors Posts by Sasha Falloon

Sasha Falloon

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Ditching The Corporate World to Create New Aussie Gin – Patient Wolf

(L-R): Dave Irwin and Matt Argus

Melbourne’s inner suburb of Brunswick just got a whole lot cooler with new urban gin distillery, Patient Wolf.

Launched by friends and co-founders Matt Argus and Dave Irwin, the duo decided to leave the corporate world for the spirits industry, following their love of all things local, craft and gin and inspired the global success of small Australian brewers and distillers.

Matt and Dave came up with the idea over a drink in their local bar and spent the next three years learning the art of making gin and consulting with experts in the field.

Among them and from the Melbourne trade were Seb Costello of Bad Frankie, Trish Brew of Gin Palace and Nick Selvadurai of The Ugly Duckling, who gave feedback during the developmental stage based on what they see their customers drinking and the styles of gin they would like to mix with.

Matt and Dave also sent samples to Anders Bilgram, well-known Master Distiller and founder of Nordisk Branderi Gin and distillery in Denmark and waited for two weeks for them to arrive and discuss his thoughts over the phone.

Anders also provided insights on the 230L Muller copper still they commissioned and had made in Germany, which is now one of only two in Australia.

“Our goal from the outset was to create a unique gin that we would love to drink ourselves, but one that was also right up there with the very best not just in Australia, but on a world stage,” Matt explained. “That’s why we also reached out to some of the best in the business.”

The result is a gin that puts a modern spin on the classic London dry style, made from a combination of native and exotic ingredients. Botanicals include ruby grapefruit, navel oranges, native aniseed myrtle and tonka beans from South America.

While pushing new world flavours, juniper remains at the backbone of Patient Wolf to maintain its identity with consumers and ensure it stands up when mixed with tonic or in a martini or negroni.

Matt explained, “The trade kept telling us not to lose that juniper profile. Gin’s got juniper in it for a reason. So we worked hard to create the balance between juniper and new world flavours.”

Matt and Dave work across the entire business, from distilling to bottling and labelling, and even marketing. Every batch of gin is handmade and is relatively small, producing only 200 bottles at a time.

As for the name, it refers to both the famous quote made by Lana Turner during prohibition and the distillery’s belief that well-crafted products take time.

Each bottle retails for $80.00 AUD and features the batch number and distillation date.

Australian trade can place orders with Paramount Liquor.

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Somms of the World Present Their 50 Favourite Australian Wines

This June, the Wine Communicators of Australia (WCA) and Wine Australia will unveil the top wines selected by the Somms of the World during their recent tour of Australia and trade are invited to taste all 50+ for just $35.

The Somms of the World program was instigated by Wine Australia in April and invited 50 of the world’s best sommeliers to learn about and explore Australia’s wine regions and diverse wine offering.

While they were here, the Somms of the World were shown over 650 local wines and asked to select their favourite wines from each tasting, resulting in a line-up of over 50 of Australia’s very best wines.

Now, WCA has partnered with Wine Australia to showcase these wines in a Somms of the World Inspired Tasting for the first time on Monday 5 June at the beautiful Chiswick Restaurant at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

For just $35, trade can come and taste all of the wines alongside canapés and meet other wine enthusiasts. WCA members tickets are discounted to $25. Book now.

While the list of the 50+ wines won’t be revealed until the night, we got a sneak peek earlier this week and can say that this is an event not to be missed.

The Somms of the World Inspired Tasting represents a large number of Australia’s oldest and most revered wineries.

Take this opportunity to brush up on your wine knowledge and tasting experience and see what the Somms of the World thought of our local wines.

When: Monday 5 June 2017
5.30pm-7.30pm
Where:Chiswick at the Gallery, Art Gallery of New South Wales
1 Art Gallery Road, Sydney
Tickets:
Members – $25
Non-members – $35
Book here.

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MEET: Nana Sechere from Welodge Saloon, Dubai

From breaking glasses to shaking cocktails at the Weslodge Saloon in Dubai, Nana Sechere has worked his way up the hospitality ladder. He shares with us what it’s like as a Canadian to work in a foreign place, where the alcohol rules are much stricter, and also how he enjoys making sure that other people have a great night.

Drinks World: Share with us how you got started in the industry and why you chose bartending as a career?

Nana Sechere: I started out as a busboy when I was about 19 years old and had a lot of fun doing it, but I would always watch the bartenders and wish I had the chance to be like them. I was a busboy for the same club for about three years, and never got a chance to bartend so I left and found any bar gig that I could. I found a job at a local pub, got fired, then I ended up working at a place called ‘Jacques Trap,’ which was a biker bar. The place was a disaster, and I didn’t learn much, but I was fortunate enough to get hired at a major chain restaurant in Canada that taught me all the basics.

DW: Tell us how you have progressed as a bartender?

NS: The Nana now compared to who I was on day 1? Night and Day is an understatement. Because I was going for any bar gig I could find, without being trained properly, my first shift behind the bar was hilarious! I can’t even tell you how many glasses I broke, or how many terrible drinks I made because I didn’t know any recipes. These days I’m a major cocktail nerd. I read as much as I can, practice new recipes and techniques, I take as many training opportunities as I can, and I try to create the best experience for my guests. I ended up here in Dubai working at Weslodge because I’ve dedicated myself to those elements my whole career. Let’s see where it takes me.

DW: How did the opportunity come about to work in Weslodge and what appealed to you most working in Dubai?

NS: My friend Isaac Viner was the original bar manager of Weslodge, and we are from the same city in Canada (Ottawa). When he got here, he wanted to shape the bar a certain way and he thought I was the perfect fit for the team. At the time, I had a slew of job offers in Canada, but I wasn’t quite sure which direction I wanted to go in. When he called me, and proposed Dubai, it was easily the most interesting to me because I didn’t know much about Dubai and it seemed like something I wouldn’t get the chance to do again. So I met with the company in Toronto, had a great interview and made a quick decision. What appealed to me most about Dubai was the chance to work in an international environment. I mean there are bartenders and clientele from all over the world there. People I would never have met in Canada, and opportunities that I may never have if I continued on in my old life. Dubai represented a chance to get better so that’s why I took it.

DW: Given the strict drinking culture in Dubai, tourists would be your main clientele. How do you create a cocktail menu given the various palate profiles and the vast array of guests that come to your venue?

NS: It isn’t anything too different from creating a list in London or North America. As ‘strict’ as it may appear to be, there is a pretty big drink culture here. A lot of the clientele are still doing shots from the 80s like B-52s but they also appreciate when a bartender does something creative with flavours or presentation. The classics are very much in fashion right now, along with a vast array of unique creations. With Dubai being an international market, it’s important to have cocktails that appeal to the discerning palate, along with more accessible drinks that new cocktail drinkers will love. There are two major bar academies in Dubai, so the cocktail knowledge in this city is much higher than one might expect.

DW: For a bartender who is new to Dubai, what are significant rules behind the bar or within a venue that could be different to other parts of the world, where the drinking culture is less regulated?

NS: It’s business as usual for the most part, except when it comes to the bar you have to respect the various cultures and religious sensitivities at times. Be mindful of how you address people. There are religious observation days called ‘Dry Days’ where no alcohol can be served anywhere in the country. In addition, Ramadan occurs and no alcohol, food, or even water can be served until the sun goes down in numerous venues. Even music must be played at a very low volume and in some cases, no entertainment can occur. This may be hard for some to cope with for the month, but when it comes to Dubai, the city has so much happening and such high energy evenings that it’s great to have that month off from the excitement.

DW: For those who are yet to be acquainted with Weslodge, what can they expect? And also the overall cocktail scene in Dubai?

NS: We are a unique restaurant here in Dubai and in fact, I think we are different than our original restaurant in Canada. During the week, you can expect a chilled vibe where the bartenders and servers engage in conversation, but on the weekends we transform into an extremely busy supper club. The music played is Old School Hip Hop, we sling drinks at a fast and furious rate, and the lounge transforms into a big dance party. We have a lot of fun. As for the cocktail scene here in Dubai? I didn’t know what I was walking into, but I’ve met some of the best bartenders in the world here. The skill level is very high, and we have a tonne of competitions every year. All the major competitions like World Class, Chivas, and Legacy are here, and that’s due to the major bar academies here including MMI, and African & Eastern. Just being here has raised my game up at an incredible rate.

DW: And finally, what do you enjoy most about the F&B industry?

NS: From the working perspective, I love how much skill is required to do what we do and how much you can learn. I think you can keep learning and climbing that knowledge mountain with bartending and that’s something that makes me happy. Regarding guests, I love being able to be a major part of ensuring someone has a great evening. People come to see us because they’re hungry, thirsty, and want to have an experience. They want an atmosphere, and that’s what we offer. I was reluctant to make this a career, but knowing that my career path is one that makes people happy all over the world is enough reason for me to keep doing it.

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Death Of The Female Bartender

By Jenna Hemsworth

Being female doesn’t define who I am or what I do.

In the bartending community, I’ve noticed massive leaps and bounds in the last five years or so toward vocalisation of gender equality. And, surprisingly, the men are taking the lead on this one. From simple acts such as calling out inappropriate behaviour in a bar when they see it, to penning articles on the importance of feminism in our industry, our male peers are making a concerted effort to make sure women are represented fairly and equally. By all means, I’m not saying that we need men to fight our battles here – I’m just saying that as a unified whole, the message is infinitely stronger than if we were to speak alone.

We’ve all come across those who still insist on acting inappropriately, whose bigoted belief systems will seem impossible to challenge, but speaking up and speaking out is the first step in the re-education and rehabilitation of these toxic and out-dated attitudes. Ask any of your female peers; I am positive they will have a litany of horror stories regarding sexism in the workplace.
The fact is, we work with alcohol, we serve alcohol, and we deal with drunk people on a constant basis; and in an environment where inhibitions are lowered, a lot more problems are likely to surface. A problem such as consent is something we see a lot working behind bars. Keeping our guests safe and providing an environment in which they can enjoy themselves is our priority, so speaking up when we see something that’s not quite right is essential.

In my career, I’ve been highlighted as a ‘female bartender’ more often than I can count. I’ve been outspoken against gender equality in the workplace and more than vocal with my experiences with sexism and discrimination in the workplace and online. I hope that we’re at a point now where my female peers and I don’t need to be referred to as ‘female’ anything, and we don’t have to keep hearing stories of bullying and intimidation, of being relegated to floor staff while the guys ‘man the bar’, or being groped or hit on seen as ‘part of our job’; our position merely nothing more than ‘eye candy’ for our male customers.

The simple act of turning down a man’s advances can escalate to being verbally abused and belittled, as has happened to me on multiple occasions behind the bar. My job is to be friendly, conversational and an entertaining host to my guests. This does not automatically grant consent to be hit on or harassed in any situation. Somehow, when the girl behind the bar is giving you attention and making your drinks, it is seen as an invitation to make unwanted advances.

Rape culture in the bartending community is also something we need to address. Who hasn’t heard of a peer complaining of how they were ‘raped last night’, when they mean they had an incredibly busy service? Rape implies a lack of consent. Doing your job and getting paid for it does not.

I don’t like being referred to as a female bartender. It implies I’m doing a great job in my field despite my gender. My gender doesn’t affect my profession, how I serve people or how I make drinks. So by highlighting my gender in regards to my achievements, you’re insinuating that somehow makes me more or less worthy of praise for excelling in my field. I sometimes wonder if I would be as successful as I am if I were a male, or more so? Am I singled out because I am one of the minority females? Or am I being held back because of my gender?

Honestly, I think it’s time we move on from focussing on this issue altogether and work towards a little bit more respect for everyone across the board.

 

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New Venue: Summerlong Opens Its Doors in Singapore

The crew behind Neon Pigeon and Fat Prince have opened their latest venue Summerlong. The ‘city beach’ cafe, designed by EDG Interior Architecture + Design, embodies the bright and breezy, beachside style cafe and is created to capture that summer holiday feeling all year long.

The Summerlong cocktail menu boasts an array of creative cocktails to suit any occasion. The groups’ bar manager Symphony Loo, delivers a refreshing list, including pitchers designed to share.

Pitcher designed to share

The wine enthusiasts haven’t been forgotten with a hand-picked selection of wines from Mediterranean vineyards including France, Italy, Spain and Turkey. A vast selection of beer and cider is available on tap and by the bottle.

For the coffee fanatic, you’re in luck with the guys from “A Stimulant by SARNIES” running the coffee program. The list will flaunt traditional favourites, and for those who like a little extra kick, give the Bullet Proof Coffee a shot.

Summerlong, 60 Robertson Quay, #01-04, Singapore 238252

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New Release: Archie Rose Launches the Second of Four Rare Gins, Horisumi – Winter

Archie Rose x Horisumi - Winter

The Archie Rose crew have released the second in a series of four – Horisumi, Winter. Collaborating with acclaimed tattoo artists Kian Forreal, who operates under the traditional Japanese tattoo name of Shodai Horisum, has created a bespoke label design that pays homage to Japan’s distinctive seasons.

The inspiration behind the label design embodies the beautiful Japanese season and displays a falcon perched on a pine tree branch and Mount Fuji as the backdrop.

Now over to the liquid… Without steering too far from the Japanese concept, Horisumi-Winter showcases locally grown ingredients including Tasmanian Kombu, Fuji apples, Sencha and Genmaicha.

Grassy and herbaceous, yet slightly sweet, the liquid perfectly complements the colder months, with the tea distillates evoking that universal tea drinking winter experience.

“This collaboration is one inspired by a mutual respect for nature and the hand forged,” says Archie Rose Master Distiller, Dave Withers. “We, therefore, experimented with a wide range of ingredients that included trialling multiple varieties of seaweed distillate including nori, wakame and different types of kombu before settling on a Tasmanian harvested and cured example.”

“Maritime produce is at its best during winter, and the Japanese understand the importance of this seasonal bounty well,” says Withers. “We were keen to bring some of that marine influence into the gin, and kombu offered a salinity which balances the sweetness of the Fuji apples. This juxtaposition of salt and sweet is an essential element of Japanese cuisine and one we have drawn from to enhance both flavours simultaneously.”

“This collaboration celebrates how open gin is to interpretation and experimentation,” says Edwards. “Other spirits have stricter rules or are fairly neutral. We’re loving the challenge of creating Archie Rose x Horisumi and look forward to sharing our remaining two products from this series at the start of Spring and Summer.”

To get your hands on Archie Rose x Horisumi – CLICK HERE to order your bottle
Product will be available from June 1, 2017

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Our Top World Whisky Day Events

Bartenders, World Whisky Day is near and if you’re looking to discover and learn about whisky – Saturday 20th May is the day. So book your seat and prepare your paletes to be taken on a journey through the ‘water of life’. Here are our top picks of events taking place across Australia.

World Whisky Day Tours at Starward Distillery
Starward Distillery, Port Melbourne
Sessions run every hour from 12.30pm to 7.30pm
$55.00 plus booking fee
Book here

Located in Port Melbourne, Starward Distillery is inviting guests to join their team in celebrating World Whisky Day with eight grand tours. Starward’s takes on a modern approach and is a culmination of nine years of research and development. Embracing techniques from around the world, Stewards use the best resources Australia has to offer, including barley, barrels and climate.

Starward Distillery, Port Melbourne

Tickets include a tour of the distillery and educating guests on how whisky is made from barley to bottle; a World Whisky Day cocktail, lunch from one of Melbourne’s famed food trucks and a gift. Of course, there will be plenty of whisky to be sampled, as well as the chance to fill your own mini bottle of whisky, straight from the cask.

World Whisky Tasting Flights at Tokyo Bird
Tokyo Bird, Sydney
1pm – midnight
Flights start from $30
Book here

Tokyo Bird, Surry Hills

Japanese Whisky bar Tokyo Bird in Sydney’s Surry Hills will be hosting World Whisky Day for its third year. Offering two-hour slots guests can enjoy tasting flights and a special whisky-inspired food menu. Not only will the tastings concentrate on Japanese whiskies but also whiskies from Ireland, Scotland, Australia and America on offer.

World Whisky Day Degustation Dinner
with Redlands Distillery and The Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Redlands Distillery, Hobart
Ticket cost: $272.69
5:00pm – 10:30pm
Book here

Redlands Distillery in Hobart is collaborating with The Scotch Malt Whisky Society for an unforgettable whisky degustation dinner. Five very rare single cask, cask strength expressions will be expertly paired with dishes by renowned Tasmanian chef Waji Spiby. An opportunity not to be missed, the night will open up the vaults of the Society, with National Ambassador Matt Bailey leading guests through the history of each dram. The Society will also be offering membership to the world’s biggest whisky club, and guests will have the opportunity to pre-purchase a bottle of Redlands’ World Whisky Day cask, laid down two years ago.
A courtesy shuttle is included in the ticket price, picking up guests at 5pm sharp from 1 Elizabeth Street, Hobart. Limited tickets available.

World Of Whisk(e)y at The Flying Cock
The Flying Cock, Brisbane
12:00pm – 3:00pm
Free event
RSVP here

The team at 100Proof will showcase award-winning whiskies from around the globe and to top things off the event in FREE. Representatives from the distilleries will present the amazing array of whiskies that will be on offer in a fun, interactive and approachable way. The free event will also offer food and drinks upon arrival.

The Whisky Show and Masterclasses
Stamford Plaza, Sydney
12:00pm – 9:00pm
Tickets $80, Masterclasses $25
Book here

It’s not often you will find, 25 exhibitors and 60 brands showcasing around 200 different types of whiskies from around the world all in the one place. If you’re serious about whisky, this is the place to be. In addition, four masterclasses will be running on the day, each presented by international ambassadors visiting for the event. Guest Master Class presenters include Kim Lu from Kavalan in Taiwan, Stewart Buchanan from BenRiach in the UK, Peyton Mason from LAWS Whiskey House in Denver USA and Graham Nicolson from Tomatin in Scotland.

For more details on World Whisky Day click here 

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Meet: Niks Anuman-Rajadhon

Niks got involved in the hospitality industry way back when his friend tricked him into helping out at a catering event. It was there that he met Chanond Purananda from Hyde & Seek who introduced him to the wonderful world of cocktails, and he hasn’t looked back. You can find Niks behind the stick at Teens of Thailand and keep an eye out for his new venue opening in June.

DW: Tell us your philosophy on bartending?

NA-R: I used to have this mentality that drinks are the only key to satisfying the client’s happiness. And I was wrong. It is the total package and drinks are one part of the whole experience.

DW: For those who are yet to be acquainted with your bar, what can the industry expect?

NA-R: Expect anything you want, it is rightfully yours. We are here to serve and to make sure you have a good time. It’s Bangkok, at the end of the day.

DW: There’s a great cocktail scene in Bangkok, and it’s certainly developing. What’s your perspective on the cocktail scene and what are the driving forces behind the growing industry?

NA-R: I think the industry itself is on the right track. But our country’s vision on tourism and alcohol laws is pretty much out-dated. We are still using the same regulations from years ago. And it’s a shame. However, the driving forces behind the industry are the people from both sides of the bar, the ones behind and the ones in the front. Without our clients, I personally think we would not have come this far. And yes, the industry is also a major factor in this as well. We travel more, which I totally agree with. We learn more from outside of the country. We connect with bartenders from all over the globe. This helps a lot.

DW: And finally, what do you enjoy most about the Food & Beverage industry?

NA-R: I enjoy a beer with the community, especially after a long shift.

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Top Sommelier Joins The Lucas Group

Philip Rich (L) and Jonathan Ross (R)

The Lucas Group has recently appointed Jonathan Ross former head sommelier of Eleven Madison Park, awarded as one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Jonathan Ross, Group Sommelier, The Lucas Group

Having appointed such a distinguished sommelier, this is a big win for influential restaurateur Chris Lucas and his growing team. Ross and his wealth of knowledge will add to the already impressive wine team headed by General Manager Wine, Philip Rich, along with General Manager of Kisumé, Markus Tschuschnig (formerly MASA, NYC).

“I’m thrilled to be joining an internationally regarded and innovative, world-class restaurant business. I’m also excited to be working alongside Philip Rich, one of Australia’s most respected wine experts and his extended team. I’m confident we will bring a unique edge to Chris Lucas’ restaurants,” Ross said.

To add to Jonathan’s impressive resume, he is in the final stages of completing his Master Sommelier, a highly prestigious diploma that is recognised around the world.

Restaurateur Chris Lucas said, “What a time for Jon to be joining our expanding family. I believe our group’s wine team is shaping up to be one of Australia’s most talented, bringing together a truly international line-up with the best of our local talent. With Jon we now have one the best wine talents in the world, and I can’t wait to work with him.”

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Lulu’s Lounge Singapore’s Latest Late Night Venue Set To Open

Forget the strobe lights and strident sound systems, the latest innovation of Singapore’s nightlife scene is Lulu’s Lounge – a bar to chat, relax and kick up your heels in.

Named after its fictional owner, Lulu’s is the destination for Singapore’s discerning party-goers who can expect an animated nightlife experience.

Offering bottle service, twists on the classic cocktails and bar snacks, guests can expect all the characteristics of a 1960’s New York back alley club with retro DJ performances from international names, live acoustics, entertainment and personal hospitality.

Cocktail: Big Coconuts

Joshua and Sarissa Schwartz, co-founders of SJS Group, say of the venture: “LuLu’s Lounge has been a vision of our imagination for some time, and we’ve been eagerly anticipating introducing the concept to the discerning Singapore nightlife scene. We wanted to create a lively lounge where guests can chill, chat and dance – all in the same venue.”

Sarissa and Joshua Schwartz, co-founders of SJS Group

The power couple is also behind Bang Bang and Employees Only and have become two major players in the Singapore nightlife scene since arriving in Singapore in 2011.

For more information on Lulu’s click here

Lulu’s opens Friday 28th April 2017 and door open from 9pm – 6am

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