Home' Bars and Clubs : BAC SeptOct 2015 Contents HOW TO INNOVATE:
TIPS FROM THE TOP
We sat down with Jack Sotti, Australia’s
entrant in World Class this year, to chat
about what he learned about drink
innovation in South Africa.
B&C: What was the inspiration behind the ‘hovering’ cocktail?
JACK: The Stealth Bomber was inspired by Sam Ross’ Paper Plane.
I wanted to create a twist on this cocktail using the foundation of
equal parts American whiskey with the use of dual amaro and citrus.
It was created for the “Retro, Disco, Future” round where I based
all three of my drinks on classic cocktails named after the aviation
industry: The Aviation, The Kamikaze, and The Paper Plane. I just
thought to myself, what if I could make my future drink hover? So I
set out to work it out.
B&C: What did you learn about drink innovation during the
J: I guess the thing I learnt about innovation is A) Australia is way
ahead of the pack globally, and B) sometimes thinking outside of
the box/drink is more innovative – there is rarely an ingredient that
hasn't been used before, instead think about new techniques in
drink creation and presentation.
B&C: What was the most important take away about service?
J: I’ve always respected mise en place but it wasn't until I had to
prep and organise 20 unique cocktails to be presented overseas
that I truly appreciated its importance. Be prepared for anything.
Take two of everything, prep everything beforehand, and bring
ingredients to make prepped items again should the worst happen.
Bubblewrap everything. Bubblewrap again. Give yourself double
the amount of time you need before your challenge. The same thing
should be applied to all service. Minus the bubble wrap.
B&C: What do you think drinkers are looking?
J: Drinkers are definitely looking for the wow factor. Create an
element that makes the person sitting down the bar lean over and
ask what was ordered – a unique colour, unusual garnish, theatrical
preparation technique, or the aroma billowing out.
What do you think bars sometimes get wrong when innovating?
J: The beauty of our industry is the huge variety in bar styles, I don't
think anyone gets anything wrong when it comes to innovation. I do
feel though that sometimes bars can often alienate a customer by
a miscellaneous ingredient, or technique that a customer will have
no idea about. Make sure when writing menus things are described
simply. Finally, always perfect and practice innovative techniques
before rolling them out. Don't use your guests as guinea pigs.
Any final thoughts on innovation?
J: All innovation is good innovation and that is what makes Australia
a market leader. Aussie bartenders are constantly trying new things
and it’s a melting pot culture. The only limit is your imagination,
if you want to go and make a drink fly, go ahead and work it out.
OLGR TARGETS RECKLESS ALCOHOL
COCKTAILS served in milk bottles and plastic bags, vodka infused lollies,
giant martini glasses and the sale of alcoholic shots from buckets are
among irresponsible alcohol promotions detected at NSW licensed venues
in the past year. In 2014/15, the NSW Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing
(OLGR) investigated 101 promotions deemed to encourage reckless
drinking and intoxication.
OLGR Director of Compliance & Enforcement Anthony Keon said
44 cases resulted in formal bans or restrictions on promotions with the
remainder resolved satisfactorily following intervention and advice from
AUSSIE BREWER CLAIMS
AUSTRALIA’S Edge Brewing Project has been crowned Brewer of the Year,
Oceania and won Best Lager at the 2015 International Beer Challenge.
The Melbourne-based gypsy brewer was the best performer out of the
Australian contingency, with its Cool Hops Australian Lager taking out the
Best Lager trophy and its Cereal Killer Red Lager awarded a gold medal.
The International Beer Challenge is a highly regarded competition that
see entrants from over 30 countries and is judged by industry experts
including retailers, importers, publicans, brewers, and flavour analysts.
ANGOSTURA NAMES AUSSIE WINNER
AFTER a closely fought competition,
James Irvine from the Baxter Inn
in Sydney took out the Angostura
Global Cocktail Challenge Australian
Final, along with a role as Australian
Angostura brand ambassador and a
$10,000 cash prize.
“I am honestly blown away. The competition was stiff and everyone that
took part was a serious contender,” says Irvine. “Being an ambassador for
Angostura is an amazing opportunity and is a career aspiration of mine.
I’m looking forward to getting to Trinidad to compete in the global final. It
would be incredible to see Australia take out back-to-back global finals.”
Second place went to Alex Boon from Jahh Tiger, Brisbane, with Joe
Sinagra from Bobeche, Perth, taking out third.
To see the winning cocktail recipes, head online to Top Shelf
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