World Class Bartender of the Year Qualifier Event

A dapper crowd congregated at the Commissioner’s Steps on Thursday night to prepare to board Sydney Harbour’s Glass Island cruise for Round One of the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender of the Year 2013.

The 3-hour cruise saw 12 of the best bartenders from across Australia showcasing an inspired drink from one of four different categories as part of the Qualifier round. Guests, made up of a mix of media and fine drink enthusiasts, were treated to stunning views of the iconic Sydney Harbour as they sipped one-of-a-kind cocktails, created with fine spirits from Diageo Reserve luxury collection, on the roof deck.

Upon boarding, each guest was handed a World Class passport with details about each bartender and their cocktail ingredients. Guests were invited to visit each bartender, hear the story and inspiration behind their concoction and finally, sample their masterpiece. The pressure for the bartenders was on, as it was up to the crowd to cast their vote for best in each category – Martini Experience, Vintage Cocktail, American Cocktail, and After Dinner Cocktail.

A highlight was Kari Chambers’ Bella Rose, a gin cocktail inspired by vintage grandeur and Grandmother’s pearls, which she served with a heavenly gin-infused cupcake. After guests had nibbled on the canapé offerings from the many passing trays, After Dinner cocktails were a popular go-to. James Connolly’s Senor Alexander, a mix of rum, Amaretto, and condensed milk, transported drinkers straight to the land of Mexico.

After all the votes were tallied, the winners were announced: bartenders Krystal Hart, Jessica Arnott, Luke Ashton, and Christian Blair will all be advancing in the competition.

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