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Cocktail MasterclassesWant to learn how to make classic cocktails, like a perfectly balanced Negroni or a masterful Manhattan? Then step right up the the cocktail making area and make sure you book your slot - some of the best bartenders in the country will be teaching you how to craft your own cocktails at home, only at the Australian Drinks Festival in Melbourne.
Distil your own ginThe distillation process is fascinating and beautiful, and the Australian Drinks Festival, along with Nip of Courage and McHenry Distillery, is giving budding distillers the chance to make their own gin. With guidance from Master Distiller William McHenry, you will create and distil your own gin recipe to take home. Places are strictly limited
Pop-up BarsThis year the much loved Monkey Shoulder World's Smallest Bar will be making its return to The Australian Drinks Festival. Come in through the front door, exit through the fridge, and sample some amazing cocktails on the way through. In addition, many of our exhibitors will be hosting bars serving beers, wines and cocktails, made by some of the country's top bartenders, for you to try.
The Boutique MarketHundreds of premium wines, beers, spirits and mixers will be available for you to sample for free inside the stunning Royal Exhibition Building. Find something you really like? Buy a bottle to take home with you. You’ll also find great food and coffee here.
Guest SpeakersInternational guest speakers, Australian producers and some of the country’s best bartenders will take to the main stage to discuss the finest drinks, how to make them, how to sell them and how to enjoy them. The full program of presentations can be viewed here.
Live MusicEnjoy some live music as you sip on a cocktail! ‘Room with a View’, one of Australia’s most in demand jazz groups, will be playing at the Australian Drinks Festival. The trio will play classic jazz standards that were written by musical legends like Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and George Benson - but with a contemporary feel.
Food & CoffeeThere’ll be a number of quality vendors selling gourmet burgers, hot dogs and other fare to keep you fuelled up over the weekend. Think slow cooked pulled smoky pork or beef rolls with coleslaw, and nachos with homemade chilli salsa, homemade guacamole and sour cream. There will also be St Gerry’s Desserts selling Greek Donuts and That’s Amore cheese returns to fufill your dreams, while dc Specialty Coffee Roasters will sate your caffeine cravings.
Beer & WineIt’s not all spirits and cocktails! The Festival will showcase an array of craft beers and ciders, along with a great range of premium wines. Exhibitors include Southern Bay Brewing, Gage Roads Brewing, Hills Cider, Black Stump Wines and Fine Wine Partners. Visitors can relax in the Fine Wine Partners’ wine garden or take part in a blindfolded beer tasting hosted by ‘Beer Diva’ Kirrily Waldhorn.
VIDEO: The Australian Drinks Festival – what to expectThis year, you can expect big activations from Beam Suntory, Bombay Sapphire, Fine Wine Partners, Spirits Platform and Nip of Courage; the Monkey Shoulder bar makes a welcome return; the beer and cider categories are represented by the likes of Gage Roads and Batlow; and there’ll be plenty of interesting boutique brands to taste and explore such as Maidenii Vermouth and Poltergeist Gin. Watch the video here.
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SpeakersThis year, you can expect big activations from Beam Suntory, Bombay Sapphire, Fine Wine Partners, Spirits Platform and Nip of Courage; the Monkey Shoulder bar makes a welcome return; the beer and cider categories are represented by the likes of Gage Roads and Batlow; and there’ll be plenty of interesting boutique brands to taste and explore such as Maidenii Vermouth and Poltergeist Gin. Watch the video here.
Naren YoungHaving cut his teeth in Australia's bar sector, Naren travelled the world training bartenders and consulting, before settling in New York. Under his guidance, Saxon + Parole was crowned World's Best Restaurant Bar at Tales of the Cocktail in 2013. His latest venture, his own venue Dante, is located in New York's Greenwich Village.
Charlotte VoiseyCharlotte is Company Mixologist with William Grant & Sons USA. A former UK Bartender of the Year, she has consulted on projects such as the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, and The Dorchester, London. She regularly appears on TV and her cocktail Punch & Judy was named Cocktail of the Year at Tales of the Cocktail 2008 in New Orleans.
Caroline ChilderleyCaroline Childerley is the founder and editor of The Gin Queen, a website devoted to gin. She tastes, reviews, shares recipes and interviews industry movers and shakers. Since the launch in 2013 she has hosted sell-out gin tastings and was published in Alquimie magazine. She loves to share her passion for the juniper juice and the best ways to drink it!
Jason CrawleyJason began his career in London, working for the likes of Ian Schrager Hotels, before moving to Sydney. His achievements here include the setting up of the groundbreaking Zeta bar, the creation of the pioneering bartender education program Mixxit, and the founding of The Imperial Portfolio of Victorian-era luxury bar devices.