If you’ve ever worked behind a busy bar, you know that coordination is key. Watching a well-oiled bar-team work can be as beautiful as a ballet, especially when each member of the team is not only in sync but also reacting to the movement of the others.
In a way, this is what Penny Sippe is about to create with Australian Cocktail Month. Formally at Bacardi as the Sponsorship, Experiential & PR Manager, Sippe is endeavouring to choreography a dance not only between various bars within one city but between multiple bars in multiple Australian cities simultaneously.
“That is probably the most intricate part of the project, bartenders are notoriously tricky when it comes to getting stuff done. Like high school students trying to getting their assignment finished, they always wait until the last minute. Working with so many individual venues and brands has been a challenge, but being able to showcase what the Australian bartenders can do and get consumers back into the bar environment is worth it.”
With Australian Cocktail Month, Sippe is orchestrating activities and cocktails across 18 venues in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. That is 72 bars that have been hand-picked to take part in this exciting inaugural event.
“To call it Australian Cocktail Month, we really needed to go beyond just Sydney. Most events and experiences tend to stick to Sydney or Sydney and Melbourne. I really wanted to open this up to other expert bar teams and push it beyond that.
“There are just as many great bars in the other cities,” Sippe continued, “but sometimes they feel that they don’t get as many opportunities, so I wanted to provide that opportunity for them, as well as fill that potential gap in the market for the consumers in those cities as well.”
As well as involving the bars, Sippe has also enlisted the help of 18 international brands and 18 Australian brands. “It’s a really greatcross-section of brands that cover whiskeys, vodkas, gins, tequilas, all those kind of things. Each venue has created one cocktail with an international spirit, one with an Australian spirit and then one with a low-or-no alcoholic option as well.
… bartenders are notoriously tricky when it comes to getting stuff done.
The gin lovers will be excited by the inclusion of Bombay Bramble, Fords, Hendrick’s, and Monkey 47, while if you are looking for Tequila 1800, Herradura and Patrón will be showcased. Within the world of whisk(e)y world Ailsa Bay, Glenfiddich, Monkey Shoulder and Naked Grouse, as well as Buffalo Trace Bourbon and Woodford Reserve are all involved. Chase Vodka will provide the perfect opportunity for bartenders to create cocktails and Diplomatico, Don Papa, Plantation and Sailor Jerry will delight the rum lovers.
“And then we’ve got all the extras that go into making delicious drinks,” she continued. “So there’s Monin Syrup, Crawley’s Syrups are on board and Mr black’s on board as well. There are so many things for the venues to create amazing cocktails with.
Recognising that the desire for low-or-no alcohol options is continuing to grow, Australian Cocktail Month has partnered with Lyre’s and their exquisite range of lovingly crafted non-alcoholic spirits allowing guests to partake without compromising on what makes Australian bars great: the cocktail experience (and loads of flavour).
“I am excited to launch Australian Cocktail Month and give consumers the chance to try amazing cocktails created by some of the country’s best bars. I’m also proud to provide assistance to the industry as they rebuild following the pandemic. The goal for this year really was to drive as much traffic back into the venues as possible,” said Sippe.
“Now more than ever, our industry needs a diverse platform that drives consumers back into the bars,” says Tash Conte, owner of the award-winning Black Pearl in Melbourne. “This platform is what we need now to mend and move forward.”
Sippe says that she originally picked May as the time of the year to hold the event due to the number of key moments the months provides for drinking. “You’ve got World Whisky Day, Mother’s Day, Cinco de Mayo, to name a few,” she explained “So there are lots of things for the brands and venues to collaborate and a lot of events for consumers to experience.”
So why not take the opportunity through May to see what Australian Cocktail Month has to offer and maybe visit a number of venues in your city to see the dance in full swing. For more information and tickets, go to australiancocktailmonth.com.au