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WORLD CLASS ANNOUNCES AUSTRALIA'S TOP 3 2021 Making A Stir

WORLD CLASS ANNOUNCES AUSTRALIA'S TOP 3 2021

April 16,2021

Global spirits brand Diageo has revealed the three bartenders who have been chosen to compete in the Australian finals for World Class 2021.

Evan Stroeve (RE, Sydney), Kayla Saito (Leonardo’s Pizza Palace, Melbourne) and David Aznar (Rosella’s, Gold Coast) were selected from hundreds of bartending superstars and will now compete in the Australian finals on Tuesday 27th April.

The 2021 Australian competition saw bartenders compete in a new digital format, where they lodged their drinks via the Diageo Bar Academy. Bartenders competed in a series of challenges with flavour, balance and creativity, across Diageo Reserve Brands: Don Julio tequila, Ketel One vodka, Tanqueray No.TEN gin, and Johnnie Walker Black Label blended Scotch whisky.

On 27th April, the World Class Australian finals will take place at the home of World Class Cocktail Festival, Paramount House Golden Age Bar, where the finalists will go head to head across three separate challenges in the fight to be crowned this year’s Australian World Class Bartender of the Year.

The challenges will include:

Challenge 1 – Future proof, sustainably bottled – This challenge asks the finalists to draw inspiration from the past in order to create a meaningful impact for our future by creating a bottles cocktail using Ketel One Vodka with minimal waste and maximum flavour.

Challenge 2 – Land & sea, mystery box – This challenge will ask the finalists to create a mystery box serve that embodies the land or sea using either Talisker 10 Year Old or Don Julio, with a small pantry of classic bar ingredients.

Challenge 3 – Speed round – To finish, the finalists will take their place on the Main Stage at the Golden Age Bar with music and a live audience, for an energetic speed round to test their skills using the Diageo Reserve Portfolio.

The winner will represent Australia virtually at the World Class Bartender of the Year finals in July.

“World Class is a phenomenal cocktail competition that each year reaffirms just how impressive our bar industry is,” said Krystal Hart, Australia’s World Class Ambassador. “The challenges are designed to not only test how the bartenders use the Diageo Reserve brands to experiment with flavour and balance but also how they showcase their personality and story behind their serve.

“After 2020, it has been incredible to see first-hand the resilience and creativity from all of the entries across Australia. Our top three have fought a fierce fight and we can’t wait to see these extremely talented cocktail leaders battle it out to be crowned this year’s Australian World Class Bartender of the year.”

To celebrate the crowning of this year’s winner, Diageo will present the World Class Cocktail Festival. Running for five days from Wednesday 28th April, the Festival will come alive with bespoke cocktails, live entertainment, pop-up events, immersive brand experiences and dining collaborations, all championing the very best of Sydney’s diverse bar scene. For more information, go to worldclasscocktailfestival.com.

WORLD CLASS ANNOUNCES AUSTRALIA'S TOP 3 2021 Making A Stir

CURATIF ACHIEVES DOUBLE WIN AT WORLD PREMIX AWARDS 2021

May 14,2021

Australia’s Curatif has won World’s Best Classic Cocktail & World’s Best Contemporary Cocktail at the World Premix Awards 2021

The canned cocktail brand won the World’s Best Classic Cocktail for its Tequila Tromba Margarita and World’s Best Contemporary Cocktail for its Black Pearl collab Toreador.

“To receive this recognition against incredible cocktails from around the world is a true honour and a testament to our relationships with the world’s best crafted spirits,” said Matt Sanger, Managing Director and Co-founder, Curatif.

Less than two years since launching, the Aussie start-up has also claimed seven medals including a Double Gold and two further Golds at the 2021 San Francisco World Spirits Competition (SFWSC), one of the world’s most respected spirits competitions, cementing its world-class status among global talent.

Demand for canned cocktails is accelerating at pace, with the global canned cocktail market forecast to grow more than sixfold over the next 10 years, from US $25B in 2020 to US $155B in 20301.

Canned cocktails are a sub-segment of the premixed drinks category, which grew by 30.2 per cent in 2019/20 in Australia and are expected to see continued growth in 2021 and beyond.

For more information on Curatif, go to curatif.com or connect with the brand on their socials via @curatif

WORLD CLASS ANNOUNCES AUSTRALIA'S TOP 3 2021 Making A Stir

SKYY VODKA RELAUNCHES WITH INNOVATIVE NEW LIQUID

May 5,2021

Iconic, global Vodka brand Skyy has announced a relaunch that includes a new, modern pack design and liquid refresh formulated to enhance the vodka + soda.

First launched in San Francisco in 1992 as the first American quadruple-distilled and triple-filtered vodka, Skyy is once again challenging category standards. Designed for a new generation of vodka drinkers, the new liquid focuses on creating a better vodka +soda.

Exploring naturally occurring elements found in the coastal waters surrounding San Francisco, the brand brought together a diverse collective of experts including chemists, professional bartenders, and a water sommelier.

These minerals impart a subtle salinity and minerality to the liquid, designed to pair perfectly with soda water and a grapefruit twist – SKYY’s signature pour.

The result is a liquid that is fresh and clean on the nose with a hint of fruit and toasted grain, coupled with a clean, smooth taste on the palate.

“In the vodka world, filtration reigns supreme. But we think that what defines a premium liquid experience isn’t what you take out of it, it’s what you put into it,” said Andrea Sengara, vice president of marketing of Campari America. “Inspired by the pure, clean and refreshing essence of the Pacific, SKYY Vodka is proud to return to its roots by challenging category norms to stand out in a sea of sameness.”

Skyy’s refreshed packaging design is also inspired by the natural beauty of the San Francisco Bay Area. The new bottle is a lighter, more natural blue tone, with ripples and ridges that reflect the waves of the Pacific Ocean.

WORLD CLASS ANNOUNCES AUSTRALIA'S TOP 3 2021 Making A Stir

DIXIE VODKA TEAMS WITH CELEBRATED NASCAR DRIVER TONY STEWART

May 4,2021

Charleston craft Vodka brand, Dixie Vodka, has announced a partnership with Tony Stewart of Stewart-Haas Racing, one of NASCAR’s most celebrated drivers.

The partnership represents a natural extension for Dixie Vodka, which is also the first Official Vodka of NASCAR and serves as the title sponsor for the Dixie Vodka 400 at the Homestead-Miami Speedway each February.

“The opportunity to partner with legendary driver Tony Stewart is exciting for everyone on the Dixie team and further expands our presence in the motorsports world,” says Matti Anttila, founder and CEO of Grain & Barrel Spirits, the parent company of Dixie Vodka. “Already the Official Vodka of NASCAR, we are quickly becoming the go-to vodka for motorsports fans across the country.”

The partnership will recognise Dixie Vodka as the Official Vodka of Tony Stewart, as well as the Official Vodka of Eldora Speedway in Rossburg, OH and the Official Vodka of the All Star Circuit of Champions.

To celebrate the collaboration, Dixie Vodka has created a new, ready-to-drink canned cocktail called “Tony’s Tea,” which will debut this June, alongside a series of three other canned cocktails from the brand. Tony’s Tea features a combination of iced tea and lemonade spiked with Dixie Vodka’s award-winning flagship Southern Vodka.

“I’m always on the go, but that doesn’t mean I sacrifice quality for speed. That’s why I partnered with Dixie Vodka,” Stewart said. “Their attention to detail is second to none, and when we were looking to create a great-tasting and ready-to-drink cocktail, Dixie Vodka delivered. Ice it and open it and Tony’s Tea is ready to go. I’m looking forward to working with Matti and his team at Dixie Vodka to introduce this line of canned cocktails to our fans.”

For more information, go to dixievodka.com

WORLD CLASS ANNOUNCES AUSTRALIA'S TOP 3 2021 Making A Stir

HUDSON WHISKEY DISTILLER GABLE ERENZO DIES

May 1,2021

The spirits community is mourning the death of Hudson Whiskey co-founder Gable ‘Gabe’ Erenzo, who died suddenly in his sleep at the age of 41, according to a Facebook announcement by his father, Ralph Erenzo.

The post read: “Gable worked tirelessly with his father Ralph to develop and nurture the Hudson Whiskey and Tuthilltown Spirits’ brands before travelling the world as Hudson’s first brand ambassador. His bold personality, genuine warmth, and sense of humour brought joy to anyone he encountered.

“During our early years, Gable’s unwavering determination fuelled our team with a passion and enthusiasm that continues to inspire our work today. We share our condolences with the entire Erenzo family and anyone else who was fortunate enough to know Gable.”

A spirits innovator, Erenzo and his father created two nationally popular spirits brands: Hudson Whiskey and Tuthilltown Spirits, with Erenzo also founding Gardiner Liquid Mercantile in Gardiner, New York.

WORLD CLASS ANNOUNCES AUSTRALIA'S TOP 3 2021 Making A Stir

TEQUILA OCHO CREATOR TOMAS ESTES DIES

April 29,2021

Tomas Estes, the tequila ambassador and co-founder of Tequila Ocho and London’s Café Pacifico, has passed away peacefully at his home in Oregan.

One of the drinks industry’s most loved and respected figures, Estes was instrumental in building the reputation of agave spirits around the world, as well as educating countless bartenders.

A statement on his Facebook page read: “It is with deep sorrow and a heavy heart that we share the news of Tomas Estes’s passing. He died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday 25th April, surrounded by family in Southern Oregon.

“For those of you who knew Tomas, you’ll know that he lived a full and rich life. There will forever will be a ‘Tomas-sized hole’ in the universe. His capacity for love and kindness was unbounded and deeper than any words could express. The world will be a less bright place for this loss.”

During his lifetime, Estes started 17 Mexican restaurants with bars in six countries, including England and France. In 2008, Estes co-founded Tequila Ocho, a single estate brand now sold in more than 20 countries. The brand was the result of a collaboration between Estes and the Camarena family, who produce Tequila Tapatio.

Estes was named an official ambassador for the National Chamber of the Tequila Industry (CNIT) in 2003 for his work on promoting Tequila across the world. He also penned a book, The Tequila Ambassador, which was nominated for Best New Book at Tales of the Cocktail’s Spirited Awards in 2013.

Tequila Ocho is calling on those who knew him to share their memories of Estes. “If you wish to commemorate Tomas’s life by posting your favourite photo(s) or stories of him, please use the hashtag #RememberingTomas so that we can see and share your memories,” via the brand’s Facebook.

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