More than 80 Australian bars feature in the festival program as new luxury beverage experiences are announced across the five-day festival.
As the highly anticipated World Class Cocktail Festival approaches, more of Australia’s best bars have announced bespoke cocktail experiences, fun collaborations, and one-off parties to the mix.
The already impressive, jam-packed line-up has been further bolstered with the news Flex Mami will now curate entertainment for the Paramount House Recreation Club rooftop series on Saturday 1 May and Sunday 2 May. The Don Julio Flex Mami & Friends Sessions from 2pm–8pm are set to be a highlight, taking the tempo up to ignite the dance floor as the sun sets over Surry Hills, the World Class Cocktail Festival precinct.
One of Sydney’s hottest new venues, Sammy Junior, has teamed up with Ketel One and Mr Black coffee liqueur to serve up personalised espresso martinis and Irish coffees on Friday night. You can get creative and customise your design in the foam, opting for personalised pictures, messages, or both for the most Instagrammable moment.
With less than two weeks until World Class Cocktail Festival, it’s time to dust off the party shoes and get the dance moves ready for a Disco Night at Double Deuce, with 70s soul and funk tunes being served up alongside 70s-inspired Ketel One cocktails. More music will be rocking the Ramblin Rascal with Copper Dog whisky creations available at the bar, as well as Earl’s Juke Joint teaming up with Ketel One to put on a nostalgic 90s night and join us for some after-dark fun at Big Poppa’s with a DJ and Tanqueray N° TEN negronis whilst you get down on the dance floor.
Take a walk down memory lane and sip your way through the history of the cocktail, discovering the ‘Golden Age of the Cocktail’ at Door Knock, with previous World Class Australian Bartender of the Year winner Alex Boon serving specially curated retro cocktail options.
And for those after a cocktail and bite to eat, PS40 will be hosting a pop-up with ‘Big’ Sam Young and Tanqueray. At Old Mate’s Place, they will be serving up a delicious Japanese taco lunch to feast on alongside Johnnie Walker. Kittyhawk will be hosting a bougie night with Ketel One martinis, oysters and snacks, and Dead Ringer will be hosting a Sunday brunch with a range of Ketel One spritzes on offer.
Across Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Brisbane, Perth, and Adelaide, more than 80 venues have put their hand up to join the festivities by offering locals a bespoke $15 cocktail option over the five days.
Little Melbourne | Golden Age Bar
Wednesday to Sunday, 5pm–late
Melbourne’s reputation for hospitality shows up no better than in their incredible bar scene, so we’re paying tribute to our neighbouring city by celebrating a selection of their best! Award-winning Melbourne venues will take up temporary residence at the Golden Age Bar each evening, with an impressive line-up of bartending talent from the likes of Above Board, Black Pearl, BYRDI and The Everleigh (all featured in the World’s 100 Best Bars) coming to town to share their top Don Julio tipples with Sydneysiders.
Simon Johnson × Ketel One: The Truth About Caviar | Golden Age Bar
Sunday, 1 May | 2:15pm–5pm, bookings available at https://www.ourgoldenage.com.au/film/wc-caviar
Celebrating the increasingly popular vodka and caviar pairing in an afternoon titled ‘The Truth About Caviar’, the team from Simon Johnson, Purveyor of Quality Food, will offer unique tastings and education for guests to better understand this luxury ingredient and its history of being partnered with vodka. Ketel One vodka martinis will be served alongside a bump of caviar, or for the more inquisitive guests, a hosted in-depth 20-minute tasting experience.
Menu: $15 Ketel One martini
$15pp caviar bump: Russian Oscietra
$60pp mini caviar masterclass
3 types of caviar, 30 mins, groups of four:
White sturgeon caviar; Siberian caviar; Russian Oscietra
Spirit of Mexico | Golden Age Cinema
Wednesday to Saturday, session times available at www.ourgoldenage.com.au
If you’re missing holidays abroad, Don Julio is going to transport you to Jalisco at Paramount House, where all week we bring the spirit of Mexico to life with a feast for the senses! For a cultural buzz, sip contemporary Don Julio tequila cocktails while you watch cinematic favourites celebrating some of Mexico’s most esteemed film directors at Golden Age Cinema. For a cultural buzz that pays homage to Mexico’s best, Don Julio has taken charge of the film schedule, screening Desperado, Like Water for Chocolate, El Mariachi, Brimstone & Glory and Pan’s Labyrinth.
Flex | Paramount Recreation Club
Saturday, 10:30am – Yoga; Sunday, 10.30am – Pilates
The flexitarian lifestyle is all about balance and you can be your best self by nurturing and partying at the Paramount Recreation Club rooftop, where we will host mid-morning yoga sessions followed by a vegan feast and fresh tasting, zero alcohol Seedlip cocktails along with low calorie Ketel One Botanical spritzes. Heading into the afternoon, the vibe ignites and the tunes flow, as Don Julio hosts the ultimate sundowner sessions, offering signature margaritas and palomas.
Flex Mornings: $35 per session (free PRC members), bookings available at https://www.paramountrecreation.club/event/flex-am/
Flex Mami & Friends × Don Julio
Saturday & Sunday, 2pm–8pm, bookings available at https://www.paramountrecreation.club/event/flex-pm/
$15 tickets available at the door and ahead of time, each ticket includes a $15 cocktail
Espresso Martini Project | Paramount Coffee Project
Wednesday & Thursday, 5pm–7pm
In partnership with PCP, and one for the true coffee connoisseur, Ketel One will be serving bespoke blend espresso martinis with your choice of Colombian or Ethiopian coffee beans.
Maybe Sammy – Maybe Sevilla (Closing Party)
When: Sunday, 4pm–12am
Where: 115 Harrington St, The Rocks NSW 2000
Three of the World’s 50 Best Bars are in Sydney and the highest on the list, placing 11th is the incredible, theatrical, and formidable, Maybe Sammy. The team here will take honours hosting the World Class Cocktail Festival closing party, Spanish style. Tanqueray N° TEN & Tanqueray Flor de Sevilla cocktails will be a highlight of the night as the sounds of live Latin music will set the mood for the celebration as the week comes to a close and we send our new Australian Bartender of the Year to compete against the rest of the world as part of the global World Class finals.
Cantina OK! – Mama OK!
When: Sunday, 2pm–8pm
Where: Shop 2/106-112 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
A cultural collaboration never seen before; Cantina OK! (placed #28 in World’s Best Bars) is teaming up with cult kebab shop Shwarmama for Mama OK! – a unique Sunday pop-up where you can spend the afternoon enjoying tasty tacos and Don Julio margaritas.
Bulletin Place × Belsazar Place
When: Wednesday to Saturday, 5pm–late
Where: 10–14 Bulletin Place, Sydney NSW 2000
Ranked 39th in the World’s Best Bars, Bulletin Place will introduce Belsazar Place, a long-term installation at the foot of their popular CBD establishment that takes inspiration from Berlin’s much loved small bar culture. Taking over part of the laneway, Belsazar Place will highlight the German Vermouth through a carefully curated cocktail list while bringing familiar German flavours to the fore with its bar snack menu including pretzels and onion dip, house-pickled caraway carrots, and smoked curry almonds.
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Some of Sydney’s most renowned new restaurants have teamed up with Diageo’s Reserve Brands to present a curated offering of ‘Cocktail Bites’ throughout the festival.
Africola Sound System × Hotel Harry × Don Julio
When: Wednesday to Saturday, 6:30pm and 8:30pm sittings
Where: Hotel Harry, 40–44 Wentworth Ave, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Book the 3 course set menu via www.hotelharry.com.au
Adelaide’s famous Africola Sound System takes over Level 1 of Hotel Harry in Surry Hills with Duncan Welgemoed and his team making the trip up to share a hot take on North African eats alongside an epic line-up of Don Julio cocktails and a sweet soundtrack from Godlands. Bookings essential.
Butter x CÎROC
When: Wednesday to Sunday, from 5pm
Where: Butter, 6 Hunt St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Cult burger brand Butter has teamed up with Luke Whearty from BYRDI (#80 World’s Best Bars) to create the limited edition ‘Dirty Byrdi’, a limited-edition Butter Fried Chicken (fat wash) CÎROC martini served with chicken bites you’ll only be able to order throughout the festival. For something a little sweeter, opt for a Don Julio Cherry Cola Slushie paired with the infamous Butter OG Sandwich.
Menu: CÎROC martini and chicken bites combo $22, CÎROC martini served with chicken bites garnish $15 or Don Julio Cherry Cola Slushie and OG sandwich $29
When: Wednesday, 28 April, 6pm
Where: 40 Skittle Ln, Sydney NSW 2000
Ex-Lotus chef ‘Big’ Sam Young will be hosting one of his highly anticipated pop-up events with world-class snacks paired with Tanqueray Gin cocktails curated by the crew at PS40.
Old Mate’s Place
When: Friday to Sunday, 12pm–4pm
Where: Level 4/199 Clarence St, Sydney NSW 2000
Kerby Craig and Jo Siahaan from Ume Burger and Don Taco will be putting up a selection of Okinawan Tex Mex-inspired tacos while the team from Old Mate’s Place will be matching each Okinawa taco with a signature Johnnie Walker Black Highball.
Please check @OldMatesPlace for bookings
When: Sunday, 10.30am–3pm
Where: 413 Bourke St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Easy like a Sunday morning, dig into a brunch complete with Ketel One Botanical spritzes and breakfast martinis.
When: Wednesday, 6pm–9pm
Where: 16 Phillip Ln, Sydney NSW 2000
Want to feel like a Royal for the night? Head to Kittyhawk for one bougie night with Ketel One mini martinis handed to you on arrival, followed by oysters and delish snacks throughout the night – all while taking in the sounds of a three-piece jazz band. What more could you want?
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Pamela’s × Don Julio Night Brunch
When: Friday & Saturday, 10pm–2am
Where: Prince of York, 18 York St, Sydney NSW 2000
For an evening of entertainment that’ll take you into the wee hours, city nightspot Pamela’s is partnering with Don Julio for a special edition of their hugely popular weekend drag brunch series. ‘Night Brunch’ kicks off at 10pm and features performances from some of Sydney’s finest Queens, Charisma Belle and Karla Bear. Grab a bacon sandwich and Spicy or Pam’s Disco Blue Don Julio margarita and the night is yours.
Sammy Junior – Drinks of the Future – Printed Garnishes
When: Wednesday and Thursday, 4:30pm–6:30pm; Friday, 5pm–10pm
Where: 66 King St, Sydney NSW 2000
Dress up your drink! Turn an ordinary martini into your own creative canvas by printing pictures and messages on your drink! In partnership with Ketel One, Roe & Co and Mr Black, Sammy Junior will be serving bespoke espresso martinis and Irish coffees. You can also exercise some creative flair by adding your own personalised design on the foam, making it a photo moment not to miss!
When: Wednesday, from 7pm
Where: Basement/70 Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000
For one night only there’ll be a party to celebrate the ‘Golden Age of the Cocktail’ where you can sip on retro cocktails curated by former World Class Australia Bartender of the Year winner, Alex Boon. With a guest performance by Queenie and the Cavaliers (Miss Pia Andersen).
When: Thursday, DJ goes live from 9pm
Where: 6 Bridge St, Sydney NSW 2000
Disco your night away with the Ketel One Kitchen Disco Party – a night with DJs spinning 70s soul and funk vinyl, served up with delicious canapés and 70s-inspired Ketel One cocktails.
Earl’s Juke Joint
When: Thursday, DJ goes live from 9pm
Where: 407 King Street, Newtown NSW 2042
It’s 90s night at Earl’s Juke Joint looking at the ‘Decade that Cocktails Forgot‘ with Ketel One and all your favourite 90s tunes to keep the vibes flowing.
When: Wednesday, band goes live from 9pm – drinks deal all night
Where: Basement/60 Park St, Sydney NSW 2000
From Sydney’s best five-star dive bar, Copper Dog will be featuring live blues legends Howlin’ Alvarez and Drey Rollan for some late-night fun.
When: Wednesday from 10pm
Where: 96 Oxford St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Join us after dark for fun with a live DJ, half price cacio e pepe, and some Tanqueray N° TEN negronis.
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To celebrate our nation’s best beverages and this year’s top 100 World Class Bartender of the Year entries, $15 cocktails will be available from selected locations nationally during the festival, from 28 April–2 May.
Participating venues include:
Apollo, Barber Shop, Bancho, Bitter Phew, Bistecca, Burrow Bar, Cho Cho San, Dead Ringer, Fortunate Son, Grandma’s, Icebergs Dining Room & Bar, Jacoby’s, Kittyhawk, RE, Rosenbaum & Fuller, Shady Pines, Tio’s, Tokyo Bird, Wild Rover, Riley St Garage, The Gidley, Big Poppa’s
Alba, Canvas, Cielo, Death & Taxes, Electric Avenue, Savile Row, The Scottish Prince
1806, Black Pearl, Bad Frankie, Bar Liberty, Beneath Driver Lane, Boilermaker, Bomba, Capitano, Eau de Vie, Elysian, Glass House, Leonardo’s Pizza Palace, Lover, Nick & Nora’s, Vue de monde, Woods of Windsor
MACq 01, Society, The Glass House
Alfred’s Bar, Bar Torino, Maybe Mae
399, Alfred’s Pizzeria, Caballitos, Ezra Pound, The Flour Factory, Foxtrot Unicorn, Hadiqa, Long Chim, Lot Twenty, Mechanics Institute, Palace Arcade, QT Perth, Varnish on King, Tiki As FK
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The World Class Cocktail Festival programme can be found at www.worldclasscocktailfestival.com with all booking links and further information.
Kicking off the week-long festivities on Tuesday, 27 April, the country’s very best bartenders – our top three finalists for 2021 – Evan Stroeve (RE, Sydney), Kayla Saito (Leonardo’s Pizza Palace, Melbourne) and David Aznar (Rosella’s, Gold Coast) will battle it out to be crowned Australian World Class Bartender of the Year.