Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bloody Mary Brunch and Drinks Fest at Sydney Bar Week

There are probably a few people still recovering from last week's Sydney Bar Week. In addition to Drinks Fest (or as all the bartenders call it, Bar Show), I went to the Bloody Mary Bartenders Brunch hosted by Absolut at Hugos Bar Pizza.

Absolut Bloody Mary Bartenders Brunch at Hugos Bar Pizza, Bayswater Road, Kings Cross
The Bloody Mary "buffet" was in full swing when I arrived, accompanied by the fabulous pizzas at Hugos. Attendees chose from Absolut Citron or Absolut 100 vodkas as the base for a DIY Bloody Mary, with almost any imaginable ingredients on offer.

There was beef stock, a mussel broth and Worcestershire sauce to add depth of flavour; peri peri sauce, fresh horseradish and chillies for bite; a forest of green herbs including rosemary, dill and coriander; and garnishes including lemon, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and avocado. And much more.

My Absolut Bloody Mary
Finished with, of course, tomato juice, my mussel broth concoction was a little salty but the avocado addition was pure genius - making the already substantial cocktail even closer to a meal, or a salad at least.

Absolut Bloody Mary competition
After everyone had a bit of fun making and drinking their own Bloody Marys, three professionals had their turn competing to win, each with a different mystery ingredient and the entire buffet of ingredients at their disposal.

Pernod Ricard's Ben Davidson lead the proceedings which went out to audience tastings, popular cheer vote and then his final decision.

Competition Bloody Marys
The winner, an RSL club bartender, took home a gigantic bottle of Absolut vodka while everyone went on their merry way making and drinking more Bloody Marys and scoffing pizza.

The Bloody Mary ingredient buffet
The bar top looked an absolute disarray towards the end of the chilled-out brunch, which was a great start to the day and Bar Week. See more photos at my Facebook page.

Food, booze and shoes attended the Absolut Bloody Mary Bartenders Brunch as a guest of MsABSOLUTvodka.

Entrance to Drinks Fest at Overseas Passenger Terminal
We moved on to the afternoon session of Drinks Fest on the Sunday consumer day, entering via essentially a clever museum for Bundaberg Rum.

Rum history, molasses tasting and a bar, even before getting into the main Drinks Fest area.

Cocktail at the Monin and Perrier stand
We were greeted by plumes of nitrogen oxide at the Monin and Perrier 'lawn bar', where the magical cocktail mixing happened in complete witch's cauldron style.

Cocktail-in-hand strolling and perusing alcohol is one of the things I do best.

Bulleit Rye Whiskey and Bourbon served with pickle juice
The fantastically-styled Bulleit stand was offering pickle backs: drinkers' choice of a shot of rye whiskey or bourbon, washed down with a shot of pickle brine juice.

We also scored a fabulous gherkin, and I'm told the combination really works well together. I imagine it's certainly a way to kill the after-taste of the alcohol.

Schweppes Masterclass

Schweppes Mixology Masterclass
We took a peek at one of the Masterclasses run by Schweppes, who told us there's more to a gin and tonic than meets the eye.

Ketel One vodka stand - Fujiyama Mama cocktail 
The Ketel One vodka stand did a refreshing, lemony fizz cocktail (thanks Ms Darlinghurst!).

Havana Club rum stand

Havana Club lime squeezing competition
The loudest, most boisterous stand of the day had to be the Havana Club stand, where a lime squeezing competition saw speedy squeezers walk away with bottles of rum.

Red Bull DJ
Red Bull took over the back end outdoor area with a DJ pumping music from a truck, live art and tyre change time trials on a mock Red Bull Racing car, with plenty of free Red Bull to boot.

Red Bull race car

Artist painting live
In all, the consumer day of Drinks Fest was a great opportunity for consumers to experience cocktails directly with the industry's experts - here's to a bigger and better consumer day next year! See more photos from Drinks Fest at my Facebook page.

Food, booze and shoes attended Drinks Fest at Sydney Bar Week as media guests.


john@heneedsfood said...

What a freakin' awesome time you must have had. Sober, much?

Flick Your Food said...

Pickle juice after a shot, quite interesting. Will have to try

Food is our religion said...

this looks really awesome but a shot plus gherkin? sounds interesting

Jacq said...

thanks for the tix again! the DIY bloody mary sounds like fun and I had no idea that it was Ms Darlinghurst at the Ketel One stand! We even had a bit of a chat but it just didn't register lol

Tina said...

Hi John - Hmmm, not so much ;)

Hi Flick Your Food - Yeah, the pickle back is supposed to be quite popular in the US!

Hi Food is our religion - Yup, I can confirm the gherkin was tasty :D

Hi Jacq - No probs, hope you had a great time! There were a few girl bartenders at Ketel One too, so not sure who you met.


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