By James Wells, publisher TheShout

Two bartenders from the same bar in Western Sydney have been placed first and fourth at the recent National Cocktail Championships conducted by the Australian Bartenders Guild.

Brendon Hill and Shahir Galal, who are both bartenders from Barenz in Camden on the western outskirts of Sydney, placed first and fourth respectively in the competition held on 25 May at the Shark Hotel in Sydney.

ABG winner Brendon Hill in action

To win the competition, Hill competed against 22 finalists who prepared their best drinks for five judges.

Drinks were judged based on method, taste and aroma.

Hill’s prize is a trip to South Africa to represent Australia at the International Bartenders Association 40th World Cocktail Championship on 28 September.

Hill first worked at Soho Bar in Sydney at the age of 18, picking up glasses, but developed his passion for mixology at Barenz, when he got his first job behind the bar about five years ago working alongside Galal.

“Last year the Australian representative came fourth out of 64 countries, I’ve got some big shoes to fill”, Hill said.

The winner of the competition receives international recognition, and sponsorship to travel the world meeting the best bartenders in the business.

Brendon Hill’s winning cocktail:

Emerald in the Rough


• 45ml Suntory Hakushu Distillers Reserve Whisky 

• 10ml Fernet-Branca Liqueur 

• 20ml 1883 de Philibert Routin Kiwi Syrup 

• 20ml 1883 de Philibert Routin Apple Syrup 

• 15ml Finest Call Premium Juice Lime Sour


• Shake ingredients with ice in a Boston Shaker

• Strain into tall glass with ice 

• Top with a dash of Perrier Sparkling Mineral Water

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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