The rise of the ‘at home cocktail culture’ has been evident in recent times with consumers looking to recreate their favourite cocktails at home. According to the CEO of DSICA Alec Wagstaff, this trend has been fueled by a continued investment in our bartenders.

Cocktails. The very word conjures up images of glamour, sophistication, complexity and theatre. A well stocked bar with well trained staff can produce a limitless range of cocktails to match the personality and mood of every customer.

It is no coincidence that the reawakening of the cocktail culture coincides with the continued trend to drink less but to drink better. Consumers are embracing the full range of cocktails from timeless classics to innovative new combinations. The growth of cocktail culture has not happened by accident. Spirits supplier-based training programs provide insight into brands as well as a diverse range of bar skills.

DSICA member programs give bartenders from all levels of the trade the opportunity to learn from some of the best industry professionals in the world. These programs involve the investment of millions of dollars every year in the education and encouragement of bar staff across the country.

Activities range from the adoption of the latest online training technology, bespoke training done on-premise, to local and national competitions with winners travelling the globe to represent Australia. It is hard to put an exact figure on how many people are trained each year as many staff undertake sessions run by different members but we estimate more than 10,000 people benefit each year.

At the heart of all this activity is an absolute commitment to the responsible service of alcohol as the bedrock of successful hospitality. Training programs include creating flavoursome lower alcohol drinks as well as upskilling bar staff to better manage their customers to create enjoyable and safe social situations.

DSICA members recognise that their investments benefit bartenders who are keen to gain knowledge and progress their careers within the industry, build a community that is providing consumers with enjoyable experiences and quality drinks and underpin the efforts of business owners to provide world class experiences for both locals and visitors.

The quality of this professional development is proven by the consistently great results Australians achieve in international competition and the numbers of Australians who have exported their skills to establish highly successful bars across the world.

And it is not only on-premise professionals who benefit as consumers are increasingly looking for at home solutions creating great promotional opportunities for retailers.

So next time you enjoy the magic alchemy of that special cocktail spare a thought for the training your bartender has undertaken and the investment DSICA members have made in your drinking pleasure.

This column was written by Alec Wagstaff, the CEO of DSICA for the October issue of National Liquor News.

Deborah Jackson

Deb joined Intermedia in 2015 as Editor of National Liquor News and Deputy Editor of The Shout. Since then, she has also worked as the Editor of Beer & Brewer and the New Zealand title, World of Wine....

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