By Sacha Delfosse
The Keystone Group will be celebrating World Cocktail Week this year with range of free events for both consumers and the trade running over ten days, from May 4 till May 13.
"It will bigger than last year and we have a more diverse range of events," Keystone's Group Cocktail Manager, Jason Williams, said.
The official launch party will be held this Friday at Cargo Lounge, which will be decked out with palm trees, coconuts and plenty of pastel colours to match its Miami Vice theme, with complementary Piña Coladas and Gimlet for guests.
Other events include a Tiki Jungle Party at Bungalow 8 on May 12, a Mexican Wrap Party at Kit & Kaboodle on May 13, a Botanical Garden Party at Gazebo Wine Garden on May 11 showcasing gin cocktails, as well as an American whiskey poker night at Kit & Kaboodle on May 10.
There are two events that will be of great interest to the trade; the World Bar Chat Championships that will be held at theloft on May 6, and Persia to Ponies, which will be held at The Sugarmill Hotel on May 13.
The World Bar Chat Championships will pitch eight bartenders from around Australia against each other to see who has the best chat by making them talk for five minutes about a topic they will receive on the spot, while making a round of drinks.
Showing off their gift of the gab will be Barry Chalmers from The Roosevelt, Chris Hysted from Black Pearl, Ben Brodie from theloft, Adi Ruiz from Rockpool Bar and Grill, Luke Redington from Eau-de-Vie, Mitchell Bushell from The Corner House, Sean Baxter from EDV Melbourne and Ben Tua, formerly from Mint/Air Nightclub.
"Another cool trade event is going to be held in conjunction with CCA and is called Persia to Ponies, it's a seminar that Jason Crawley, Dylan Howarth and Jared Plummer put on last year at Tales of The Cocktail, and it's about the history of the Mint Julep going from near monolithic times all the way to the current times," said Williams.
"Cocktails are fun and tasty but can also be interactive, artistic and can be matched with your mood or your particular taste and we want to demonstrate that through a bunch of free events. We also want to give some insight into the rich history a lot of cocktails have through stories, images and most importantly, lots of cocktails," Williams said.
World Cocktail Week is an initiative of the New Orleans based Museum of the American Cocktail and was established to promote better understanding and appreciation of the art of the cocktail and its history, and responsible drinking.
Click here for the full program of events.