By Sacha Delfosse

Nine of Australia’s best bartenders battled it out at the World Class Winter Round semi-finals in Melbourne on May 20, with the top three earning themselves a coveted spot in the World Class national final.

The World Class Winter Round included three categories of drinks: Gentleman’s Cocktail, Hot Drink or Dessert Serve. The top three in each category showcased their cocktails to consumers and industry judges during the semi-finals.

Joel Persson from The Alchemist (VIC) came first in the Gentleman’s Cocktail category with his drink the Magnum Opus. Angus Burton from Canvas Club (QLD) topped the Hot Cocktail category with his creation, 'Buckled My Shoes in Veracruz', and Chris Hysted from Black Pearl (VIC) took out the 'Dessert Serve' category with his cocktail, 'El Platano Brulot'.

Joining them in the finals will also be  Michael Chiem from Black by Ezard (NSW), who diodn’t compete in the semi-finals but earned his spot as the People’s Choice after receiving the most Facebook votes in the Winter Round.

The bartenders were assessed on their cocktail’s appearance, taste and their interpretation of the brief, by a panel of judges that included  Myffy Rigby from TimeOut, Pat Nourse from Gourmet Traveller, Dave Kerr from Broadsheet, tequila master Phil Bayly, Diageo’s Matt Bruhn, Nick Larkworthy, Scott Gross and Laurene Bourges from Behind Bars.

The World Class National Final will be held in Sydney from June 11-13. Out of the ten finalists one will be chosen to represent Australia against bartenders from 50 other countries at the World Class Global Final, which will be held in Rio de Janeiro in July.

To find out more about World Class visit

The Shout Team

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

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