World Class Cocktail FestivalNews

World Class Cocktail Festival comes to Sydney

A festival launching in Sydney later this month will give cocktail lovers the chance to travel the world via drinks experiences. Seven of the World’s 100 Best Bars are in Australia and they’re all taking part in the World Class Cocktail Festival line-up.

Cantina OK! – placed No.28 in World’s Best Bars – is teaming up with cult kebab shop Shwarmama for Mama OK! – a unique Sunday pop-up where you can spend the afternoon enjoying tasty tacos and Don Julio margaritas.

Bulletin Place – ranked No.39 in the World’s Best Bars – will introduce Belsazar Place, will take inspiration from Berlin’s much
loved small bar culture. It will highlight Belsazar German Vermouth through a carefully curated cocktail list while bringing familiar German flavours to the fore with its bar snack menu including pretzels and onion dip and house pickled caraway carrots.

Maybe Sammy – ranked No.11 in the World’s Best Bars – will host Maybe Sevilla, featuring Tanqueray Sevilla cocktails and the sounds of live Latin music.

The Melbourne venues that feature in the World’s Best Bars list – Above Board, Black Pearl, Byrdi and The Everleigh – will all be part of a Little Melbourne celebration at Paramount House, taking up temporary residence with pop-up bars at the Golden Age Bar each evening.

And that’s just a taste of the headliners on offer. The World Class Cocktail aims to celebrate Australia’s vibrant bar culture in Sydney from April 28 to May 2, 2021, the festival is designed to reignite our love affair with quality dining and award-winning cocktails after the events of the last 12 months.

World Class Cocktail Festival marks a significant milestone for the hospitality industry, as it welcomes customers back to bars and restaurants for the moments they’ve been missing.

Diageo World Class is a program aimed at inspiring people to drink better and create unforgettable experiences in the process. Whether at home or in a bar, World Class encourages consumers to think and care about fine drinking in the same way they care about fine dining. World Class has also supported, trained and inspired over 350,000 bartenders across the globe for over 11 years.

On the eve of the festival, the Australian World Class Bartender of the Year will be crowned on April 27, with the winner moving on to represent Australia virtually in the global World Class Bartender of the Year finals in July.

From April 28, Surry Hills and Sydney’s CBD will come alive with the World Class Cocktail Festival, five days of bespoke cocktails, live entertainment, pop-up events, immersive brand experiences and dining collaborations, all championing the very best of Sydney’s diverse bar scene.

Created to resemble a music festival, the official ’Main Stage’ is Paramount House, which will feature luxury brand collaborations, including Don Julio tequila and Ketel One Botanical vodka offering one-of-a-kind experiences every day.

The festivities will flow into the nearby surrounds of Surry Hills and the CBD where the likes of Tanqueray No. TEN
London dry gin, Belsazar vermouth and CÎROC vodka will offer a curation of unexpected activities for Sydney to take
pleasure in for the very first time.

World Class Cocktail Festival will not only highlight Australia’s best bars and an international standard of cocktails –
at just $15 each, but also hero the most highly regarded and awarded drinking destinations in our very own backyard.

Among the other highlights will be:

Simon Johnson x Ketel One: The Truth About Caviar, Golden Age Bar, Paramount House

Celebrating the increasingly popular vodka and caviar pairing in an afternoon titled ‘The Truth About Caviar’, the team from Simon Johnson, Purveyor of Quality Food, will offer unique tastings and education for guests to better understand this luxury ingredient and its history of being partnered with vodka. Ketel One vodka martinis will be served alongside a bump of caviar, or for the more inquisitive guests, a hosted in-depth 20 minute tasting experience.

Mexico’s Golden Age, Golden Age Cinema, Paramount House

Sip contemporary Don Julio tequila cocktails while you watch cinematic favourites celebrating some of Mexico’s most esteemed film directors at Golden Age Cinema. For a cultural buzz that pays homage to Mexico’s best, Don Julio has taken charge of the film schedule, screening Desperado, Like Water For Chocolate, El Mariachi, Brimstone & Glory and Pan’s Labyrinth.

Flex, Paramount Recreation Club

The flexitarian lifestyle is all about balance and you can be your best self by nurturing and partying at the Paramount Recreation Club rooftop, where we will host mid-morning yoga sessions followed by a vegan feast and fresh tasting, zero alcohol Seedlip cocktails along with low calorie Ketel One Botanical spritz. Heading into the afternoon, the vibe ignites and the tunes will be flowing, as Don Julio hosts the ultimate sundowner sessions, offering signature margaritas and palomas.

Espresso Martini Project, Paramount Coffee Project

In partnership with PCP, and one for the true coffee connoisseur, Ketel One will be serving bespoke blend espresso martinis with your choice of Columbian or Ethiopian coffee beans.

Restaurant collaborations

Some of Sydney’s most renowned new restaurants have teamed up with Diageo’s Reserve Brands to present a
curated offering of ‘Cocktail Bites’ throughout the festival. Here are two highlights:

Africola Sound System x Hotel Harry x Don Julio

Adelaide’s infamous Africola Sound System takes over Level 1 of Hotel Harry in Surry Hills with Duncan Welgemoed and his team making the trip up to share a hot take on North African eats alongside an epic line-up of Don Julio cocktails and a sweet soundtrack from Godlands. Bookings essential.

Butter x CÎROC

Cult burger brand Butter has teamed up with Luke Whearty from Byrdi (#80 World’s Best Bars) to create the limited edition ‘Dirty Byrdi’, a limited-edition Butter Fried Chicken (fat wash) CÎROC martini you’ll only be able to order throughout the festival.

Support acts

To celebrate our nation’s best beverages, $15 cocktails will be available from selected locations nationally during the festival.

Participating venues include: Apollo, Barber Shop, Cho Cho San, Dead Ringer, Door Knock, Icebergs Dining Room & Bar, RE, Tio’s and Wild Rover, with more to be added daily.

The World Class Cocktail Festival program can be found at

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