This is Australia’s Bartender of the Year for 2023

El Primo Sanchez bartender Eduardo Conde has been crowned the country’s best mixologist at the Diageo World Class Australian Bartender of the Year 2023.

Australia’s top five bartenders battled it out in Sydney on 27 June 2023 to take home the title of Australia’s best bartender and a coveted place in the World Class Global Finals in Brazil in September.

Following multiple cocktail challenges in central Sydney, Conde took the win from fellow top five finalists, Alex Gondzioulis (Liquid & Larder, Sydney), Lachlan Gunner (Sourtrap, Adelaide), Andie Bulley (Savile Row, Brisbane), and Rohan Massie (Rude Boy, Hobart).

The competitors battled it out, going head-to-head across three rounds across one-jam packed day, completing the Johnnie Walker Blue Label challenge, a second challenge championing tequila Don Julio 1942, and a third mystery round featuring Bundaberg Small Batch Rum. Finalists raced to present five serves within five minutes, three classic and two original cocktails.

Finalists selected their classic cocktails at the beginning of the day, choosing their additional Diageo Reserve spirit and were given a mystery box 30 minutes in advance of the round. A true test of skills and creative flair.

Conde expertly crafted a collection of superb cocktails proving too tough to beat, including a twist on an Old Fashioned featuring papaya and lemon geranium inspired by his Mexican heritage for the first Johnnie Walker Blue Label challenge and a twist on a Paloma using cumquat and mandarin inspired by nightclubs in his home town of Mexico city for the second Don Julio 1942 tequila round. He went on to whip up an impressive five cocktails in the space of five minutes during the final speed round.

Conde said: “Competing in the Diageo World Class Australian Bartender competition this year has been such an amazing experience. I am incredibly grateful to be part of this tight knit hospitality community and am proud of being able to represent Australia on the global stage this September. Bring on the finals!”

Having relocated to Australia from Mexico almost a decade ago, Eduardo Conde is the bar manager at Maybe Group’s El Primo Sanchez whose drink style is defined by using local flavours in new, bold and exciting ways.

 El Primo Sanchez opened on World Margarita Day, February 22, inside Paddington’s The Rose hotel. The venue can accommodate up to 100 guests with tables for two, lounges and standing tables. Highballs feature prominently on the menu, ranging from mandarin palomas to the Charro Negro, made with corn liqueur, mezcal and cola.

Conde will now compete in the Diageo World Class global final which will be held in Sao Paolo, Brazil from 24-28th of September. He will join over 50 other global finalists from countries including the United States, Canada, Italy, and the United Kingdom, to represent their nation and battle it out for the coveted title of World Class Global Bartender of the Year.

Kate McGraw, Diageo National Trade Advocacy Manager said: “Each year I am blown away by the sheer talent from the competitors entering World Class, and this year was no different. The 2023 competition has revealed an incredibly exciting landscape of Australian bartending with cocktails championing sustainability and telling the stories of local communities through unexpected and innovative ingredients and techniques.

“All five of the finalists gave it their all, but there could be only one Australian World Class Bartender of the Year.
I’m so excited to see Eduardo Conde represent Australia in the global finals and show the world what we are
made of!”

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