Meet the Rooster Rojo finalists – and get along to the afterparty at Rascals this Monday

From the stirring to the downright wacky, Australian bartenders doing things differently.

Meet the Rooster Rojo finalists – and get along to the afterparty at Rascals this Monday

I’ve written before about how we’re living through a time where drinks are getting a little bit same-same: the bold minimalist look has popped up everywhere, and the words milk punch have become a verb (milk punch everything!).

Obviously a good drink is an important thing. And I like the fact that I can get a well made Margarita or Paloma in more bars than ever before; no-one likes being disappointed with a shitty tasting drink.

But a good drink only gets you so far. The best bars are vibrant spaces, and they’re made interesting by the people in them, whether it’s the characters drinking at the bar, or the often larger than life folks behind the stick.

And through the Rooster Rojo Rumble, we’ve found six bartenders from across Australia who love to share a story or two — they certainly know how to entertain. They pulled together a good drink and some great banter, and got us wanting to hear more at the national final on Monday 13 May — that’s next week at Ramblin’ Rascal.

So who are they? The finalists for the 2024 Rooster Rojo Rumble are below.

But first, we’re throwing a party to celebrate great drinks and banter this Monday at Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern for the Rooster Rojo Rumble Afterparty! Doors open at 7pm, you’ll find out who was the winner of the Rooster Rojo Rumble, enjoy complimentary Rojo drinks, and listen to two great bands from 8.30pm on until late — we’ll see you there. RSVP to and we’ll pop you on the list.

Here are the Rooster Rojo Rumble finalists.

Ana Mitchell, The 18th Amendment Bar, Geelong

Suspicion. Death. Witches. This story from Ana Mitchell at The 18th Amendment Bar might allow for some pyrotechnics at the national final — watch the video below to see what Ana has teased out for us.


Ana Mitchell from The 18th Amendment Bar.

Declan Coffey, Hanky Pinky Lounge, Darwin

Declan took a more studious approach, talking to us about the story of agave.


Declan Coffey from Hanky Panky Lounge.

Harry Gill, Cantina OK!, Sydney

Priscilla, red nails, and rock and roll. I’m not really sure what to expect when Harry takes the stage on Monday. I do suspect it’s gonna be entertaining.


Henry Doyle, Unico Zelo Cellar Door, Adelaide Hills

An okay drink, he says, but an interesting yarn — a poor one-legged kangaroo rescue. Gnarly. We’re looking forward to the next yarn Henry spins at the national final.


Henry Doyle, Fanta, Rooster Rojo. Win.

Rebecca Lynne, Oskulligans, Brisbane

What are you drinking? A Toreador? It’s a simple story of how cocktails turn to shots.


Rebecca Lynne, Oskulligans.

Brendan Grey, St Brigid Bar, Perth

Well, if you caught Brendan’s video exploits during the Covid lockdowns, then you know he’s got a sense of humour and a love for the unexpected.



Brendan Grey. What?