These are the 7 bartenders through to the Unexpected Cartron Tour final

It’s happening on day one of the Bartenders’ Weekender, and you’re invited.

These are the 7 bartenders through to the Unexpected Cartron Tour final
In partnership with Unexpected Cartron Tour
In partnership with Unexpected Cartron Tour

Cocktail competitions are an interesting quirk of the bartending world. Sure, there’s plenty of cooking competitions out there, but I’m yet to see a thriving competition space in the world of, say, accountancy for instance. Who knows — maybe there is a cutthroat accountancy comp scene I’m missing out on?

But the cocktail competition offers bartenders some great opportunities, like the one on offer from Joseph Cartron with their Unexpected Cartron Tour cocktail competition: a trip of a lifetime to Burgundy, France.

Throughout April and May, bartenders from around Australia were invited to create a cocktail — with an unexpected element — that would impress and gain them entry into the national final, which is to be held in Brisbane on day one of the Bartenders’ Weekender next week.

(Are you joining us for the Bartenders’ Weekender? You can come along and watch the national final at The Gresham on Sunday 16 June, from 3pm — we’ll have complimentary cassis cocktails and some good eats on offer, so RSVP at

So who are the seven bartenders who have made the national final? There’s a mix of new and familiar faces — meet them below — and they’ll be there to compete for that trip of a lifetime, flying to France for the global final and visiting the home of Joseph Cartron in Burgundy.

Here are the Australian finalists for the Unexpected Cartron Tour cocktail competition.

Albert Rust, The Waratah, Sydney

As a bartender at The Waratah, you’ve got become pretty adept at cocktail creation — they change the menu at the bar downstairs each week. And it’s clear Albert Rust is up to the task. His drink for the competition, Suspicious Minds, is “a non-intuitive combination of the flavours of chocolate and olives, and also pairing fats and salinity,” he says. “I also was inspired by an effect called mental priming. Ingredients are chosen and processed in a way that psychologically ‘primes’ guests into thinking via visuals and smell. For instance, red drink equals bright and fruity and sweet, where in fact the drink is not.”

Bertie Boekemann, Now & Then, Sydney

Bertie’s drink, Forward Thinking, plays with the effervescent tablet — something you might be familiar with if you’ve ever had a Berocca.

“With Forward Thinking, I sought to subvert the traditional expectations of drinking culture and cocktail experience by using effervescent tablets as a vehicle to modify the flavour, colour and mouthfeel of what we would already consider a ‘finished’ cocktail,” he says, “to challenge the imbiber’s concept of a cocktail, and spark a dialogue around Australia’s drinking culture.”

Georgie Gresham, Maker, Brisbane

Georgie Gresham from Make in Brisbane is set to light things up at the national final — quite literally.

“Many of the most famous witches in history were killed for their powers and the threat they posed to religion or conventional society,” she says.

“On May 30, 1431 Jeanne d’Arc was burned at the stake as a witch, only 19 years old. Throughout history, witches have paved the way to modern medicine, women in power and even what we drink today.

“This cocktail is made for them. Symbolically made in a cauldron, heated with flame.”

Jonathan Tsang, W Churchill, Perth

The inspiration for Jonathan’s drink, called Pear & Tea, goes back to his love for leafy stuff — and a classic Punch.
“Punch is always my go to option because it allows you to sip it slowly,” he says. “As I have a strong tea culture in my homeland, I am bonded with tea. Pairing Joseph Cartron Poire Williams with oolong tea, combines the subtleness and fruitiness from the liqueur to the slightly toasty and grassy charcaters from oolong tea, and makes an invincible Punch.”

Jenna Hemsworth, Real Good Drinks, Sydney

For Jenna Hemsworth’s drink, Familiar Grounds, she sought to find deliciousness from ingredients that you might not think belong together.

“It’s hard not to find inspiration in the nectar of the gods, Cassis,” she says. “Cartron produces one of the finest expressions in the world. For this cocktail, the addition of coffee was a no brainer- as the two bring out the best in each other.

“To counteract the intense sweetness of the double cassis, I employed a high rye content bourbon... In addition, I wanted to further deepen the dark berry flavour profile, so added some native Australian Davidson Plum aperitif.

“The final element this drink needed was a hit of spice. I chose to do this with native pepperberry, macerated into a punchy tincture. The hot hit of pepper adds texture and hits the parts of the palate the other ingredients can’t reach, whilst lengthening the finish with yet another layer of berry sweetness. These unlikely friends make a formidable combination, that like me, shouldn’t work, but do. And how.”

Judith Zhu, Door Knock., Sydney

The talented Sydney bartender and bar manager of Door Knock in the CBD has created a cocktail inspired by Joseph Cartron’s story.

“Crème de la Crème is a celebration of French liqueur craftsmanship, inspired by the rich heritage of Joseph Cartron, rooted in the heart of Burgundy’s famed Nuits-Saint-Georges wine region,” she says. :This region is renowned for producing high-quality fruit, pivotal in crafting exceptional liqueurs and wines. My choice of Joseph Cartron Apricot Brandy is a tribute to this legacy, utilising the fleshy apricots from Mont du Lyonnais, known for their superb sugar content and vibrant colour.”

Tibo Menut, Eau de Vie, Melbourne

The aurora borealis light shows that lit up the world recently were also viewable closer to home — Eau de Vie Melbourne’s Tibo Menut took advantage of that to create his cocktail, Eclipse Boréale.

“These events are completely unexpected in this part of the world, and so are the flavours in this cocktail,” he says. “The cocktail is contrasted in colours and taste, but creates an amazing balance. Expect the unexpected.”

Join us at The Gresham this Sunday 16 June! Come along and watch the national final at The Gresham on Sunday 16 June, from 3pm — we’ll have complimentary cassis cocktails and some good eats on offer, so RSVP at