Summer cocktails at The Laneway

When an invitation arrives for you and a partner to try award winning cocktails at a great CBD bar and includes a limo transfer, how can you say anything but "YES".

That's how I ended up at The Laneway on Tuesday night instead of sitting in front of My Kitchen Rules.

We were there to learn about the World Class Bartender of the Year competition, back for its third year in Australia. Celebrating cocktail culture and the art of bartending across almost 40 countries, the competition this year is challenging Australia’s finest mixologists to push the boundaries of their imagination to create incredible drinking experiences through two new heats.

Our host for the evening was Reserve Brand Ambassador, Jay Lambert, who you'll also find a the new Public Bar & Kitchen on Friday nights.  Public opened last week up the escalators at 400 George Street, in the space formerly occupied by Groove Train.

The search commenced with a round that represented the summer season. Bartenders were tasked to create beverages that embodied one of three categories – Seasonal Cocktail, Punch and Gentleman’s Cocktail. Inspired by the three key cocktail trends, the best entries used the finest ingredients mixed with luxury spirits including either Ketel One vodka, Tanqueray No. Ten gin or The Singleton of Glen Ord Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Perryn Collier from The Laneway produced a winner in the Punch category which is how we came to be enjoying a Collier's Sundown Cooler at The Laneway on another hot Brisbane night. The drink came with an interesting side (see the recipe below) which would be easy to make at home and would lift your bartending cred.

The other winners were Fred Siggins from Kodiak Club in Melbourne, who produced the best Seasonal Cocktail and and Phil Gandevia from Eau de Vie in Sydney produced the best Gentleman’s Cocktail.
Each of these three summer cocktail experts will now fight for the title of Australia’s best bartender in June and also have the chance to represent the country in the esteemed World Class global final.

Good luck Perryn!

And here's his winning drink recipies - 

Collier's Sundown Cooler
Ingredients (and exact specifications)
30ml Tanqueray no 10
30ml Ketel One
15ml Noilly Prat dry vermouth
40ml Pink Grapefruit juice
20ml Barbequed Spiced pineapple syrup
15ml Ginger Cordial
150ml water

Branded beer bottle or beer glass fulled with ice (customer choice)

Combine all ingredients, stir.
Add to sterilised branded beer bottle, carbonate and cap.
Keep in fridge.
Serve straight from fridge, with side of dehydrated pineapple and black pepper chips.

Perryn's side of dehydrated pineapple and black pepper chips

If customer wants beer bottle, garnish with a mint sprig and straw (with side of dehydrated pineapple and black pepper chips)
If customer wants a iced glass, garnish with a mint sprig and slices of lemon (with side of dehydrated pineapple and black pepper chips.)

Summer cocktail
Ingredients (and exact specifications)
45 ml Ketel One vodka
15 ml creme de peche
45 ml fresh pineapple juice
1 kaffir lime leaf
Dash sugar syrup

Shake, double strain into martini glass, garnish with kaffir lime leaf strips.

Gentleman’s Cocktail

Ingredients (and exact specifications)
50 ml Ketel One vodka
10 ml dolin dry
10 ml elderflower liqueur
1 dash dandelion and burdock bitters

Stir down, strain into coupette, garnish with atomized bitters.

We had some great nibbles while drinking our cocktails and I especially enjoyed the tender calamari.

The Laneway Bar is located upstairs at the back of Urbane in Spencer Lane, off Margaret Street.

Bottom line:  This is a great bar with an obviously talented bartender and food from the Urbane kitchen - hard to go past the mix :)