Adam Lau from Grain at Sydney’s Four Seasons Hotel has been crowned winner of the Australian title of The Vero Bartender 2019.
Lau was one of 10 finalists who competed at The George on Collins in Melbourne this week. He has been Bar Supervisor at Grain for a little over two years and this was his first experience in a professional cocktail competition.
Lau said: “I’m thrilled to have won but also learnt so much from other competitors during the event, it was seriously tough competition. Sharing the journey with the other legends is just amazing.
“This prize has a massive impact on my career, as it’s my first ever competition and winning in Melbourne means a huge amount as it’s the place where I first picked up a shaker and started bartending.”
The finalists faced a judging panel that included VIC Montenegro & Select Brand Ambassador Piotr Kuzmicki, NSW Montenegro & Select Brand Ambassador Andrea Gualdi, Imsohungree food and drinks blogger Ashley Ng, and drinks consultant for Menace to Sobriety Jimmy Burchett.
“Sustainability and shareability was key and Adam’s Montenegro cocktail is a drink that most bartenders could replicate,” said Gualdi. “Adam’s presentation was flawless and he delivered on every aspect of the selection criteria across taste, balance, inspiration, creativity, technique, technical execution, presentation and performance.”
Lau will now represent Australia in the global final held in Milan in November and participate in a Global Residency program which involves five days to discover Amaro Montenegro, attend exclusive training activities with the best bartenders in the World, experience sightseeing and entertainment, gourmet and cocktail experiences, visit Italy’s best bars and restaurant, and could go on to win the ultimate prize of Global The Vero Bartender representing the brand at Bar Convent in 2020 in Brooklyn, US.
Lau described his Amaro Montenegro winning sharing cocktail “Te Nero” as “a fruity, refreshing, complex and highly sustainable cocktail. It is a drink that has a lot of layers of flavours, elegance and sophistication. Tea cocktails are becoming a trend because of its versatility, unique flavour and depth, especially paired with Amaro Montenegro.”
To prepare a single serve, use the recipe from Adam Lau below (and multiply accordingly for sharing purposes)
45ml Amaro Montenegro
15ml Pilla Select Aperitivo
15ml orange juice
15ml lemon juice
15ml Earl Grey Tea syrup
Preparation: Add all ingredients to your Soda Stream and add 35% dilution (water) to add carbonation. Build in a wine glass rimmed with powdered orange and a candied lemon zest garnish.