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Cocktail Geeks’ Thirst is Quenched at the EUVS Demo Bar @ Bar09

At the conclusion of the 2009 London Bar Show (aka: BAR.09), which took place on Tuesday June 23 and Wednesday June 24, we can report that the EUVS Demo Bar, hosted by Anistatia Miller and Jared Brown, directors of Exposition Universelle Des Vins et Spiritueux (, was an absolute success.

Entitled ‘The Path of the Bartender’ with guest speakers from around the world, cocktail geeks from around the world congregated over two days–record numbers in tow–to listen to personal accounts of life behind the bar, whether it be in a hotel, restaurant, tropical resort, or cosmopolitan watering hole.

“We wanted to provide Demo Bar attendees with a true sense of what bartending is all about. Instead of showing off the latest cocktails made by different people, we felt it was imperative in the current global climate for each speaker to communicate what it is like working in different types of venues and places ranging from New York and London, to Brighton and Preston, to Tokyo and Tequila, to Rio de Janiero and Havana,” explained Anistatia Miller, EUVS Demo Bar host and director of Exposition Universelle des Vins et Spiritueux.

Gary Regan, founder of Ardent Spirits and author of the Joy of Mixology, kicked off Day One with tales from his childhood spent behind the bar at his parents’ North Country pub. Nick Strangeway, General Manager of Hawksmoor and cocktail consultant, presented what he learnt from two of London’s finest bar masters. New Yorkers Sasha Petraske of Milk & Honey and Audrey Saunders of Pegu Club gave their takes on what makes a great bartender and bar owner. Chris Edwardes of Hanbury Club, Brighton, recounted what he has learnt transitioning from tending bar at a private club to owning one. And the legendary Peter Dorelli, former UKBG President and legendary head barman at the American Bar at the Savoy explained why passion is the key element to professional success.

The global perspective of the bartending industry was the focus of Day Two with Suzuki Takayuki of Bar The Fifteen at the Shiba Park Hotel, Tokyo, leading the way with an impressive display of fine Japanese service. Tastings of Japanese whiskey were also conducted in association with Dave Broom of Whiskey Magazine.

Jose Louis Ortiz Partida from Tequila, Mexico–accompanied by Tomas Estes, Ambassador of Tequila to Europe–described bar life in the mecca of tequila and what he has learnt working with the legendary Don Javier, owner of La Capilla. Unique ingredients and national pride highlighted the session with Marcelo de Ferrari from Brazil who was joined by John Gakuru, Global Brand Ambassador for Sagatiba.

Limitations and the ability to improvise when necessity calls in Havana, Cuba, were the key points made by Michael Menegos, Experiential Marketing Director of Havana Club International, who closed this remarkable two-day event.

“This was categorically the best Demo Bar line up London (or the world) has ever seen before. I think we already know from the audience reaction what they thought–it was packed from beginning to end on both days– and the beauty of it was that it was all so new and fresh and interesting,” commented Andy Bishop, Portfolio Director of Theme Magazine and BAR.09

The fact that the Demo Bar reached record numbers in attendance despite a tough economic climate is a testament to the quality of the guest speakers and the attendee’s quest for reliable information regarding cocktails and spirits.

Highlights from each of the EUVS Demo Bar sessions are being posted to The first session film, produced by Ginger Cat Productions, features Audrey Saunders and Sasha Petraske.

Also at the EUVS Demo Bar:

Sponsored by Beefeater Gin, the Third Annual Beefeater Ashes once again pitted American and British cocktailians in a grueling 100-question trivia quiz that tested both teams’ knowledge of cocktail origins and spirits history as libations in movies, TV, art, and literature. This year, the UK gave up its crown to the US team after holding this vaunted position for two consecutive years. The score? US 42 to UK 27. The US team consisted of Dave Wondrich, Audrey Saunders, Sasha Petraske, and Phil Duff. The UK was represented by Dave Broom, Nick Strangeway, Gary Regan, and Peter Dorelli.

Sponsored by Wyborowa Wodka SA, Anistatia Miller and Jared Brown revealed the truth of the Bloody Mary’s origins during a bacon sandwich and Bloody Mary breakfast session that also served as the world premiere of their latest book, Spirituous Journey: A History of Drink, Book One (Mixellany Books: ISBN-13: 978-0976093794).

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