Ugly Duckling Richmond Melbourne World Class Cocktail Week THE F feature bartender

Cocktails at ‘The Ugly Duckling’ are a must this World Class Cocktail Week

There is in Melbourne, tucked away in Richmond – as Melbourne does so well – a cocktail bar called The Ugly Duckling, which is in fact, as far from accurate a name as can be. They’re participating in this year’s World Class Cocktail Week – a celebrating of all things ‘cocktail’ – and doing so in such style, it’s worth flying down for.

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You can read more about World Class Cocktail Week – which culminates in World Cocktail Day – right here, but basically, it’s about celebrating not only quality bevs, but also, about bringing about some well-deserved attention on some of the country’s best talent in hospitality that are masters of the art of a good cocktail.

“Shining a light on some of Australia’s best hospitality talent, World Class Cocktail Week celebrates the skill, creativity and inspiration that goes into creating cocktails,” said Natalie Ng, Australia’s World Class Ambassador.

“The events provide a fantastic opportunity for venues to showcase what they are best at and guests to experience cocktails in new, fun and interactive ways.”

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The Ugly Duckling is participating this year, which for them is kind of a big deal.

“World class cocktail week is about showcasing the amazing talent, creativity and passion of our craft, and being a participant in WCCW gives us a really satisfying freedom to work on interesting and sometimes obscure or challenging drinks. We love the opportunity to try out some cool new techniques or long-forgotten styles of drinks mixing, and to present all this great stuff to our guests,” said Paul Beresford, bartender at the venue.

Though they might like to get a bit crafty from time-to-time and really show-off what they can do, Paul is insistent they do one thing well, which no doubt keeps Melbourne locals coming back for more.

“We love to get our classics just right, [about] as much as we love trying to provide something involving and interesting through our drinks program. We believe that we are top class at this,” justified Paul.

One outstanding element of the World Class Cocktail Week is that each venue is asked to produce seven cocktails in an many days. Sure, for the novice ‘at home’ bartender, this is as stressful as it is unthinkable, but Paul and his team have mastered their craft and do it for a living, as well as a hobby.

“When cocktails and mixing drinks is your passion as well as your job, it’s no big ask at all,” he jibed. “It’s an opportunity to explore and unleash a bit, to be able to shake up our drinks list a bit – pun intended.”

Head over to The Ugly Duckling in Richmond for more.

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James Banham
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James Banham

Editor at THE F
James Banham is an Australian lifestyle, fashion and entertainment journalist. His writing can be found on these many topics and more in print and online publications around the country.
James Banham
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