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Cocktails, Spirits, Bars & Taxes.

Cocktails: glamour, sophistication, complexity, theatre. It is no coincidence that the reawakening of cocktail culture coincides with the continued trend to drink less but to drink better and the strengthening small bar scene around the country.

A number of those bars were recently recognised at the Time Out bar awards held in Melbourne and Sydney. In Sydney, Bulletin Place took out the Best Cocktail Bar award (also named Best Cocktail Bar at the 2018 Australian Liquor Industry Awards). In Melbourne, the Fitzroy cocktail bar The Everleigh was announced as the Bar of the Year.

Like a good cocktail, the growth of the small bar scene depends on an alchemical mix of creativity and talent. Spirits & Cocktails Australia member programs give bartenders from all levels of the trade the opportunity to learn from some of the best industry professionals in the world. These programs invest millions of dollars every year in the education and encouragement of bar staff across the country. Activities range from the adoption of the latest online training technology, bespoke training done on premise, to local and national competitions with winners travelling the globe to represent Australia.

These highly skilled, well-trained and creative bar staff are passionate about giving their customers a world class experience but they are dismayed at the exorbitantly high spirits tax their suppliers have to pay which in turn has to be passed on to the bar’s customers. Mattia Arniboldi of House of Pocket says that customers who come in from overseas are shocked at the price they have to pay for spirits in Australia.