Time Out Melbourne

Meet the stars of the boutique drinks festival

The brightest stars of the liquor industry worldwide are coming to Melbourne for Top Shelf. At more than 40 talks and demonstrations you’ll learn everything from how to take NYC by storm as Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry have, to how to make your own beer with brewer Steve Lamberto – and everything in between.

Ian Burrell
Burrell is the founder of Rumfest – the largest rum festival in the world – and one of the most sought-after speakers in the drinks world, having taught rum master classes in over 20 countries. Among his credits is establishing a pop-up rum shack in Antarctica.

Harlen Wheatley
Master distiller of Buffalo Trace Bourbon (only the sixth Buffalo Trace Master Distiller since the American Civil War), Wheatley will share insights into the crafting of premium American whiskey.

Ian MacMillan
Burn Stewart’s Master Blender & Distiller, MacMillan is visiting from Scotland and he’s bringing their Bunnahabhain Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky for you fine folk to try.

Clare Burder
Burder is the director of the Humble Tumbler and a wine producer – head to her master class to learn everything about adventurous eating and drinking.

Kirrily ‘Beer Diva’ Waldhorn
Waldhorn will demonostrate the fine art of beer tasting – using blindfolds.

James Wilkinson
Time Out's very own travel editor, 'Wilko' will discuss the world’s best bars and what Australian bar professionals can learn from them.

Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry
Their NYC 'Grocery and Grog' – the Dead Rabbit – recently won Best New Cocktail Bar and World’s Best Cocktail Menu, with McGarry being named International Bartender of the Year, at the Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards. They’ll be at Top Shelf to inspire your socks off. Hear about how two bartenders from Belfast opened one of the best bars in NYC and how they’ve created their expansive list of legendary drinks. They’ve shared the recipe for a drink they’ve mixed just for their visit Down Under: the aptly named Melbourne Cup, which will feature on the Dead Rabbit’s new menu, launching February 12 in NYC.

The recipe: Melbourne Cup

• 44ml Jameson Black Barrel
• 22ml cranberry liqueur
• 7ml elderflower liqueur
• 22ml fresh lemon juice
• 15ml sherbet
• 3 dashes Bittermens Burlesque Bitters
• 1tsp quince jam

Add ice and shake vigorously. Add 30ml Champagne cider to the tin and strain into an ice-filled bar-glass. Garnish with berries in season and finish with freshly grated nutmeg.

For the full list of presenters, visit Top Shelf.

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Updated on 18 Feb 2014.

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