70 episodes

The world of drinks is a big one. Drinks At Work talks to those who have built — or are building — rewarding and creative careers in the drinks industry, from bar owners to spirits marketers, brand ambassadors, distillers, writers and more. Hosted by Sam Bygrave and produced by Boothby Media.

Drinks At Work with Sam Bygrave Boothby Media

    • Arts

The world of drinks is a big one. Drinks At Work talks to those who have built — or are building — rewarding and creative careers in the drinks industry, from bar owners to spirits marketers, brand ambassadors, distillers, writers and more. Hosted by Sam Bygrave and produced by Boothby Media.

    How much do you really know about cognac? Hennessy's Jordan Bushell wants to help you out

    How much do you really know about cognac? Hennessy's Jordan Bushell wants to help you out

    I’m talking to Jordan Bushell, the global brand ambassador for Hennessy — perhaps you’ve heard of this plucky, young upstart cognac brand that has only been around for — oh, 259 years?Hennessy of course is a well-known brand, one that for many people is synonymous with cognac, and for some people that’s all they know of the spirit. Obviously I think I know a fair bit more about cognac than that, but in talking to Jordan, I got to understand that there is so, so much more to learn about cognac than I realised. I really enjoyed this chat.---A quick note too: this episode is sponsored by Hennessy, because they want to let you know about Jordan’s upcoming visit to New Zealand and Australia this month in support of the Hennessy MyWay 2024 Challenge. It’s the fourth year for this global competition, and the’re launching in Australia and New Zealand for the first time. Jordan will join the Australian and New Zealand Hennessy ambassador Alex Zanarini for five masterclasses starting from Monday 15th April in Auckland, in Brisbane on Tuesday 16th, Melbourne on Wednesday April 17th, over in Perth on Friday the 19th, before finishing in Sydney on Monday April 22nd. Bartenders are invited to come along to an event and participate in Hennessy MyWay, a quest to discover the most innovative and sustainable cocktail creations paired with spectacular serving rituals. On offer are cash prizes of €1000 for top 50 finalists with the top 10 invited to Paris and Cognac to compete in the live final in October.To enter the competition visit myway.hennessy.com (myway.hennessy.com), and RSVP to Jordan’s events at https://www.eventcreate.com/e/hennessymyway/ (https://www.eventcreate.com/e/hennessymyway/)

    • 46 min
    How (and why) Ben Luzz renovated a nearly 30 year old Melbourne icon

    How (and why) Ben Luzz renovated a nearly 30 year old Melbourne icon

    Gin Palace owner Ben Luzz talks about the recent renovations of the bar, the wear and tear that comes with running a bar for almost 30 years. Ben also talks about becoming the custodian custodian of Gin Palace after the passing of Vernon Chalker, and how he keeps a balance between preserving the bar’s legacy and embracing the future. Ben also talks about adding Bijou and Black Kite Commune to his portfolio, the challenges of managing multiple bars on the same street. He also shares his thoughts on the business climate for hospitality in Melbourne, and what makes a great bar.

    • 34 min
    10 years in: how Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern survived, and thrived

    10 years in: how Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern survived, and thrived

    In this episode I’m talking to the three owners of Ramblin’ Rascal Tavern — Sebastian Cosmo Soto, Charlie Lehmann, and Dardan Shervashidze. When they opened the bar in 2014, they’d come from the best training school for new bar owners at that time: The Baxter Inn. They opened the bar with around $350,000 cobbled together between the three of them and an investor, which they talk about in this episode. And they steered away from the Americana that was a big trend in bars at the time, focusing more on a homegrown culture — but that Swillhouse emphasis on quality was front and centre. “People ask us what kind of bar we are,” Charlie Lehmann told me back in 2014. He said, “Well, we’re an everyman’s bar, we do everything. We do good cocktails, we do good wine, we do good beer — we do shit beer. And lots of shots of cognac.” 

    • 51 min
    Stefano Catino on the Maybe Cocktail Festival, Matt Whiley’s RE, and surviving tough times

    Stefano Catino on the Maybe Cocktail Festival, Matt Whiley’s RE, and surviving tough times

    We are living in some interesting times for hospitality, with what seems like a conflicting narrative out there at the moment. On the one hand, it seems like every week there’s a notable venue closing. On the other hand, there's been a bar opening boom in the last few months.

    • 33 min
    “This industry is all about personality,” says Rooster Rojo’s Abbie Weir

    “This industry is all about personality,” says Rooster Rojo’s Abbie Weir

    The Rooster Rojo Rumble is looking for six bartenders to fly to Sydney — and one to Greece.Abbie Weir is a memorable, compelling human. The agave specialist for Amber Beverages Australia is a big personality in an industry where there that’s a prerequisite.“This industry is all about personality,” Abbie says in this week’s episode of Drinks At Work. “A bartender can make or break your experience.”I’m talking to Abbie this week because she’s also the ambassador for Rooster Rojo, and together we’re hosting The Rooster Rojo Rumble — entries open Friday 1 March.The Rooster Rojo Rumble is a cocktail competition that does things a little differently: yes, it’s about the drink, but it’s also about your personality and your storytelling.Forget ‘signature serves’, forget about brand calls and ‘rituals’ — great drinks travel the world because of the people who love them.

    • 29 min
    Drinks At Work: The List — Jay Gray on how Sago House landed on the 50 Best Bars list

    Drinks At Work: The List — Jay Gray on how Sago House landed on the 50 Best Bars list

    I’ve got a different episode of Drinks At Work this week — I’m calling it Drinks At Work — The List.It’s about how Jay Gray’s Singapore bar, Sago House, got onto the World’s 50 Best Bars list in 2023. It’s a bit of a different format for Drinks At Work, one I’m hoping to roll out from time to time; it’s more of a narrative piece than the conversational episodes that I usually make on Drinks At Work.It’s all to answer this big question: what does it take to get a bar onto a globally recognised list of the best, like The World’s 50 Best Bars list? 

    • 32 min

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