Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end which means that with June now here, Australian Cocktail Month must close its doors as well.
This year’s month-long event boasted the best of local liqueurs, mixers, spirits, and non-alcoholic beverages in over 145 participating venues across the nation. These venues featured in cities such as Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne as well as regional areas such as Wollongong, Geelong and Newcastle. In fact, the amount of locations as well as participating bars and restaurants doubled that of last year. Hence, considering how well this year went, I’m confident that its success will only grow in coming years.
Penny Sippe, founder of Australian Cocktail Month, and former Experiential Manager for Bacardi says that her inspiration for this annual event came after being made redundant from Bacardi-Martini Australia where she had worked as their Experiential, Sponsorship and PR manager for over nine years. And Sippe wasn’t the only worker in the hospitality sector who lost her job. More than 441,000 hard-working bartenders, baristas, chefs as well as the rest of the workers who make Australian bars and restaurants a vibrant place for people to eat delicious food and connect with the community, were made redundant.
However, as Sippe rightly stated in her talk at the Bloody Big Drinks Summit, “when life gives you limes, mix up a margarita.” With her extra time and extensive knowledge of the hospitality industry, Sippe was able to use this setback and turn it into something positive. She developed ACM to champion the Australian cocktail industry by supporting bars and restaurants as they welcomed guests back into their venues following Covid-19 closures and restrictions of 2020, 2021 and early 2022.
As far as I’m concerned, this event is a win/win situation for everyone involved: the venues, alcohol brands and the consumers. The past two years celebrating ACM in May has been a great opportunity, especially after Covid, to increase business and engagement for not just local Canberran bars and restaurants but other businesses all across Australia.
With the wrecking ball that Covid was to everyone, particularly the hospitality industry, it isn’t surprising to hear statistics from Australian Bureau of Statistics data that show more than a third of accommodation and food service employees lost work as Covid-19 restrictions began and continued to fluctuate throughout the past two years.
Hence, ACM has been the support that the Australian hospitality industry has needed to bounce back and there is no doubt that the participating bars and restaurants appreciated the support.
Miss Van’s manger, Michael, shared that aside from a few issues with enough stock, they had a great experience with Australian Cocktail Month.
“It was a good chance to network and get creative doing what we love to do: make great cocktails.”
Ultimately, Sippe says that “The reception from sponsor brands, participating venues and importantly consumers was really strong for our second year of Australia Cocktail Month.”
On this account, when asked where she saw ACM going from here, Sippe says that the planning for the next event in May 2023 is already underway. Moreover, for my fellow Canberrans, Sippe discloses that she “is looking at increasing the number of participating venues in cities like Canberra to ensure consumers have plenty of bars to explore over the month.”
So, whilst all good things must come to an end, in this particular case you need not stress. Australian Cocktail Month 2023 is right there on the horizon, and I have no doubts that it will be bigger and better than ever.
Follow Australian Cocktail Month on Facebook and Instagram @australian_cocktail_month and sign up to the event’s newsletter on www.australiancocktailmonth.com.au to stay across planning for the year ahead. It will be a wonderful May 2023!