FAIR Ethical Cocktail Competition⎪Australia

FAIR Ethical Cocktail Competition⎪Australia

Umm hi everyone. We have some fun news. We started a global cocktail competition. Which of itself sounds pretty fun—a bunch of very talented bartenders and mixologists competing to create new and delish cocktails? Yes sounds good to us. But that’s not enough, and it gets better. Not only does the cocktail have to use FAIR (duh, we are no stranger to self-promotion), but the bartender and the venue have to stand for the same values as we do; they need prove they make ethical, sustainable, and socially responsible choices with their products and business. Basically we’re on a mission to create the most ethical cocktail of all! Which is really just a great opportunity for a bunch of people and places to shout their commitment to ethics and sustainability from the rooftops. If more people shout, then more people hear which is kinda swell.

The competition is currently running in Australia, but it might spread to Germany, France, Hong Kong, and the UK, with the winners coming together in 2019 in Bolivia to meet the farmers from one of the co-ops we source from (more on them to come in the future, we’d love for you to meet them too!). Our Australian portion of the campaign was run in partnership with our distributor there, Noble Spirits. Thanks to their awesome network and rooftop-shouting abilities we had more than 60 people enter the competition, which we struggled to narrow down eight very talented finalists from. So I guess we should stop talking and let you know who the finalists are, and why? OK, sure, here we go!

‘Balmain Lux’ by Lachlan Gunner at Wilhelmina’s in NSW
The inspiration behind Balmain Luxe is the desire to meet the growing consumer demands of sustainability in a positive way. With complete honesty, Lachlan says that for most people, the reality is it usually takes some form of incentive to change behavior for the better, even though it doesn’t always have to be this way.  It is his hope that by making an amazing cocktail with sustainable products and substitutes, it will encourage people to change the way they approach solutions and think about the bigger picture. It’s a message that highlights the connection between demand for luxury items with the need to implement sustainable and eco-friendly practices around the world.

The cocktail also uses recycled wine and recycled glass from local producers to serve, so, yay!  The Balmain Lux is made up of:

  • 60ml Recycled Wine Vermouth (per serve) (made up of 30ml FAIR Quinoa Vodka, 10ml FAIR Acai Liqueur, and 20ml Recycled Wine)
  • 30ml Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 15ml Manuka Honey
  • 10ml Aquafaba

Garnish: Crumbled Granola


‘Bananodrama’ by Vincent Valliere at Pelicano in NSW
OK so this cocktail is served in a cup made of banana leaves, which is biodegradable and accessible for most people at no cost. So, yeah of course this is a finalist. But in the interest of providing a little more info, this recipe was also chosen because, as Vincent says, Bolivia is one of the biggest exporters of bananas and currently experiencing a crisis in this area, and he hopes this will help bring awareness to this situation. He also wanted to use ingredients which represent South America (where the winner will go in 2019), which is why he chose the café flavor and Tio Pepe sherry.


His recipe and ethos behind it is simple but strong. The Bananodrama is made from:

  • 50ml FAIR Belize Rum XO
  • 10ml FAIR Café Liqueur
  • 20ml Tio Pepe Sherry
  • 15ml Homemade Banana Syrup (boiled banana then reduced with Maple Syrup and different spices – one day process)
  • Few drops of Dale de Groff Spice bitters


‘Fair Dinkum’ by Mark Shannon at Varnish on King in WA
Well, what can we say. Vanish on King lives and breathes diversity and sustainability. The team is built from varying origins, experiences, ages and beliefs. Varnish’s multicultural team has stories and experiences taken from each of their own homes and blended together to build an unforgettable experience unique to their venue and brand. Additionally, all fresh and dried produce is hand selected from local ethical growers where possible, and where this isn’t possible, is sourced elsewhere without sacrificing freshness, sustainability, and ethics. They even reuse glass liquor bottles for things like syrups and table water jugs. Fruit that has been peeled for garnishes is often juiced or dehydrated to use in other ways, further reducing the waste of food products. OH, BE STILL OUR BEATING HEARTS! Mark himself is all about sustainable living and respecting every living being on this planet, not just the human ones. As he says, “sustainability is the Earth’s only chance at survival” and ya, we agree. His parents rescue ex-battery hens, and he brings this taste of home to the cocktail, using one of the hen’s eggs in his cocktail. Also the Fair Dinkum tastes great and uses three FAIR products, always a bonus.

The cocktail is made with:

  • 30ml FAIR. Belize Rum XO
  • 15ml FAIR. Cacao Liqueur
  • 5ml FAIR. Kumquat Liqueur
  • 10ml Antica Formula
  • 30ml Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 5ml Simple Syrup
  • 1 Mr and Mrs Shannon’s “Freedom Chook” egg white
  • 1 tin sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tbsp Vegemite
  • 1/2 doz. Fresh Kumquats


‘The Dark Fairy of Belize’ by Serena Bondi at Mr and Mrs G River bar in QLD
No straws? Tick. Reducing waste? Tick. Buying local? Tick. Including buying wine local? Tick. Donating back to charities (in this case, to rainforest preservation)? Tick. Tick, tick, tick tick, tick!

From being verbally mindful about the pollution caused through transportation through to sourcing from the vineyard *literally* next door, both Serena and Mr and Mrs G River bar are doing their part to undo some of the damage that has been done, and create a strong Earth for future generations to come.

Serena’s slogan for her creation is literally to “drink up one and plant a tree!” which we think sounds like a pretty great plan.

The Dark Fairy is made with these ingredients:

  • 40ml FAIR. Belize Rum XO
  • 20ml Liquorice infused FAIR. Quinoa Vodka
  • 20ml Blackberry & Molasses infused syrup
  • 15ml Egg white


‘Remembering Sisa’ by Jonathan Minihan at Beneath Driver Lane in Vic
The Remembering Sisa made our list of finalists because it has many ethical and sustainable elements. Firstly it uses “trash” fruit and wine and that would normally be thrown away by other venues, and secondly everything used to serve the cocktail is Fairtrade, from the glass, to the bowl, the serving plate, and the glass cloche (impressive!). Since Beneath Driver Lane opened in November 2017, they have stuck to the ethos of sustainability and ethical labor, using metal straws, “trash” ingredients as already mentioned, serving specialty non-alcoholic drinks (including promotions during Dry July!), and last but not least, hosting competitions that highlight the contribution of women to the industry. The cocktail Jonathan created uses a very complex recipe and UH-MA-ZING presentation, including working with a Co2 gun and freeze dried blueberry sugar ❤️.

You may not be able to re-create it at home, but here is the recipe and process anyway:

  • 60ml of the clarified milk FAIR Quinoa Vodka batch
  • 13ml Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 30ml Wine batch. (75% Chardonnay/25% Pinot Noir)

Add to Co2 gun and chill for 1 minute. Spray into Fairtrade glass over ice and lined with freeze dried blueberry sugar.
Add chamomile essence to Fairtrade bowl and add liquid nitrogen.
Trap in glass cloche. Serve!


‘Make FAIR Assam-ptions’ by Bonnie Nicol at The Woods of Windsor in Vic
What do we like a lot? When a venue is inspired to make changes based on being introduced to a new way of thinking. Here is just a short list of what Bonnie and The Woods of Windsor changed when faced with this cocktail competition:

  • Removed plastic straws and replaced them with paper
  • Switched from using egg whites in cocktails and instead use Aquafaba. The chickpeas are then used in the kitchen for a number of dishes
  • “Seconds” fruit that would otherwise be discarded was purchased and used for juicing
  • Fruit that had been peeled for service and would usually be thrown out are dehydrated and used for garnishing
  • Left-overs from cocktail prep have been incorporated into the food menu e.g. left-over blackberries are used to flavour pickles, left-over spiced apple slices are used to make apple pies
  • Recycled spirits bottles are used as water bottles
  • Plastic bin liners that are only partially used are sealed overnight and used the next day instead of being thrown out every night
  • Staff are provided with a healthy and filling meal during every shift

The cocktail itself from Bonnie shows creativity and great presentation, as well as using tea, which represents so much in the Fairtrade world, and is often an easy way for people to transition into buying Fairtrade. Make FAIR Assam-ptions is made with:

  • 45ml Belize Rum XO
  • 10ml FAIR Cacao Liqueur
  • 15ml Paul John whisky
  • Homemade ice tea bag (Fairtrade Assam tea, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, cloves, home-made Assam bitters, sugar, water, infused over heat and then frozen, crushed and packaged into tea bag)


‘R&R (Rum & Rye, Rest & Relaxation)’ by Daniel Hilton at Lobo Plantation in NSW
Not only does Lobo Plantation repurpose leftover juice, have switched to paper straws, use napkins made from recycled materials, and continuously encourage staff to bring forward any ideas about recyling/repurposing, but they have also kicked on an internal program to help staff build healthy and sustainable habits (including staff events which do no revolve around alcohol! Shock and horror!). The program includes things like getting out of the bar together for some physical activity, book clubs, and access to mental health professionals of all types.  Lobo is about the health of the industry; emotionally, physically, spiritually, and financially, ensuring its staff are well looked after. Which we are in full support of over here at FAIR. Daniel himself is taking things to the next level as well, by recycling juice and fruit waste from the bar into handmade soaps. Delish drinks, no waste, and good for the environment cleaning products FTW.

Oh and the R&R is delicious! As you can tell from this list of ingredients:

  • 30ml FAIR Belize Rum XO
  • 30ml Woodford Rye
  • 10ml FAIR Goji Liqueur
  • 10ml Sandlewood Nut Orgeat
  • 2 dashes Black Walnut Bitters
  • 2 dashes Angostura Bitters



‘Circle of Life’ by Valerio Conti at Noosa Waterfront Restaurant and Bar in QLD
This cocktail and venue was chosen because, quite simply, their values are super in line with FAIR. Combining award winning and high end with a focus on seasonal and locally sourced produce, the Noosa Waterfront Restaurant and Bar is all about is keeping it real and local. The name of the cocktail, Circle of Life, represents how Valerio sees the use of the ingredients as well, using many natural flavors like apple, bee pollen syrup, lemongrass, and mint to show the full range of ways products can be used. In addition, the cocktail cup is handmade by Valerio using organic beeswax which is nothing short of amazing! Noosa Waterfront Restaurant and Bar works closely with small local farms and with this cocktail, you can tell.

The Circle of Life is:

  • 30ml FAIR Gin
  • 30ml St. Germain Liqueur
  • 60ml Infused Granny Smith Apple juice
  • 15ml Lime juice
  • 20ml Bee Pollen syrup
  • 30ml of Aquafaba (Organic Chickpea water)
  • 30h Infusion of Lemongrass, Ginger, Lemon Myrtle, Mint in a fresh Granny Smith Apple juice

Phew! That’s a lot, but there you have our Australian finalists for the FAIR ethical cocktail competition. Stay tuned for more details of the final, which will take place in Sydney in September.

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