World Class Cocktail Week is a seven-day celebration of the best bartenders and cocktails around Australia, from one-off parties and food pairings, to expert masterclasses and tastings. But the annual event is also a prime opportunity for those just curious about cocktails to learn from the experts.

Kevin Griffin, venue manager of inner-city cocktail bar 1806, says World Class Cocktail Week is a great opportunity to get inspired.

“What I love about World Class Cocktail Week is you get to see the creative process of what other bartenders are doing,” says Griffin. “Whether that’s something super creative and new, or something they do on a regular basis and they put it on show here.”

Griffin says this makes the week an excellent opportunity for picking up new skills. Not just for bartenders and industry professionals, but also newcomers hoping to learn more about cocktail making and gather tips to apply in their own kitchens.

“It’s an exciting time for both bars and consumers,” says Griffin. “It’s also a great reminder this is a really creative industry and we need to share our ideas.”

Griffin says his favourite cocktail to recommend to novices who want to try something different is his Autumn Leaves.

Made with Bulleit bourbon, vermouth and grenadine, Griffin says the Autumn Leaves is a fairly easy cocktail to make. The test for the novice comes in the inclusion of shrubs – a fruity, acidic mixer. “The elements of the shrub and grenadine can add slightly challenging parts to test the inner chef we all like to think we have in us,” says Griffin.

The venue manager is holding two events at 1806 this year – a whisky and cheese tasting; and a masterclass at which attendees can pick the brain of a World Class bartender.

Here’s how to make Griffin’s recipe for the Autumn Leaves cocktail at home.

Autumn Leaves

Makes 1 serving. Approx. 2.1 standard drinks.

45mls Bulleit bourbon
20mls fig-and-plum shrub
15mls vermouth
7.5mls grenadine
30mls soda or mineral water

The shrub and the grenadine are pre-batched – these quantities will make 30–50 serves.

For pre-batched fig-and-plum shrub (makes approx. 30–50 serves.)
170g figs cut into quarters
115g plums cut into quarters
115g sugar
½ cup of water
750ml apple cider vinegar

For pre-batched grenadine (makes approx. 30–50 serves.)
500g white sugar
500g brown sugar
1kg pomegranate juice
1ml rose water
⅕ vanilla pod


To make grenadine, split the vanilla pod and combine with the other ingredients in a jar. Shake until sugar has fully dissolved.

To make the shrub add equal parts sugar and water to a saucepan, heat and stir until sugar dissolves.

Add figs and plums in quarters and simmer until the fruit’s juices blend well into the syrup.

Let mixture cool. Strain out solids or leave to steep and remove just before use.

Add apple cider vinegar to syrup. Bottle and store in fridge.

Combine all liquids. Shake hard and double strain into a tall glass. Add cubed ice and garnish with a mint sprig and fig quarter

This article was produced by Broadsheet in partnership with World Class. Drink responsibly.