Fifty-six of the world’s top bartenders descended on Miami last month to compete for the title of World Class Bartender of the Year 2016. We touched on the first few rounds, during which the 56 contestants were whittled down to 12. After another six were knocked out in a round that tested their knowledge of classic American cocktails, the final six were asked to conceive, create and operate a pop-up bar.

The competition was won by French bartender Jennifer Le Nechet, from Café Moderne in Paris, who closed out the competition by creating a Steampunk-themed pop-up bar. This is the first time a female bartender has won the event, which began in 2012.

“I’m completely blown away,” said Le Nechet after the win. “It’s such an honour to take home the title of World’s Best Bartender – especially when competing against such talent from around the world.”

Judge Alex Kratena said it was Le Nechet’s ingenuity that stood out. “Her pop-up bar blew us all away with its cool Steampunk theme and twist on classic cocktails with homemade emulsions, cola and organic ingredients,” says Kratena, who points out that the competition highlighted how cocktail culture has moved far beyond the classics. “[These bartenders are] developing new and exciting techniques every step of the way.”

It’s that last comment that is having a ripple effect in Australia. According to Tim Philips, co-owner of Sydney’s Dead Ringer and Bulletin Place, and World Class Bartender of the Year in 2012, the global competition is also a reflection of emerging local trends.

One trend the competition reflected was the concept of bartenders highlighting the “emotional” aspect of cocktails. Philips says this isn’t particularly surprising, as the customer’s personal experience is always paramount. “When coming up with a new drink, a bartender should always have an occasion in mind,” says Philips. “What it’s for? When it’s for? Who’s it for? Drinks can be party-starters, night-enders, aperitifs, digestives, refreshers and more. All of these have emotional occasions connected to them, and that emotion is what needs to be channelled by the bartender to make the drink appropriate”

A better example of Australia reflecting new trends is drinks no longer being gendered. “This is probably the biggest turn in cocktail culture in Australia,” says Philips. “Whisky is now androgynous – gone are the days of only men drinking it. The same goes for drinks in coupettes, like daiquiris. More men are drinking rosé. Delicious is delicious, so we are stepping out of gender stereotyping in the way we drink.”

Here’s two of Jennifer Le Nechet’s award-winning cocktail recipes to try at home.

Jennifer Le Nechet,’s Red Snapper
Serves one. Approx. 2 standard drinks.

60ml Tanqueray No. TEN
15ml lemon juice
90ml tomato juice seasoned with one pinch of pepper, one pinch of salt

Method: Roll the ingredients in a shaker. Served in a Highball glass on ice. Garnish with dry carrot stick and celery pickles.

Jennifer Le Nechet’s Cosmopolitan
Serves one. Approx. 2 standard drinks.

45ml Ketel One Citroen Vodka
15ml Triple Sec
10ml lime juice
30ml cranberry juice

Method: Shake ingredients. Served with orange zest in a Coupette glass without ice.

This article presented in partnership with World Class.