I went to the final of the Bombay Sapphire Stir Creativity Cocktail Competition last night. It was very fancy.
When I got the invite I was a little panicked because it said the dress code was “cocktail”. I don’t know about you but my wardrobe is looking more leisure wear than luxe these days.
Plus any clothes from my pre-COVID-19 days would be challenging to zip up.
So I dashed to the shopping centre in search of a bargain and found one in the most unlikely place. There was a rack at the back of the Country Road store with a lone silky green full-length frock in my size hanging on it. The price tag made my eyes widen – it was reduced from $299 to $69!
I tried it on and fell in love. While it’s a bit like a parachute with shoulder straps, it feels lovely on and it has pockets! So I matched it with a shiny Marc By Marc Jacobs evening jacket I bought on sale in New York 15 years ago, plus a pair of ballet flats cause I don’t do heels any more.
I wasn’t sure it qualified as “cocktail” but it would have to do. I also couldn’t be bothered a) going home from work to get changed then heading back into the city; or b) lugging evening clothes into the office and changing into them.
So I wore my glad rags to work and no one seemed perturbed, though it was a bit annoying getting my skirt caught under the wheels of my office chair every five seconds.
(I am wearing sunglasses in the lift to hide my eye wrinkles for the selfie. Vanity is a curse.)
As for the cocktail competition itself, earlier this year bartenders were tasked with creating a cocktail inspired by the world around them and presented it in a ‘Saw This, Made This’ format that showcased Bombay Sapphire, Bombay Sapphire Premier Cru, Bombay Citron Pressé, Bombay Bramble or Bombay Sapphire Sunset.
The four finalists presented their creations to the judges last night and my friend Sue and I got to try them over dinner at Establishment. Lucky us!
Fortunately the evening coincided with my latest hormonal storm (hopefully) calming after a few weeks of emotional tumult, so I was peppy and ready to party.
The event was quite the spectacular. We were even served little dollops of caviar on the back of our hands. Apparently that’s called a “bump” of caviar and it’s the purest way to taste it.
It was delicious!
There were four courses alongside each of the four cocktails, but the last cocktail wasn’t mixed and presented until 10pm, which is way past my bed time, so I have no idea who won because I snuck out and caught the bus home.
A bartender I met on my way out had his money on the ‘Symphony of Sapphire’ by Jake Down from Apollonia Bar in Sydney. It contained Bombay Sapphire Gin, young coconut, mint, faux citrus, saline and “rain aroma” that you spritzed on the top.
Spritzing has become quite the thing, the blue cocktail was also spritzed. Actually, the blue cocktails of my youth are also quite the thing in 2023. Didn’t see that coming.
Here are some happy snaps. No song of the day, too knackered.
Oh, and get this, despite it being a Tuesday, the ground floor of Establishment was heaving with people at 10pm. Plus the bus home was chockers.
Sydney is definitely pumping again.
PS The winner was Jake Down!
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