World Class SA winner bartender Brent Perremore: “Gin will take a dip” and other industry tips

Brought to you by Diageo World Class

Earlier this year, the Diageo World Class Competition kicked off with a number of South African bartenders competing to be one of the finalists from their region. Then, the top 10 finalists vied for the ultimate prize of competing at the global finals, to be held in Madrid. The winner of the South African leg of the competition? That would be Brent Perremore from The Art of Duplicity. Here, he shares what inspires him, what drinks he thinks will take centre stage, his thoughts on the bar scene in SA, and more.

What is the next liquor to take the stage, or will gin’s dominance continue?

Unfortunately, gin will take a dip. Some said the next liquor to shine was going to be rum, but I think it’s the turn of tequila and other agave spirits.

What’s the best part of your job?

Being creative and telling stories with your drinks.

What’s the worst part of your job?

Month-end stocktake.

Can you share a rookie error you see the public or entry-level bartenders making that drives you mad?

Over-using crushed ice. No one wants watery, over-diluted drinks.

Where do you get the inspiration for all your unique drinks?

I am inspired by literally everything – pop culture, books, jokes, people etc.

What’s your favourite bar in the world?

Not to sound biased but The Art Of Duplicity.

How did you get into bartending?

 I left chef school because I didn’t like the work hours. It was supposed to become an in-between job but ended up becoming my career because I enjoyed it so much. 

Brent Perremore

How would you describe the SA bar scene?

Small but tight-knit. We have world-class bartenders but not enough great bars to work in. Some of the best cocktail bars are bartender-owned.

What piece of advice would you share for those wanting to become top bartenders?

There’s no easy way – just hard work, passion and a willingness to learn. There are way too many Instagram bartenders trying to look good but not enough willing to put in the work.

Do you have a favourite cocktail and, if so, what is it?

An Old Fashioned because it is the OG of all cocktails.

What are the three main ingredients everyone should have in their home bar?

Bitters, Rosso Vermouth and Campari.

Leave a comment

Promoted Restaurants