Dale DeGroff is King Cocktail. He’s a bartender, author and “one of the world’s foremost cocktail experts,” according to in the New York Times. He’s worked some of the US’ best bars, written some timeless books, helped found award-winning training platform Beverage Alcohol Resource, and even opened a Museum of the American Cocktail in New Orleans.

As one of the most qualified to opine on the current state-of-play of the cocktail world, where does he think we have got to and where does he see us going? What does he credit with driving the resurgence of classic cocktails and their twisted varietals? Which drink does he regard as the true test of a bartender? How did he wind up inventing cocktails for Rupert Murdoch on one of his first days on the job? And what would he tell a young bartender starting out today?

Stick around after Dale’s interview as we head to LA for our Free Pour Five chat with D. ‘Max’ Maxey, The Chestnut Club’s renowned bar manager. He’s a crack-up!

Resources mentioned

Key points

  • 05:30 How does Australia’s cocktail culture stack up to the rest of the industry internationally?
  • 08:00 Have we reached the true cocktail revolution that Dale forecasted previously?
  • 12:30 What is Dale currently drinking?
  • 14:00 Where to next for the bartending industry?
  • 16:15 The advice Dale would give to young bartenders starting out today.
  • 22:20 The drink Dale believes is the true test of a bartender.
  • 23:45 Dale's Rupert Murdoch story
  • 31:30 The Free Pour ‘Five’ with D ‘Max’ Maxey

Next week: New York master distiller Allan Katz and the Free Pour Five with Aussie young buck Ollie Margan. Out Monday.