This week: Feature Interview with Agave aficionado Phil Bayly and the Free Pour Five with 2018 ALIA Bartender of the Year, Natalie Ng.

Phil Bayly is the world’s foremost expert on all things Agave spirits, such as Tequila, Mezcal and Raicilla. He’s helped open 18 Tequila-themed bars and restaurants, founded a series of networking events promoting the category – Agave Love – and in 2017 he was recognised as the first official Mezcal Ambassador by the Mezcal Regulatory Council. For 16 years, Phil owned and ran Sydney institution Café Pacifico and he’s recently released his first book, also titled Agave Love.

During his time at Café Pacifico Phil mentored many a young bartender. One of those was Natalie Ng, who is the Australian Liquor Industry Awards’ Bartender of the Year for 2018 and joins us for the Free Pour Five at the 1:01:50 minute mark. Natalie now owns Door Knock in Sydney after cutting her teeth at some of some of the best bars in the country.

Resources, bars and products mentioned:

Key points:

  • 03:00 When Phil first realised his passion for Tequila
  • 05:00 How Phil came to be the first official Mezcal Ambassador
  • 09 :00 What it is about Agave that Phil fell in love with
  • 13:30 How you should be drinking Tequila
  • 16:20 Tequila vs Mezcal
  • 22:45 What Phil wants bartenders to know about Mezcal
  • 30:45 Mezcal vs Raicilla
  • 36:25 Sotol vs other Agaves
  • 39:50 Life for Phil during and after Café Pacifico
  • 43:00 Phil’s book, Agave Love
  • 1:01:50 The Free Pour Five with Natalie Ng from Door Knock, Sydney.