A cocktail inspired by the flavours of Mexico, France and Australia produced by the only speakeasy in Fremantle has been named WA’s Best Cocktail in a live mix-off between four finalists.

The 2024 AHA & Don Julio WA’s Best Cocktail has been awarded to the “Père Julio” from L’Chaim at The Old Synagogue in Fremantle.

The winning “Père Julio” cocktail was made by bar manager Guillaume Bossuet using tequila, mezcal-infused pear, fresh lemon juice, red wine syrup and two drops of saline solution, topped off with a red wine foam. It was served in a coupe glass and garnished with dried pear.

Four State finalists, selected via public vote, mixed-off at the 2024 AHA Hospitality Expo this week.

The panel of three judges – AHA(CEO) Bradley Woods, Diageo’s Caroline Meagher and Bertie bar owner James Connolly – assessed the taste, aesthetic, authenticity/creativity and the story behind each cocktail.

AHA(WA) CEO Bradley Woods said the quality and creativity of the entrants was exceptional and choosing a winner was difficult.

“A great cocktail must be creative, have balanced flavours, be made from quality ingredients and look appealing,” he said.

“This is only the second year of the competition, but it’s proving to be an excellent way for venues to showcase the creativity and skills of their bar staff, but on a more serious note, it also builds customer loyalty and drive sales,” he said.

The three other finalists were the Lobby Lounge at Crown Perth, Old Young’s Kitchen in Henley Brook and Frisk Small Bar in Northbridge. The judges singled out L’Chaim for its surprise flavour pairing, complexity and richness.

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