It's a case of one historical event marking another, as for the first time in Australia, a high-flying Sydney bartender will have one their creations served in British Airways' First class cabin.
Tim Philips, of Bulletin Place in Sydney, stirred the judges as he triumphed in a cocktail competition with a difference and provided the perfect garnish to the airline's celebrations to mark 80 years of flying to Australia.
The British flag carrier had tasked Sydney's finest mixologists to create a 1930s-inspired cocktail - the decade in which the first passenger flight from the UK to Australia departed operated by British Airways predecessor Imperial Airlines – and should take inspiration from British and Australian culture and ingredients.
Philips, a former 'Diageo World Class Global Bartender of the Year', shook off stiffcompetition in the final from the best in the country to win the prestige of having his beverage, The Anitpodes Cocktail, served to passengers in British Airways' First for a whole month.
The winning drink comprises of Tanqueray No. 10, Fino Sherry, Verjuice, Chamomile, and Bitter Lemon and “is inspired by what was popular and abundant in Britain in the 1930's. These ingredients are making a renaissance in cocktail culture today,” Philips said.
“Gin has long been championed in British culture and has certainly been rising in popularity in Australia over recent years,” he added. “The Antipodes Cocktail aims to bring together all these elements in a contemporary, simple, elegant and refreshing way.”
The newest feature in First will be available on board British Airways' Sydney-Singapore route from July 1, 2015.
Nicole Backo, regional general manager of British Airways in Australia, said, “This drink is completely bespoke to British Airways and thanks to Tim's impeccable talent, has been crafted to meet the standards of our First cabin, where sophisticated and contemporary British design meets impeccable service, exquisite food and wine, and true attention to detail.”
The first British Airways flight for paying customers from London to Australia took off on April 13, 1935, under the name of Imperial Airways - British Airways predecessor - in conjunction with Qantas Empire Airways.
The 12,754-mile trip departed London for Australia (completing its journey in Brisbane) on a 12-day adventure via a host of major cities around the world including Baghdad, Delhi, Bangkok and Singapore. A one-way ticket would cost $376 (£195) – that's $23,470 (£12,158) in today's currency and nearly twice the price of a return ticket in British Airways' luxurious First Class cabin today.
Eighty years on from that first passenger flight, British Airways now operates daily flights between London and Sydney, continuing to fly the established 'Kangaroo Route' via Singapore just as the original route did.
ANTIPODES COCKTAIL – to get a taste of British Airways' First at home follow these instructions
20ml Tanqueray 10
20ml Tio Pepe Fino Sherry
60ml Schweppes Bitter Lemon
Chamomile Tea Bag
Lemon Wheel (Garnish)
Take Chamomile tea bag and place into bottom of glass. Leave lemon wheel attached outside of glass
Add contents of Tanqueray 10, Fino Sherry and Verjuice to glass
Add lots of ice to glass
Top with Schweppes Bitter Lemon
Garnish with 2-3 pumps of Chamomile tincture
Pull lemon wheel gently to mix and enjoy!