Andie Bulley is a leading female in the Australian bar scene and is not only creating a flair in all she is doing but she is now the first ambassador in Australia for Monnet Cognac as their award-winning bartender.
Monnet Cognac has appointed Bulley to spearhead a campaign on educating the Australian market on the brand and provide wider education on the spirit to a new generation of cognac drinkers. Monnet Cognac is an internationally renowned brand and excitedly launched its products to the Australian market in 2022.
Andie has been working alongside Monnet to educate Australians on how to enjoy this diverse spirit, by leading unique masterclasses, curating one-of-a-kind cocktail creations, and communicating the importance that cognac plays in the spirit world.
Andie has been making waves not only in Queensland (where she runs the bar at the highly awarded Savile Row, Brisbane) but within the wider landscape of Australian Bartending – being a finalist in several national cocktail competitions, including the coveted Diageo World Class Top 5 in Australia and most recently listed as Rookie Bartender of the Year in the highly esteemed Australian Bar Awards.
Andie has shared some of her story in our QA.
Can you share some insights into your journey as a bartender and how you got started in this industry?
I stumbled into bartending during my university days in Townsville. Initially clueless about drinks, I worked at a nightclub, then a casino café. My perspective changed at The Heritage Exchange, where I even entered my first competition, but COVID stalled my progress.
I briefly left the industry to continue my studies in Brisbane. However, I returned at the call of a talented friend. I joined Savile Row, starting as a barback, and learned the ropes from an incredible team.
What inspired you to become a bartender, and what do you love most about your profession?
It was when I attended a session by Jamie Flemming. Prior to that, I saw bartending as merely mixing drinks. However, Jamie’s talk revealed the career potential in hospitality, and I realized that bartending could be a genuine career path. The guest interaction aspect is something I have truly fallen in love with.
Could you tell us about any memorable or unique cocktail creations you’ve come up with in your career?
One of my recent highlights was crafting a cocktail for Australia’s Top 25 bartender. The cocktail was a Monnet stir-down, celebrating the shared landscapes and ingredients of both Australia and France. This experience provided me with the opportunity to demonstrate my deep passion for connecting landscapes and ingredients while artfully fusing diverse culinary traditions into a single glass.
How do you approach the art of mixology, and what are some key principles you follow when crafting cocktails?
When I approach cocktail making, a like to make sure that I look at it holistically by understanding all the different mediums involved. This means playing around with textures, colours, temperatures, types of glassware, ice, and styles of cocktails. By doing this, you can create drinks that not only look appealing but also deliver an amazing sensory experience.
What do you think sets you apart from other bartenders and makes your cocktails stand out?
I think what distinguishes me as a bartender and makes my cocktails stand out is my rounded approach. I place a strong emphasis on creativity and storytelling in every drink I craft. By integrating unique flavour profiles, innovative ingredients, and a keen eye for presentation, I strive to create not just cocktails but immersive experiences.
Are there any particular ingredients or spirits that you enjoy working with the most, and why?
I’m a huge fan of Monnet Cognac. I enjoy creating cocktails using ingredients from my surroundings and Monnet’s sunny bright flavours beautifully complement the vibrant fruits found in Queensland.
What is your favourite cocktail to make, and what makes it special to you?
One of my favourite cocktails to make is either a cognac highball or a brandy alexander! They are both great drinks for hotter climates and they both have super approachable flavours.
How do you stay updated with the latest cocktail trends and techniques in the ever-evolving world of mixology?
Instagram is incredibly useful for me in so many ways. I have an account where I have dedicated to exclusively following individuals who inspire me. This approach fine-tunes my Instagram feed, ensuring a steady stream of fresh and inspiring ideas, as well as introduce new trends in the industry.
Can you share a few tips for home bartenders looking to elevate their cocktail-making skills?
My secret to making drinks better is all about enhancing flavours. I’m a big fan of using a touch of salt, just like we do in cooking, to boost the taste of cocktails. Salt is a natural flavour enhancer, and it works absolute wonders in drinks.
What’s the most challenging aspect of being a bartender, and how do you overcome it?
Being a woman behind the bar can be an empowering yet challenging experience, especially being a male-dominated industry. Despite the undeniable progress towards inclusivity, there are still moments of adversity that will occur. However, I’ve learned to view these obstacles as transformative opportunities for growth.