Joe Sinagra, FDM Veteran
Born and bred in Western Australia, Joe has worked in all manner of restaurants, pubs, event venues and cocktail bars. Currently running one of Perth’s best cocktail and whisky bars, Halford.
Well known across the country as a fierce cocktail comp competitor, Joe has had his fair share of success in competitions. Making the top 8 final of Australian Bartender Magazines Australian Bartender of the year a huge 6 times (a record for most finals shared with FDMs own Lee Potter Cavanagh), including 2 top 3 finishes. Joe has also had success in a swag of other competitions.
Running a whisky bar leaves little room for anything but whisky as his favourite spirit and it’s hard to go past a well made old fashioned at the end of the night.
Joe has been involved with FDM now as a trainer for a few years and enjoys passing on the knowledge and passion gained from his 20 years in the industry.
While visiting Sydney, Joe answered a few questions for his friends at FDM!
FDM: What is your most memorable shift at a bar?
Joe: They’re all a blur after so many years behind the stick.
FDM: If you could eliminate one cocktail from bar menus everywhere, what would it be and why?
Joe: Espresso Martinis. People will ask for them anyway they don’t need to be on your menu.
FDM: You’re stuck on an island for the rest of your life, and can only choose one cocktail to drink for eternity, what is it and why?
Joe: Daiquiri, refreshing and easy drinking.
FDM: What’s your favourite thing about working in the drinks industry?
Joe: I love pouring history. You can grab any spirit off the bar and there’s hundreds of stories about each spirit or brand that shaped the world we know today. I think that connection is amazing.
FDM: If you weren’t working in the spirits industry, where would you be working?
Joe: Probably a lawyer or account of something boring like that.
FDM: What will be the next big drinks trend?
Joe: I think the highball is making a huge comeback.
FDM: What is the most underrated drinking city and why?
Joe: Darwin for sure. Everyone there is so friendly and amazing. The industry is super tight knit and everyone pushes each other to do cool things. Plus there’s some hugely underrated talent up there.
FDM: You win the lottery tomorrow. What’s your first purchase and why?
Joe: Likely a long holiday because who doesn’t need one.
FDM: What’s your favourite Southtrade product?
Joe: Starward Two Fold for sure. Great everyday drinking Australian Whisky.
FDM: What advice do you have for someone just starting in the drinks industry?
Joe: Be open to learning. The more you’re able to learn and absorb the better equipped you’ll be to handle anything thrown at you.