Home' In The City : In The City - Winter 2011 Contents 19
Monday May 30, 2011
eet Jonny Day AKA Jonny
Cosmopolitan. He is one of the top
50 bartenders in Australia and his
idea has shot off like the cork off a
bottle of bubbly.
The 23-year-old born and bred Canberran has
successfully set up a mobile bar business. With
two portable bars in tow, Jonny can set up a
working drinks station in any location, anytime,
anywhere, for any occasion.
As a seasoned hospitality guru, Jonny grew up
surrounded by restaurants and bars. His family
once owned the renowned Rubicon restaurant at
the Griffith shops and he has also starred behind
the bar at the chic Trinity Bar in Dickson, the
popular Tulip Lounge in Manuka (then the Julep
Lounge) and the Four Seasons hotel in Canada
as head bartender.
Jonny won third prize at the prestigious
Angostura Cocktail Championships and has
served the Prince of Saudi Arabia.
Now the assistant manager at Hippo Bar in
the city, Jonny has gone from talented barman
to business guru. His ‘ah-ha’ moment came after
working the Sydney bartending scene at parties
sponsored by Bacardi – the type of specialised
drinks and cocktail catering absent in Canberra.
There were no mobile bars that could serve a
corporate function of 300 - so Jonny decided to
meet the un-met need.
Jonny Cosmopolitan debuted on New Years
Eve 2010 with a black-tie cocktail party for
250 at the Boat House on Lake Burley Griffin
in conjunction with a five-course degustation
The business has been on the rise ever since,
mixing up a storm at a number of events such
as the launch of the new Kokoloco dance studio,
the opening of 1940s clothes store, Darling
Sisters in Gold Creek Village and a networking
conference for Three Sides Marketing.
Most recently Jonny Cosmopolitan did a
launch for the BMW X3 where BMW fans sipped
Jonny’s patented X3 cocktail.
“People were walking into the room saying ‘I
want to look at an X3 and drink one at the same
time,” he said.
“I learnt about a concept like this through
studying marketing. The X3 cocktail was a
Mojito with fresh passionfruit, apple juice and
a little bit of vanilla sugar. It was a very popular
drink on the night.”
With a bachelor and a diploma in business
and having studied marketing and advertising,
Jonny has the right mind for the business.
“It is all about networking and talking to the
right people,” he said.
“It is very important for me to know that my
business card is in the hands of potential clients.
That is why so much of my time is spent in face-
His cocktails aren’t just innovative beverages
with personalised names – they’re also
“They can enhance someone’s product, you
can make it your possibility of pitching for an
advertising contract...throwing an event to
customise those ideas is an amazing feeling.”
Not just a pretty face and a good business
mind, Jonny gives a damn about bar tending.
“Its so appealing to be a bartender because I
feel like you are the highlight of peoples’ nights,”
“You come into a bar and if you have a good
bartender standing there, waiting for you to
come over, wanting to talk to you and wanting
to give you the best possible drink, it can make
someone’s night. If someone walks away having
learnt something or with a smile on their face,
then your job’s done.”
When Jonny is not shaking up cosmos and
caprisokas or stirring a custom-made martini,
he is surfing and hanging out with his partner
Maria. During the evenings, if he is not at work,
he’s still part of the Canberra night scene at
Hippo, Tongue & Groove, Knightsbridge or
“I think the Canberra nightlife in the city is
definitely growing. I am so proud of places like
Hippo, who have been open for 10 years and
have been providing a product at a standard
that has never been seen in Canberra; it’s that
high-end service and high-end cocktail,” he said.
“But then there’s places like Tongue & Groove,
which I’ve always said is a club from Sydney
located in Canberra. I’d love to see more places
like this. It has amazing architecture and cool
“Parlour Room is my ultimate favourite with
cool pimped out lounges, I always love going
there for a wine and a cheese platter.”
“I’m always hearing new rumours about new
bars opening up and there is a lot of interest
from Sydney owners to come down here, I think
the Canberra CBD is a diamond in the rough.”
King of cocktails, Jonny Cosmopolitan, is mixing up the bartending scene in Canberra.
RAHIMA SAIKAL finds out how.
Jonny Cosmopolitan proves why he is one of the top 50 bartenders in Australia. Photo: Rohan Thomson
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