Ian Burrell presenting

Australia’s first ever premium drinks festival, Top Shelf, is being held in Melbourne this weekend (Feb 9-10) and HM is giving you the chance to be there.

HM has 20 tickets to give away for the trade day of Top Shelf, a festival that is bringing to Australia some of the biggest names in the drinks and bar operations business from across the globe.

At Top Shelf, consumers (Feb 9) and the trade (Feb 10) will be able to taste some of the world’s finest wines, beers and spirits; from Hungary’s famous Tokaji dessert wines to Bruichladdich’s groundbreaking Islay whiskies to new kid on the Yarra Valley block, Four Pillars gin.

Meet the brewers, distillers, winemakers and mixologists behind your favourite libations. They’ll unravel the mystery that is food and wine matching, teach you the key to creating your own stand-out brew and share their top tips and tricks to create that perfect party.

International Bartender of the Year Jack McGarry, from the infamous Dead Rabbit, will be dispensing advice and drinks in equal measure alongside the bar’s founder Sean Muldoon. They’ll be joined by a line-up of the world’s top master whisky distillers, including Buffalo Trace bourbon’s Harlen Wheatley and Burn Stewart’s Ian MacMillan.

Popping up throughout the building and in The Drinks Lab, Fortaleza tequila distiller Guillermo Sauza and Rumfest founder Ian Burrell will be mixing drinks and hosting hands-on demos so you can learn to mix it like a pro.

With the addition of the Chingón Taco Truck, Grill Pro’s bbq masters serving platefuls of slow-cooked meats and an array of local artisan produce, Top Shelf has your food needs covered too.

To win one of the 20 tickets available to HM readers, simply answer this question: ‘What’s your favourite cocktail and why?’

Send your answer in less than 50 words to James Wilkinson on: jwilkinson@intermedia.com.au

The first 20 answers received will win a ticket valued at $25.

What: Top Shelf Boutique Drinks Festival
Where: Royal Exhibition Building
9 Nicholson Street, Carlton, VIC 3053
When: Sunday 9 February 11am-6pm (consumer) and Monday 11 February 11am-5pm (trade)
Tickets: $25 via www.topshelfshow.com.au/tickets/ or $30 on the door