Bartending community packs out new virtual venue

Australia’s bar community has embraced a new live-streamed education and social connection initiative launched earlier this month by Coca-Cola Amatil’s award-winning team of brand ambassadors, The Exchange.

Australia’s bar community has embraced a new live-streamed education and social connection initiative launched earlier this month by Coca-Cola Amatil’s award-winning team of brand ambassadors, The Exchange.

With social distancing and self-isolation preventing physical gatherings, around 1,000 are instead relying on the Social Exchange, a live streamed social media series that’s providing a virtual venue for a growing crowd of bartenders, owners and consumers to share knowledge and training and connect over conversation and a dram from afar.

Cam Pirret, The Exchange NSW Brand Ambassador, says the Social Exchange “started out as an educational piece, but really it’s about staying connected and supporting each other through this time in the industry. It is a really tough time. People are having financial hardships, they are isolated, and they’re quite worried about their family and friends. Tough times don’t last but tough people do, and we think there’s nothing tougher than reaching out for help. “We are asking people to reach out - not only to your friends, but the industry that is so supportive and has such an amazing community spirit,” Cam said.

The Exchange is a dynamic team of marketeers, sales managers and passionate brand ambassadors who know the industry from both sides of the bar. They celebrate, create, promote and support the vibrant drinks culture in Australia, and bring to life Coca-Cola Amatil’s premium alcohol brands portfolio in the on and off premise.

Erica Richards recently hosted her first live session discussing Bourbon and explained that “what’s really important at the moment is that we support each other, that we are kind to each other, but also that we can have a bit of a laugh!”

“We can still have a drink, we can still talk to our friends and community via social media, and together with this awesome industry we will make it to the other side,” Erica said. 
Now in its third week, the series has put the spotlight on the history of some of the world most iconic brands and cocktails such as Laphroaig and the Penicillin, Makers Mark with the Old fashioned and the famous Daiquiri using our own Rum Co of Fiji.

The livestream, held Tuesday to Saturday from 6.00pm on Facebook, is open to everyone from bartenders and hotel groups, to all spirit-drinking enthusiasts.

Head to The Exchange’s Facebook & Instagram channels for the latest live session updates, engage in competitions & to join the conversation.