Luke Whearty is an acclaimed bartender and the owner of Byrdi; a bar he opened in Melbourne in October 2018.
Whearty ran Operation Dagger in Singapore for five years before he decided to return to Australia and launch a venue that celebrates all things close to home.
“Byrdi focuses on seasonal and local produce; everything we are doing here is 100 per cent Australian and predominantly from regional Victoria,” he says.
An example of Whearty’s ethos is clear in the aperitif-style highball which uses non-alcoholic Lyre’s Dry London Spirit and Aperitif Dry.
Whearty combines the two together with fresh pear and fennel and infuses using a vacuum. A soda with pear juice, fresh fennel and pickled fennel blossom is made before the elements are carbonated.
To serve, the bartender pours the liquid over ice and garnishes with wild fennel.