Posts Categorized: Spirits and cocktails

The Everleigh: ice cool on Gertrude St

For a very hot country, it is remarkable how little care we give our ice. Sure, you can buy large bags of ice pretty much anywhere, but it’s the kind of ice to stick in a bath or an Esky and chill beer and sauvignon blanc; not the kind of stuff to put in a cocktail. A while back the shiny Japanese ice machines at Match Bar were a revelation. And now The Everleigh, which sits atop the old Dante’s on Gertrude St in a space that was the GF’s first art dealer, takes it a step further. What it offers in hand chipped ice, one of the better imports from the US. Hand chipped ice at The Everleigh. Melburnians don’t really care much for imports from Sydney, London New York or anywhere else. We are utterly parochial in that respect yet like to think we are worldwise and trend leading. In this cultural dichotamy I think The Everleigh, a spin-off from Milk and Honey in New York, will do well. It’s sort of hidden behind an unmarked door and on the right street. The drinks have a degree of sophistication and attention to detail and are served in mismatching vintage cut glass, as is the vogue in all the best cocktail bars in town. In my case, a very dirty martini (made with an interesting gin) is always welcome. Between The Everleigh, and the newly opened similarly sophisticated Attic at Black Pearl on Brunswick St, I’m in for a few late nights. A very dirty martin with locally produced Westwinds gin. The Everleigh Lvl 1, 150-156 Gertrude St, Fitzroy Open 5pm to 1am

Drama at Der Raum

It’s about theatre. And Der Raum does it well. Gin – there’s a selection of all the good stuff – is chilled with liquid nitrogen. It boils in a glass jug with clouds spilling down its sides and along the bar counter. When the ice clears from the surface, it is safe to sip. And it is a good martini. A very clean martini. It’s not one that will bitch slap you in the face – although I like those. It gives a delicate caress. Perceptions are confounded by other drinks. The medicine bottle in the paper bag is a Jamaican black strap, a twist on a 1920s original and made with Myer’s Jamaican rum, tart pomegranate, sultanas, smooth ginger beer. Pharmacy is a tribute to Damien Hirst. In the pill bottle is pear and roasted capsicum gin. A citrus pill (lemon sherbert?) is dropped in and sweet Italian bitters injected. With most of the cocktails are around $20 each, it’s an expensive night. But fun. Saturday and Friday evenings are busiest and you’ll have a long wait even if you have booked a booth.