No self-respecting cocktail blog is complete without a trip down under to the great melting pot that is Melbourne. Actually in the summer it’s more of a furnace and that means ultra-cool cocktails are almost compulsory.
Where Sydney might be said to be slightly American in architecture and culture, yes I know there are more than a few other influences at work, Melbourne is very Mediterranean. The city is well known for its large Greek and Lebanese communities but in reality it is almost as if someone collected a little piece of all the countries and cultures bordering the Med and set them down in the capital of Victoria. The result is as close to food and drink nirvana as you are going to get.
Nick Selvadurai is the Cocktail Manager at the Cookie Beer Hall and he told us a little about its history. Once occupied by the Labor and Communist party, the bar retains a little of the militant atmosphere but has combined it with the aroma of great Thai food, thumping good tunes and an all Australian ‘she’ll be right’ smile. Cookie sets out to forge a social link between staff and customers and while we could talk all around this subject it is probably best to just point you in the direction of the ‘Kiss Wall’. It spontaneously came into being and over the years has collected hundreds of lipstick kisses.
Cookie Beer Hall is a big bar and so is its cocktail list. Most are priced around the AU$19 mark and there really is something for everyone. Nick has won more than a few awards, he has competed in a number of international cocktail competitions in France and Italy and when we saw him he had recently returned from Tales of the Cocktail so, we asked him to choose for us and then grinned as he brought over a couple of Caramel Royales. Perfect!
Giffard Cherry liqueur
Cassis de Bourgogne
A pinch of salt
A dash of lime
Top up with cranberry juice.
Cookie Beer Hall – First Floor, 252 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC3000 – www.cookie.net.au
The words beach and Australia are joined at the hip and the Captain Baxter is the ideal place to enjoy both. Located right on St Kilda beach, Captain Baxter is a family owned bar and restaurant where you can put your feet up, catch a few rays, look out over the Pacific ocean and wonder just how important something would have to be to make you want to leave?
We got talking to David and Justin behind the bar. Both had been mixing cocktails for about 15 years with a few years of those spent mixing up a storm in London before finally washing up on St Kilda beach. This bar really does have it all, sun, beach, fantastic food, parties, oh and one or two fabulous cocktails. We tucked into the DIY food menu reaching for soft shell wheat tacos filled with roasted corn salsa, avocado, jalapeños and a drizzling of Agave syrup. To accompany it a Spring Sling to cool off those peppers.
Giffard Elderflower Premium Liqueur
Green Tea Syrup
Muddled cucumber and mint
A splash of lemon juice and a dash of apple juice
Captain Baxter – St Kilda Beach, 10-18 Jacka Boulevard, St Kilda, VIC 3182, www.captainbaxter.com.au