What can be done when State borders are shut tighter than a pair of lady legs? Go on a “staycation” of course. Welcome to a grand cocktail fling in Melbourne. Time shake loose in the big city and take some chances. This cocktail tour is not for the faint hearted. Following well-worn paths along Southbank through Crown Casino to South Warf looking for fun and liquid adventure, I was delighted to enter into the world of trendy drinking establishments and QR codes. Google map guided my feet into some of the best bars in Melbourne for some first class drinking. Now I am no word-smith but I was “blown away” by the wonderous array of liquid infusions discovered on this journey down impossibly long cocktail menus.
Let the fun begin!
Crystal decanters filled with exotic spirits, bottles of aromatic bitters, lines of shakers, stylish glassware perfectly twisted lemon peel ornate the 1806 bar ready to create sumptuous libations to excite the palate of their eager customers. It is important to point out here that the work of master mixologists is to tempt us to drink. To properly set the stage for consuming the perfect cocktail you need to have chic décor music and dangerously dim lighting. Socially engaging waiters will also heighten your drinking pleasure. Cocktail descriptions will read like love letters. You will probably feel emotionally unprepared for the sensory overloaded. You will be filled with an overwhelming desire to consume all of them, which of course is impossible, therefore difficult decisions must be made before drinking can begin. Then away we go….For me the fun has always been experimenting with flavors which means trying something new!
The art of mixing drinks
Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of cocktails. From the traditional Brandy Crusta to a modern Margarita Custard the art of making a delicious cocktail starts with gifted bartenders and top notch ingredients. Remarkable cocktails dusted with nutmeg eaten with a spoon, Apple fans, mandarin powder, dry shaken and served up in champagne saucer; it is fair to say that all the stylish bars play up the theatre. Waiting heightens anticipation. Would my cocktail be served naked and what did this even mean? Somewhere in the proceedings I ordered the popular Zombie which came liberally decorated, carrying more fruit than Carmen Miranda, the 1930’s Broadway actress who was best known for her signature fruit hat.
Enjoying cocktails is not one sided
Spending money on expensive spirits served in luxurious glasses chilled by crystal mountains of ice and garnished with eye popping splendor has never been easier. Sounds wonderful but secretly I was in search of an answer to a question “how to create the perfect cocktail” at home. I was looking to discover the essence of a great drink. Mastering the business of cocktails required research and commitment. Hours of reading books, blogs and menus, watching earnest baristas and of course the mandatory tasting has brought both pleasure and pain.
Long story short the alchemy of spirits syrups and sodas came together for me in a memorable Martinez. Success in a glass! Precursor to the Martini the Martinez ticked all the boxes for me. Lots of Hayman’s Old Tom Gin (a sweetened gin) mixed with Maraschino cherry liqueur and sweet vermouth with a dash of bitters garnished with an orange twist.
Ultimately, it was the celebration of marking a moment with my partner that made the Martinez extra special. What most people don’t realize that they can achieve this moment at home without traipsing through the city from bar to bar spending lots of money. Let me introduce you to your next favorite cocktail made with; what some people are calling, the “Mixer of Melbourne”.
Cocktail Craft at Home
Be the architect of your own drinking pleasure in 2021 using the finest freshest cocktail syrups handcrafted in Melbourne. Achieve something unexpected with Botanikos simple syrups which will perfectly compliment your favorite spirit. Now back to my advice for making a perfect cocktail at home. “Do things the right way”. Doing things the right way at home means having a jigger for correct measurements, using best quality simple syrups, plenty of ice on hand, knowing when to shake, preparing fruits and serving drinks cold. Look out for “Hints for the Home Bar” coming your way soon.
Time to ease back and save some dollars
Dive in have some fun. Discover how easy is can be to create amazing cocktails at home with our syrups and your spirit of choice. Fresh citrus and ice are essential for the perfect cocktail. A classic cocktail that can be easily thrown together at home is the Champagne cocktail. A great way to start a party with this cocktail immediately lift the mood. But many variations of this cocktail exist, so here’s hoping you will enjoy our version. Sour lime pairs up well with the bitter-sweet marmalade syrup.
Recipe called for 30 ml rum (or gin) 15 ml lime juice 20 ml marmalade shake ingredients well. Strain into a cocktail glass. Top with champagne. Obsess over the bubbles. Dial the booziness down by omitting the rum or make a mocktail version by mixing marmalade syrup lime juice and soda.
If you like this recipe why not check out our recipe catalogue for more offerings.