Ginuary 29th: Lady Hester doughnuts.

One of the best things about walking in the door of Ginuary Hobart on Saturday was being handed a sampling glass, a program, and a mini Lady Hester doughnut filled with apricot jam and gin. Hello, yes. Delicious. (Ok, so I didn’t get handed one of these because I was madly stuffing programs into sampling glasses but I got mine later.)

I also quickly ferreted away a bigger doughnut each, because I couldn’t possibly choose just one when faced with fig, gin & vanilla custard ripple vs gin & lime curd. I couldn’t. I’m such a sucker for citrus curd, and an even bigger sucker for gin.

But then I got a bit carried away during the latter half of the evening and on Sunday I couldn’t quite face the doughnuts I’d ferreted. I could barely face getting out of bed.

Today, though… today was another story. DELICIOUS. I just wish they were a regular market feature! Booze doughnuts every week, please.

Ginuary 28th: Antarctic Negroni @ Institut Polaire.

I struggle a little bit with this drink in the same way I struggle a bit with the bar and the brand. Institut Polaire is, at heart, a glorified showroom for Sud Polaire gin and Domaine Simha wine. Sud Polaire advertises as “Antarctic Dry Gin”, but is it in a London Dry style or is it a new make? And an Antarctic Negroni? Is just a white negroni with a branded name.

Still, it was an opportunity to drink a white negroni without having to purchase a bottle of Suze or Lillet. I won’t post a recipe because I’m not sure what exact measures the Institut use in their drink, suffice to say it’s likely either equal measures of gin and Lillet Blanc (or a bit more gin if anything) and around half that of Suze, to round out the negroni’s well-known and loved bitterness.

The vibe in the space is cold and expensive. Too expensive for me. Thankfully the Antarctic Negroni was at the lower end of the expensive drinks, and now I’ve ticked Institut Polaire off my list. Onward and upward!

Ginuary 26th: Bleuberry Uckas @ Street Eats Franko.

Another non-premeditated gin evening at Franko!

Charles Oates Apple Blanco was the guest star of the week at Spirit People, and yet my eyes still went directly to the drink with “cucumber gin” listed as one of its ingredients. The Bleuberry Uckas features the Apple Blanco as well as a cucumber skin infused gin. And blueberries. Lots of blueberries. And I don’t know what else because I forgot to take a photo of the board and was having too much fun filling my arms with treats and getting my dance on to the tunes of the Bad Dad Orchestra.

Ah, Franko. Don’t go anywhere soon.

Ginuary 24th: Millionaire Cocktail No.1 @ Gold Bar Hobart.

Sometimes there are these classic cocktails that exist in the Savoy Cocktail Book that you’ll probably never get around to ticking off at the home bar because there’s that one ingredient that you’ll probably only use for that one drink and until you’ve actually had the drink you just can’t know if it’s worth it or not, and then Ian at Gold Bar makes it for you and you curse because it’s really good and now you want to be able to make it at your home bar and how much is a bottle of apricot brandy? Do I even want apricot brandy when Ian made it with quandong liqueur because he’s all about Australian spirits wherever possible? How much is quandong liqueur? Wait, how much? And I’m only going to use it for this drink? Hmm. This drink might be a millionaire but I’m sure not. Here’s Harry Craddock’s recipe.

Millionaire Cocktail No.1

  • 30ml/1oz sloe gin
  • 30ml/1oz spiced rum
  • 30ml/1oz apricot brandy (or quandong liqueur)
  • 30ml/1oz lime juice
  • barspoon of (proper) grenadine

Shake with ice and a great amount of enthusiasm. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a lime twist (or a wheel if you’re Ian).

This is a big drink with a lot of flavour and I’m here for it. I’m also here for beautifully measured drinks—there’s something about equal parts that delight me (see The Last Word, one of my all-time favourites). In searching for the recipe online I found this handy post from Australian Bartender which references the kinda jumbled history to this one, and Serious Eats touches on it as well (with their non-gin recipe, pah). The joys of pre-prohibition recipes and the webs they weave!

I’m also kind of tickled to post about drinking a Millionaire at Gold Bar. Millionaire, Gold Bar. Game, set, match. Now, where’s my first million? Any time now. I’m waiting.

Ginuary 21st: Hendrick’s Summer Punch @ Mona Foma.

“Do you want to check out the festival?”

“Sure.”

“Good, because I need to find the gin tent.”

“Gin tent?”

“Gin tent.”

Hendrick’s Gin is one of Mona Foma’s sponsors and gives me a very specific reason to look forward to festival season.

Official sponsors mean official cocktail recipes, so it means we’ll be able to easily recreate the Hendrick’s Summer Punch at home whenever we feel like it! (Also the Hendrick’s Floradora, but I have to keep that one up my sleeves for some other time.)

Last night was also the official end of the festival so I may have gotten a little carried away at the afterparty, hence the late blog post! Though I’m happy to report I stuck to my guns with Summer Punches through till 3am. Early bedtime tonight, I think.

Ginuary 19th: Golden Peach Nelly @ Gold Bar Hobart.

Mofo weekend is here and that means some weird hours over the next few days! I’m at work until 3:30am tonight! Here is a drink that Ian, the legend behind Gold Bar Hobart, concocted for me! It is delicious and custardy and creamy and I’m a happy girl.

The Golden Peach Nelly is made of barrel aged bathtub gin, mandarin eau de vie, peach bitters, chocolate & cinnamon bitters, egg yolk and a bit of simple syrup. I can’t tell you any more or I’d have to kill you.

Have a great day.

Ginuary 18th: Kaffir Gin Fizz @ Ti Ama.

It was so hot today that working in a shipping container was one of the more bad things I could have done, and it fried my brain.

So a Kaffir Gin Fizz at Ti Ama on my way home from work was necessary, to soothe me.

But also I still need sleep to repair while unconscious. RIP me. The end.

Ginuary 13th: Tas Berry Sour @ The Den Salamanca.

Ok. Let’s talk about the Den. It’s been open for around a month and still smells deliciously like pine or some other lovely wood, because it’s got a ridiculously expensive fitout that’s around 97% wooden. If that scent never leaves, it will be too soon. I would go to the Den just to take a nice big deep breath into my lungs. I would, and I have, and I will again.

The cocktail list is my second favourite thing about the Den (my first being that smell). I’m even saying that when only two of the drinks on the (short) list (of thirteen) are gin-based. Everything is full of creativity and components that I can’t do easily in my home bar and that’s just what I want from a cocktail bar, because if I could make it easily at home, why wouldn’t I just do that? Give me house infused gin, Fernet Branca, and flavoured syrups. Give it to me in a drink called a Tas Berry Sour.

I’ve been to the Den three times now, and I’ve had this drink two of those times. It’s good. It’s very good, and perching upstairs at the Den looking down at the plebs is my favourite spot from which to drink it. Beautiful!

Ginuary 12th: Guns Babes Lemonade @ Street Eats Franko.

Hobart summer Friday nights are good nights, because of Street Eats @ Franko. Friday night food markets! Cheap dinner in town with some good live music.

And Spirit People’s cocktail stall.

It’s a good place run by good people! The drinks change every week, and every week I hope there’s something with gin in it, and tonight there was! I was so overwhelmed by the idea of food on the horizon that I didn’t even check what the local and international gins that went into my drink were, but it’s also got other good stuff in it, and I drank it.

I then kept drinking because it’s Friday night, so… bye!

Ginuary 8th: Ye Almighty Martini @ Faro Tapas.

The last birthday hurrah for me is tonight at MONA’s new wing, Pharos. It’s a little undiscovered as yet but here’s a hint from someone in the know: the hands-down best way to experience the new wing is via a dinner booking at Faro Tapas, the restaurant located within Pharos. You can just come for dinner or you can come for a FART. That’s the way they refer to the Food + Art Experience and may never not be funny? You pay a $25/pp deposit, which covers the cost of the exclusive artwork viewing, and then you just order whatever tapas you want, a la carte. Amazing.

Another excellent thing that’s happening in Pharos is bottled cocktails. Adam Turner, MONA’s resident bar guru, has devised some delicious batch cocktails for bottling. They come in a set of four Unholy Waters. The Ye Almighty Martini is but one of them, though it was an easy choice for me to make this month (ok, let’s face it, any month—but I do want to try all of them, and half of them don’t contain gin).

The bottle’s inscription reads thus:

And David said unto his barman: ‘Make me an extremely strong cocktail of cold-smoked gin and honey-spiked vermouth with a dash of lemon and pepperberry bitters, for I no longer wish to feel my face.’ And it was so.

And it WAS so.

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