How to stay in good form whilst drinking Absinthe

“Whiskey and beer are for fools; absinthe for poets;
absinthe has the power of the magicians; it can wipe out
or renew the past, and annul or foretell the future.”

Ernest 1867-1900

It’s hard to say no to a drink that is apparently magic? Even pop culture tells us a swig will consequent in Kylie Mingoue making an impromptu cameo, green glitter everywhere! So how to drink the celestial drop whilst keeping in good form? …or ‘good form’?

Okay, I may of cheated with semantics however if we were going to be technical, Absinthe is unequivocally French. If we were in France, instead of saying ‘good form’ we would say ‘le bon ton’… so to Le Bon Ton we go!

Meet Le Bon Ton! Where absinthe runs free, and half the bar is made from champagne boxes ūüáęūüá∑

Meet Le Bon Ton! Where absinthe runs free, and half the bar is made from champagne boxes ūüáęūüá∑

Despite my undeniable logic, Le Bon Ton isn’t actually French per se, but is orientated towards a New Orleans style bar/diner. It has a 24 hours license (which allows it to be open until 6am on weekends) has an oyster room, absinthe salon, smokehouse, cocktail bar, and my favourite – a fairy light illuminated beer garden!

fairylights

Fairy lights make everything better, fact.

So what exciting cocktails can you expect!

You can expect ALL the cocktails!

You can expect ALL the cocktails!

The cocktail list is long, in depth, amazing and has something for everyone. I made sure to test this by getting a variation.

First up!

Bartender, can I please have something fruity and fun?

Meet the hurricane - which also happens to be on tap!

Meet the hurricane – which also happens to be on tap!

This one happens to be the number one best seller, thus the fact its on tap makes it all the better! Described as one of the most visible drinks if you were going to visit the French Quarter of New Orleans. The birth of this drink originates during World War II when it was so hard to import Scotch Whisky that the only way a bar could secure even just a single case from a liquor salesmen was by also purchasing as many as 50 cases of Rum! So to help shift the abundance stock, The Hurricane was created; Rum + fresh pressed citrus + passionfruit + pomegranate = Rum be gone!

Bartender, I need something with a kick.

The Le Bon Ton Martini

The Le Bon Ton Martini

If anyone has read my previous posts they will understand why this one excited me so much. Made with Dutch Courage Gin, Dry Vermouth, a splash of Manzanilla Sherry, an olive that has been stuffed with a smoked almond by hand and a novel spray of Scotch Whisky to finish off – there’s no room for disappointment.

Bartender… Can I have the peanut butter one?

My favourite, I have a weakness for milky alcoholy goodness...

My favourite, I have a weakness for milky alcoholy goodness… name: PB + Jamo

My ultimate favourite! I can enjoy my spirits neat, prefer my drinks without a mixer – but if the description contains such words as “egg-nog” or “Reese’s Peanut Butter”, I’m going to have 6 before the hours up. In full: a wintery Egg-Nog with herbal Benedictine, rich Muscat wine and Jameson Irish Whisky¬†infused with Reese’s Peanut Butter then garnished with grated nutmeg. If I wasn’t aiming for ‘variation’ I would’ve most definitely stuck to these all night…

Bartender! I need variation before I order another PB + Jamo…

The Mojo Hannah, this one made me temporarily forget about peanut butter...

The Mojo Hannah, this one made me temporarily forget about peanut butter…

Containing Spiced Rum, fresh watermelon, white chocolate liqueur and a hint of citrus and Absinthe Рit did not disappoint. Even after peanut butter egg nog, this one was like every cocktail above in one! As I said before, this place has it all!

Then what do you do when you’ve tried¬†everything but the Kitchen Sink? You order a Kitchen Sink….

The Kitchen Sink Salad ft. Fried Chicken

The Kitchen Sink Salad ft. Fried Chicken

I can’t think of more perfect drinking food, shared among friends it tasted like Nachos but was in fact salad and if thats not enough, they possibly have the best fried chicken I’ve ever had.

To stalk it yourself:

Le Bon Ton, http://www.lebonton.com.au/ , 51 Gipps Street Collingwood

Prost!

The rivalry that was so big it created an entire city….

Tom vs. Jerry

Tweety vs. Sylvester 

Seinfield vs. Newman

I think you’re getting the theme here, Melbourne versus Sydney has been a thing since we battled for the title of capital city, only for that to fall through and Canberra to be born – the city equal distances between.

Thats how competitive we are! So much so, the stubbornness created an entire city!

So naturally, when I jumped off the plane I was sceptical about what I was going to find. The facts I had been told were:

“There is absolutely no¬†bar scene here,”

“They have the same cafe scene as Melbourne… circa 2002.”

(May I note, these quotes came from a recent expat from Melbourne now relocated to the sandy shores of Sydney)

I like to think of myself as quite an open minded person, so I decided to do what any other like minded individual would do, and I went on a mission to discover the truth / went on a 4 day bender.

The results:

The Grounds of Alexandria, The Potting Shed

“They have the same cafe scene as Melbourne… circa 2002.”

Kingfish Sashimi and Smashed Avo on freshly baked seeded bread...

The Grounds of Alexandria: Kingfish Sashimi and Smashed Avo on freshly baked seeded bread…

Not only was this cafe amazing, it was an institution. The Ground of Alexandria is a multifaceted establishment complete with a restaurant, bar, a parrot named Fluffy and a pig named Kevin Bacon. Thats right, they have their own pig named Kevin friggin’ Bacon. The kicker, I was too hyped about Fluffy I never got a chance to meet the little piggy – rumour has it that a jealous customer stole Mr Bacon and he was later found in Victoria. Yup, I told you the competition ran deep.

It wasn’t just Fluffy that kept me distracted, it was the wheelbarrow bonfire in the car park that was lit and equipped with marshmallows and skewers for anyone interested. It was the amazing details of signage which included puns such as have a “good thyme”. It had zero faults. Not only that, but heres where the real kicker comes…

“There is absolutely no¬†bar scene here,”

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DIY Bourbon Old Fashioned, complete with smoked cinnamon, maple syrup and bacon.

No bar scene you say? Well, I hate to come across like a traitor, but I found the above pretty damn amazing. And then…

An Espresso Martini Flip made with fig liquer and wait for it... a quail egg. #canteven

An Espresso Martini Flip made with fig liquer and wait for it… a quail egg. #canteven

An espresso martini flip made with a quail egg!? Some would say too much, I would say, well done. They literally got a stack of post its, wrote down every little bit of information about them on them, then took those 100,000 post its and made it so it was 10x better and cooler than anything I’ve ever witnessed. Or thats what I assume must of happened, because they literally had no faults.

Note, this is just ONE place I visited (maybe several times) on my four days of intensive research/drinking. I still haven’t even covered all the Bloody Marys! However I decided it’s best to go one step at a time, so I’ll leave that till next time.

For those playing at home:

The Grounds of Alexandria, 2 Huntley St, Alexandria NSW || http://thegrounds.com.au/ ||

Prost!

That time when Cocktails of Melbourne went to Sydney…

So! A few myths that I would like to debunk.

  • Sydney does have bars
  • Sydney also has cafes

I went to Sydney for four nights, purely for research, made sure to drink as much as possible, purely for the readers benefits.

Unfortunately due to my enthusiasm I’m not quite recovered enough to describe at length, so I’m going to take the picture book route, and promise to explain in extensive detail once I finally find where I hid the Berocca.

Evidence of above fallacies:

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I’d add captions, but I prefer to leave some element of mystery and will reveal in 24 hours.

Till then,

Prost! x

Why Ron Burgundy let you down.

Mine milkshake bright all yon gentlefolk to mine yard...

Mine milkshake bring all yon gentlefolk to mine yard…

“Milk was a bad choice.”

A man of many wise words, but when it comes to a quality libation milk is constantly looked down upon. Why? There are some reasons, some poor choices such as the ‘cement mixer’ – a shot created in the seventh circle of hell in which a combination of baileys and lime juice curdles in ones mouth to highlight the fact you’ve either lost a dare or been a pawn in a cruel joke. Or you’ve asked the bartender for a shot after they’ve cut you off and you won’t take no for an answer.

Alcohol and dairy can be legendairy (sorry, not sorry). With the spiked milkshakes popping up everywhere, people are starting to come to discover this Bonnie & Clyde of a duo and discover the magic. However I understand dairy still needs a bit of promotion, so here’s a list of some quality reasons why you should introduce milk into your drinking schedule and some fine institutions where you can try it out for yourselves:

  1. Unlike most mixers, milk is high in protein, calcium and all those other goodies as well as being¬†lower in sugar. It’s the healthy persons choice, really. #cleaneating
  2. It’s delicious.
  3. Half the time it comes with ice-cream or a dessert like garnish.
  4. Refer to the above.

Muharam

97 Burwood road, Hawthorn 3122

The Nuts'bout'Tella cocktail at Muharam Cafe (**Friday nights only!)

The Nuts’bout’Tella cocktail at Muharam Cafe (**Friday nights only!)

The Grand Trailer Park Taverna

87 Bourke Street Melbourne

Salted Caramel & Bourbon and

The Salted Caramel & Bourbon and Kinder Surprise & Frangelico spiked milkshakes at The Grand Trailer Park Taverna

Jungle Boy

96 Chapel Street, Windsor

The Thrilla Gorilla at Jungle Boy - the love child of a banana split and bottle of Barcadi 8yo

The Thrilla Gorilla at Jungle Boy – the love child of a banana split and bottle of Barcadi 8yo

Prost!

Four reasons to swap your single origin piccolo latte (You’re welcome)

Muharam Cafe, Little Drippa Espresso Martini w/ Pistachio, Goji & Dark Chocolate coated marshmallow.

Muharam Cafe, Little Drippa Espresso Martini w/ Pistachio, Goji & Dark Chocolate coated marshmallow.

As cafes have now become the foundation of every social catch up, business meeting, hipster office and instagram post Рyour drink order has become more important than ever. If god forbid you accidentally forget to ask from what region your single origin cold drip coffee comes from before ordering, you may be mistaken for as lazy.

But as you read that last sentence, I think we both know that is a load of sh..ugar. The reality is no one really cares. We order for the caffeinated buzz, and not the slight sharpness of plum undertones brought on only by arabica beans harvested on a full moon 16.3kms from the equator.

So! On that note, here a four lovely venues to get your morning going!

|| Espresso Martinis

Espresso Martinis are in fact as equally balanced in stimulant & depressant as the yin and yang tattoo on your baristas forearm. So if you wanted¬†to have a truly productive morning, I suggest you skip your yoga class and order one of these and I personally guarantee a morning of socialising, self-awareness, and brainstorming (which from experience may lead to you and your best friend drunkenly booking a trip to Europe…) Passports at the ready!

Dr Morse Bar & Eatery

274 Johnston Street, Abbotsford, www.drmorse.com.au

Oscar Cooper

160 Greville Street, Prahran, www.oscarcooper.com.au

St Ali

12-18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne, www.stali.com.au

Muharam

97 Burwood road, Hawthorn, www.muharam.com.au

Detailed photos and reviews to come in due time…

Prost!