It’s all in the self-explanatory name. The Whiskey is indeed a bar that predominantly serves whiskey and bourbon – 160 different kinds of it. If you are yet to hop on the bandwagon of the whiskey trend, they stock an additional 100 bottles of an assortment of liquors. This cosy little candle-lit bar has a welcoming inn-like vibe that is perfect for a two-hour yarn with an old mate or a loved one. Albeit it being located on the seemingly uppity Ponsonby Road, The Whiskey manages to provide a very relaxed atmosphere while still maintaining a moderately upscale feel.
The distinct black curtain entrance is something of an interactive feature, really bringing out the inner performer that lives inside the more extroverted types while the more meek and cautious types pop their head in first before their body follows suit.
The mellow background music is a portmanteau of jazz and contemporary – a sure-fire way to hook up the super sweet chill vibes. Once it hit 9 o'clock, Eric Clapton’s Cocaine smoothly transitioned the mood, feeding us more energy for live music. The musician’s 12-string guitar and gravelly voice resonates through the bar, giving an extra vivacious kick to the atmosphere as the whiskey devotees filter in for a digestive post-dinner drink. The Whiskey bartender is also super-chill and more importantly, patient, which is most definitely a virtue when dealing with indecisive customers like my slightly flummoxed drinking companion. Sometimes, when we are given too many options, making decisions can be a rather difficult process. The bartender’s adeptness in mixology is an appreciable element of this bar that makes it worth visiting.
We finally settled on getting the Whiskey Sour ($19) and the Lychee Martini ($18). The Whiskey Sour was a safe but customary cocktail for a whiskey bar, but on point nonetheless. The Lychee Martini was a more adventurous approach taken by my drinking companion. Consisting of Bombay Sapphire gin, lychee liqueur, Chambord and lemon, this martini had a great balance of strength and sweetness. Some other witty cocktail names and descriptors from the menu really stuck with me such as His Loss, which demands you to “phone your chiropractor and regale him with stories of your exemplary cocktail”. The Corpse Reviver #2 also sounds like a concoction that I will most likely be consuming as “four of these in a row are guaranteed to bring any corpse back from the dead.” A working woman is more often than not in need of a revival remedy like that to bring her back to life.
I am one for sharp, word-savvy menus that are delightfully engaging, jazz hybrid music and patient, talented bartenders so I will most certainly be returning to The Whiskey for another tipple.