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FOOD & DRINK

Four Bars Pouring Caribbean-Influenced Cocktails to Keep Those Summer Vibes Alive This Winter

Remain blissfully unaware that summer's over with this selection of tropical tipples.
By Elizabeth Maidment
May 01, 2019
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Four Bars Pouring Caribbean-Influenced Cocktails to Keep Those Summer Vibes Alive This Winter

Remain blissfully unaware that summer's over with this selection of tropical tipples.
By Elizabeth Maidment
May 01, 2019
  shares

FOUR BARS POURING CARIBBEAN-INFLUENCED COCKTAILS TO KEEP THOSE SUMMER VIBES ALIVE THIS WINTER

in partnership with

Remain blissfully unaware that summer's over with this selection of tropical tipples.

Winter's rolling in, but if you're not ready to let the warm days slip away just yet, a summery whisky cocktail could be your answer. Normally, the belly-warming properties of whisky call for a cosier setting. See: dimly lit bars, roaring fires, snuggle sessions. But this season, that's all changing.

Ardbeg, makers of one of the world's smokiest whiskies, is getting ready to release a summer carnival-inspired drop, Ardbeg Drum. This special blend has been created by taking the traditional Ardbeg drop from ex-bourbon casks and then resting it in rum casks, adding a uniquely Carribean note to the already complex favourite.

This limited-edition drop will be released in stores on Saturday, June 1, coinciding with the brand's annual party, known as Ardbeg Day. Yep, it seems that Ardbeg — and whisky fans — have a lot to celebrate. So, in the lead-up to this big day, Ardbeg has teamed up with a bunch of Melbourne bars to keep the warm weather vibes going. Across the entire month of May, the bars will be slinging the salty, smoky tones of Ardbeg 10 Years Old in a selection of cocktails. From the aromatic essence of a fine Cuban cigar to the spice of barbecue jerk seasoning, here are four ways bars will infuse the spirit of Caribbean summer into their menus.

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    Hidden on Malthouse Lane, behind an unassuming wooden door, Eau de Vie is a good option if you don’t want to do away with the winter vibes completely. With its low lighting and booth seating, the bar is designed for intimacy, which is the inspiration behind its Ardbeg Day offering, Mermaid’s Kiss. The cocktail features Ardbeg 10 Years Old and Caribbean Plantation white rum, mixed with amontillado sherry wine, apple juice and toasted pecan bitters. The luxe cocktail is then garnished with a black Singapore orchid and flamed chamomile dust and served swizzled in a matte black tiki-style glass. One sip and you’ll be transported from this moody Melbourne bar to a balmy beach.

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    Set in the heart of Fitzroy, Elysian Whisky Bar focuses on delivering the highest-grade spirits, with over 350 bottles on the shelves and in a private back bar. Whisky is its speciality (who’d have guessed?), so serious whisky connoisseurs are well catered for — but it also offers lighter blends and fruity concoctions for those after a lighter late-night tipple. The speciality Ardbeg Day cocktail is no exception, featuring pineapple and ginger as the heroes of the drink. With a dash of ginger ale, charred pineapple shrub, whisky barrel-aged bitters and lime juice, order this if you’re after an invigorating take on the standard ‘whisky and dry’ combo. Served in a tiki glass and topped with a dehydrated pineapple, this is one for those that prefer their whisky milder, but don’t want to compromise on the iconic smoky flavour.

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    Australian-inspired spot Galah is one of Melbourne’s hottest new watering holes. The light-filled loft-style bar features plenty of greenery and velvet booths (perfect for nestling into on a cold Melbourne night while pretending you’re actually on a snazzy rooftop in the height of summer). This buzzing Windsor spot serves up a rotating list of the best botanical spirits paired with seasonal ingredients. To celebrate Ardbeg Day, the ‘Sippin’ on Smoke’ cocktail harnesses its best herbaceous flavours. With cucumber juice, lemon, mint, creamy pistachio orgeat and saline solution, intermingled with ten-year aged whisky, this zingy drink is the perfect accompaniment to some of the bar’s native dishes — think kangaroo tartare ($14) and crocodile croquettes with Davidson plum aioli ($4). The cocktail is served shaken and double-strained into a highball glass and garnished with a cucumber ball. For added theatricality, the drink is then flamed in true tiki style.

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    The recently polished Harlow Bar is all about bringing fuss-free pub fare to the streets of Richmond. After taking over what was Church Street’s Great Britain Hotel in 2018, Harlow boasts a 250-capacity outdoor area and a revamped food menu — think duck sausage rolls, cheeseburger empanadas and a vegan burger. And, when you visit during May, you can pair your snazzy food with the Ardbeg Day 500 Miles cocktail. The tipple features Ardbeg 10 Years Old mixed with Dewars scotch, amaretto and splash of lemon juice. This cocktail packs a punch — so we recommend ordering some crab doughnuts to get you through. 

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Top Image: Mitchell Ferris.

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