Just the Ticket
The Inner West is a special place. It’s creative, all-inclusive, and – we’re sure the locals wouldn’t mind us saying – a little left of centre.
“There’s definitely an attitude and atmosphere in Enmore that lent itself to creating a cocktail list with a bit of a twist,” says Queens Hotel Bar Manager Harrison Westlake, who took classics like a London Calling, Bloody Mary, and an Old Fashioned and stirred them into something familiar yet fresh.
“We’ve aimed to deliver something different, something you can’t find anywhere else,” he continues of the menu at Queens Hotel and upstairs bar The Smelly Goat. “It’s not quirky per se, but it is a little unusual.”
Perhaps the biggest point of difference is just how many vegetables are being incorporated. Rhubarb, native fennel, carrot, beetroot… you could be tricked into thinking you’re drinking your morning juice if not for the booze.
“Vegetables aren’t something you come across in cocktails too much,” concedes Harrison. “But they have vibrant colours and flavours that really create something unique.”
Sure, shiitake mushroom in your Bloody Mary – or Genghis Can as it’s called at The Smelly Goat – is not standard, but paired with tomato juice, works wonderfully to create a rich flavour.
So too do the ingredients in the Evergreen cocktail. “On paper, gin, green capsicum, chilli and ginger doesn’t really sound like it’s going to work, but it’s a drink greater than the sum of its parts. It’s a nice surprise,” says Harrison.
To pay homage to and compliment the Chinese food offering from restaurant Queen Chow, Harrison also played around with Asian spices, sweet and sour flavours and ever-popular tea.
“I’ve incorporated a smoked tea syrup into the Churchill’s Delight, making it a reimagined tequila Old Fashioned,” he says. “We haven’t tried to specifically pair our drinks and food, more compliment.”
And with bar and supper menus featuring steamed, baked and fried dim sum by formidable dumpling master Eric Koh, you’re sure to find a cocktail, wine or beer to have over a quick but insanely delicious snack pre or post show at Enmore Theatre, which just down the road.
“We’re very lucky here,” says Harrison of Queens Hotel’s location. “The community is vibrant, there’s a lot going on. We want to add to that vibrancy.”