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Cocktail trends at the Club
City Club Bar Manager Rob Pierce uses exciting local products to add a dash of decadence to our cocktail lists.
The Return of the Mac at Bourke Street Green is a lively blend of Buffalo Trace bourbon, Mac macadamia and wattleseed liqueur (from Byron Bay), plus black walnut bitters, while the Queen of the South in Sojourn is a fiesta of Calle 23 Blanco tequila with Marionette Groseille (Melbourne made), cherry and rosemary shrub and lime juice.
If you’re after something more theatrical, then try a Nick & Nora’s Silent Horror in the refurbished Wine Bar. It’s a heady mix of Nosferatu Blood Orange gin (produced in South Melbourne), lemon juice, simple syrup and egg white.
From these delicious cocktails to monthly spotlights on local tap beers, City Club Bar Manager Rob is focused on giving customers a local option as a point of difference in Melbourne’s CBD bar scene.
New to the menu is Davo Plum Aperitivo Bitters, which has a similar profile to the well-known Aperol, making it perfect to mix with sparkling wine or soda and lots of ice for a long drink.
“We are currently replacing the traditional Aperol in our spritz with the Davo Plum Aperitivo Bitters,” says Rob.
Made by Autonomy Distillers in Spotswood, owner Ashley Sutherland says the Davo Plum Aperitivo Bitters also has a lot of bright citrus flavour.
“We get our citrus from a local juice-pressing company that would otherwise discard the skins of the fruit. We use their fresh leftover peels to reduce food waste,” Ashley says. “We try to incorporate our environmental philosophy into everything we do: upcycling, reducing waste and reducing food miles.”
He says not many people are familiar with the Damson plum, which is about the size of a squash ball.
“It’s really sour but has tons of vibrant and electric purple hues,” he says. “It works well against the citrus flavours and the Tasmanian pepperberry gives the drink some burn and spice. We’ve also added native Quandong peach for its tart and woody flavours.”
Ashley was an environmental consultant before escaping the corporate world to follow his interest in making spirits and bitters.
“I’ve always been interested in Italian-style drinks such as amaros and rather than making the straight-up gins and whiskeys that have become popular, the bitters has been our point of difference,” he says. “It suits the Melbourne vibe, the cafe culture, and the bar scenes.
“It was hard to launch the product last year during the lockdown, when all the bars were closed, but Melbourne has emerged with an interest in hyper-local products, which has helped us.”
Rob is always on the lookout for new local products to add to the menu at Bourke Street Green and Grainshaker Vodka, which is handmade in Northcote, is a recent addition.
“Whisky sours and the classic old-fashioned cocktails are a hit in the winter months,” says Rob. “Mulled wine is too and it will make its way back onto the menu over winter.”
With a choice of three places to get cocktails, you can spend all winter trying the different drinks on offer at the Club. Walks in are welcome at Bourke Street Green.
Book your next restaurant experience online. Click on the name of the venue for a direct link: Wine Bar and Sojourn.