SYDNEY’S VIKING BAR, MJØLNER

I love themes; themed parties, themed dinners and above all, themed bars! So you can probably imagine how excited I got when I came across an article showcasing a new Viking themed bar in Sydney! Now, not only is this Viking bar called Mjølner – you know, old mates hammer, it is also a carvery, a whisky bar and most importantly, right down the road from me. Seriously guys, I almost lost my shit! I grabbed a team of meat eaters, booked in a table and counted down the days to which we would drink all of the mead and feast on all of their beasts, before heading off to war at sun break… or just home to sleep.

Now, of course I was initially a little hesitant about the whole thing. You see, there’s always some new themed bar popping up around Sydney; some that run the distance and those that don’t. But the more I looked into Mjølner and saw the posse they were rolling with – the Speak Easy Group (Eau de Vie Sydney, Eau de Vie Melbourne, The Roosevelt), the more my mind was put at ease.

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The day had arrived and boy was I excited! We entered through a heavy wooden door, wondered down the stairwell and greeted by a shit load of people fighting to get a drink at the bar! Okay, maybe not fighting, but huddled … intensely! The bartenders were working a million miles a minute and people just seemed to keep piling on top of those already waiting – how very vikingesque!

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I must admit, usually I am not a fan of the usual hustle and bustle you get at some bars. It’s pretty intense and not exactly the most pleasant of experiences having someone elbow you in your tit whilst you wait to grab a much needed beverage. On this occasion, I kinda’ loved it – well not the elbow in the tit malarkey but the hustle and bustle… I thought added to the atmosphere!

As I slowly moved my way closer to the bar, I took a second to have a look around at the decor and was pleasantly surprised. There was no tack in site! Just robust wooden tables, beautifully lit display cabinets presenting soon to be carved meats and just the right amount of Viking themed paraphernalia. I liked it alot. An open wood fire would have topped it off for me, but I can’t have it all now, can I?

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So, the real reason I am here: TO DRINK … oh and eat. My review is not going to spend too much time on the food (which was tasty as fuck and the theater that goes along with it is… hilarious) but on the drink situation they’ve got going on. As I mentioned above, the bar was hectic, but we persevered and managed to have a peak at the extensive bar menu and choose our poison.

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There was plenty to chose from, but the star of the show for me would have to be the Kon Tiki: Havana Club 3yo rum, Vida mescal, soured apple juice, salt water & samphire orgeat.

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This cocktail is based on the classic mai tai but with a Nordic twist. I loved this cocktail; it was so different to any rum cocktail I’ve ever had before which is always super exciting for me! Fresh, dangerously potent and deliciously smoky, it was an overload for my senses – which could be a bad thing for some people, but for me, a run ride!

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The bar itself has an incredible selection of poison from beautiful wines, a wide variety of whisky and my love in liquid form, rum! I would highly recommend heading to Mjølner and attempt to drink your favourite tipple from a horn whilst cutting into your steak with a horn-handled hunting knife!

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     Mjølner
     267 Cleveland St,
     Redfern NSW 2016
     0422 263 226

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Photography © by Kara’s Rum Quest – Copyright: All rights reserved.

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This article is posted on karasrumquest.com – All rights reserved – Copyright © 2017.

PLANTATION O.F.T.D LAUNCH TIKI PARTY

So, my life has been a little hectic as of late; getting kicked out of our flat as our dog looks too “aggressive”, finding somewhere to rent on top of looking for a house to buy, constanly studying, barely keeping afloat at my normal job, attempting to keep my blog updated and above all, trying to be an awesome wife to my ever patient husband and mum to my fur baby – who I have been seriously negating lately. There is too much going on all at once and I am literally a walking zombie.

Screen Shot 2017-04-21 at 10.05.47So when I got an invite yesterday to head over to The Lobo Plantation for their Plantation OFTD Launch TIKI Party, I was pretty hesitant due to, you know, life! Yet, the more I pondered the more I found myself leaning towards the ‘fuck it’ approach! I hit the accept button, put on some deodorant and headed to The lobo, sans camera- queue terrible iPhone camera photos!

When I arrived at Lobo, I was handed a multicoloured lei, and made my way inside. The Lobo Plantation is an amazing basement bar located on Clarence Street. As you walk (carefully) down the spiral staircase you are welcomed with such a picturesque setting: lush greenery, bead fringe lampshades giving off a warm glow, beautiful leather couches that glisten in the dim light, pink flamingo wall paper and my favourite part of the bar, the amazing ornate mahogany bar where you get yo’ dranks… and possibly lose a few eyebrow hairs from the amount of fire that goes on behind there!

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So, being an incredibly awkward introvert, I made a beeline to a few stools in the corner and stayed there for pretty much the whole night- unless I was doing a drinks run. When I wasn’t people watching, drinking or running to the bar for more drinks, I was pawing over the drinks list for the night- and whatta’ list! We had a choice of six incredible Plantation OFTD cocktails to choose from… and I pretty much tried them all 🙂
The options were:

  • Demerara Dry Float – Plantation OFTD, Luxardo Maraschino, FTD float, passion fruit, lime juice
  • Queens Park Swizzle – Plantation OFTD, Sugar Syrup, Lime Juice, Mint leaves, Angostura Bitters
  • Test Pilot – Plantation OFTD, Plantation Jamaica 2002, Pierre Ferrand Curacao, Pernod, Angostura Bitters, Lime juice, Falernum
  • Captains Grog– Plantation OFTD, Plantation Jamaica 2002, Pierre Ferrand Curacao, lime juice, Grapefruit juice, maple syrup. Vanilla extract, almond extract
  • Palmetto Redux – Plantation OFTD, Plantation Pineapple, Rosso, Orange bitters
  • Planters Punch – Plantation OFTD, Sugar Syrup, Lime juice, Soda, Grated nutmeg, angostura bitters

All the cocktails where pretty delicious, but there were two standouts for me last night:

Demerara Dry Float: A dangerous, dangerous cocktail. This would be down to Plantation O.F.T.D sitting pretty at 69% overproof but god damn! The passion fruit compliments this rum greatly. I am not sure how, but it works and that is all I care about 😀

Captains Grog: An amazingly smooth cocktail that went down far too fast and far too easy. Again, the fruity aspect really compliments Plantation O.F.T.D. which results in a really light and fresh cocktail.

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I sadly didn’t get a chance to try Plantation O.F.T.D straight, but seeing as it is a pretty high ABV rum, it obviously indicates that this is not a sipping rum. It is made for cocktails and you know what, I am more than fine with that 😀

For those of you wanting to know where you can get yourself a bottle, head to your local Nicks store or order it online.

Now, wish me luck as I attempt to pack up my flat and move today! 🙁

 

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Photography © by Kara’s Rum Quest – Copyright: All rights reserved.

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This article is posted on karasrumquest.com – All rights reserved – Copyright © 2017.

  The Lobo Plantation
  209 Clarence St
  2000 Sydney, Australia
  0437 233 009

DRINKS WITH… NIKITA WARD

I’ve met some really interesting folk so far on my little rum quest. Whenever I get a positive response to my meeting request, I’m always super grateful. In saying that, not a day goes by where I don’t worry about getting a “fuck off you weirdo” response to my invites – which I’m happy to say I have not received… yet!

Anyway, when I sent my request to the lovely Nikita Ward, I did not realise that gin was her thang – what, not EVERYONE’S life revolves around rum like mine? Fear not, I don’t discriminate!

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PS40 is where we agreed to meet; an amazing little cocktail bar that I’ve been keen to check out for a while. I arrived a little earlier than expected (which sadly meant I interrupted Nikita eating her dinner) but Nikita didn’t seem to mind in the slightest. In fact, she greeted me like I had known her for years, grabbed me a stool up next to her, fixed me a drink (an amazing rum and coke made with Plantation OFTD Rum and their amazing, in-house produced wattle cola) and we got crackalacking!

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I am always so curious how most people start off in this industry. It varies from person to person and Nikita is no exception.

My first degree was in fine arts and my second degree was in secondary education, so after a brief stint bar tending during uni, I went on to be a teacher! I taught art and dark room photography in Kalamunda High School but then realised you can’t drink and teach at the same time… and plus kids are really fucking mean! So, I moved to Sydney and right back to hospitality!

It’s at that point; I knew this was going to be a bloody fun interview…

After I finished my degree I got a job at a restaurant/ bar. I remember watching the guys behind the bar making up drinks and I thought that looks really fucking cool! You don’t have to touch food, you don’t have to walk around as much as the waitresses and you get to hang out in the bar! I used to badger them every day. Every time they made up a drink I was right there, wanting to know everything that was going in to it. The boys would also let me come in and muck around when it was quiet, which was great. I loved it, wanted to do it full time… so I did!

There’s always one point in your life you can look back at and go, “yeah, I really got my shit together there”. For Nikita, there were two:

Hazy Rose and The Rook played a huge part in helping me get my shit together. During this time, I took part in World Class and was introduced to a lot of people that work in the industry here in Sydney. I then moved on to an ambassador role with William Grant & Sonsat this point, Nikita shows me her Sailor Jerry tattoos on her elbows and I honestly died… in a good way – and then I went on to help open Jangling Jacks as a bar consultant, now I work as a brand ambassador for The West Winds Gin! Phew!

Like that point, there is always a certain person who (whether they know it or not) turns into your mentor.

 My dear friend, Mitch Bushell really inspired me in this industry. Seeing him as a bartender and seeing him, as a brand ambassador is actually pretty amazing. He is just so professional and has such enthusiasm for this industry. It’s hard not to be in awe of him. He always goes that extra mile and has such an incredible work ethic that has influenced how I go about my work. I am incredibly grateful to have him in my life!

Nikita’s middle name is Chardonnay; she adores wine and is a brand ambassador for The West Winds Gin … but what about the rum?

 Like most bartenders, a daiquiri was the first cocktail I ever learnt to make and after that, at Hula Bula Bar in Perth is where I learnt the rest about rum. I worked there for a good two and half years and together we would smash out nearly 5000 cocktails every month. Also, here is where I also had my most interesting rum experience, one of the boys was mucking around with something called Gunpowder rum…it definitely …interesting to say the least….

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 We wrapped up the interview and I thanked Nikita relentlessly for her time, (and apologised profusely for cutting into her dinner) but before I left we decided to make a gin/rum cocktail – Come on, it was pretty inevitable that this would happen!

I must admit, I was a little nervous. Gin has never agreed with me but I was intrigued. The lovely James Snelgrove, who you will see shooting the breeze behind the PS40 bar, made us a very yummy rendition of a Suffering Bastard. It was honestly gorgeous! So, for your taste buds pleasure, I noted the recipe for you all the try at home.

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All hail, The Suffering Bastard

  •  Plantation 3 star white rum
  • The West Winds Gin- The Cutlass (which is made with lots of Australian elements, including cinnamon myrtle, lemon myrtle and Australian bush tomato)
  • Lime cordial or fresh lime and sugar
  • PS Blackstrap Ginger Soda
  • Angostura bitters

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 More information at www.thewestwindsgin.com

You can buy The West Winds Gin at all good alcohol retailers such as Dan Murphy’s, Vintage Cellars, Camperdown Cellars etc.

TheWestWindsGins

     PS40
     2/40 King St, 
     Sydney NSW 2000

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Photography © by Kara’s Rum Quest – Copyright: All rights reserved.

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This article is posted on karasrumquest.com – All rights reserved – Copyright © 2017.

 

GUBBA RUM REVIEW | Kara’s Rum Quest

Who’s ready for another rum review?? This week we have two rums to review all the way from Boston, Gubba Rum! I came across Gubba Rum via Twitter last year and was lucky enough to be sent two samples of their Silver and Gold products to try out.

Does this rum have what it takes to impress little ol’ me? Press play to find out 😉

♡ Thank you for watching!
♡ Please remember to Like and Subscribe 🙂

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Videography © by Kara’s Rum Quest – Copyright: All rights reserved.

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This video is posted on karasrumquest.com – All rights reserved – Copyright © 2017.