Copywriter and Copy Mentor living in the wilds of the Perth Hills with 2 invigorating young-adult children, 1 firecracker ballroom dancing baby boy, and a gaggle of geese
You can get to know me at www.crispcopy.com.au
Published March 21st 2021
The best gin and history lesson in WA
I hit the pause button on my teetotalling 2020 resolutions for one afternoon only and, I have to say, the Oh Hey WA Gin Masterclass Walking Tour made it well worth it.
I'm one of those people who has managed to trundle through life not knowing much about what makes decent cocktails, I'm not even very adept at choosing wine, and I had no idea I'd find the history of gin quite so interesting.
Although, it helps when you're learning from people so obviously in love with their jobs.
We set off from Northbridge Piazza in 37 degree heat, a determined little bunch of us, chattering away with Pete, our Oh Hey WA tour guide. Some of us were from WA, some from interstate - which was a bit of a novelty in itself. A couple of the tour participants were well versed in gin tasting, so my husband and I were happy to hang back and just listen in to the conversation as we strolled (quickly through the sunny parts, slower to catch the aircon blowing out of some of the bars) up Lake Street to turn onto Francis Street and onto Frisk Small Bar - one of WA's first Small Bar Licence holders and Perth's first Gin Bar, established in 2010.
Frisk served up dry, botanical, and then sloe berry all with lychees, berries, citrus, ice, and soda, and we were encouraged to play with flavours and mixers while nibbling cheese, olives, and crackers. Frisk also served up Mike, and if you can find another human so happily enthusiastic about telling you the history of gin, I'll eat my hat.
We learned how the botanicals are infused, how gin went from the poor woman's drink to only for the wealthy, and a good old story including gin making and bathtubs. Mike was all too happy to answer all our questions and even told us a sneaky secret cocktail recipe including apricots.
The next stop was The Flour Factory after a quick trek through Yagan Square. I know we were there for gin, but oh, the food. The food. The food. You get the idea. Husband fairly had palpitations over the Aviator cocktail and we were delivered even more interesting stories and history by our entertaining gin expert.
An hour later, we rolled out and on towards Wolf Lane, just a (by now, merry) little hop, skip and jump away in the Wesley Quarter. Our guide, Pete, pointed out street art, told stories, and kept us moving even as loaded as we were with great gin and sincerely delicious nibbles.
Wolf Lane is more than a little quirky and all the more delicious for it. Suitcases on the ceiling, tables on the wall, vintage armchairs, and a fairytale mural were our setting for utterly drinkable Negronis and a snazzy little mint number called a Southside.
Three hours passed all too quickly, and soon we were farewelling our new friend Pete and each other, going home with more recommendations for amazing little Perth spots and seriously considering booking one of Oh Hey WA's Small Bar and Street Art tours.
It's pretty easy to see why Oh Hey WA has earned TripAdvisor's Number 1 spot for WA tours, they do everything from Street Art (without the alcohol) to customised and private tours for all ages.
Highly recommended: sloe berry gin at Frisk Small bar (LGBTQ friendly and women-led) and whatever the concoction was with cucumber and strawberries at The Flour Factory (sorry, was busy with honeycomb and a fig melting off my cheese when we were given those details!) and I was happy to be converted to a Negroni when it was made so darn well at Wolf Lane. Fifteen stars, and that's 2 days later when I'm back on the wagon.