Let's pretend for a moment that the suburb you lived in turned into a cocktail. What would it look like? How would it taste? And what key ingredients would you need to tell its story? Brisbane's colourful West End was recently captured in this fun and imaginative way at The ART of Mixology! Cocktail Event co-hosted by the talented team behind Bar Staff Co. and interior decorating consultancy Gem'Appelle Designs.
The ART of Mixology! Cocktail Event was a delicious variation on the team's regular wine tasting evenings and other get-togethers. Guests started with champagne, cheese and hors d'oeuvre before moving onto the main event - the story of West End told through a trio of cocktails. Talk about making historical facts more palatable!
Grant Hiscock of Gem'Appelle Designs points out that cocktails and people have one thing in common: a story to tell. 'Mixology is not just a cool word - it is an art,' he adds. And so Grant, teaming up with Hesam and Emma from Bar Staff Co., took guests by the hand to deliver a mixology and storytelling session all in one.
Springs of herbs enliven the spirits. Image courtesy Bar Staff Co.
Our first cocktail, The Montague, arrived looking a bit like the Brisbane River and featured vodka, coffee liqueur, cream, a sprig of thyme, a dash of beer and sprinkling of cayenne pepper. Hesam notes that the drink was designed to transport guests through the changes Montague Road has seen. 'This road has been famous for industry and many migrants came to West End because of job prospects,' he said.
Vodka represented the large Russian contingent that migrated to the suburb. The cream harked back to the local dairy factory, while spicy cayenne pepper symbolised brothels prominent in the area. Thyme represented the parks found along this road and coffee liqueur the cafes which have sprung up in response to residential rezoning. 'Finally, we got each of you to flood your drink with a shot of beer,' Hesam said. This was in memory of the floods which have affected the area and, in particular, the kegs of beer which floated away from the West End brewery during the 1893 flood.
A corner of the Gem'Appelle Designs showroom. Author image.
Other cocktails included The Boundary (white rum, hibiscus flowers, ginger and lime) and The Vulture (vodka, elderflower, lemon myrtle, Greek yoghurt, and lemon curd, lightly dusted with cinnamon and sugar). These two also came with their own intriguing stories. Keen to hear more? Keep an eye on future event announcements via the Gem'Appelle Designs facebook page or hire your own Bar Staff Co. mixologist for your next party or event. Cheers!