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By Harriet Leigh, Head of HospitalityISSUE #037 PROUDLY FOR EVERYONE | Cocktails

All Cocktails Are Gay

Gay Cocktails! What am I talking about, ALL drinks are GAY!

When we sat down to come up with some special cocktails for the Mardi Gras season we realised we had a real issue. Because I believe all cocktails are inherently gay. They’re delicious, they’re beautiful, and they have little fancy hairdos in the form of delightful garnishes. So gay.

Nevertheless, our incredibly hard-working and fancy bar team have come up with some doozies.

Teddybear’s picnic at Little Congwong

This drink is a riff on a Sex On The Beach. Which is actually a very silly cocktail that harks from Florida in the mid to late 80s. That is not the heyday for cocktails - in fact the post-disco era was the very lowest point for well-made drinks and cocktail culture. From the 1970s to the late 90s cocktails were on struggle street. There were of course mega-chains like TGI Fridays in large cities, but chances of getting a cocktail outside of those were slim to none. Around the time Tom Cruise was learning to flair for the movie Cocktail (quite literally responsible for a lot of my contemporaries' careers), some other bartender (often in cocktail folklore referred to as Ted - was a Ted a real person? Who knows) in Florida was playing with some serious ingredients - vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice and cranberry juice. It’s quite clearly not rocket science. Our very own bar team has tried to riff on this drink and make it as fancy as possible. It’s actually pretty good, with Signature Dry Gin, macadamia, house peach puree and grenadine, some bitters and garnished of course with a couple of gummy bears.

It’s named in honour of a beach near our distillery in Banksmeadow - Little Congwong, a brazen little nudist beach which is not unused to hosting teddybear picnics

Oat Milk Latte

Look. I have no idea who decided that Iced Lattes were gay - but someone has. Solidified in fact by memes. (Nothing will determine this era as succinctly as the existence and prevalence of memes). Google it and you’ll see - Iced Lattes are gay.

The bar has made this delicious riff on the modern classic non-alc accessory. Featuring our White Cane Rum, coffee, oat milk and a jaunty little coconut and lavender foam. It’s bloody tasty and a far superior alternative to an Espresso Martini.

Pornstar Martini

This is a modern classic and an odd drink, structurally. It’s actually two drinks, a vodka passionfruit sour with a sparkling wine chaser. It has stood the test of time no doubt because of the silly, sexy name, but also because it’s just delicious. This version features our Native Botanical Vodka, lifting it into a really elegant realm, if a pornstar can possibly make that claim. Served on the side with a teeny tiny glass of bubbles. That’s gay.

Fire Island Iced Tea

This drink is total trash. Invented in Long Island in the early 70s it’s a combination of pretty much every spirit in the well. Topped with coke. I mean really, even just reading that sentence makes me disappointed in everyone who lived through the 70s, even the ones who never drank one of these. It’s got gin, vodka, white rum, tequila and cointreau. If you use very good products in each of these places, and just enough coke to give the colour of iced tea, you can actually make a drink that is surprisingly good. Our bar manager Jonathan loves this sort of nonsense and so he’s set out to create a great one and it’s really annoying to me that he’s managed it. He’s swapped out all of the products for Australian alternatives, and it’s a nuanced clever drink. Featuring our Native Botanical Vodka, Signature Dry Gin, White Cane, Eau De Bee (in the place of the tequila - it has some similar grassy vegetal notes) and our mates from Brookies Mac. A touch of lemon juice and coke and a fancy mango fan and you’re away (with the fairies).