If there’s one thing I love to do, besides blogging, it’s introducing people to hidden gems scattered throughout the heart of Adelaide. A newly developed business that also shares a similar passion is The Beverage Collective – a proud South Australian company that organises self-guided bar tours of exclusive venues and laneways hidden among the city streets.
Nearly everyone can say they’ve been on a pub-crawl that mostly involves downing as many beverages as possible, though bar tours are somewhat different. Indeed, they involve the consumption of alcoholic beverages but in a far more tasteful way. It’s also an opportunity to discover what the city has to offer by venturing to places you may have never heard of before.
With special thanks to business owner, Mel, and Grace Newnham from Finding Adelaide for the invite, myself and two other Adelaide bloggers participated in a bar tour last Thursday evening to experience it for ourselves.
A total of 13 venues are involved with The Beverage Collective’s bar tours that are all within walking distance of one another. The venues include:
- Mother Vine
- Hains and Co
- Mississippi Moon
- Thrift Shop Bar
- Electra House
- Bank Street Social
- Cantina Sociale
- Mr Goodbar
- Lady Burra Brewhouse
Depending on the price of the bar package and how many venues you wish to visit will determine the number you go to. On this occasion, we visited two. Groups of up to 10 – 12 people are able to able to participate in a tour and prices begin at $60 per head – cheaper than your average wine tour!
Our first location of the evening tour was Mississippi Moon, or ‘The Moon’ as some call it. This quaint little bar sits just off of Hindley down Gresham Street and combines a mixture of white vintage furnishings with rough, urban American touches.
As we were admiring the décor, a jug of Moonshine Fruit Punch was served – a new beverage included on the summer menu! The drink is ideal for sharing with larger groups of people and consists of Ole Smoky Blackberry Moonshine, Melbourne Sour Mash Moonshine, Ole Smoky Peach Moonshine, Contreau, Orange and Pineapple Juice topped with soda and fruit. The drink was deliciously refreshing and was the perfect way to start the evening – literally with a punch!
Following the fruity punch were a trio of cocktails. First to arrive was the elegantly appealing Full Moon, consisting of Ole Smokey Apple Pie Moonshine, Coitreau, Lime Juice and egg white. At first the thought of egg and alcohol sounds completely off putting, but surprisingly the whisked texture creates a light, fluffy layer above the alcohol that works very well! The drink itself was delicious and will be great during the warm vibes felt throughout summer.
The Passionfruit Fizz also served to be a fresh new inclusion on the summer menu and was certainly my personal favourite. The sweet mixture of sugar, passionfruit pulp, lemon juice and Kettle One Vodka worked exceptionally well together and allowed the cocktail to seem sweeter rather than alcoholic.
On the other hand, the Mint Juleb with Buffalo Trace Bourbon, dark sugar and mint was completely opposite from the previous two cocktails. Served in a stainless steel tin rather than a delicate glass, the cocktail truly represents the rough side of American Mississippi in both looks and taste. The strong bittersweet flavour awakens your tastebuds and jolts you up in your seat slightly. Fair to say this is definitely the drink for those who enjoy, or can handle, the taste of strong cocktails.
Before we knew it, the time had flown by and we made our way to location two by 7:35pm, which happened to be Hains and Co down Gilbert Place. It’s crazy to believe how many times I have walked down Gilbert Place and have never realised this wonderful, ocean-themed bar sitting right on the corner.
The dive bar is decorated exactly how the inside of a vintage ship would look – imagine wooden planks, little objects in jars, anchors everywhere and lots of rope. The crowd demographic seemed a little older in comparison to Mississippi Moon, but the classy vibe was highly enjoyable.
Selections of gins were on offer with very in-detailed pep talks given on each. The four gins that were tasted included 23rd Street Distillery, Applewood Distillery Gin, Ounce Gin and the Small Batch Gin from Adelaide Hills Distillery.
Of the four, our favourite was the Applewood Distillery gin paired with Mediterranean Fever-Tree Tonic Water and a small cassia stick. The dash of a drink was like any gin and tonic should be – perfectly balanced and refreshing with a slight sweetness provided from the cassia stick.
The final drink of the hour was the Ounce and a Half. Similarly to the Full Moon cocktail at Mississippi Moon, this drink also included a top layer of egg white froth along with an array of fruity syrups and Ounce gin. Although, this top layer was not as thick in comparison to The Moon’s. The sweet flavour provided from the syrups and lemon juice acted as a good alternative from the previous dry gin and was an ideal way to conclude the tour.
Adelaide has an increasing amount of bars for locals and visitors alike to enjoy, it’s just a matter of going out and finding them – The Beverage Collective can help with that.