IN­SIDER The lat­est news & re­views RAISE THE BAR TOP OF THE POPS Fresh from the frosé (frozen rosé) fad comes POPS, posh pop­si­cles. Two are boozy – the clas­sic in­cludes cham­pagne and the bellini blends prosecco with schnapps. And two are al­co­hol-free – str

Sunday Herald Sun - Stellar - - On Sunday - BY SI­MON PLANT by Michael Madru­san and Zara Young, Hardie Grant Books, $45, out now

WHAT’LL you have? It’s the first ques­tion Michael Madru­san asks drinkers propped up at the bar at The Ever­leigh, his “golden era” cock­tail lounge bar in Fitzroy ... and it’s such a loaded one.

“Your an­swer has to do with how you’re feel­ing, what sort of day you’ve had,” Madru­san says.

At ‘ The Ev’, up­stairs at 150 Gertrude St, this bar­tender di­vines those needs through ne­go­ti­a­tion. “We don’t know what you want. You do. Our job is to help you get there,” he says.

A Spot At The Bar is the next best thing to be­ing at The Ever­leigh – a guide to “the art of good drink­ing in 300 recipes”.

Madru­san and busi­ness part­ner, Zara Young, have dis­tilled their con­sid­er­able knowl­edge into one hand­somely il­lus­trated vol­ume that will have you reach­ing for the mar­tini glass, the cock­tail shaker and the best stuffed olives around. Aper­i­tifs, savoury drinks, night­caps, han­gover cures – it’s all here. But A Spot At The Bar is much more than just a man­ual.

“This book takes you be­hind the bar and lifts the lid on ev­ery­thing to do with our think­ing,” Young says.

The Ever­leigh opened in July 2011. Madru­san wanted a place full of mys­tery and awe where you could find the per­fect drink and, if awards are any in­di­ca­tion, he and Young have suc­ceeded. But in writing the book, they were re­minded how sweet and sour the ex­pe­ri­ence has been.

“There have def­i­nitely been some hard times,” he ad­mits. “We’ve al­most had the closed sign on the door a cou­ple of times.”

A Spot At The Bar is a vote of con­fi­dence in the fu­ture. Madru­san al­ready has two more books in mind.

“Yeah, we want to be part of ev­ery­one’s world,” he says. “When you wake up on Sun­day morn­ing, think­ing ‘Let’s have some friends over for drinks,’ think of us!” A Spot At The Bar

SPIRIT GUIDES Own­ers of The Ever­leigh Zara Young and Michael Madru­san.

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