BAR­TENDER OF THE YEAR

Tr­ish Brew, Gin Palace

Time Out (Melbourne) - - BAR AWARDS -

As the ju­niper joint reaches a mile­stone, we salute the wo­man whose Mar­tini skills make her a Mel­bourne trea­sure

A YEAR IN the life of a bar is a mile­stone, so when Gin Palace turned 20 this year, Vernon Chalker made sure to put on a most elab­o­rate show. Gin Palace took over Rus­sell Place and handed over even more luxe, freeflow­ing gin, mak­ing sure to cel­e­brate the fa­mil­iar faces who have helped make them the CBD sta­ple for long, gin-soaked nights. Since its in­cep­tion, the of­fer­ing at Gin palace has never changed: an ever-grow­ing col­lec­tion oof gins, cock­tails to suit, top-stan­dard Mar­ti­nis, rough chat, no phone re­cep­tion, chicken sand­wiches and a whole lot of vel­vet. It’s the kind of bar that pro­motes he­do­nism and a loss of in­hi­bi­tion, un­sur­pris­ing when Mar­ti­nis come at 90ml (the in­dus­try stan­dard is 60ml) aand ta­ble ser­vice keeps you planted in your seat all night long. When or­der­ing the clas­sic Mar­tini here you can choose from over 300 gins, a range of ver­mouths, and cus­tomise your gar­nish. Per­fect­ing that bal­ance is no small feat, which is why the venue has a crew on board who are as pas­sion­ate as they are nerdy about their core spirit. No­table Gin Palace alumni (Shaun Byrne, Nick Te­sar, Hugh Leech) have moved over to the pro­duc­tion end by creat­ing for­ti­fieds and liqueurs that work well with gin, un­der la­bels Maidenii and Mar­i­onette Liqueur. It’s not un­com­mon to find sym­phony or­ches­tra in­stru­men­tal­ists, cast mem­bers from the Princess The­atre, co­me­di­ans, tourists, of­fice work­ers and hospi­tal­ity vet­er­ans throw­ing back a few in this base­ment lounge. And the per­son who knows all the names be­hind th­ese faces is the man­ager, Tr­ish Brew. Her style is con­fi­dent, mat­ter of fact and fiercely ef­fi­cient while mak­ing ev­ery­one feel like they’re the most im­por­tant per­son in the room. It’s a skill that is en­cour­aged across the whole team, and what keeps this age­ing bar in its prime.

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