July 3, 2016 11:38 am
Our last post about the prohibition speakeasy got us thinking about original prohibition cocktails. What cocktails were served and drunk in speakeasy bars across New York during this time?
The prohibition was the great heyday for creative cocktails, a 13-year span where the allure of outlawed liquor inspired waves of colorful concoctions that offered glamour and good taste.
We have searched the web to bring you five of the best prohibition cocktails to serve at your next vintage event. Minus the tainted liquor, of course!
The phrase “bee’s knees” was prohibition-era slang for “the best.” In that time, the addition of ingredients such as citrus and honey were often used to cover the less than ideal smell and taste of bathtub gin. Improving the taste of an inferior gin may have been the goal, but the result was a fantastic concoction that can hold its own today.
How To Make
- 2 oz gin
- 3/4 oz fresh lemon juice
- 3/4 oz honey syrup
- Garnish with a lemon twist
Add all the ingredients to your shaker except for the garnish. Shake with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
This saucy cocktail was created from mixology master Ada Coleman, a well-regarded bartender at The Hotel Savoy in London. Highly regarded as her biggest claim to fame, the Hanky Panky was created to appease the thirst of a celebrated but exhausted actor Sir Charles Hawtrey. Coleman said the name came from Hawtrey’s exclamation on taking his first sip, “By Jove! That is the real hanky-panky!”
How To Make
- 2 dashes Fernet Branca
- ½ Italian Vermouth
- ½ Dry Gin
Add all the ingredients to the shaker, except for the orange peel. Shake well with ice and strain into a cocktail glass. Squeeze orange peel on top.
This fruity cocktail is named after the 1920s movie star Mary Pickford. Pickford is said to have favored this cocktail created for her on a trip to Cuba, where rum was far easier to come by.
How To Make
- 2 oz white rum
- 1 oz pineapple juice
- Dash of grenadine
- Dash of maraschino liqueur
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add all the ingredients. Shake and strain into a martini glass with a pineapple wedge.
This cocktails motto was “cheers to the hair of the dog that bit you.” The Corpse Reviver was meant as a hangover cure – because it was said to revive your corpse. It was essentially seen as medicinal in its earliest days. However, the Corpse Reviver cemented its place in the Prohibition era by being catalogued in the 1930s Savoy Cocktail Handbook.
How To Make
- 25ml gin
- 25ml triple sec
- 25ml vermouth
- 25ml fresh lemon juice
- 4ml absinthe
Add all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well then strain into a Martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
The Gin Rickey’s earliest incarnation favored bourbon over gin. But the shift to gin in the 1920s is believed to have occurred because bathtub gin was more readily available, as it required no aging. F. Scott Fitzgerald was a fan of the revised Gin Rickey, referencing it in a pivotal scene in The Great Gatsby.
How To Make
- 2 oz gin
- Juice of 1 lime
- Club soda
- Lime wedge for garnish
Add the gin and lime juice into a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a highball glass full of fresh ice. Top with club soda and garnish with a lime wedge.
Need A Mobile Bar To Serve Prohibition Cocktails?
Hoffman is a vintage mobile speakeasy bar located in Perth, Western Australia. Contact us today to receive a competitive quote, or visit our Weddings and Events page for more information.
June 16, 2016 12:17 pm
On January 17, 1920, the United States became a dry country when the prohibition came into force. This marked the start of the prohibition speakeasy – a hidden section of an establishment used to illegally sell alcoholic beverages.
Some prohibition speakeasies were similar to today’s clubs, with singing and jazz performances.
To enter a speakeasy you needed to say a password to the doorperson. The aim was to ensure access wasn’t given to secret agents who were trying to stop these illegal drinking dens from trading.
The prohibition speakeasy came into distinction in the United States from 1920 to 1933. They were found everywhere. But were most common in New York, especially between 45th and 52nd street on 5th and 6th avenues, where almost every building contained illegal liquor.
More than 95 years after its inception, people are still fascinated by the prohibition speakeasy era, with bars that mimic these times popping up all over the place.
To indulge your fascination we have put together 5 fascinating facts about the prohibition speakeasy. Enjoy!
1. The Word Speakeasy Came From A Bartender’s Term
People were encouraged to ‘speak easy’ when at a bar. This meant they were not supposed to draw any suspicion towards buying alcoholic beverages by looking nervous or talking quickly. Slang words used for alcohol included coffin varnish, rot gut and horse liniment. These code words were used so people could fool officials and the government, stopping them from finding out about the prohibition speakeasies.
2. It Wasn’t Illegal To Drink Alcohol During The Prohibition
The 18th Amendment outlawed the ‘manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquor’, but it failed to consider outlawing the consumption of alcohol too. This left the gate wide open for illegal underground drinking which the prohibition speakeasies took full advantage of.
3. Thousands Died From Drinking Tainted Liquor
Because the manufacture of liquor was banned people were forced to make their own, often with disastrous consequences. In many cases industrial methanol was used, otherwise known as wood alcohol, which was a legal but extremely dangerous poison. This type of homemade ‘moonshine’ caused irreversible injuries including blindness and paralysis. One government report stated out of 480,000 gallons of liquor confiscated in New York in 1927 alone, nearly all contained poisons.
4. Drug Stores Sold Alcohol As Medicine
The Volstead Act, passed on October 3, 1919, was developed to enforce the prohibition of alcohol. It stated that beverages over a 0.5 alcohol volume were illegal. However, it included some interesting exceptions to the ban on distributing alcohol. For example, sacramental wine was still permitted for religious purposes. This skyrocketed the number of questionable rabbis and priests. Drug stores were allowed to sell ‘medicinal whiskey’ to treat everything from toothache to the flu. With a physician’s prescription patients could legally buy a pint of hard liquor every ten days. These ‘prescriptions’ often often came with laughable doctor’s orders such as taking ‘three ounces every hour for stimulant, until stimulated’. Many speakeasies eventually operated under the guise of being a pharmacy, further assisting the prohibition speakeasies to flourish.
5. Cocktails Masked The Flavour Of Poorly Made Alcohol
Cocktails gained significant popularity during the prohibition era. This was due to their ability to mask the flavour of poorly made alcohol, which often tasted medicinal. While chasers such as the Pickleback helped to cleanse the burning palates of drinkers, illicit bartenders and party-throwers soon discovered that a wealth of delicious mixed drinks could be made from a few simple ingredients. Thus giving birth to cocktails such as the Mary Pickford, named after the curly-haired silent movie star of the 1920s, and the Gin Rickey which was said to be the cocktail of choice for F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Hire A Prohibition Speakeasy Bar For Your Next Event
Hoffman is a vintage mobile speakeasy bar in Perth. Contact us today to receive a competitive quote, or visit our Weddings and Events page for more information.
June 2, 2016 6:05 pm
6 Bar Events You Won’t Want To Miss This Winter
It’s officially winter. But that doesn’t have to mean endless evenings at home watching Netflix for the next three months. Even during winter in Perth there are still plenty of bar events happening.
Yes, it’s that time of the year we like to cosy up with friends and enjoy the plethora of drinks on offer. To help you out we have found six of the best bar events happening in the city throughout the winter for you and your friends to enjoy. From whiskey tasting to comedy nights, you are sure to find something here that tickles your fancy.
Where: The Dominion League, Northbridge
When: Thursday 9th June at 6.30pm
The Dominion League is opening its doors to whiskey fanatics this winter. The speakeasy bar has organised a special evening in association with Limeburners Whiskey, a WA distillery located in Albany. For just $60 you will learn all there is to know about whiskey, receive six whiskey based drinks and some food to go with it. If you love your whiskey, get your tickets now before they sell out. To book call 9227 7439.
Dumplings and DJ’s
Where: Apple Daily Bar & Eating House, Perth CBD
When: Every Thursday evening
Apple Daily Bar & Eating House will be serving it’s Asian street style menu with a side of music every Thursday night, starting 2nd June. Listen to some DJ beat’s while you enjoy a dumpling or two in the heritage-listed surrounds of the old Newspaper House. Apple Daily has a no booking policy so get down there early to ensure you get a table.
Saturday Champagne Social
Where: The Print Hall, Perth CBD
When: Every Saturday from 4pm
The Print Hall will be celebrating Saturday’s in style throughout the winter. Every Saturday from 4pm Champagne lovers will be able to purchase a bottle of Leclerc Briant for just $100 at The Print Hall and on the heated roof terrace at Bob’s Bar – a great place to go for a pre-dinner drink. Tie it in with dinner at Apple Daily or The Trustee and you will be sure of a great night out.
Where: The Classroom, North Perth
When: Every Tuesday at 7pm
The Classroom serves some of the best cocktails in Perth. Every Tuesday you can combine cocktails and trivia by heading back to school for Tutor Tuesday’s, a free quiz night which kicks off at 7pm. Can’t be bothered to cook dinner? You can also enjoy their $15 school dinner specials with the added bonus of some retro tunes. A great way to unwind after a busy day at work.
Stand Up Comedy
Where: Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den, upstairs at The Brisbane Hotel, Highgate
When: Every Friday at 8pm
Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den hosts Perth’s best comedians, frequent interstate acts and the occasional newcomer every Friday night at 8pm. Enjoy dinner downstairs at The Brisbane Hotel and then pop upstairs for a drink or two and some comedy. If you fancy cutting loose on a Friday night and having a laugh or two, then head on over. Tickets cost $25 plus booking fee and can be purchased from Ticketek.
The Sounds of Woodstock
Where: The Ellington Jazz Club
When: Saturday 2nd July at 7pm
The Ellington Jazz Club are playing host to a huge array of talent throughout the winter, so check out their website for a list of all their forthcoming events. One of our favourites is The Sounds of Woodstock featuring the sounds of Janis Joplin, Cream, The Who and many more. With KNiKi on vocals and Mike Beale on electric guitar you can tap into your inner hippy for a night of peace, love and music at one of the City’s best jazz clubs. Tickets cost $20 per person and can be purchased from the Ellington’s website.
Are You Planning a Bar Event In Perth?
For the ultimate vintage experience Contact Hoffman Mobile Bar, or visit our Weddings and Events page for more information.
May 19, 2016 10:24 am
Go Back to School At The Classroom In North Perth
Everything about school brings back memories of a simpler time. Who didn’t have a crush on their teacher? Or stop off at the deli on the way home for some chocolate bullets?
The Classroom in North Perth is a cocktail institution which pays homage to those school days gone by.
Inspired by the educational and social enjoyment of the industry The Classroom takes you back to the school days of yesteryear when we were younger and learning was fun.
Owned by a group of friends The Classroom is part of a portfolio of bars and restaurants under the Cocktail Gastronomy umbrella. Lucky Chan’s Laundry & Noodle Bar and The Dutch Trading Company being the other two awesome venues owned by the three couples.
The Classroom first opened its doors four years ago and according to Co-Owner Sasha Bennett ‘time has flown by’.
“It’s amazing to see how much the cocktail and bar scene has changed and developed in such a short amount of time. A few years ago there was only a handful of decent bars in Perth, now you are spoilt for choice. It’s great to be a part of it.” Said Sasha.
Collectively, the Cocktail Gastronomy founders have over 80 years of experience in hospitality.
“I guess you can say it’s in our blood. Andrew was the brainchild behind the cocktail lists. From the Mrs White, a spin on the classic White Lady with edible paint, to our most popular cocktail The Flaming Galah which has saffron Italian meringue torched with a bunsen burner and saffron fairy floss. Andrew now mentors our head bartender and Pete has come up with some equally exciting drinks for our current menu.”
When asked about her favourite cocktail Sasha couldn’t pick one.
“My personal favourite is the Charlie Chapman, but our Nitrogen Espresso Martini is really popular and hits all the marks. When you get an order from a large group it’s always fun, especially with that amount of liquid nitrogen on the bar!”
It’s worth going to The Classroom just for the cocktail’s alone, but they also do some awesome food.
‘We’ve always tried to play on classic flavours with a school canteen style feel. The ‘canteen ladies’ as we affectionately call our kitchen brigade are always coming up with playful, easy to share meals.” Said Sasha.
Even though the thought of eating school dinners doesn’t seem too appealing, we can’t help but drool over the menu. Our favourite is the Wagyu Cheeseburger which comes with smoked bacon, coleslaw and beer battered onion rings. A popular crowd pleaser, this burger will set your taste buds off on an adventure.
When asked what makes The Classroom unique Sasha was quick to say:
“We don’t take ourselves too seriously here and the theme really demonstrates this. We let the inner child come out and guests are always in awe of the amount of knick knacks and school memorabilia we were able to source. It’s fantastic seeing people’s eyes light up and when they reminisce about their own school days because of something they’ve seen at the bar. Then there’s the secret door to our function room.”
Behind the secret door is what can only be described as a hidden library – like something out of Harry Potter. With comfy leather bound chairs and books to match, it’s a great place to host a small gathering or have your next work function.
“We love hosting functions in the secret room. Anything from school reunions to book clubs – you name it, we do it! We take groups of any size, up to 120 guests for the whole venue, and have different packages to suit any event.”
Every Tuesday The Classroom hosts a free quiz night, starting from 7pm. So bring your brainiest friends along and study up for ‘Tutor Tuesdays’.
From Tuesday to Thursday is $15 school dinners, so if you are feeling peckish head on down to The Classroom for a feed and one of their famous cocktails.
Visit or Follow The Classroom
The Classroom, 356 Charles Street, North Perth, WA | P: (08) 9444 7729 | E: email@example.com | W: www.theclassroom.com.au
School Hours: Tuesday to Saturday 5pm till late.
Follow The Classroom on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for regular updates and event information.
Need a Cocktail Bar In Perth That Will Come To You?
No problem! Hoffman Mobile Bar at your service. From Weddings to parties, corporate events to brand activations we’ve got you covered. Contact us today to find out more, or visit our Weddings and Events page for more information.
May 3, 2016 7:08 pm
A Rustic Country Style Perth Wedding
When Anthony and Alana contacted us to provide ice pops and bar service for their Easter wedding we couldn’t refuse a trip down to the stunning Lower Chittering Valley in Western Australia.
Weddings have to be one of our favourite events to work at – they are so intimate, relaxed and full of love. Anthony and Alana’s wedding was no exception.
The happy couple officially started dating in January 2013, having previously met back in August 2002 on the Gold Coast.
“Neither of us remember our first meeting.” said Anthony. There is a photo of us together in 2002 that was only recently shown to both of us.”
Over ten years later they met again at a mutual friends social Sunday gathering at the Beach Hotel in Port Melbourne – which was when the chemistry started.
Having hit it off so well, a couple of years later Anthony was ready to pop the big question.
“I proposed to Alana in Paris, on the Pont de Arts bridge at 11pm as the Eiffel Tower sparkled.”
According to Alana, Anthony is not a traditional romantic. “He really pulled it out of the bag to make the proposal extra special for me”.
Anthony: We decided to get married on Alana’s father’s property Moondyne Country Convention Centre in the stunning Lower Chittering Valley, Western Australia. We wanted a rustic country style wedding and the venue was perfect.
Alana: We had spent Easter there in 2013 and loved the burnt and rural Australian countryside. When we first threw our wedding ideas on the table we both agreed we wanted the wedding to reflect us. An outdoor, rustic, country, three day festival.
Anthony: It was a place we both loved. The trees, the valley views, the dry yellowish brown grass, the Kangaroos. It was a place big enough to fit 83 of us for the long weekend. I’m the last of 10 with over 40 nieces and nephews, so it was a perfect place for us all to relax.
Alana: Bringing 50 members of the Uechtritz clan together in one venue was a great way to unite our families. We got to fill the weekend with some really cool activities.
We had Human Rhythms welcome our 80 guests Friday night. Yoga and clay pigeon shooting on Saturday morning. Kids swam and played hide and seek. We did an easter egg hunt after breakfast on Sunday morning.
It was a magnificent place to spend our festive weekend together, even if it did rain.
Alana: When I found my perfect dress I didn’t cry or think ‘this is the one’, but I definitely knew it was the one I wanted.
I had left the dress quite late, so I was on a mission. With less than three months to go I was getting stressed. There was nothing taking my fancy.
Two separate girlfriends told me to go and look in Rachel Gilbert and although her dresses are mostly sequins she had this one dress – The Savannah Gown – that was all lace with a high neckline. That was what I was after. Not too sexy, not too nana. It was just right.
Flowers Make-Up & Photography
Alana: I ordered the flowers myself from Everbloom in Leederville then my mum and aunty did some magic with them. I was blown away with the outcome. I thought my flowers were just breathtaking.
The makeup artist I originally booked didn’t show up but she sent someone in her place. She was lovely and I was really happy with my makeup. I don’t even know her name or number to thank her.
Maz from Life Photography was just awesome. I saw her advert in Hello May and instantly wanted her to shoot our day. She was out of our price range so I kind of felt disheartened looking for an alternative. Anthony was very cute and made contact with her. He booked her as a surprise for me.
Maz was great on the day, very excited about the rain and came dressed in gumboots. We had quite an adventure going off to get our photos taken amongst the giant boulders on dads property.
Last Minute Nerves
Alana: Strangely, I didn’t get last minute nerves. I felt so calm and peaceful. Eerily relaxed. I did get butterflies as we got in the car to travel the three minutes to the ceremony, so I just took a moment to enjoy that feeling. When I saw what the boys had done with the marquee I absolutely beamed! It looked magical and I was in heaven looking about at all the faces I love.
When I finally got phone reception the next day I received the most beautiful message from Anthony that he had text me as he waited for me to arrive.
Anthony: Although I was absolutely exhausted I found a new bank of energy. I was very excited. I felt ready.
Seeing Alana walk down the aisle was like I was in a love story with the most beautiful girl who is kind, caring and everyone adores. It was like floating in the clouds – a magical moment.
I felt this overwhelming sense of comfort. I have never been so sure of anything.
Alana: I can definitely say the wedding was not what I imagined. Much of it did not go to plan.
Anthony came to me in the morning saying we needed to make a call about where we would move our ceremony to – because of the rain. He had been watching the satellite and it didn’t look like it was going to clear.
I watched my beautiful friend and nephew Pete build the wedding arch. Then take it down and put it up again in a different spot, just in case we got a break in the rain. I was filled with love and gratitude for him.
Of course, seeing Anthony’s delicious face the moment I stepped on to the aisle was the best feeling. During the ceremony I looked into the crowd and saw my friend Jane sobbing. I had to quickly glance away so I didn’t join her.
The speeches were also something I will cherish. My dad’s loving but nervous speech and the letter mum read from my absent 92-year-old nana. My stepsons heartfelt, humorous and tear jerking speech. My mother-in-laws welcome to the family and the thought of Anthony’s dad Alf watching over us all.
Anthony: Alana planned everything to a tee – she had OCD!
We had not considered a wet weather plan as the chance of rain for that time of year was very low. We also thought if it did rain the worse would be a passing shower which would be ok.
Well it rained, we had no contingency plan so the morning of the wedding everything changed. We moved the ceremony which had its own location into the marquee – the same location as the reception. Alana had no idea how we had set up for the reception as it all happened while she was getting ready.
Our photographer loved the weather, she couldn’t contain her excitement as we tromped around the property for our photos in the rain.
It turned out really well, the weather didn’t dampen the celebrations one bit. A fun filled day with family, friends… And rain.
Wedding Traditions & Superstitions
Alana: My dad walked me down the aisle. We had flower girls and ring bearers. We had a reading, cut the cake, did a first dance. Gee, what traditions didn’t we adhere to?
We slept in the same cabin and woke up together on our wedding day. That was a tradition I was happy to break. Anthony and I spend so much time apart because of his work, so I felt we had plenty of credit here.
Anthony: We hadn’t planned on a first dance because every time Alana brought it up i’d be silly with some dance moves. She was afraid I’d do the same on the night.
It turned out that my niece’s husband surprised us by performing his song ‘When You Say Nothing At All‘ for our first dance which was pretty special. Oh, and I didn’t pull any silly moves.
Alana: I handmade all the bunting. Due to the rain it sadly didn’t get to hang in all its glory, but I did admire it throughout the night and it made me smile.
We had a branch we found on the property which we covered in ‘Happily Made Monkeys’ – each with a guests name attached to them. This is a project that brings Cambodian village women’s crafts to the café’s and gift stores of Australia.
I bought vintage skipping ropes for the children to play with after the ceremony.
My nephews used dead trees from the property to put up the festoon lighting. God, it looked amazing.
Our food truck caterer Soul Provider were awesome. I cannot recommend Vital and his team higher. Everyone raved about the food so we couldn’t have got that one more right.
Delish Ice & Hoffman Mobile Bar
Anthony: Delish Ice and Hoffman Mobile Bar provided the ice pops and bar service.
We were going for a ‘country fair’ style wedding, so Hoffman fitted the theme perfectly. Surprisingly, they were the most competitive too which really helps when there are so many other expenses to consider. The ice pops were a nice touch too.
Katie went above and beyond for us, which was really appreciated. She even went out and bought the ingredients for our chosen cocktail because I ran out of time due to the weather changing our plans. The cocktail was so good too, such a hit.
A Few Thank You’s
Anthony and Alana would like to thank (and recommend) the stand-out vendors who helped make their day extra special.
Not only did these guys provide the catering for the wedding they catered for the whole weekend too – breakfasts, lunches and dinners from Friday to Sunday. Vitals food was a hit, our guests are still talking about how good it was. We all tried to get him to stay for an extra day but he couldn’t due to a prior commitment.
For more information visit soulprovider.com.au
Maz our wonderful, excitable, bubbly photographer was so much fun. She certainly helped make our day in the rain a fun experience. We couldn’t be happier with the photos, they are awesome. Getting a good photographer is a must for a wedding.
For more information visit lifephotography.net.au
Her Hand Picked Harvest
They were so helpful and willing to go the extra mile to help us. Their selection of eclectic furniture props were extensive. A one stop shop for everything. I would highly recommend them.
For more information visit herhandpickedharvest.com.au
Are You Planning a Perth Wedding?
For the ultimate vintage wedding experience contact Katie at Hoffman Mobile Bar and Delish Ice today.
April 19, 2016 6:47 am
In The Spotlight: Lachlan Howarth From Varnish On King
If you haven’t been to Varnish on King yet, we recommend a visit next time you are in the Perth CBD.
Located down Perth’s trendy King Street, Varnish on King – or Varnish as it is affectionately known – is a speakeasy style whiskey bar with a log cabin feel.
The timber and exposed brickwork gives the bar a cosy intimate feel that doesn’t age.
Varnish is a great place to visit on a winter’s day for a warming whiskey on the rocks, or to share some of their superb dishes with your friends.
So with winter coming we thought we would introduce you to Varnish and one of its co-owners Lachlan Howarth. We interviewed Lachlan to find out more about the bar, it’s history and its successes. Here is what he had to say.
Describe how you came up with the concept for Varnish?
At the time of inception there were no basement or American whiskey bars in Perth. We felt there was an opportunity within the market to bring something new and fresh to the city.
How did you get your idea off the ground?
A long and arduous business plan was the start. To cut a long story short it involved getting all the ideas onto paper, including a storyboard of design ideas and textures. Then finding a draftsman to markup the sketches and away we went.
What challenges did you face when setting up the business?
The neighbours were nervous – for good reason I suppose. We were bringing a bar to King Street with residents living opposite it. Also Liquor Licensing was a trialling process to say the least. These were the main hurdles we had to jump over.
How did you decide on the location of Varnish?
The landlord presented us with the opportunity. Andy [my partner] owns Luxe Bar and the landlord also owned that building too.
What inspired you to theme Varnish the way you have?
We wanted it to be timeless. If you came down to Varnish now or in 3 years time it will look the same. It hasn’t dated and it won’t date in the future. We like to think it will get better with age. We wanted a log cabin feel that was warm and cosy and felt comfortable for everyone.
What type of food and drinks do you serve and what makes the food and drink special to other places in Perth?
Our food menu is designed for all dishes to be shared, what we call ‘conversational style dining’. We encourage people to order as many dishes as they want and we bring each one out as it’s ready. The style of food has subtle American influences.
I think the thing that makes our food offering special is that we offer proper meals. Even though we are a small bar at heart our kitchen is pumping out some of the tastiest dishes in town.
Our drinks focus on American Whiskey. We serve more than just Whiskey and coke. We have a number of unique ways to enjoy the spirit, whether it’s matched with bacon or pickles, we always try to give our customers a fun experience.
How do you find talented staff to bring the extra wow factor to the business? What talent do they bring?
Our staff are what makes our venue live and breathe. Everyone has a different personality.
I love that our staff don’t take themselves too seriously, but they take what they do very seriously.
For Varnish it’s not about an individual skill, anybody can learn how to carry plates and mix drinks. For us it’s about their ‘chat’, charisma and personality.
Being such a small team, it’s really important that our staff don’t clash so we work really hard on creating a fun and professional culture where everyone gets along and has fun with each other.
Describe the growth of Varnish, how successful has it been?
The first three years of business have surpassed some goals we set for ourselves.
In 2014, we won Best Small Bar In Australia at the Bartender Magazine Awards. The following year we won the national award for Best Bar Food. With the Northbridge link almost complete, Elizabeth Quay open and part of King Square being occupied, we are very excited for the future of the Perth CBD.
Where do you source your food and drinks from?
Our food comes from local suppliers. Our head Chef, David Allison, believes in sourcing as much local fresh and sustainable products as he can get his hands on. Most of our ‘top shelf’ whiskies come direct from either the US or the UK market.
What are your plans for the future of Varnish?
We are always challenging ourselves to get better and create new and exciting experiences for our guests. Keeping our menus current and fresh is a bit part of that.
Our future for Varnish is to consistently provide our guests with a quality food and booze offering, serving it all up in a fun, casual laid-back manner.
Expansion, maybe. We’ll see what the future delivers I guess.
Who are the other owners of Varnish?
Aside from myself, there is Andy Freeman, Guy Ellis and Robin Jackson.
Varnish was really the brainchild of Andy. He bought myself, Rob and Guy together back in 2012.
Andy and I run the day-to-day business, while always keeping Guy and Rob in the loop.
Guy runs the Perth Social Club while Robin runs his own construction business.
Visit or Follow Varnish On King
Varnish on King, 75 King Street (basement level), Perth WA 6000 | P: (08) 9324 2237 | E: firstname.lastname@example.org | W: www.varnishonking.com
To make a booking visit the Varnish On King website and click on ‘Make a Booking’. Or follow Varnish on King on Facebook and Instagram for regular updates and event information.
Want To Hire A Speakeasy Bar For Your Next Event? Hoffman Will Come To You.
Hoffman is a mobile speakeasy bar in Perth. Contact us today to receive a competitive quote, or visit our Weddings and Events page for more information.
April 5, 2016 6:29 am
Are You Feeling Worse For Wear After A Night Out On The Town? Follow These Tips To Beat That Hangover
We’ve all been there. Having enjoyed ourselves a little bit too much on a night out we wake up the next morning with the hangover from hell.
The severity of your hangover is closely linked to how much alcohol you have consumed, how much water you drank and whether you had enough sleep. The less sleep the worse the hangover.
Contrary to popular belief a ‘hair of the dog’ is not a good cure for getting rid of a hangover. This is a myth and will likely just prolong the symptoms.
So what are the best cures? Just read on. Below are four tried and tested ways to help a hangover.
1.Drink Plenty Of Water
We all know that a hangover (in part) is caused by dehydration. Alcohol is a diuretic and naturally dehydrates the body.
Water is the best fluid to drink, so make sure you drink several glasses of water throughout the day.
A good trick is to drink a couple of glasses as soon as you wake up, this will help to kick-start your body and get the repair process in motion.
One way of avoiding that hangover completely is to drink a glass of water at regular intervals during your night out. Prevention is better than cure – so water between each glass of your favourite tipple will definitely help to keep it at bay.
2. Take A Painkiller
A couple of painkillers will help get rid of that headache.
Take a couple in the morning upon waking, with food. Painkillers on an empty stomach is not good for your gut.
Stick to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen. The wrong painkillers can cause liver damage – especially when your livers working overtime to metabolise the alcohol.
If you are not sure what painkillers to choose, ask a qualified pharmacist or healthcare professional.
3. Eat A Nutritious Breakfast
A greasy breakfast is not the answer. There is no scientific evidence that suggests greasy food will ease your hangover anguish. It will probably just give you heartburn.
Instead, stick with easy to digest foods such as toast or cereal. A good serving of carbs will help to bring your blood sugar levels back up.
When blood sugar levels dip your liver reacts by producing more glucose from stored carbs. But if you’ve been drinking too much, your liver is busy metabolising the alcohol and can’t handle the extra work, so your blood sugar levels stay down. This can make you feel irritable and tired.
Consider including some asparagus in your post-hangover breakfast.
A 2009 study published in the Journal of Food Science found the amino acids in asparagus improves the speed of how human cells break down alcohol.
4. Go Back To Sleep
Once you’ve done all of the above it’s a good idea to go back to bed for a couple more hours.
A lack of sleep can be a contributing factor towards the severity of your hangover. Alcohol will put you to sleep quickly but when it begins to wear off the withdrawal your body feels can disrupt sleep and jolt you awake.
Getting your head down for a couple more hours will help you to recover faster. Make sure you have some water by your bed and sip on it every time you wake up.
Of course, the best way to avoid a hangover is not to drink at all. But if you do decide to drink you can follow these three steps to help ensure a hangover doesn’t rear it’s ugly head in the morning:
- Drink more slowly and limit how much you drink in a single session.
- Drink with food. Drinking on an empty stomach is only going to make matters worse.
- Alternate with water or non-alcoholic drinks to keep your fluid levels up.
Planning Your Next Party? Hire Hoffman Mobile Bar
From weddings to parties, corporate events to brand activations, we’ve got you covered. Hoffman Mobile Bar will bring vintage charm to your next shindig. Contact us today to find out more, or visit our Weddings and Events page for more information.
March 23, 2016 8:59 am
Who fancies an alcohol free cocktail? Aside from the fact they don’t have any alcohol in them, they are very refreshing on a hot day. They are also perfect for those designated driver’s or teetotallers amongst you.
Here at Hoffman we cater for everyone. We are more than happy to serve our lovely customers an alcohol free cocktail – or mocktail as they are affectionately known in the biz.
If you are thinking about having a party it’s always good to offer something for those who can’t drink. It can help them avoid temptation and, let’s face it, regular soft drinks can be pretty boring. A tasty mocktail will help keep them happy and hydrated.
So without further ado, let us introduce you to some of Hoffman’s favourite mocktails.
Moscow Mule Mocktail
- ½ cup ginger beer
- 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 3 tbsp soda water
This is a super refreshing and zingy mocktail. It’s so pleasurable to drink you barely notice it doesn’t have any alcohol in it. It’s also very simple to make.
Mix all the ingredients into a glass ¾ full of crushed ice. Stir together and service with a garnish of lime wedge.
Want The Real Thing?
Replace the soda water with some vodka instead.
Virgin Ginger Mimosas
In Sonnet’s Kitchen
- ½ cup fresh orange juice
- 16 oz soda water
- 2 inch piece of fresh ginger, sliced
- 1 clementine peeled and divided into slices
This is a wonderful take on a traditional mimosa. The ginger and the clementine add a little bit of extra flavour that really takes this mocktail to the next level.
To make simply take a tall glass and fill ⅓ of the way with ice. Add a ginger slice and half the clementine to each glass. Then pour in the orange juice and top off with soda water.
Want The Real Thing?
Replace the soda water with champagne and pop into champagne flutes instead.
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 black tea bags
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 cups pomegranate juice
- 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 medium orange, lemon and lime sliced into thin rounds
- 1 medium apple, cored and cut into ½ inch chunks
- 3 cups carbonated water
Sangria is one of the best drinks for a warm day. It’s refreshing, zingy and very moreish. This recipe is an excellent non-alcoholic version.
To make pour the boiling water over the tea bags and cinnamon sticks and steep for 5 minutes. Discard tea bags and stir in sugar to dissolve.
Combine the tea, cinnamon sticks, pomegranate juice, orange juice, orange, lemon, lime and apple into a large jug. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Just before serving, stir in some carbonated water. Serve in glasses over ice.
Want The Real Thing?
Replace the tea mixture with red wine and add a splash of brandy.
Virgin Cranberry-Apple Cider Punch
- 4 cups apple juice
- 2 cups cranberry juice
- 2 cups ginger ale
- 1 ½ cups orange juice
- Apple and orange slices
Mix all the ingredients in a jug and refrigerate for at least an hour. When ready to serve pour into tall glasses half filled with ice.
Want The Real Thing?
Replace the apple juice with cider for a delicious alcoholic alternative.
French 75 Mocktail
Always Order Dessert
- 2 cups ice
- 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 4 dashes lemon or orange bitters
- 2 cups tonic water
- 1 teaspoon sugar (or to taste)
The French 75 is a deliciously extravagant cocktail incorporating champagne and good quality gin with fresh lemon juice and a hint of sugar. It is a particular favourite at parties and pre-dinner drinks.
This mocktail version is just as delicious and swaps out the champagne and gin with bitters and tonic water.
To make add the fresh lemon juice, bitters and sugar to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake thoroughly until chilled then divide into two champagne flutes. Top off with tonic water.
Want The Real Thing?
Replace the bitters and tonic water with champagne and a dash of gin.
Don’t Fancy Making Your Own?
Why not hire Hoffman Mobile Bar for your next event and let our expert mixologists take the strain. Contact us today, or visit our Weddings and Events page for more information.
March 8, 2016 6:50 pm
Blogs For Inspiration When Planning A Vintage Wedding
If you are planning a vintage wedding and are stuck for ideas you are probably finding yourself surfing the web for inspiration.
From finding that perfect dress right down to the flowers and the rings – there’s so much to think about.
To help you in your quest for all things vintage we have found some of the best vintage wedding blogs in Australia to spark your creativity.
The blogs we have chosen contain information in abundance – including some real life stories. You will pick up some great ideas, hints and tips to make sure your day is just perfect. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.
Nouba is a design-drive Australian wedding blog which sprung to life in 2012. It has been lovingly crafted specifically for creative couples who are looking for something a little bit different.
Nouba includes daily blog posts of real weddings, hands on DIY ideas and the latest in unique bridal fashion. Just about anything you need when planning a vintage wedding.
The blog also includes a directory of Australian vendors and a calendar highlighting forthcoming wedding fairs and events happening around the country.
The photographs on this wonderful site alone are worth a look, they’re stunning and definitely provide some visual inspiration for any bride-to-be. We love it!
2. Polka Dot Bride
This is such a cute little blog. Polka Dot Bride promotes itself as ‘Australia’s Most Loved Wedding Blog’ and it certainly lives up to this statement.
The Editor, Ms Polka Dot, created Polka Dot Bride because of her fascination with weddings from an early age. This obsession has helped her create a blog to inspire even the most uninspired bride.
Stories of beautiful real-life weddings are the foundation of this blog. If you want to see how other couples have made their vintage wedding dreams come to life this is the place to go.
3. Hello May
Hello May was created to successfully connect wedding vendors with bride and grooms to be like no other bridal magazine or website has done before.
It certainly does that.
As well as the usual real-life wedding stories most blogs have, it also includes real-life engagement stories, inspirational articles, stationery ideas, vendor profiles and cinematography.
Our personal favourite is the Hey Day page which takes a look at famous weddings of yesteryear, such as Elizabeth Taylor and Conrad Hilton’s nuptials back in 1950s.
And if all this isn’t enough, you can always purchase the magazine to go with it – either online or in-store.
4. Style Me Pretty – Australia Weddings
Style Me Pretty is a US based wedding blog which also has a presence in Australia. Just select your location to access bridle stories and ideas for your chosen location.
Fantastic imagery and real life stories are the name of the game on this blog. Not only will you hear wedding stories from couples that live in your area, you will also get some ideas on suppliers and venues in your chosen location too.
The site also includes seasonal wedding trends, bridal beauty and a look book showing a range of dresses, accessories and jewelry.
The blog also includes DIY projects for those creative wedding couples looking to save a bit of money by doing it themselves. You can learn how to make candlesticks, vases, coasters, flowers, even your own wedding cake.
5. Vintage Bride
Vintage Bride is a portal for those seeking inspiration and advice when planning a vintage, unique or hand-crafted wedding. You won’t find any suggestions for chair covers with shiny sashes on here. Oh no!
Vintage Bride is not only a blog but a printed, handbag sized magazine too – perfect for on-the-go brides. They also run boutique wedding fairs throughout the year in the major cities nationwide.
We hear they have the most comprehensive Australian wedding directory too.
So grab yourself a coffee and scroll through their blog, wedding directory, or buy a copy of their magazine. You won’t be disappointed.
6. Chic Vintage Brides
Okay, we cheated. This one isn’t an Australian blog. But we had to include Chic Vintage Brides, simply because the photographs are stunning.
If you are serious about having an all-out vintage wedding, make sure you follow this blog. It contains a wealth of imagery and ideas that truly inspire. Even if you weren’t planning on getting married, the photographs alone make you want to!
What we really love is the way the stories have been broken down into different types of weddings. For example 1930s through to 1960s, retro weddings, rustic weddings – even elopements! It’s excellently put together.
There is also a section which offers some inspiration for how to style the alter, or reception decor.
Follow them on Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook today.
Are You Planning A Vintage Wedding?
For the ultimate vintage wedding experience contact Hoffman – Vintage Caravan Mobile Bar today. Or visit our Weddings and Events page for more information.
February 23, 2016 7:31 am
Like Cocktails? Here is Hoffman Mobile Bars Top 10 Cocktail Bars in Perth
Hoffman Mobile Bar is all about the cocktails. Our swanky vintage mobile van can be seen moonlighting in and around Perth serving up the best cocktails money can buy. All created and made by our expert mixologists.
But we don’t need a party as an excuse to enjoy a nice cocktail or two. There are so many boutique bars and restaurants in Perth that serve up some fantastic cocktails. Some even put on a show like a scene out of Cocktail. We love that movie!
Because of our penchant for a cocktail or two (and because we love Tom Cruise) we thought we’d share with you our five favourite cocktail bars in Perth.
1.Sneaky Tony’s, Chinatown, Northbridge
A speakeasy style rum joint straight out of the 1920s prohibition, Sneaky Tony’s is definitely worth a visit.
Hidden in the back streets of Chinatown, at a secret location, this dark and mysterious bar serves up the best rum cocktails in Perth. A wall to wall selection of the best rum’s from around the world awaits you. If you can find it.
When this bar opened in late 2014 it was one of Perth’s best kept secrets. No one knew exactly where it was or how to get in. People were seen all around Chinatown trying to find this hidden gem. Looking in alleyways, asking the ‘locals’ – it was like searching for a needle in a haystack.
Sneaky Tony’s wasn’t promoted. There is no website or written address. It relied solely on word of mouth to build its clientele.
It worked! Today the bar has almost 30,000 Facebook likes and it’s always packed out – even when you need a password to get in on the weekend.
2. The Laneway Lounge, Murray Street, Perth CBD
Another Perth cracker The Laneway Lounge oozes New Orleans and old Paris charm.
Tucked away down a laneway off Murray Street opposite Shafto Lane, this beautifully elegant and refined bar transports you back to the 1940s.
When you step inside you feel like you are a million miles away from Perth.
It’s chilled out atmosphere provides a great place to unwind, with mellow live performances most nights of the week – whisking you off to the jazz scenes of Old Orleans.
We love the French Quarter style decoration. Bare light bulbs adorn the ceiling. Wooden floorboards, muslin curtains and antique furniture provide a comfortable lounge room feel.
The Laneway Lounge has an excellent range of cocktails you wouldn’t get anywhere else in Perth. Our favourite is the Smoked Chocolate Sazerac, delivered straight to your table surrounded by chocolate scented smoke. Just like something Heston Blumenthal would do.
Containing Bulleit rye whiskey, dark cacao, Peychaud’s Bitters and house made smoked bourbon chocolate this is the type of drink you would enjoy sitting by a roaring log fire on a cold winters day.
3. The Classroom, Charles Street, North Perth
As the name obviously suggests, going to The Classroom is like going back to school.
For those of you who are nostalgic enough to look back on your school days with warm affection you’ll love this bar. For those who don’t, maybe a cocktail or two will help you forget.
Opened in 2012, The Classroom takes us back to our youth, when learning was compulsory but we didn’t care.
Designed lovingly by hand, it is a unique place full of cherished artefacts that pay homage to our old school days.
The Classroom prides itself on producing innovative cocktails and has even won some awards, including the AHA’s 2012 Cocktails and Mixology award. This doesn’t surprise us though. This small bar is home to some of WA’s best mixologists. Their cocktails are unique, creative and always involve an element of surprise.
Grouped into three favourite school subjects; history, art and science – their cocktails are known to push the boundaries of molecular mixology.
This place is a must if you love your cocktails!
4. Bobèche, St Georges Terrace, Perth CBD
Drinking cocktails from teapots is what makes this Alice in Wonderland themed bar special.
Bobèche’s dark and mysterious surroundings take your imagination far away, to the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.
You will feel like Alice when she fell down the rabbit hole as you enter this wonderful venue. Meet the March Hare and the Cheshire Cat and join them for tea at 6pm sharp.
Boasting chesterfield couches, heavy red drapes and a working gramophone it’s straight out of Lewis Carroll’s famous novel.
Taking inspiration from the golden era of cocktails Bobèche perfects the classics as well as a few signature cocktails. Designed to allow guests to share an experience together, everyone drinks from ornate teapots, cups and saucers. Bobèche’s Iced Tea, Jasper’s Punch and Claret Cup Henry VIII are just some of the famous teapot cocktails on offer.
They also serve a range of cocktails for the more discerning customer, including Absinthe Frappe – something Oscar Wilde and Vincent Van Gogh would have enjoyed ordering if they ever frequented this unique bar.
5. The Dominion League, Beaufort Street, Northbridge
The Dominion League is named after a group of people with the same name who were plotting a secession from the commonwealth back in 1929. During this time many Western Australian’s were fed up with the one-way flow of riches to the federal government in Canberra.
More than 80 years on and the modern day Dominion League pays tribute to that passionate mob and all that we love about WA.
Split into two levels the classic pub-style bar at street level showcases the old flags and memorabilia from The Dominion League’s campaign for independence. Downstairs is a speakeasy style dim-lit den where the clink of glasses and general mischief can be heard on a regular basis.
The friendly bar staff are dedicated to the art of the cocktail, helped along by the extensive range of fine spirits on offer – including a whiskey collection boasting 170 bottles and counting.
This is the perfect place for whiskey lovers to sit back and relax with the latest cocktail – or scotch on the rocks if that’s your thing.
Need A Cocktail Bar In Perth That Will Come To You?
No problem! Hoffman Mobile Bar at your service. From weddings to parties, corporate events to brand activations we’ve got you covered. Contact Us today to find out more, or visit our Weddings and Events page for more information.