Have you ever heard of the expression, “not enough room to swing a cat”, well you can put that to rest at this tongue-in-cheek small bar lurking underneath Sydney’s CBD.
The Swinging Cat, a New Orleans theme inspired bar has taken inspiration from the technique of cold-pressed juicing and crafted cold-pressed spirits – spirits infused and pressed with dried fruits, seeds and spices.
I had the opportunity to taste some of these delicious cocktails from their new menu and learn a bit more about cold-pressed. Led by Pete Fischer, owner of The Swinging Cat, is the mastermind behind the innovative technique and outlines that they use dried fruits and nuts instead of fresh ingredients.
Currently there are six cold-pressed spirits we tasted, quite refreshing and yet punchy flavours:
• Rue Desire – dried banana infused dark rum
• Toulouse Street – dried apricots and thyme gin
• Magnolia – dried peach julep bourbon
• Belle Chasse – a toasted cocoa nib vodka espresso martini
• Bourbon St – dried figs and walnuts bourbon
• Elysian Fields Ave – a modern twist on a tropical favourite, the Mai Tai (with dried tropical fruit dark rum)
What is cold-pressing? It is a technique of juicing that ‘presses’ the fruit to retain vitamins, minerals and enzymes. To create the liquid, Pete and his team run the infused spirit through the cold-press to create a rich and powerful syrup that is used as the base for creating cocktails. The infusion (marinade) could take anywhere between three to 10 days, meaning the bartenders are able to intesify the flavours.
“We wanted to offer our guests a completely unique drinking experience, like no other. We took inspiration from the work of Heston Blumenthal who completely thinks outside the box. We use a top of the range stainless steel cold-press to ensure we are producing the best syrups and nectars for our cocktails”.
One of the cocktails on offer is the ‘Elysian Fields Ave’, which is a modern twist on the classic Mai Tai. Using tropical dried fruits like pawpaw, papaya, pineapple and mango and soak them in Pampero Anejo dark rum. After soaking the fruits for a few days they are cold-pressed to produce an amazing alcoholic tropical nectar. The team then make their own version of an alcoholic almond milk from almonds soaked in Pampero blanco white rum, which are then also cold-pressed. From there we shake these ingredients with lime juice and a dash of fresh orange juice and serve over crushed ice,” Pete concluded.
25ml Cold pressed dried fig and walnut bourbon
10ml White Creme de Cacao
A dash of cloudy apple juice
Garnish with freshly grated nutmeg
30ml Cold pressed paw paw, papaya, pineapple and mango Pampero Anejo dark rum
20ml Cold pressed almond soaked Pampero blanco white
15ml Fresh lime juice
10ml Orange Juice
Served on crushed ice
Garnish with dried tropical fruits and mint
It’s such an experimental time with Pete and the team and highly suggest you take your after work drinks and your Friday/Saturday nights with friend and enjoy these classic twist to cocktails.
On a side note, The Swinging Cat offers live music every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday night, monthly swing dance classes on Tuesday evenings, all set against the backdrop of authentic furnishings straight out of New Orleans. I’m definitely looking forward to checking that out.