By The Gentleman
Sadly The Lady and I had to say goodbye to a friend who is going away on a Uni placement the other week, but on the bright side the going away event was held at Leigh Street’s hole in the wall bar Udaberri. Since opening in 2012 Udaberri has been a popular spot in Adelaide, making the most of a small space with an interesting fit out and offering a wide selection of bar food, wine and spirits with an emphasis on Spanish bar culture. The Lady and I were hapy to knockback a few gin and tonics while catching up with friends.
The bar itself is a long skinny bar with a small upstairs area that looks over the bar below. The long bar dominates the space, which is all brick, wood and exposed ceiling beams with moody lighting. It’s a very cool looking place with a good atmosphere now that the hubbub has died down. It doesn’t take much for the bar to fill up, making it hard to move around. Luckily it was the middle of the week and there was a very relaxed vibe with only a few other people there.
The Lady and I had been to Udaberri before, soon after it opened, but never really thought of it as a bit of a gin den. On this visit, as we perused the menu, we were both shocked to see a whole page dedicated to gin and tonics showcasing a wide variety of gins, tonic waters and flavour combinations. Between us we tried an Aviation Gin, Martin Miller’s Gin, The Botanist and a Brokers.
The Botanist was made with marmalade, dried apple and Fever Tree Tonic Water. We noticed that most of the gin and tonics were prepared not with fresh fruit but with dried fruit. I’m not quite sure why this would be the case but it seems to be a trend catching on. It could be to do with getting rid of the water so it’s not diluted as much and instead jut leaves you with the essential flavours of the fruit. Either way they seemed to work quite nicely. The Botanist was so smooth, fresh and a touch sweet with no trace of bitterness at all. I didn’t really notice the marmalade, you couldn’t really see it in the glass anywhere yet it may have been what accounted for the hint of sweetness.
The Brokers gin and tonic was meant to be served with dried lemon and orange but I’m pretty sure the bartender actually used dried orange and fresh lime topped with Schweppes Tonic Water. I was pretty happy to come across Brokers gin here because I love the bottle with it’s little English Bowler Hat. The combination itself was far more bitter than the Botanist gin and tonic. It was still very nice, sometimes you don’t want an overly sweet gin and tonic and instead want something with a bit of a kick, but on the night the Botanist combination was my preference as I just really liked the freshness and the blend of flavours.
The Lady had the the Aviation gin and tonic, which was made with dried orange, cardamon pods and Schweppes Tonic Water, and the Martin Millers, which was served with dehydrated apple, fresh cucumber and Fever Tree Tonic Water. She described the drinks pretty much the way I did (I knew there was a reason we got along). The Aviation gin and tonic was smooth, fresh and presented nicely with the orange and cardamon pods. The Martin Millers wasn’t bad by any means, but was a similar combination to the Brokers gin and tonic, more dry and bitter. Again nothing wrong there, but it was a smooth kind of night (The Lady and I are too awkward to be smooth any other way than in our drinks, so we’ll take it when we can get it).
It was a sad night, saying goodbye to friends for any length of time is always difficult, but Udaberri’s stylish surrounds and tasty gin and tonics meant we could at least be sad in a happy place. The Lady and I will definitely be returning under a happier pretext, and there’s none happier than trying more of their gin and tonic menu.