Manly speakeasy The Cumberland has its own signature, eponymous house cocktail, one that speaks to the bar’s reason for being.
“It has been massively challenging but also massively rewarding,” says Pete Ehemann. He’s talking about the process involved in setting up The Cumberland, a speakeasy cocktail bar a street back from the beach in the Sydney suburb of Manly — the first time he’s had a piece of a bar himself.
Tatler can plausibly lay claim to a couple of Sydney firsts — it was perhaps the first Sydney small bar, and it enjoyed a reputation for being the most exclusive bar in Sydney with its clientele of regulars drawn from Sydney’s music, media and arts in-crowd.
In 1898 the streets of New York were ripe with vice; Gotham was in the grip of a burgeoning trade in brothels. A letter that year to The New York Times described hotels “where rustic beaus are fleeced and rustic belles debauched,” and a casual walk to church could see a man “accosted by a leering drunken woman.”
This little Melbourne gem has been drumming up some noise for a few months already and if you’re heading down for a stiff drink then you’re sure to find something that suits. The venue’s soft moody lighting and inviting atmosphere is a good match for the simple interior aesthetic and there are rows of intimate tables, a bar to perch on and an outdoor area set underneath clear skies and street graffiti.
This wee cocktail volume comes from owners of New York’s hugely successful Employees Only – a modern speakeasy style venue. With Dale DeGroff and David Wondrich having written the forward and afterword respectively you can be sure that this book is of fine pedigree.