Nestled discreetly downside the alleyway of Fish Lane, you’ll find South Brisbane’s newest cocktail experience, Maker – showcasing the artistry and intelligence of cocktail curating at its finest, by the wizards themselves – Edward Quatermass and Nick Royds.
Just nine weeks fresh off the mark, owner Jerome Batten has created a bar offering quite like no other in the vicinity, following trend from his other establishments just around the corner – Gauge, and Sourced Grocer in Teneriffe – showcasing abstract flavour combinations from locally Australian sourced produce with simplistic yet elegant design.
The seasonal drinks menu offers a diverse range of eclectic cocktails, pairing flavour combinations daring conventional expectations. Think: Bourbon, Eucalyptus, Mint, Black Garlic and Caramel, or perhaps Gin, Fino Sherry, Honeydew Melon, Tarragon and Cured Pork (yes – cured pork!).
The boys have an impressive display of spirits and house made liqueurs, vermouths, and syrups behind the bar, and for those feeling less adventurous, a drink can be “tailored to suit your palate” preferences upon request. I found their chocolate liquor made from cocoa nibs infused in vodka most appealing. Edward says, “With spirits it’s all about where you are, day time, night time, depending on what your feeling – which is a lot of my philosophy, making a drink to suit a certain time and a certain person at that time … I don’t believe that anyone doesn’t like rum, I just don’t think they have had rum in the right way at the right time.”
Cocktails are not Maker’s only speciality, the menu boasts an impressive selection of South Australian wines and European sparkling by the glass (or half, for those wanting a little taste of everything), or bottle – and of course, a selection of Australian beer and cider (not to mention their own home made soft drinks including house cola, lemonade and ginger beer).
From street view, the venue does not advertise itself explicitly, rather wanderers are left to discover Maker for themselves – and without contact lines, it relies solely on word of mouth to do so. The intimate atmosphere is luring; the interior is finished with deep chocolate stained wooden panelling, dimmed lighting and a sterile yet warming sense of comfort. Stepping in, the eyes are drawn to a cured meats display, the focal point of the back wall. Seating capacity is limited, extending to around 20 people, where guests become part of the experience as they watch Edward and Nick perform magic behind the bar leaving a scientific ‘Heston Blumenthal’ type impression, stimulating and exciting the senses – adding another dimension to the bar culture experience.
Cured meats and Seafoods will be making an appearance on the bar food menu in the forthcoming weeks, supplied by the chefs at Gauge, as well as an outside extension currently being built just in time (for the soon to be increased trading hours) to complement the balmy weather months fast approaching. For now, Maker is open from 4 til midnight, Tuesday to Sunday.
Words by Sophie Lucas | Images supplied by Maker