Not long after it opened (a few months back) I developed a soft spot for Foodbar Dada for it’s delicious tapas (review here) and cosy-cool environment. I then recently caught on the wind that they were causing a bit of a stir (pun intended!) on the cocktail scene. Being the cocktail fiend that I am, my ears pricked up and with taste buds on alert level 1, made my way down to investigate.

I’d only tried one of their on-menu cocktails on my previous visit. Sure, it was delicious, but nothing could prepare me for the bespoke cocktail magical mystery tour I would embark on that night.

And so placed in the uber-capable hands of mixologist Din. “How to start?”, I asked. “Well tell me how you feel, and I’ll make something to suit your mood”, Din replied. “Well, how about super-frazzled and in dire need of a holiday?”.

With the resulting cocktail that came my way, he might as well have clapped his hand and said “your wish is my command, m’lady”. I mean seriously, just check it out below. If I could have one of these every time I felt frazzled and in need of a holiday, I probably wouldn’t need a holiday at all!

This lychee and ginger cup is crafted with, of course those two aforementioned ingredients plus vodka, along with some lime, syrup and egg white. Honestly, I can’t believe how he made something that sounds so simple, taste so good! The beauty of this cocktail was that it was anything but your usual sickly-sweet lychee concoction – but instead a beautifully fresh and zingy number, with a subtle depth and lovely warm after-glow thanks to the ginger. And if you’re lucky and they have some spare lychee tins knocking around when you ask for this, it will end up looking like this…

Let the tastebud journey continue!

Next up was a spin on the good old Bloody Mary. But trust me, while there are definitely similarities to ones that may have passed your lips before, this one was so different I was almost at a loss of how to describe it. Made with vodka, cointreau, ginger, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, thyme, lemon, honey, red wine and served in a red pepper – yes a red pepper! – it was such an interesting and unique combination of flavours I’m not sure if I can do it justice here. Let’s just say you get hit with a cucumber taste on first sip which makes way for the spicy-sweet-umami flavour thereafter.

Before we continue on with what was, quite frankly becoming a rave in my mouth, taste buds punching their fists high in the air, a quick word on the food. I won’t go into too much detail here seeing as this is what I focused on in my last review, but the tapas menu which changes daily is still as good as it first was. We chomped into cod puffs, escalivada toasts, watermelon gazpacho and charcoal olive oil ice cream, Dada bravas amongst others all of which were delicious and ranging in price from $6 – $30 per portion depending on the dish.

Now I have to say, I’m not one for tequila, having had some not great early life drinking experiences with it…and quite honestly I can’t remember the last time I touched it…before now. If someone can get me to drink a cocktail with tequila in it, and get me actually enjoying it, well….that’s a serious accomplishment in my book! And that accolade now goes to Din! How? By combining it with mint and burnt cinnamon somehow he creates this into a fabulously refreshing and light drink – something perfect to sip at the pool-side. You would never even know there was tequila in it until it was too late.

Probably my favourite tipple of the evening was one made with Gosling Black – an impossibly smooth, mellow, aromatic and delicious rum which was combined with English breakfast tea, elderflower liquor, honey and egg, served with a slice of Kaya toast.

And in case you’re wondering, the egg isn’t just for decoration, it’s actually to spread the kaya with, just like so….

Somehow all the above ingredients combined to taste something akin to a super-sophisticated pina colada. So delicious, drinking it made me feel like I was immersing myself into a lovely relaxing bath. The trick is to take a bite of the kaya toast and then sip on the cocktail for maximum taste effect.

Now don’t fret those of you who want to keep things simple. The classic gin and tonic, served Spanish-style here should do the trick. It’s essentially a souped up version of the British oldie – big, strong, and very aromatic….this one having notes of coriander.

My goodness this was turning into one epic cocktail session as the drinks linked up…

However in the name of City Nomads, on we pressed….

Our penultimate cocktail was a black forest mojito…rum, chambourd, lime, fresh berries, sugar and sparkling wine, a perfectly executed crowd-pleaser and ultimate thirst-quencher, and just the trick to get us into the home stretch.

Well on our way to feeling a wee bit squiffy, the final cocktail was a watermelon and coriander cooler – rum based, with fresh watermelon and a splash of midori (ah so that’s how to use that funny melon liquor in a sophisticated way!), beautifully fresh and fragrant thanks to the coriander, with a hint of bitterness ensuring that this offering was not your usual one-dimensional watermelon cocktail by any stretch of the imagination.

Well what can I say, every single cocktail we savoured at Foodbar Dada was more than spot on and thought out in great detail. Great quality, consistency and presentation served up in a buzzing environment and accompanied with the perfect compliment…great tapas. And the best bit? All of the cocktails are only $19 – yes not $22, or $25…just $19 meaning if you are so inclined to follow our cocktail adventure you can drink a couple more than you bargained for.

Written by Ms Demeanour

Cocktails compliments of Foodbar Dada