Adelaide, South Australia is well known for its amazing wine culture. But closer to home than the beautiful rolling vineyards, the number of small bars is on the rise. The Flying Trunk Bar in Goodwood is one such place. We went in to explore and to get a cocktail mixing lesson at the same time.
There’s nothing like a local’s knowledge to make a destination really speak to you. You probably wouldn’t find the Flying Trunk cocktail bar in Adelaide without the help of a friendly Adelaidean.
Thankfully we know one, so we’re now up on how good this little hidden gem really is.
The Flying Trunk is a quirky little watering hole. Planted on the corner of King William Road and Union Street, the unobtrusive café design and European style bar gives the Trunk a friendly, lounge-like feel.
As you walk down the side of the bar to the back of the Flying Trunk, you can’t help noticing the somewhat mesmerising mural running the full length of the wall.
It’s a Dali-esque alpine scene with elephants in top hats flying among the mountaintops floating from a bunch of balloons. It’s a bit weird but it kind of fits with this laid back, offbeat venue.
Down the back, there’s more seating and the location of the Flying Trunk’s latest venture: cocktail school.
So on a chilly June evening, we pushed through the big glass door to learn the subtle art of mixology. There were 5 of us that night: myself, Mrs Romance, Carly from Smaggle.com, Sonia from SoniaStyling.com and of course Mr S Styling.
We were excited about getting to know our favourite drinks on a more personal level. We were all thrilled when our eternally patient and gifted teacher Amy told us we’d be studying the art of making 4 classics that night:
The Negroni, the Mojito, the Margarita, the Cosmopolitan and the Old Fashioned.
First Amy took us through the stages of each drink, explaining ingredients, a little bit of history and some tricky techniques.
Then we drank that drink and watched while each of us had a go at recreating it – under the watchful eye of our mixology master, of course.
Then we drank that drink too.
I love watching cocktails being made well. Cocktail bar staff really make it look so easy but when you’re on the other side of the bar trying to remember the different stages of the drink, you realise how difficult it must be.
3 cocktail making tricks we learned from Amy at The Flying Trunk Bar
1. How to stir a cocktail
Stirring a drink with a proper cocktail spoon in a mixing flask is surprisingly tricky.
You don’t just grab the spoon and start whisking away. That will chip the ice and dilute the drink too much. Instead, you use the spiral design of the handle to naturally turn in your fingertips and push the ice around the inside edge of the flask.
2. There are 4 ingredients in a Negroni
Yes, there’s sweet vermouth, Campari and (usually) gin in a Negroni, but the water from ice should also be considered. As the water blends with the cocktail as you stir the ice, it mellows the alcohol burn and makes the drink that much smoother.
This goes with many alcohol-only cocktails like the Manhattan and the Old Fashioned.
3. Keep a poker face when you’re shaking a cocktail
Rumour has it that the face you make when you’re shaking a cocktail is the same one you make when you’re… well, during sexy times. Mrs Romance does appear to be laughing, doesn’t she? I don’t know what message she’s trying to put across here.
The drinks we made here were delicious thanks to Amy’s help. But it’s worth pointing out that it’s also the high quality ingredients we used. The Flying Trunk Bar stocks a lot of excellent Aussie craft wines and spirits like 78° gin by Adelaide Hills Distillery.
If you’re looking for a fun evening in Adelaide, make sure you check out the Flying Trunk’s cocktail classes. It’s a great way to start the evening and you never know, you might just learn something!
The Flying Trunk Tapas and Cocktail Bar
Good for: excellent date night drinks, light bites, small groups, Aussie craft spirits and of course cocktail classes.
Open: Thurs-Sun – 5pm–late
70 King William Road
Do you have any tricks or tips for making a great cocktail? Where do you go for your cocktail fix? Tell us in the comments!