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Cocktail Hour: ‘Blue Moon’ at Thomas Olive in Melbourne, Australia

Blue Moon at Thomas Olive, Melbourne, Australia

On a sunny evening in Melbourne earlier this month we popped into up and coming Collingwood hot spot Saint Crispin on Smith Street and headed straight upstairs to Thomas Olive to taste some of their delicious cocktails on their new menu. Though the restaurant opened six months back, the upstairs bar is still relatively new, opening in November of last year, at first serving primarily French classics to people waiting for their table downstairs.

Taking over from James Tait who has since left to open his own gin bar, we had the pleasure of meeting bar manager Jenna Hemsworth to taste one of the cocktails on her newly refreshed menu. She’s is a veteran young bartender, with super cool purple hair, who’s worked all over the Melbourne cocktail bar scene at Eau de Vie, The Kodiak Club, and Cookie to name just a few. Decorated handsomely with cushy leather sofas and vintage touches like an antique fire extinguisher on one end of the bar. A grand fireplace anchors the dark and sexy room which only seats just over 30 people.

Moving on from French classics, the menu now centres on more accessible American classics, some from Harry Johnson’s influential 1900’s book the Bartenders’ Manual, as well as other from the post prohibition era, and a few pre-prohibition recipes thrown in. Of the menu we sampled the Hotel National, Missionary’s Downfall, and Toreador cocktails, as well as Jenna’s own drink of choice, the Blue Moon; a simple yet balanced mix of Crème de Violette, gin, sugar syrup and citrus, almost a take on the classic Aviation, with a bit sweeter edge.

Alongside the cocktails Thomas Olive offers up a Little Bites section on their menu from the kitchen downstairs which include oysters, croquettes, crudités, charcuterie and cheese plates. We sampled the absolutely incredible charcuterie board which included a buttery assortment of cured meats and house-made terrines, garnished with quail eggs, petite cornichons, baby radishes and dollops of foie gras mousse and burnt orange reduction; the perfect compliment to one of Jenna’s well balanced cocktail .

What sets Thomas Olive apart from other cocktails bars in the city is its sophisticated yet unpretentious approachability. They may take their cocktails seriously, using only hand cut ice, prepared daily for hours, but the menu hits nearly every single palette, making this the perfect place to post up for the night and work your way through the menu.

Jenna was nice enough to share the recipe for her Blue Moon with us which you can find below along with some photos of the space. We highly recommend you pop by Thomas Olive if you haven’t already, before everyone else finds out how awesome it is and it gets swarmed.

Thomas Olive Melbourne, Australia

Thomas Olive Bar, Melbourne Australia

Missionary's Downfall at Thomas Olive, Melbourne

Thomas Olive Decor, Melbourne

Thomas Olive Charcuterie

Bitters at Thomas Olive Melbourne Australia

Thomas Olive Cocktail, melbourne

Barware at Thomas Olive Melbourne

Hotel National Cocktail at Thomas Olive, Melbourne

Thomas Olive Leather Bound Menu

Blue Moon Cocktail:

50ml Gin
20ml Creme de Violette
20ml Lemon Juice
5ml Sugar Syrup

Method:

Combine gin, creme de violette, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and sugar syrup in a cocktail shaker with large hand cut chunks of ice and shake until well chilled. Double strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a twist of lemon.

Blue Moon spirits Melbourne Australia

Creme de violette Thomas Olive Melbourne

Cocktail Garnish at Thomas Olive, Melbourne, Australia

Citrus Thomas Olive Melbourne

Jenna Hemsworth, Thomas Olive, Melbourne Australia