May 11, 2018
Located down one of the most charming of the city’s laneways, a few doors down from the popular Since I Left You, you’ll find the quirky Papa Gede’s, a colour-splash of bar with a voodoo New Orleans vibe, the brainchild of Michael Dhinse – of Grandma’s – Joshua Ng and Lara Dignam of Red Lantern. The small-ish room is lit by candlelight and strewn about with skulls (ceramic and animal both represented), beads and ominous occult scrawlings on the concrete floor. It’s scrappy and (very) rough around the edges but that’s part of the appeal of this place, the evident enthusiasm that’s gone into making it. The bar itself is a piece of scavenged wood atop of which these guys are serving some seriously cool cocktails. We’re pre-programmed to love a drink dubbed the Endgame Boss, a punchy mix of Cognac, rum, Cointreau and lemon juice, served up with a red-wine float. The focus here is on layered, potent drinks, most with a brown-spirit base. The Barbados Slim is a case in point, refreshing yet kicky in its layering of rye, Benedictine, rum, spiced sugar syrup, grapefruit, pineapple and the bar’s house-made ß-voodooß- bitters. The resulting concoction, as with many of the drinks, is served in a gloriously kitsch tiki mug. The Gede’s Grog, a mellow mix of rums, grapefruit, honey and lime, sounds right up our laneway. And if you’re feeling particularly brave/foolhardy they also stock a large selection of absinthes including Marilyn Manson’s own brand (not as bad as it sounds apparently).