“Simplicity,” says Harry Saunders. The bartender at the Paris-inspired “rum and rye” bar Kittyhawk on Phillips Lane in the CBD is talking about his patrons’ attraction to The Perfect Storm. “It’s essentially rum, lime and ginger beer,” he says. “It’s pretty hard to go wrong.”
A sweet, zinging concoction, the Perfect Storm hinges on a base of rich dark rum, topped with spicy ginger beer and fresh lime juice, plus a liberal dash of fragrant bitters.
“You can drink it whenever,” says Saunders. “But it’s nice in winter because you’ve got that spice from the ginger beer, which is a bit warming.”
It also helps that it’s one of the easiest cocktails to do at home. To make the Perfect Storm, mix 60 millilitres of dark rum with 120 millilitres of Cascade Spicy Ginger Beer and 15 millilitres of fresh lime juice over a generous helping of ice. Shake over a dash or two of your favourite bitters, and garnish with a wedge of lime or some torn mint leaves, and serve in a Collins glass and you’re good to go.
Saunders likes pairing the drink with spicy, fresh and sometimes bitter elements of the Kittyhawk menu, which takes its inspiration from post-war Parisian street food. Saunders recommends a charcuterie board, which at Kittyhawk currently has a selection of Wagyu bresaola, a capocolla and house-pickled vegetables.
“The bitterness and dryness from the meat and veggies matched with the sweetness of the rum and the spice from the ginger beer is a nice combination,” says Saunders. He also singles out steak tartare for its spice and bitterness factor, drawn from cornichons, capers, chives and spiced ketchup.
A lighter pairing is socca, a kind of savoury house-made chickpea pancake. “We serve that with some pickled radish and a little bit of kohlrabi and horseradish crème fraiche,” says Saunders.
Kittyhawk’s rye-cured salmon, which comes with apple and celery remoulade, also works “quite nicely” thanks to its fresh, bright flavours. “Those flavours of the rye-cure have a nice interplay with the rum in the Perfect Storm. It doesn’t sit with you too heavily.”
The final word on matching the beloved drink is: keep it simple and focus on spice.
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Coca-Cola South Pacific Pty Ltd. Visit refreshyourspirit.com.au for your chance to win a weekend getaway or $100 voucher at participating venues. Please drink responsibly.