It was one of those Mondays where if the day didn't end in a stiff drink, it might end in blood. Luckily it ended in many stiff drinks. Cue Mojo Record Bar. There were meant to be four of us gathering to down a drink or two, but by 2pm, we had halved. That's ok. Luke didn't even let a one hour bus trip, a recent knee operation or a freshly torn hamstring keep him away; a man of his word. Excellent.
Mojo Record Bar is one of these underground speakeasy style bars that has cropped up on York St in the CBD. York St is littered with these little bars but they are still relatively unknown which is good, as it keeps out the rabble. Mojo is a record shop by day and groovy bar by night.
As we look at the menu we see a Rum Punch with fresh nectarine and mint for only $5 a glass. Sold! It is refreshing and the nectarine is a lovely flavour that isn't really utilized enough in general cocktail mixology. It's pure summer.
The bar is rather busy for 5.45pm on a Monday, and as we sit and drink our rum punch, and chat about various things, and I answer texts from the old ball and chain (who makes the joke that I'm on a date with his friend) the joint totally packs out. We have noticed men carrying in large cases. We figure a band is about to play.
"Good evening and welcome to The Sydney Rum Club's tasting night. Thanks for joining us." We are passed a nip of rum. Talk about the right place at the right time! We are plied with rum after rum, from Flor de Caña, a Nicaraguan brand of rum. We start with the 4 year old, which incidentally is the world's oldest white rum. It's a bit ethanoly on the old palate, but really, who orders a white rum neat? We progress through to the 4 yo gold, which is the same as the white but with no charcoal filter. It is noticeably smoother but still not a neat drinking rum. As we continue through our rumacious journey (I just made up that word), the rum is easier to drink... Are we getting drunk? No! The 7 yo is smoother and the 12yo is rather delicious, in my notes I have written that it's "mellow and rummy", what an apt and vivid description, you should be a writer, Catherine! We finish with the 18 yo. Yum. Rum. And now for a drum...
We are treated to a drumming exhibition and then the drummers start handing out the drums for a group session... I'm reluctant, unlike the rest of the room who is as keen as mustard, or as keen as their buttoned-up hipster shirts and moustaches will allow them to be... I'm reluctant until the lady holds up a big drum and says "Who wants the really nice one?"
The drum I now have in my possession is a cajón, a traditional Cuban box drum one sits on and strikes with one's hands. Wearing a short dress is not exactly conducive to playing this drum so I sit on it and prop my legs up with a chair so nothing is revealed! I notice I am the only girl in the room aside from Claudia (the instructor) playing. Come on girls! The drumming class starts... It is actually rather fun to play. Perhaps more so as this is all so unexpected and random. Those nights are always fun!
We reach our limit of rum and drum and amble a few doors down to Stitch bar, where I assure Luke he will have an amazing burger. I have eaten here twice and both times the burger has been outstanding. The pressure is on, but I'm confident, and I am not let down. The burger is everything I remember it being: charred and smoky on the outside, pink and juicy on the inside. There is just the right amount of mustard and pickle zing and the bacon adds flavour and that special sort of goodness only bacon can add. Oh and there are curly fries!
The cocktails are always good at Stitch. Tonight I have a Goosebumps: Grey Goose Pear, homemade rosemary syrup, Angostura bitters topped with ginger beer. It is aromatic and fresh. A delight. Luke has the appropriately named Elegantly Wasted...
I notice that my hipster drumming friends have set up at the next table.
"Hiiiii!", as I wave frantically.
Perhaps not so elegantly wasted.
Well it's four hours later. Four hours of drinking and drumming and burgers. What a cheeky little Monday. Thanks for playing.