Rat Packing

Just to be clear, this post isn’t – for once – about actual furry rats. It’s about my night at a Rat Pack-inspired bar with my sister, which was BULK FUN.

We went to the launch of Mr Black COCONUTS! Rum and Coffee Liqueur at a very cool place called Dean & Nancy, which is on the top floor of the A by Adina hotel in Sydney’s CBD.

Dean & Nancy channels the vibe of a 1960s New York cocktail lounge. Created by the team behind award-winning bar Maybe Sammy, the interiors are a glorious time warp of tiger-striped carpets, dusky-veined black marble, leather upholstery and brushed brass accents.

As for the boozy new release that was the star of the show, I was a bit skeptical about a spirit that mixed cold brew Arabica coffee, Bundaberg Small Batch Reserve Rum and coconut, especially when I saw the cocktail list …

Who knew pineapple and coffee went together? But the three cocktails we tried were delicious.

We decided to save our livers and not have a fourth cocktail, so I don’t know what the Bundy & Coke tasted like.

Our favourite of the other three was the Coconut Milk Punch, which had a yummy piece of lamington on the giant ice cube, although it was also very fun to sip coffee pina coladas out of coconut shells.

The evening was a joyous celebration, led by Mr Black Brand Ambassador Martin Hudak (above) who was recently crowned Best International Brand Ambassador at the 2022 Spirited Awards in New Orleans.

Martin swept us over to two seats at the bar, advised us on the cocktail menu and shook up a pair of drinks while talking up a storm.

I have been following Martin’s fortunes on social media over the past few years, but was the first time I had met him in real life and he was lovely. So genuinely friendly and exploding with energy. It was like he had caffeine coursing through his veins instead of blood.

Actually, all the bar staff were fabulous. They danced and joked and laughed and shook maracas and blew bubbles into the air. We sat at the bar and watched their antics in delight.

We also thoroughly enjoyed nibbling lobster roll and listening to the yellow-suited, vintage-aged DJ spin retro tunes.

Apparently he plays Rat Pack records at Dean & Nancy every Saturday from 5-9pm. We will be heading back very soon, he was fabulous.

And we were home by 8pm. What more could two fiftysomething sisters hope for in their Thursday night?

Have a great weekend. Mine will be a heady mix of packing and live music. Stay tuned!

Song of the day: Dick Dale “Surfin’ Swingin'”

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