In from the cold at Palmer & Co.

It’s so easy to hibernate indoors when it’s cold, but the cure for the Winter blues lies at the bottom of a cocktail glass – preferably several.

Palmer and Co., the chic and mysterious Merivale speakeasy on Abercrombie Lane, launched its Winter menu just last week. With a history of ever-growing menus, designed to reflect the flavours and senses of the season, this year’s is no different: Absinthe, gin, and bourbon all feature heavily, along with heavier fruits like pomegranate, cumquat, and apple. While Summer may be the time for fruity spritzers and bubbly mixers, Winter undoubtedly calls for something a little richer.

If you’ve never been to Palmer and Co., the experience is one of a kind. From the hidden entry behind Establishment that has you sneaking down a set of rickety metal stairs, to the cavernous and warm walls that make you feel like you’ve been transported to another era, Palmer and Co. is the place you go when you really want to impress. Each cocktail is designed with a mouthful of flavours, and you might even find your bartender directing you to sip from one side of the glass and then the other – the Doolins’ Memory, a whiskey-based cocktail, has salt on one side of the rim that makes a huge taste difference when you sip.

Also on the menu are The Blind Tiger, a bourbon and sherry concoction featuring candied walnuts, and Le Chat Noir, featuring mint, tonic, and Absinthe. The menu introduced a lot of common spirits presented in uncommon ways. Tequila and drinkingĀ it in the Vaquero with burnt oak agave gives it a remarkable twist. Yellow chartreuse pops its head up in the Bebe Lyon, giving an interesting bite to dry gin. Plus, the knowledge that Palmer and Co. makes everything on-site – from their bitters to their cordials to their orgeat – means you’re treated to a really special experience, the likes of which you simply won’t get at your local.

The Winter menu is being served all season long, until the evenings get sunny again and it becomes gin weather instead of bourbon weather. You have only a few months to get down to Palmer and Co. and make your way through the menu – the bar remains open until 5am, so it’s do-able in one night if you dare.

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