Yep, thats how I’m starting this post. With one word.
Ironically, there’s a lot that can be said for being understated. In fashion it means that sometimes a simple faint micro check speaks louder than a big bold one. That being said I decided I would go with my new Hardy Amies navy suit when visiting one of Cape Towns most understated cocktail bars. An understated suit for an understated bar, it was the perfect fit, so was the suit now that I think of it!
Besides a very discreet OoM sign at the bottom left of the doorframe and a hand painted ‘cocktail bar’ sign just above it, you would never know this place existed. In fact, its less than attractive exterior makes all the surprises on the other side of the door that much more exciting.
This isn’t the first time I’ve visited or reviewed Outrage of Modesty (you can check out my first review here) but this isn’t the same bar. Well, okay, outside of an updated mural, its the same bar. But as far as the drinks are concerned, this might as well be a whole new bar.
So, whats different? Well pretty much everything. In order to keep things interesting OoM would regularly update their menu with the season, but this time they decided they would update their menu with a whole new experience. The fancy glasses and menus may be gone, but the fancy drinks and incredible flavors remain. The man responsible is legendary New York mixologist and author of ‘Alchemy in a Glass’, Mr Greg Seider or as he introduced himself “Seids”.
Seids immediately got busy making us a whack of cocktails all the while talking us through the inspiration behind the flavors as well as the story behind crazy names like ‘Ground to Glass’, ‘The Reach Around’ and ‘Charmane Star’ – a drink dedicated to what Greg believes this Filipino adult film star tastes like. Hmmmm.
The highlight of the tasting was of course stepping behind the bar and making a drink of my choice. Being a big blues fan the ‘John Lee Hooker’ seemed like the obvious choice. This drinks namesake is inspired by John Lee Hookers cover of One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer and naturally a combination of all three ingredients to produce what Seids believes is Cape Towns next cult cocktail. I loved it!
I learnt that making a good cocktail is a lot like making a good suit, respect the heritage while never conforming to the norm. No surprise that these were the fundamentals behind Hardy Amies’s approach to fashion, 2 fundamentals still evident in the brands tailoring to this day. My suit may have appeared understated in it’s simplicity, but it was the details in the tailoring that made it the ultimate canvas for all the accessories. The drink was no different, simple in its promise of 3 ingredients but brought to life with the addition of cinnamon, agave, lemon and sarsaparilla!
If you’re looking for that perfect navy suit and find yourself in London, I suggest visiting Hardy Amies store on the iconic Savile Row, or just drop in online and pick something out.
If you’re looking for cocktails filled to the brim with as many stories as there are flavors then pop into Outrage of Modesty after 6pm from Tuesday to Saturday at 88 Shortmarket street, Cape Town.
Okay. Drink safely and stay fancy.