Schweppes invites you to the unveiling of Elixir… come as you please, but prepare to be transported to another era in time. ..
Sandstone corridors lit with candles, bartenders in top-hats creating steamy concoctions and a distinguished grandfather clock keeping watch over the crowd. Twirling our parasols and adjusting our corsets, we saunter into the cellar of Elizabeth Bay House to discover 1900s chemists and scientists performing wild culinary experiments in every available cranny.
A stormy night set the tone for the mysterious Schweppes event taking place in the grand heritage-listed house. Guests (of the 2011 era) were advised to redress upon arrival and presented with a mirror-laden room full of 1900s gowns, feather boas and umbrellas. It was a Lion-Witch-Wardrobe style leap into a make believe world, a dream for anyone holding on to childhood fantasies of dress-up boxes and fairy tales. Attire, atmosphere and fabulous hats prepared us for the journey underground – unintentionally thrown into character, we found ourselves channeling Jane Austen accents and mannerisms as the night progressed.
Elixir was the star of the night, with new-fangled potions (aka cocktails) designed in the apothecary with the mixer in mind. Created specifically as a mixer, Elixir is a sharp blend of caramel, coffee and cocoa flavours – with a hint of vanilla. The Elixir Batango cocktail was an ideal antidote to the wintery winds howling outside, combining Elixir with tequila, fresh orange, a dash of orange bitters and a salt and pepper rim. A strong rum-based compound known as the Stormy was popular with the gents.
The magicians behind Boon chocolatiers were whipping up a batch of mouthwatering Roasted Macadamia Caramel on the spot for guests to sample the freshly concocted “chocolate experience”.
Said to grant the drinker eternal youth, the dark and mythical elixir of life has been pursued by alchemists for centuries. While the Schweppes apothecary may be yet to unravel the full mystery, it is worth a visit to the dark side of Batangos and Stormies. Who knows where you might end up?
Photos 1, 3 and 6 courtesy of http://www.graynoise.com.au/