I was recently lucky enough to be invited on an amazing boutique Wellington cocktail tour with Odyssey Food Tours as some of you may have seen on my Instagram stories. (@lostinsilverfern) Now, cocktails I can never say no to but I was very intrigued about what it would be in store on a tour like this. Having spent many summers in Europe, and taking part in the odd bar crawl, I had images of drunken teens and jelly shots. I can safely say, this is NOT what you should expect from the interesting and much more high brow cocktail tour with Odyssey.
Here is what you should expect:
A Tour by Local Foodies
Run by Foodie John Salter, Food and Spice Odessey provides food, wine and cocktail tours to take you off the beaten track and discover something different about what Wellington has to offer. The tour took us through four top Wellington bars, (that I cant believe I had not yet discovered) Poqito, Motel, Crumpet and The Hanging Ditch to sample some of their best cocktails.
John gave us snippets of interesting info on Wellington city to keep us entertained on the short crawls between bars. The tour lasted 2 hours and was a great way to meet and greet bartenders, try some new things and learn a lot about the Wellington cocktail/bar scene.
Real time with the bar tenders
A huge highlight of this tour was that at all stops the talented mixologists spent a lot of time explaining their creations, sharing personal stories and answering questions. Sometimes when you go to a bar and order a cocktail that takes time to make and, lets be honest, costs a bit, you want time with the bartender to watch their skills and learn something about your choice. In busy bars this can be difficult but the Odyssey Cocktail Tour, fills this gap to allow you this time. This definitely felt special and made me really think about the love and work that goes into a cocktail. Its not about Pinocoladas and Cosmos anymore, cocktails really are works of art!
The variety of bars changes for each tour so there is always a different agenda but to tempt your appetite this is what we tried last week on our particular tour:
Poquito – A smokey whiskey, pink cocktail served in driftwood – stunning and a delicious start
Motel – A Zombie – Many many varieties of rum but you would never tell, fruity and delicious and served with FIRE
Crumpet – Tequila and Gin based vintage and very aesthetically pleasing cocktails served with berry crumpets and spiced nuts
The Hanging Ditch – A great way to finish with more FIREY cocktails including an amazing viking take on the Mai Thai and a bacon cocktail.!!
Who knew you could have bacon in a cocktail and it would taste GOOD? Amazing. But all of these cocktails were top class. The (actual) crumpet served at Crumpet bar (of all places) helped to take the boozy edge off and was also amazingly yummy. I could eat it every day.
Taster not Waster!
In case you are wondering, no guests don’t get an entire cocktail at each place (sorry!) and this allows you to enjoy the flavours, not the boozy head. Guests share a smaller(ish) taster of the creation so are able to end the night in a sensible state as well as being able to try lots of different cocktails, with plenty of room to take the evening on to more drinks, or food!
This Wellington cocktail tour was an unexpected gem that has taught me some great things about the Wellington bar scene and most likely some of my new regular haunts. It is a little bit pricey at $150 per person, but I honestly think its worth if you are into food and drink and I would highly recommend it as something to do with someone special. Especially if you are new in town, or keen to see a side of Wellington you may not have seen yet. Christmas present – I think so!
If you are keen, you can check out the Wellington Odyssey Food Tours Page
Thanks for reading and come back soon!
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