The Chronicle, Issue 3, 2018.

You’ll want to try everything on the cocktail menu at LUCKY SHAKER. Within half an hour, I’d consumed four. The bartender was given a simple brief – blow my mind and tell me what’s in it while I’m sipping.

And so I was escorted through some of the finest alcohol and fresh ingredient blends these taste buds have ever experienced. Flavour and taste describe the obvious characteristics of these drinks. Sensations help to describe  actual drinking “experience”.

Drawing the last of a “Winter Punch” through my lips, I was prompted by the bartender to consider the word “silky” as an adjective to describe the texture of this new taste experience. How right he was. The texture and crystal clarity comes from milk. The technique of clarifying milk for alcoholic drinks and punches was invented in the 1700’s.

It involves the addition of acid’s like lemon or citrus to a cocktail mix. The mix is strained to remove the curdles milk solids, producing a crystal clear drink. The word “unctuous” also came to mind – excessively smooth.

The cocktail menu is divided into a few categories for ease of selection. If you’re not sure, a couple of simple questions from the bartender will get you into your first cocktail. Go with a group of friends so you can all choose something different.

Michael Stephenson, Lucky Shakers owner is dedicated to and passionate about what they are creating. “We work very hard in the background to create a fun experience for our customers”. They make their own syrups and elegantly flavoured sodas. The prep work for the afternoon trade starts early and is exhaustive.

New cocktails are created weekly to keep things fresh and interesting. Don’t imagine for an instant that anything on the menu is stock standard. This is pure creation born out of years of experience, heaps of passion and a determination to be the best in the industry.

The owner’s wife made it clear that the food was excellent as she savoured every morsel of her fish tacos. Isn’t it usual that you tire of your own food? Apparently not here. I watched as a couple of irregular burgers sailed out of the kitchen and onto a table where the patrons stared at them like kids in a candy store.

Every cocktail I drink from here on is going to be benchmarked against Lucky Shaker. Sorry!

The earliest record of milk based punches dates from the 1700’s into the mid 1800’s. After Charles Dickens died in 1870, bottles of this milk cocktail were found in his cellar.

Back to the bar though! The speed and sincerity of service is impressive. A white napkin is placed at your elbow along with a clean glass the moment you take your seat, Purified water is tipped into the glass from an elegant bottle – this goes on politely all evening. They open at 3:30pm.

Some of us are born with personal space awareness. The staff at this establishment know how close to get and how often to engage. It might have something to do with the sheer confidence they have in their product and the experience you are going to have. I felt like a special guest and that my experience was their top priority. So far as I could tell, everyone was getting the same treatment.