I’ve been drinking whiskey sours since Justin Bieber was in nappies – so when I tell you the best whiskey sour I ever had was at this small rock and roll bar in Enmore, that means something.
I’ll let other bar reviewers talk about Midnight Special’s décor (dark lighting, red paper lanterns, booths as well as bar stools at the counter) or its music (retro rock, vinyl LPs) – but I’m here for the whiskey sour.
A great whiskey sour is like a great rock n roll bar – it’s rough and it’s smooth and it’s sour and sweet. It’s a contradiction in liquid form that no sophisticated man would drink, an unholy combination of lemon juice, whiskey and sugar that was created for dive bars and kitten tamers such as myself.
The question is: why is this whiskey sour so good? I’m here with the Amazonian Croatian, who tastes it and agrees that it’s an elixir but doesn’t know why. Finally, when the bartender walks past our table, I stop and beg for his secret – and seeing the desperate gleam in my eye, he answers:
Johnny Walker Red.
If you’re a cocktail nerd like me then this is a surprise, since Scotch of any description is rarely used in a whiskey sour – but hell, I’m not complaining.
The Croatian is equally happy with her Hot Buttered Rum, made with Appleton VX and Sailor Jerry rum – plus, judging from the artery-hardening I feel after the first sip, a gallon of melted butter. The Croatian loves it but I’m glad I have 000 on speed dial.
Talking of heart attacks, the hot dogs here are awesome – well, at least the one I had (I think it was called a Howlin’ Dog ($8.50), which features jalapenos, sauerkraut, cheese, tomato sauce, American mustard and chipotle sauce).
Now that I’ve finished raving about the whiskey sour (so smooth! So balanced! So … I don’t know, but I like it!) I have nothing else to say other than to point to a YouTube clip of one of the many versions of the song this bar is named after:
Midnight Special, 44 Enmore Road, Newtown. Open Wednesday to Sunday, see the Midnight Special website
Now it’s your turn – how do you rate Midnight Special?
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