Your flight was delayed and you’ve missed dinner or even a chance to have a cocktail at your swanky hotel. Then you spot the minibar. The friend and foe of the weary traveller. Forbidden. Taboo. An afterthought. It might be the cure for late night cravings with $9 Toblerones and overpriced Gordons Gin miniatures, but it quickly becomes a guilty pleasure.
It’s rare and surprising to check into a hotel and find a minibar with different, even local beers and snacks. Some of Australia’s better hotels have seen the light. Now you can have that cocktail without leaving your room. The East Indian Trade Co crafts and bottles high-end (and delicious) cocktails to end the boring, same-old mini-bar drink options.
The Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, QT Hotels Canberra and Bondi, Cairns Casino, Haggerstone Island and Paperback Camp are just a few of the properties to have signed up. Next, the Traders Hotel Group, Shangri La Malaysia and an airline will be spreading the cheer one bottle at a time.
Why the East Indian Trade Co? The Brits formed the world’s first registered company in 1600 to trade with (some might say exploit) the then mysterious Orient. Initially, The East India Company was incorporated by royal charter in the 17th century to trade in East Indian spices. Cotton, silk, saltpetre, tea and even opium were the products that the ‘West’ craved.
Fast forward to 2016 when Justin Windle and Timothy Shaw named their business after the merchants and travellers who brought back to Britain the most exotic and sought-after goods.
Working closely with mixologists from Australia and overseas, the cocktails are limited release and exclusive. Some blends are infused with exotic ingredients.
The handsome little bottles have an old-world air with cork stoppers and patterned with lotus blossoms. Each contains a standard 60mls of alcohol with a mixer.
The initial 8 cocktail range is includes some perennial favourites and some newcomers: Sazerac, Negroni, The Bittered Sling, Gin, Espresso and Vodka Martinis, Buttered Rye & Cranberry Sour and Manhattan and Bondi Margarita.
Each collectable miniature bottle carries a tag of ingredients and a little sleeve of a suggested garnish – orange for Negroni or coffee beans for the Espresso Martini. The bottles contain approximately 1.5 drinks to be enjoyed solo or even better – with a friend. Boring minibars no more. https://eastindiantrade.co/