Interview with Venue Manager, Eddie Alder
I recently had the privilege of sitting down with venue manager of The Loft Wine Bar, Eddie Alder. The Loft is undeniably one of the coolest new additions to the Adelaide bar scene. We discussed Eddie’s history at The Loft and other bars prior to jumping onto his Apple & Elderflower Sherry Cobbler. So if you haven’t experienced The Loft Wine Bar yet, why not?
Have you been at The Loft Wine Bar since doors opened?
“I started here a month before opening. It was really fun to see the transformation of the space. When I first got here, there was no furniture!”
How was it opening a venue?
“The response to the venue has been great. I think it is something really different, really unique and the concept of service at a table to get a gin and tonic is quite relaxed. (People are) Greeted by a host and it sets the tone to people.
Above: Modern chique styling
Where did you first start in the industry?
“I started at the Adelaide Sailing Club down on West Beach just as a function lackey – I’m pretty good at rolling 10ft tables and moving stacks of chairs (Eddie grins). I then moved to the bar fortunately and moved to Cushdy. That is something pretty cool that Shaun (ex. Cushdy Owner/Operator) has always done, is always give people that don’t have experience in cocktails a chance. That was when Cushdy was 5 months old so it was still very exciting, the venue was still finding its feet. I was at Cushdy for 3 years…I then started at Sparrow and started to branch more into the Adelaide hospitality scene.
Then you moved to Melbourne?
“I spent 2 years at Golden Monkey, starting as the junior bartender. It was an Asian-inspired cocktail venue, Jazz Tuesdays, Funk Thursdays – we use to go through about 18 bottles of Soho on a Saturday night so I made a pretty good lychee martini. It was cool, I worked with some pretty cool people. After Golden Monkey, I then went to The Lui Bar at Vue De Monde.
Above: Eddie admiring his work
You’ve worked some well-known venues – what brings you back to Adelaide?
“The relaxed lifestyle of Adelaide really drew me back. It’s been a pretty exciting time to come back, there is so much new stuff going on, new venues, such a great cocktail push happening.
Mixologist or bartender?
“I prefer bartender. If people want to call themselves mixologist, that’s great, they probably deserve the respect – do it whole heartedly, if you can take pride in your work and call yourself a mixologist, great. I prefer bartender though because I still pour a pretty mean beer.
What do you order in a busy bar?
“…working in this industry you get to learn and appreciate simple things, you don’t want to be that guy that orders five Ramos Gin Fizz on a Saturday night. Pretty much just happy with a whiskey or rum on ice and a stubby so I can sit down, relax and get away from the bar.
Above: Crispy Pork Belly was amazing!
What kind of bar would you open?
“I might do something with cheese. There’s a bar called Milk the Cow and they have a huge range of different cheeses…you can wake up with a pretty impressive cheese hangover!
What makes a perfect cocktail?
“Time and place. There’s probably a perfect time and perfect place for every drink…if you are in Bali at a poolside bar, there is no place for a dry martini but perfect for a mango daiquiri. I guess it’s down to mood, time and place.
What’s your favourite spirit to work with?
“I’ve always had a close affiliation with rum. When Cushdy had the Adelaide Rum Club, that was pretty exciting to see some impressive rums come through.
What’s your cocktail of choice and any first call?
“It depends on what I’m doing. It’s very much time and place. Right now probably a jug of beer…but a cocktail…I might go a Sherry Cobbler with Pedro Ximenez and Irish Whiskey, a little bit of apple and little bit of elderflower.
Above: Apple & Elderflower Sherry Cobbler on The Loft’s current seasonal cocktail menu
What’s your favourite tool behind the bar?
“I got hit in the tooth by a bar blade with someone trying to flair so ever since then I hate bar blades, they’re dangerous! For versatility, I’m going to go for a waiters friends. I’ve seen someone stir a drink with a waiters friend which I wasn’t okay with (Eddie laughs).
How to make an Apple & Elderflower Sherry Cobbler
- 60 mL Pedro Ximenez Sherry
- 10 mL Irish Writers Tears Irish Whiskey
- 20 ml Apple & Elderflower Syrup/Reduction
- Pour all ingredients into a boston glass over ice
- Shake and strain over fresh ice
- Garnish with seasonal fruit; apple, pineapple spears, berries, etc.
The Loft Wine Bar
1/128 Gouger St, Adelaide SA 5000
Phone: (08) 8211 8887
Mon – Tue CLOSED
Wed – Thu 03:00 PM – 12:00 AM
Fri – Sat 03:00 PM – 2:00 AM
Sun 03:00 PM – 12:00 AM