Since I can remember, Sydney has had a variety of bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. A beautiful mixture of all three is one of Glebe’s best drinking spots. Different Drummer is a Spanish tapas/candy bar that has created a wonderful atmosphere and great drinks. It is responsible for bringing Spain into Sydney’s Inner West.
I have always loved Spanish food, including paella, salsa, and wine. We were eager to celebrate the beginning of a long weekend by having a few drinks with our friend. After trying to go to the Different Drummer last week, but seeing the large crowd lining the footpath, we decided to try again. We booked right away and were all dressed up for our night on the town.
In Sydney’s Darlinghurst, Different Drummer was opened by Dominique Edmonson and David Edmonson in 1971. The old bar was closed in 1971. A new bar was opened at the boutique end on Glebe Point Road. This is a perfect spot for this small but well-equipped space. It was quite difficult to get in the door. We had to squeeze through at most 30 people with champagne glasses. I can remember thinking, “Gee, there’s going to be serious spillage here!” Everyone was polite and there wasn’t any pushing or shoving. We were disappointed at how long it took to locate a staff member to inquire about our booked table, but eventually we did find someone. Although we were grateful to have escaped the crowd, our thankfulness quickly turned into shock as we were led up the narrow timber eye care tips staircase with a very shaky handrail. It’s beyond me how these people managed to pass occupational safety and health regulations.
We were impressed when we got seated. We assumed that this venue was once a terrace with a shabby look. The kitchen opened up to the small dining room, giving it a homey feel. The brick walls, red soft lighting, and wooden floorboards were modern and fresh without sacrificing any authenticity. We could hear the chips being grilled and smelled delicious meat from our seats. We chose the traditional Spanish meatballs, chicken skewers marinated in satay sauce, and chips dipped with garlic mayonnaise. We will be returning for crumbed camembert as well as the Spanish import combo with jamon serrano and manchego, sardines, olives, and sardines.
Although the food was delicious, it was very frustrating that we were on the second floor. We still had to go down to order drinks and food. It was good that our food was quickly brought to us. It was also a good thing that we had our drinks down stairs instead of climbing down the staircase.
The drinks are the bar’s most prominent draw card. The staff are generous with their nips. Try the Helsinki Pear. It is caramelized pear with Poor William Liquer, Woodford reserve, and lime juice. Then, it’s mixed together with spice syrup and spice syrup. My friend enjoyed the freshness and sweetness of the Brazilian Peach-Hoo-ha. It was smashed peach, mint, and lemon with Cachaca and lemoncello. The Fig Muster was my favorite. This cocktail transported me to a world of sugary delights and rollercoasters – where laughter, fun and excitement were the norm. Figs are muddled with lemon, pisco, lavender, and lemon. Finished with sparkling wine and pistachio fairy string. It’s so cute!
Different Drummer has been teaching Sydneysiders all about Spanish cuisine. Tapas is Spanish for “to cover” and in the 10th century, tapas meant to cover. To prevent flies getting into the drinks, the Spanish used pieces of bread and ham to cover their glasses. These salty morsels promoted thirst, and thus sales for bars. Tapas were more popularized in the tenth-century when Spanish King Alfonso became ill. He was advised by his doctor to have small portions of food and small sips from wine between meals. After he had recovered, he declared that no wine should ever be consumed in Castile without food. Socioeconomically poor people couldn’t afford to eat proper meals and so they drank all the time. Tapas were introduced as a tradition with alcohol and it proved to be a boon for the poor.
We are here now, however, in the 21st Century, when people are willing to spend top dollar for great cocktails and tapas. Different Drummer is a pioneer in this type of culinary experience, and the place seems to be growing in popularity. Glebe’s secret haven has become a popular spot for locals, with a 90-minute happy hour every night. The bar has a party atmosphere thanks to the DJ spinning euro house and mish-mashed 80’s pop until 2 AM.