I’m one for tradition, you know? Love having a great local where you can be guaranteed consistent service, a friendly chat and some welcoming good times. And sometimes you need more than one local. The Corner Store (read my review here>>>) has long been the one and only local in my heart, but the competition could be heating up. After all the Minx is barely 500m down the road from my office and makes a very convenient drop-in on the way to the local. At least, that’s my story so far.
The Ginger Minx is found in what used to be the wine bar of GPK on Dominion Road, where years ago we enjoyed regular Friday night dinners and pizzas (see, that tradition thing). The big roaring fireplace is still there and the place is now under the watchful eye of Craig, who pretty much embodies the spirit of the place with his trusty sidekicks, Pat (who makes a mean cocktail) and Kristin.
Apart from the lack of barside stools to pull up and have a chat with the crew behind the bar, everything else about the Minx is decidedly comfortable – you can order a meal from The Dominion next door, cosy up to the fire or huddle outside under heaters if you just need a cigarette break. It’s dark but not intimidating. It’s the kind of bar that you walk into and make your own, until such a time as the sign on the backbar reminds you that the bar staff truly believe “We are awesome and we decide if you get your next drink or not.” (It’s replaced the previous sign that wasn’t really fit to print!)
What I love about the Minx, having returned a few times of late, is the unashamed blistering commitment to good drinks and good times. Check out their version of the Dark’n’Stormy for example. Classically, a rum & ginger beer with a little lime for good measure. The Minx serves it with 2 types of rum, a dash of chili and enough kick to make you warm all over. The beers on tap are limited, Monteiths Original, Pilsner & Tiger by glass or jug –an indication of the relationship with the pub next door but the wine & cocktail list has just been through a big revamp, with some of my favourite drops available soon. There are a few more tasty treats in the fridges too, if you prefer your beer by the bottle.
On the first visit, I tried a divine Hendricks Gin & basil concoction, shaken with lemon and sugar syrup until the basil leaves were nearly obliterated and the resulting libation was tinged green and smooth. It was fragrant, delicate and delicious. The following bourbon & stout flip is an old friend that everyone makes a little differently – the combo of maple & smoke tincture used in this definitely warmed me up. You should never be afraid of an egg or two when drinking cocktails!
The Ginger Minx screams “I’m young, I’m unprententious and I’m a rollicking good time!” enticing you in the door. They know how to throw a party, and everyone’s invited.
The Ginger Minx, 117 Valley Rd, Eden Quarter
Open Wed – Sun, from 4pm with something happening nearly all the time.
– Tash McGill