Friday night. J&Friends head to J&M, a recently opened bar on level 2 of Angel Hotel. Head up some serious stairs, open a small door, and find yourself in Merivale’s suave new whisky themed bar. There’s an extensive list of whiskys to try neat, but the girlies and I head straight for the whisky cocktail list, all made with Chivas 18.
We start with a Rosetta Sour (Chivas 18, mandarin liqueur, honey syrup, preserved orange, lemon, egg white, fennel pollen), Highland Island Cooler (Chivas 18, pineapple and rhubarb shrub, fresh pineapple, young coconut water, citric solution) and a Modern Gentleman (Chivas 18, Antica Formula, burnt oak and apricot infused Campari, and a giant ice sphere of coffee). In the cocktails, the whisky flavour is notable but doesn’t overpower so the other flavours come through. The freshness of the pineapple with the whisky works well and this turns into a popular choice – “it contains coconut water, that means its healthy, right?” asks one of the group.
From the food menu we nibble on some creamy chicken liver pâté, which I can never go past on a menu
I have to try A Life Less Ordinary, a tribute to the late Mr John as the staff respectfully call him (Chivas 18, Aperol, apricot and saffron syrup, bitters, Pernod Absinthe, and atomised peated whisky, the last bit coming in this cool old fashioned perfume bottle and sprayed on). Each of these comes with a note from Mr John’s tribute page. We obviously didn’t know him, but there’s no disagreement with what is written.
This is accompanied by some smoked oysters, cutely presented in the tin, with crackers and cream cheese
From the classic cocktail list we try the Moscow Mule (Absolut Elyx, ginger juice, lime, ginger ale) and this one is also a crowd favourite. We love love love the metal straws (I have gotta get me some of those) and the fine crystal glasses.
We also share a cheese plate which comes with a tasty fig and walnut log. Meanwhile, a great selection of cool tunes has been playing in the background, the volume just right so that we can actually talk, and the room is full of a relaxed crowd enjoying this new intimate nightspot.
J&M, 1 Angel Place, Sydney, Ph 02 9254 8088
Napoli Restaurant Alert was a guest of Merivale