Foxtrot Unicorn: A descent into a taxidermy-adorned dream

Like the beginning of any good mystery, it took some time to uncover my first stop. We stood on a quiet, dark St Georges Terrace, scanning the unyielding marble of nearby skyscrapers for secret doors. Finally, I found a makeshift wooden door with a note tacked to it, and on the other side, a stairway down into Foxtrot Unicorn

In a warmly lit underground haven, strangely decorated with taxidermy, we found a table of pub-style bentwood chairs and inhaled the rich scent of grilling cheese. As the others perused the menu of toasties (or as the menu called them: jaffles) I walked up to the bar to order the first martini of my exploration. All of the bartenders were fittingly hipster, with moustaches and casual attire, and one man greeted me with a friendly smile. I asked for a martini, which sparked a satisfying discussion of which gin I should choose. For a classic martini, he recommended their house gin, Archie Rose, as it was quite good but not overly expensive. 

With casual, expertly smooth movements, the bartender cooled a slim martini glass with a swirl of ice while gently stirring gin in a tall metal jug. He then rubbed a slice of lemon rind across the outside and the rim of the glass before pouring the drink and finishing it off with a puff of zest. As he didn’t ask me whether I preferred olives or a twist, it must be their default style. Apart from the slice of lemon rind sitting awkwardly on the lip of the glass, it was a beautiful drink. Subtle, velvety gin, the perfect flavour for a classic, easy-drinking martini.

Cost: $18