Perth’s newly relaunched Guildford Hotel is mixing innovative technology with its historic restoration, offering selected mementos alongside draught Espresso Martini and Ice Tea cocktails.
“The technology behind Espresso Martinis on tap is definitely a big deal,” explains the Guildford Hotel’s bar manager, Tristan Wroth.
“It’s a relatively new technique for this style of drink, but when done right the results are amazing – not just for the hotel, but for the guests as well.
“Kevin Clark, our Diageo brand ambassador, has been with us every step of the way, with hands-on training and support from both Perth and Sydney, to make sure the recipe is 100 per cent perfect. They’ve also set us up with the ice bank tap system that makes the whole thing work.”
Apart from providing people with quicker service and a more consistent cocktail, the Espresso Martini tap system offers another benefit.
“One big difference in the process: in a normal, hand-made martini, when the drink is poured the longer it’s left, the worse the creamy head gets. Whereas by tap, it’s the reverse. Think of it like serving a Guinness; the head builds over time,” Worth says.
The Espresso Martini recipe uses Ketel One vodka, Kahlua, Little Drippa cold drip coffee and Monin vanilla syrup, served from 19-litre kegs, of which it tore through seven on opening weekend last Saturday and Sunday, representing 886 Espresso Martinis. It also reports success with its Guildford Ice Tea cocktail, served in a “share amongst friends” 1.9-litre jug.
“We have a total of three taps committed to cocktails, and I’d love to see us alternating at least two of them monthly to provide something new and fresh for our guests to enjoy,” continues Worth.
“However, I can see the Espresso Martini staying on tap as a regular favourite for some time. I expect we’ll average between five and ten kegs a week as a standard, but really, the sky’s the limit.”
The heritage-listed hotel was built in 1886, but has remained closed and largely derelict since being gutted in a fire in 2008.
Purchased by Luke Martino, with plans for a seven-storey mixed-use structure at the rear to make the restoration of the hotel itself viable, the project encountered ongoing disputes from local residents and the local Swan Council, based in concerns that the height would detract from the historic property and subdued district.
This was finally over-ruled late last year by then Planning Minister John Day, who allowed for a five-storey development at the rear of the site, paving the way for the hotel’s restoration – with hands-on involvement from the beginning by acclaimed operators, Publican Group Australia.
Last week the gala re-opening of the Guildford saw WA State Premier and Minister for Tourism Colin Barnett in attendance, with East Metropolitan MLC Alyssa Hayden, who jointly cut the ribbon to mark the doors finally opening again.
“The cultural heritage significance of Guildford Hotel is beyond its bricks and mortar — the hotel has always been a visual and social focus of the local community,” said Barnett on the night.
“Its restoration has been undertaken with painstaking attention to detail and I am sure the hotel will not only be a magnet for locals, but for people from all over Perth who took a keen interest in the plight of the building after it was all but destroyed.”
A modern, open-plan look now complements the historic restoration, and specific elements have been incorporated to reflect its history, including charred beams and original timber fixtures, as well as historic pictures from its past.