All I can think of is James Bond. Husky English accent. Chiseled good looks. Charisma. Martinis, shaken not stirred. A bar worthy of 007 and the high-end classy times that accompany him and his bevy of beauties. But it’s nothing of the sort. I was sitting in the presence of Grant Collins, the world-renowned mixologist who has shaped the tone of namesake cocktail bar at Hilton Adelaide and introduced South Australians to a new type of palatable pleasure.
I was lucky enough to be invited with a few other media types, to experience Collins’ new range of Summer cocktails while he was in town from Sydney where he now bases himself. Grant Collins heads over to Adelaide every three months to train staff in new drinks he’s created for the venue.
Originally from Cornwall, the former fitness instructor has been honing his craft as a mixologist for over 15 years, much to the delight of cocktail lovers across the globe. His cocktails are so sought after in fact, that he’s bowed to the pressure to produce his own cocktail book, which was released in 2014 – Mix It Up. It’s worth of a read (and possibly a Valentine’s Day gift).
With thousands of cocktail recipes behind his belt, Collins has a thorough understanding of what works in a glass, and how the experience of drinking a cocktail should play out. It’s about flavours that work together inherently. Visual presentation that makes you want to leave the glass alone and take countless photos (I’m speaking as an Instagram addict, his creations are beautiful). And finding a way to ensure the fun remains from start to finish.
For this Summer’s cocktail menu, which is available from January 19th, Collins has delivered a dozen of the most breathtaking cocktails I’ve been privileged to drink. And I even made that call before trying them all… Regal Rose, the Spiced Caribbean Cloud, the American Dream and the Rubber Ducky are all divine. Your biggest problem will be trying to decide which creations to try yourself.
It’s no wonder Hilton Adelaide chose to build a cocktail bar around the talents of Grant Collins. It’s the perfect place for an after work drink, or to educate yourself in how real cocktails are made. Certainly somewhere to add to your itinerary the next time you head into town.