Byline: Greg O'Keeffe
F OR someone who started his drinking days on weak lager and progressed to stronger lager before settling on ...well, more lager, I never thought a night out had much more to offer my palate.
That was until I saw what was to become my favourite film, Swingers, in 1996 - and realised the allure of a good cocktail.
For the uninitiated, Swingers was a low-budget comedy starring Vince Vaughan and John Favreau about out-of-work actors drinking and chasing girls around LA's bars.
It's a cult classic and, while me and my mates couldn't quite relate to rolling in the Hollywood Hills to snare waitresses (Labinsky's wasn't really the same), we did try our best to ape our idols.
We tried to learn more about classic cocktails US-style (as in basically any short drink) and drank in bars far too old and cocktails that were far too expensive for us.
The types of places we'd glance enviously at on our way to Mathew Street would be effortlessly cool bars like the Sir Thomas Hotel.
So may be it's those long submerged teenage days that, subconsciously, always lead us to the Sir Thomas on a night out.
It's exactly the type of bar which oozes class from every corner. And it has probably the best cocktail list in the city.
If you haven't tasted one of their Woodford Reserve, Old Fashioned (pounds 7.95) drinks you are doing yourself a disservice. It's an epic mix of a large measure of bourbon, bitters and orange cut with just the right amount of ice.
Sipping one and watching the ever-popular restaurant quieten down on a Saturday night (it later becomes an extended lounge bar) is one of the weekend's little pleasures.
But if bourbon isn't your thing the Peroni on tap is amber nectar and served perfectly cold.
It's important to note that the Sir Thomas is a hotel lounge bar, and that's another reason I like it. As in most hotel bars, you find an intriguing mix of punters. …