Martin Lange, Wiebke Lange, Blake Ward and Belinda Ward always had a stronger focus than most on service at Death and Taxes, their popular Burnett Lane bar. At Dr Gimlette – their immaculate cocktail joint in the old Metro Arts building on Edward Street – the team lean in even harder on the service side of things.
The venue’s calling card is a pair of vintage Martini carts sourced from Europe, which service four enormous leather-lined booths. The carts also underline Dr Gimlette’s ambition to build on Brisbane’s existing cocktail scene. The team has also invested in a liquid nitrogen tap and bespoke glassware, and puts special emphasis on seasonal cocktails.
The complete drinks list features the same approachable style you’d expect at Death and Taxes. Past menu highlights include the Memento, a fruity, herbaceous take on a Gimlet that features mandarin, thyme and lemon cordial; and the Elation highball built from Herradura Reposado tequila, black cherry, clove, fermented chilli and lemon. Boozier drinks might include a dirty Martini variation called the Swazey that stirs Tanquery with Never Never aquavit, Dolin vermouth and caper brine. Backing up the cocktails is an Old World-leaning wine list, a clutch of craft beers and a rotating spritz on tap.
Dr Gimlette was conceived as an evolution on Death and Taxes (and other sister venue Cobbler, which is owned by the Langes). Occupying the Metro’s old theatre space, it boasts a raised timber floor and raw brick walls with feature timber panelling. Along one side of the room is an enormous nine-metre-long marble bar that carries more than 300 spirits.
Despite the plague mask and brooding Kevin Best vanitas-style art, Dr Gimlette is intended to be a slightly lighter and brighter venue and more of a pre or post-dinner hideaway, leveraging off the new wave of restaurants at nearby Eagle Street Pier, such as Coppa Spuntino, Naga Thai and Opa.