Owned by Jonny McKenzie, the brother of Flight of the Conchords‘ star Bret McKenzie, C.G.R (which stands for for Coffee, Gin and Rum) is a quiet oasis among the bustling Courtenay Place. Much love and money has been spent on the décor — it’s all dark wood, mismatched chandeliers and Old World glamour, and feels a little like stepping onto the set of The Rum Dairies.
What really puts the sparkle into C.G.R’s tiara is its housemade rum and gin infusions using a variety of herbs and spices. These are ever changing, depending on the season and available ingredients, which makes it necessary to keep visiting to see what those ingenious boys have come up with. To give you a just a taste, recent additions to the infusion list are a Kaffir lime leaf- and Mexican oregano-infused Hendrick’s gin, and a chili- and coriander-infused Havana three-year-old rum. The bar’s love affair with gin and rum gets another chance to run riot on Monday and Tuesday nights when it hosts tastings.
If, however, your palate yearns to roam over even more exotic tastes, go for the cold-fusion coffee. In a city that knows — and loves — good coffee, this is an exciting addition. Even on a cold autumn day, it has a kick like a mule. And still in the “I can’t believe she did that’” category, a friend tried — and liked — C.G.R’s egg coffee (a blend of rum, coffee and condensed milk), which, unsurprisingly, involves some sort of mysterious process that McKenzie reportedly picked up in the Far East.
C.G.R is a welcome addition to Wellington’s entertainment strip; go there while you can still bag a seat.
Photos Courtesy of C.G.R Merchants & Co.