So, when our Cardiff team heard through the grapevine about an underground, Welsh heritage centred, secret bar we HAD to go.
The Dead Canary opened in December 2015 and as soon as we heard they were sending out ‘Boomerang’ shots to advertise their launch, we knew we would get on.
Our owner, Mark, went to do some (all very professional) taste testing and that is where he met Fitz, one of TDC’s most experienced mixologists. Having worked for various bars throughout the city and masterminding cocktail menus for the likes of Ten Mill Lane & 29 Park Place, Mark went all ‘fangirl’ and a Smoke Haus x TDC partnership was born. Mark loved the concept and Fitz himself admits he’s obsessed with helping anyone and everyone understand cocktails, their origins and what they actually like to drink.
We caught up with Fitz to talk all things cocktails and carbs and how he created a specially selected range perfectly tailored to us. Fitz spent a long time with Rachel of our Swansea branch, testing, tasting and making a variety of concoctions he created after sampling everything we have to offer. We didn’t know just how perfect it would be, turns out BBQ food and it’s deeply rich flavours are ideal for pairing with cocktails and spirits (the dream!). Fitz explained to us that it becomes much more difficult to match spirits with such strong tones to delicate dishes, as the danger of overpowering or altering the taste of the food becomes a lot more likely! Fitz and TDC are infectiously passionate about what they do, they ooze intellect and make the real history around this sincere art form accessible to everyone (we’re going a little fangirl again.)
Our entire team loved having him teach us so many things we never knew! Fitz himself frequented The Smoke Haus, usually post-cocktail competitions at other local bars. Win or lose he was with us, feasting on our spiciest creations (a self-confessed slave to spice.) Perhaps that’s because he knows alcohol is the only thing (aside from fat) that cuts through a spicy flavour. So what he’s really saying is it’s actually better to have a Brooklyn lager or a malt whisky with our Dirty Sanchez Jalapeno rich creation…you can see why we’re big fans of the guy!
Fitz pulled on our love of southern culture and all its popular influences that we so openly display throughout both venues. The result is a perfect mix of both. Think freshly brewed raspberry iced teas mixed with vodka and a little Chambord. Or maybe you prefer to go for name alone; Fitz and the team created a Sons of Anarchy themed beverage plus a boozy tribute to breaking bad too!
We know that these days the temptation to go out for a Porn Star Martini purely for Instagram purposes is seriously strong and we salute that! But thanks to The Dead Canary, we can now safely say we have the flavours to match. So not only will it look phenomenal, it will perfectly pair with everything from our Haus Mac and Cheese to The Jacobs Ladders of BBQ pork ribs.
So a massive thanks to Fitz and The Dead Canary’s A-mazing team for helping us create such a strong partnership!