Might you have come across a member of The Parasol and Swing Company in the Nineteenth Century, you would have had the pleasure to meet a young journeyman travelling the world finding new flavours and blends for their alcoholic concoctions. Today The Parasol and Swing Company is located at the centre of Auckland’s fast-developing Viaduct and acts a tribute to these barkeeps whose skills brought joy to those who tried their mixes. Since its opening, this establishment has gone on to win many awards including “Outstanding New Venue” at the 2018 Lewisham Industry Awards. This two-story rooftop bar with arguably one of the best views in Auckland does not disappoint, providing a menu so diverse it has something to suit everyone from every walk of life.
The menu itself is a pleasure to read with illustrations by creative / designer Helen Keen and photography by Paul Menezes. This carefully curated leather-bound menu is seasonal, meaning with each shift of weather brings a change of ingredients. The Summer 2020 menu begins by describing their selection of Spritz, these refreshments boast a series of seasonal fruits from strawberry chartreuse, grapefruit tonics to golden rums, which are sure to quench any thirst. Their cocktail menu showcases the talent of the bartenders by displaying a menu of unusual pairings and inspired ideas. Grab an early evening Aperitif inspired by our British friends across the water, namely a “Wimbledon Spritz” of Jasmine vodka, strawberry champagne and herbal liquor. Try something completely different from the “Crimson and Clover Club” consisting of Earl Grey gin, raspberry jam, grenadine, Blanco vermouth with the entire top half of the glass dusted in raspberry. Finish your night with a digestif of the “Improved Grasshopper” a creamy blend of cocoa blanc, creme de menthe, sesame ice cream, peppermint amaro and absinthe. The menu even caters for your teetotallers or chauffeurs with a selection of fairly priced non-alcoholic drinks. Grab yourself an alcohol-free “Apple No-Jito” of apple juice, mint, ginger, honey-lime, and spritz or a tropical-inspired “Tiki & Tonic”.
For all of you grape lovers, Parasol and Swing invite you to be “a tidier kiwi” explaining how they have chosen their producers specifically based out of New Zealand in an attempt to reduce their own carbon footprint on imports. Commendably their wine and beer menu exhibit Pinot Rose from Central Otago to Westbrook Waimaku Chardonnay from West Auckland. Their beers on tap follow suit with craft beers from New Zealand breweries such as the XPA “No Prob Llama” from Heyday in Wellington and the IPA “Williamsburg” from the Urbanaut brewery in Kingsland, Auckland. This menu goes above and beyond to display pride for our Kiwi producers. Of course, there are a few exceptions like the classic vintage Dom Perignon 2009 from Epernay, France or Collet Brut Art Deco NV Champagne from AY, France.
If the cocktail menu isn’t enough to convince you, let us delve into the food menu. Book ahead for a group of friends or colleagues and enjoy their sharing dishes. Choose between their succulent buttermilk fried chicken, roasted pork belly bites with chilli caramel and apple slaw or for our vegetarian comrades enjoy the jalapeño poppers with cream cheese and a side of sriracha mayo. If you’re in the mood for a more substantial meal, look no further than their wide selection of burgers from classic beef, crumbed mushroom, or a melt in your mouth buttermilk fried chicken burger with tomato jam, sriracha, wasabi mayo, miso, & yuzu aioli slaw and garlic butter. If you still have room after that, why not try their freshly baked chocolate chip cookies with a side of salted caramel and chocolate sauce or share a cheeseboard of 3-5 carefully selected cheeses like the Mahoe Blue cheese sourced from Bay of Islands or the smoked manuka brie from Dunedin.
If you find yourself wandering around the viaduct after a long shift or if you happen to be craving a gourmet meal in the early hours of the morning, the chefs have created a late-night menu consisting of a selection of $14 - $15 burgers and $9 fries and potato hash bites, which is sure to satisfy any of your after-hours cravings. So round up your troops or grab a date and see for yourself everything this place has to offer.
(Image credit: The Parasol & Swing Company)