Just A Tipple: The unofficial directory of Adelaide's favourite pubs
On her 18th birthday, Kate Aschberger tasted her first cocktail and fell in love with alcoholic spirits. More than ten years later, the Adelaidean through her Instagram page Just A Tipple is paying tribute to all the wonderful alcoholic beverages she has sampled in her adult life. Through Just A Tipple, Kate is documenting the best watering holes in Adelaide and regional South Australia and is helping tourists find places to unwind in the city. Her Instagram has become the unofficial directory of city and regional pubs ranging from quirky to sophisticated. And, the 32-year-old is having a blast putting the list together.
I’m a foodie and a ‘drinkie’, says Kate. "I love everything about food, and I enjoy socialising. Sharing a special meal with family and friends is one of my favourite pastimes. The experience of food, combined with the perfect drink is special to me. Whether it is a Michelin Star restaurant in Kyoto or a simple cheap and cheerful meal on Gouger Street, I think every moment with food (and drinks) is unique in its own way,” says Kate, a Finance Business Analyst with a not for profit.
Lover of travel and drinks
Kate’s childhood experiences growing up in a family that loved travelling, sampling tasty food, and enjoying fun activities helped her create Just A Tipple.
“I grew up in a family that loved to travel, so it is definitely in my blood. I spent a year living in the US as a child, and a few years living in Europe. But I have always come back to Adelaide; it’s home,” she says.
Just A Tipple started organically, says Kate. “Once Adelaide changed its liquor licensing, the small bar and restaurant scene ramped up! And, I loved going to all the new places. For me, Just A Tipple is about showcasing the amazing places Adelaide (predominately) has to offer. I want to show people my journey through various watering holes across SA and beyond. Similarly, I like to look at all the different drinking experiences that are available. There are so many things to try out in the city! At the moment I am just on Instagram, one day I would love to have a blog, but one step at a time," she says.
Kate tried her first cocktail on her 18th birthday. “My family took me to the Intercontinental Hotel Cocktail bar, and I was pumped! Back in 2003, Adelaide didn't have a variety of drinking spots like it has today. Nor did I have a developed drinking pallet, so I ordered the sweetest creamiest drink I could get my hands on - a Toblerone, pretty much sugar in a glass! It was terrific and ultimately started me on the journey to create Just A Tipple," explains Kate.
The variety and the history
So what’s it about spirits that attract Kate to it? “It’s the variety. I know I can always find something that will match my mood. I love having a drink with friends, and I know I can get something whipped up that will hit the spot every time. A smoky whiskey on a cold winter’s night, or a fresh citrusy gin and tonic on a summer’s day, cocktails with girlfriends or date night; there is always a great option available. There is a spirit for every pallet, and they can be made and mixed in so many ways - it never gets boring,” she says.
Kate also loves to learn about the history of the various drinks she tries. “Many spirits have a long cultural history. Take Whisky, for example, it started in Scotland hundreds of years ago and is made from the freshest water in the country with complete passion, and carries years of knowledge and technique. It is the same with Sake in Japan, Jenever in the Netherlands, and Palinka in Hungary. Drinking has a significant cultural aspect, and I think that is interesting,” she points out.
“Equally exciting is the fact that history is continuing. Look at Gin for example; there is a slew of new distilleries opening up in SA, all with pointedly different styles. It’s a fascinating time to be a spirit drinker,” she adds.
So how many pubs had Kate visited? “Hundreds! My friends joke that I have tried every place in Adelaide - which is almost correct! Currently, I’m enjoying the small bars that are opening in the suburbs around the city, like the Local Crowd in King William Road, the Two Sisters Wine Bar on Goodwood Road, Hoola Hoop on Kensington Road. In the city, I love Mr Goodbar, The East End Cellars and The Hennessey Rooftop Bar. I also recently spent some time in Tokyo and had the pleasure of drinking Martinis at the Park Hyatt, Lost in Translation (the movie) style,” she says.
However, despite all the lovely pubs she has been to, one watering hole remains Kate’s absolute favourite. “I love the Victory Hotel at Sellicks Hill and had lunch there recently. The food was amazing! They have the perfect mix of gourmet food and Pub classics. The wine cellar is fascinating and you can walk down into it and choose from a range of options. I could spend hours down in that cellar! And the view – couldn’t ask for more,” says Kate.
Kate adds that if she had to pick one drink as her favourite, it would be Sparkling Wine. “It is so versatile! Great for a celebration or a Friday night relaxing. Another one of my favourites is a good old G&T (Gin and Tonic). You can drink a G&T all year round regardless of the weather, and it always hits the spot,” she adds.
Recommendations to look for
Planning to visit South Australia anytime soon? Kate has a list of recommendations for you! “If you are in Adelaide you should visit The Kentish in North Adelaide. It is a great old-fashioned SA pub with fantastic wine and beer list. The Semaphore Palais is another lovely place where one can have a drink practically on the sand, and enjoy one of Adelaide’s magnificent beaches. The Victory hotel on Sellicks Hill is a great place to stop off when on a road trip. It has a real triple threat: amazing food, great drinks (wine especially) and a fabulous view. Hahndorf Inn is another classic. Afterall, it wouldn’t be an SA road trip without a trip to Hahndorf! Have some German Style Food and Beer in a German town. Uraidla Hotel – Renovated in 2016 with a quirky twist, is a great classic hills style pub with locally sourced food. With the above, not only can you try and bunch of cool pubs, but you can see the sights Adelaide has to offer at the same time," says Kate.
And, Kate has the perfect recipe for a mean hangover. "It may sound clichéd, but I would say a Bloody Mary! It has to be extra spicy, with tonnes of salt. And a bowl of salty fries. The tomato juice and ice will rehydrate you, the salt will replace what you lost the night before, plus the vodka will act as the hair of the dog. What else could you want," says the spirits lover.
Looking for a nice place to drink, head over to Just A Tipple.