“A Spot at the Bar” by Michael Madrusan & Zara Young
Michael Madrusan, co-author of A Spot At The Bar is a drinks and hospitality expert. He has single-handedly created one of Australia’s leading bar industry offerings. His company Made In The Shade encompasses The Everleigh cocktail bar, The Elk Room, Heartbreaker, The Everleigh Bottling Co. and Navy Strength Ice Co.
However, Michael Madrusan is above all a craftsman who is deeply connected to the art of bartending. In his venue The Everleigh that also houses private bar The Elk Room, Michael celebrates the glamour and timelessness of the golden era of bartending; the sophistication, detail and service of the 20’s and 30’s, where prohibition added a measure of excitement and the skilled practice of excellent service was the benchmark. His award winning bar The Everleigh, in Fitzroy, Melbourne has been recognised worldwide for its outstanding commitment to excellence in the world of drinks and hospitality.
“A good bar is similar to a restaurant” Madrusan explains, “the product is important, it’s a big part of why you go there, of course, but it’s the service that makes you go back. In today’s world, service has to be efficient but also personal. If you’re not emotionally connected to what you are doing then it’s pointless. We serve great drinks, that is to be expected but what makes the difference is how we serve them”.
Michael’s relentless commitment to his industry has seen The Everleigh and its team grow and evolve dramatically over the past five and half years. First, Navy Strength Ice Co. was created, the first hand-cut ice company of its kind in Australia, supplying unique glass-clear ice blocks to bars, restaurants and events throughout Victoria and beyond. In 2015, Madrusan launched the Everleigh Bottling Co. with a primary aim to extend the ‘fine drinking’ experience beyond the confinements of the bar’s location, whilst still maintaining the consistency of quality expected from a Madrusan beverage. A rather naughty sister bar then opened its doors in the latter half of 2015 - Heartbreaker in Melbourne’s CBD is a dark yet vibrant late night offering for those with fortitude and stamina.
In Madrusan world, both the drinks and the experience extend far beyond his venues, and Michael’s thirst for sharing his fascinations and understanding of the art of hospitality is ever present. In collaboration with partner Zara Young, the experiential opportunities offered by the hospitality industry were further realised and a broader conversation began. With varied worldwide experience in the field both on the ground and in the classroom combined, the pair wrote their first book, ‘A Spot at The Bar, the art of good drinking in three hundred recipes’. Typical of the couple’s approach to their craft, the book is much more than simply a list of cocktail recipes. In true Everleigh style, the book tells a story and evokes an experience. ‘A Spot at the Bar’ invites the reader on a journey through drinking, where classic and contemporary cocktails are paired with moments, memories and occasions, and tips on hosting and style are delivered with elegance and charm.