Stay Warm with Kraken over Winter at Bungalow 8

Three month ago I went on a date with a guy who after a casual dinner took me to various quirky bars around Sydney and introduced me to the drink spiced rum with ginger beer. At that time, I had never tasted spiced rum and fell in love with the rich and intense flavour of the spiced rum coupled with the ginger beer. This guy was the perfect gentleman carrying for me the box of laundry detergent I had purchased just before the date, as you do! I thought the date went well (despite the oddity of the laundry detergent) but I never heard from him again. Nevertheless, from that day onwards my drink of choice became spiced rum with ginger beer.

One of the brands of spiced rum is The Kraken Rum AUS. Kraken is named after an enormous mythical sea creature said to appear off the coast of Norway. It wreaked havoc on tall ships and rum-running vessels throughout history. On the night of 26 June 2014, Bungalow 8 was converted into a seaside venue where weary sailors would relax with some Kraken after their encounter with this sea creature. The ceiling was covered in a fish net, the pillars of the venue had Kraken chalk artwork by Mielo, and behind the bar were treasure chests and Kraken jars. In fact, Kraken Rum is sponsoring Bungalow 8 over Winter 2014 (June – August).

Two promotional staff roamed the venue posing for photos, distributing drink vouchers and handing out Kraken necklaces. The female promotional worker was called the Krakenette and she was dressed in a black wetsuit, weight belt and face mask. The male promotional worker was called the Kraken Hunter and he was wearing a a dive suit reminiscent of those seen in early movie versions of Jules Verne‘s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

The two Kraken drinks that were served on the night: Kraken Stormy consisting of Kraken Spiced Rum, ginger beer and fresh lime; and Kraken cider made from warm spiced rum, apple cider and spiced sugar syrup heated up and served in a mug garnished with apple slices and a cinnamon quill. Food was also served on the night but the perfect food pairing seemed to be the mini version of Kraken creature appearing on the bottle, the squid.

Halfway through the night, a man approached me and with excitement asked, ‘Do you remember me?’
‘No,’ I responded. ‘I photograph and talk to so many people every night. It is hard for me to remember everyone.’
‘I am the guy who carried your laundry detergent all night,’ he explained.
He then pulled out a fake poker chip from his pocket and asked, ‘Do you remember this?’ I shock my head. ‘It was one of the poker chips they handed out on the night we met. We were to use these to vote for our favourite cocktails.’
‘I lost my phone after our date and was hoping you would call me. I still have the same number.’ he explained.
‘What? Could you not get my number from your phone bill?’ I asked. ‘I don’t call men. I am not a stalker. If a man is interested in a woman, he will call her.’
‘No, I do not even get phone bills,’ he announced.
‘Since our date I have started attending all these cool cocktail tasting and wine tasting events you told me about,’ he continued.
‘Since our date I have been drinking Captain Morgan or Sailor Jerry Australia with ginger beer or ginger ale.’ I announced proudly.
‘No, no,’ he interrupted. ‘I introduced you to Kraken with ginger beer. That was the drink I was buying you. It is my favourite spiced rum.’
I then remembered that that was in fact the rum he told me about. I had forgotten about Kraken. Most bars do not stock it and when I ask for spiced rum I accept whatever is available which is usually Captain Morgan or Sailor Jerry. Some bars don’t even stock ginger beer and I have to substitute it with ginger ale which does not lend itself as well.

We talked for a while and then I suggested that he collect a free drink voucher from the Krakenette before they ran out. He rushed over to the girl and collected it and went to the bar to receive his drink but, instead of returning to me, he went back to the Krakenette who by that stage was talking to two blonds. I never spoke to him again that night and he did not ask for my number again while we were talking. Oh well, I could never understand men. At least now I know that the drink I fell in love with was Kraken. — at Bungalow 8

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