Christmas Eve-Eve at Ratz

by | Dec 24, 2010 | Food and Drink, Johannesburg, Melville and Surrounds | 0 comments

Melville is known for its musty book shops, vintage clothing stores, and a lively bar scene. It’s also known for its rats.

Rats are a common sight in Melville and the most popular bar in town is aptly named Ratz. Joe used to be a regular patron at Ratz, in the good old days when rats ran free around Melville. (Although I’m disappointed to report that Joe never actually saw a rat at Ratz.)

Current-day Ratz in the late afternoon.

Today, Ratz has had a makeover and is actually quite posh, in a quasi-seedy kind of way.

Yesterday evening Joe took me for my first drink at Ratz, which was a fun Christmas Eve-Eve activity. The bar was festively decorated and the cocktails were two-for-one, which enhanced the Christmas cheer among the clientele. Joe doesn’t drink liquor, which means both of the cocktails were mine.

The lounge area in the back of Ratz.

I started with a Melville Rat (what else?), which is “vodka, archers and malibu, shaken with pineapple and o.j. with a blue curacao float.” It was a little pulpy and turned my tongue blue, but I enjoyed it.

It came with a lovely pineapple garnish, which I promptly ate. (Photo courtesy of Joe.)

Technically the two-for-one special is for two of the same drink, but I convinced the waiter to let me try a different one. I chose the Ratz Singapore Sling: “a true classic, gin, cherry liqueur and triple sec, shaken with sweet sours and topped with ginger ale.” The Singapore Sling was very similar in appearance to the Melville Rat, but pink instead of blue. Somehow I forgot to take a picture of that one. I wonder why?

Ratz is known for it’s outdoor standup bar, which is right on the sidewalk. You stand at the window (or sit on one of the coveted bar stools) and order drinks directly from the bartender. We didn’t get a good picture of it but you can see one of the stools in the bottom-left corner. (Photo courtesy of Joe.)

I was pretty tired after my rainbow tour of the Ratz cocktail menu. We left at 8:00 but it felt like midnight. Another Melville experience checked off the list.

Merry Christmas! Or as they say here, Happy Christmas. Tomorrow I will be trying my first Christmas pudding. Wish me luck.


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