Time Out Melbourne

Whisky, punch and punching on in South Yarra. That's what we call a party

For an event that was Underground, invite-only and held in a South Yarra back-alley warehouse, the Monkey Shoulder Whisky party went off.

Last night in Melbourne, a 200-strong crowd turned off Chapel Street and ducked behind a screen into a world of Street Fighter, real fighting (carried out in a giant inflatable boxing ring) and more whisky, served in more ways than was helpful to any aspiring prize fighter.

The Monkey Shoulder Underground ‘Reverse/Subverse’ event was an exploration of time - and events for that matter - where they flipped and reversed everything. Clocks ran backwards. Desserts came first, and guests were handed goodie bags packing emergency supply-size bottles of Monkey Shoulder on the way in.

These Monkey cats know how to throw a party. There were buckets of tempura prawns, burger cupcakes with shortbread fries, risotto ball paddlepops -oh, and epic battles all round. The MC practically went hoarse trying to keep pace with all of the bouncy left and right hooks being thrown in the boxing ring. Fingers were given a workout in the retro games arcade (their modern take on what 'old fashioned', and indeed, Old Fashioned cocktails mean), while stomachs were put to the test in an epic hotdog eating competition. The latter wasn't pretty, but it was most definitely awesome.

Breaking from fussy crystal tumblers, cocktails came in jam jars - the Apes and Apples with Monkey Shoulder, sparkling apple juice and fresh mint and the Ginger Monkey with Monkey Shoulder, ginger beer and fresh lime – and there was a punch station constructed from old shipping pallets. Punch on tap! Upstairs, booze-master Owen Colin was teaching people what was what in the dark art of bitters, by holding DIY cocktail classes.

As we see it, free drinks, as much Street Fighter as your thumbs can take, the chance to punch-on in novelty sized gloves and dessert first is how most, if not all parties should go.

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Updated on 23 Jul 2013.

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