If there's one thing that rings true about Kiwis, it's that we're hardly known for our cocktail culture.
As a young nation, this all-American pastime and Prohibition-style speakeasies of yonder are hardly embedded in our history, in fact, we're more partial to a glass of Marlborough Sav over a dirty martini, any day.
Yet, in recent years, the addition of innovative and interactive cocktail bars like Auckland's Caretaker and now, the newly minted Deadshot, are seeking to change all that, and doing so in spectacular style.
Ponsonby Road's newest late-night haunt evokes everything we love about classic cocktail bars. The ungodly opening hours, the dark, moody lighting, the fact that you can actually call in for a drink and be left well alone, to enjoy said drink.
What formerly stood as Le Viet, and housed between Renkon and Freeman and Grey, Deadshot is a delightfully quirky addition to this well-trodden strip.
Fans of cocktail culture may be surprised to learn, in keeping with Caretaker's format, that you won't find a menu here. The talented line-up of bartenders will first pick your brain to decipher what flavour and style of drink you prefer, before returning with something wonderful.
Twists, tweaks and reimagined old classics breathe new life into our favourite after-dark libations, like the Negroni – revamped using dry vermouth as opposed to sweet. Traditional cocktail recipes and ratios are turned on their head, to render delicious new variations on tried and true combinations.
Shaken or stirred? At this point, who knows. The fact is, Deadshot will surprise you. What's more, the next time you find yourself craving a tipple a quarter past midnight, without the strobe lights or boozy crowds, rest assured that somewhere special, the light still flickers and there's a leather stool with your name on it.
45 Ponsonby Road,
5pm until 3am, 7 days.