A customer with a penchant for mixing Penfolds Grange and Coca-Cola served as inspiration for North Adelaide cocktail and wine bar Fú, where co-founder Geoffrey Hunt says people should be able to "enjoy anything... as long as it’s delicious".
Mixing cola and red wine at Fú Cocktail & Wine Bar
Former Eleven sommelier Geoffrey Hunt has parted ways with the Sprout Food Group to open specialty cocktail and wine bar Fú.
Fú Cocktail & Wine Bar
129 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide 5006
Wed—Sun: 2pm ’til late
“I’ve been wanting to open a wine bar for most of my career,” says Geoffrey, who’s opening the bar with his partner, Eva Yu.
“[Eva] and I have been talking about it off and on for a couple of years and the opportunity kind of presented itself recently, and we’d be crazy to not take it.”
Fú Cocktail & Wine Bar has a strong focus on alcoholic beverages paired with light, snack-like meals to complement the drinks – notably not the other way around.
“We’re really focussed on creating quality drinks, so we put a lot of time and effort into producing our own ingredients, essentially, to then translate into the cocktails and the food that we offer,” Geoffrey says.
The pair lacto-ferments some of their cocktail ingredients, as it creates “these really interesting, slightly funky, slightly sour, slightly salty flavours,” Geoffrey says.
These flavours can be found in the cocktail Agave Maria and non-alcoholic drink Cola Noir.
Aside from its use of lacto-fermentation, Cola Noir (a mix of lacto-fermented Pinot Noir grapes and Coke) holds a special place in Geoffrey’s heart.
He says it’s indicative of Fú’s attitude of not taking itself too seriously, and is an ode to Geoffrey’s former role at the prestigious Grange Restaurant.
“We had a regular who would come in once a month or so and he would buy a bottle of Grange and a jug of Coke and then drink them mixed,” he says. “I was horrified!”
While this regular patron would frequently spend more than $1,000 on this custom version of a Kalimotxo, Geoffrey realised it wasn’t his place to tell them how to enjoy their very expensive bottle of wine.
“Since then, I think I’ve probably grown a little bit in my perspective, and these days I try not to be prescriptive with how people should enjoy anything really,” Geoffrey says.
“So, if somebody wants to enjoy their red wine with Coke or white wine with lemonade – or however they want to have their drink – as long as it’s delicious, that’s really all that I can ask for.”
Not all bars are willing to entertain the individual whims of their clientele, but Fú Cocktail & Wine Bar will happily create drinks to cater to customer cravings.
“I find it really fun, and a bit of a challenge, but it means that [patrons] hopefully get exactly what they’re after,” Geoffrey says.
Though booze is Fú’s focal point, there is a snacky food offering with punchy Asian-western fusion flavours.
“For example, we have a hummus dish but then we also have a Peking duck sauce as part of the pairing,” Eva says.
“Rather than using bread or flatbread, we use flaky pancakes, so it just spices things up.
“We’re trying to create a balance between what people expect from a standard bar and with our own choices.”
Still, there’s no mistaking where Eva and Geoffrey’s loyalties lie – the drinks.
“We don’t really want to take away the focus [that] this is more like a venue for people to enjoy cocktails and wine,” Eva says.
“It’s a really exciting street to be on and I definitely think there’s room for the area to grow and develop into something quite special,” Geoffrey says.
Fú Cocktail & Wine Bar is located at 129 Melbourne Street, North Adelaide, and opens Wednesday to Sunday from 2pm ’til late.
Connect with the business on Instagram.