Bruce Auction

Welcome to Cocktale O'Clock, where we blend a sip of history with a tale to share.

This week we head back to the 1860s & 1880s and celebrate a regular event described as a "peculiar Victorian institution" with its success requiring the efforts compared to the care and time in preparation as to the growth of a crop of corn"!

The Bruce Auction – a community fundraising initiative, named after its originator Mr J.V.A. Bruce, a contractor on the Sandhurst (Port Melbourne) railway line who arranged many Bruce Auctions at the MCG, raising funds for the Melbourne Hospital.

Our region took up this trend to generate funds for a variety of causes including schools, hospitals & churches. In 1873 a Bruce Auction was held in aid of the Presbyterian Minister's Salary.

The auctions were held in a "fair" or "festival" atmosphere and were often advertised as a "Bruce Auction & Bazaar." Often the refreshment tent collected a great proportion of the income! Much disgust was expressed should an auction be proposed without the frivolity of song and entertainment.

The contributions list was a "whos-who" of the community. Everyone was able to contribute in some way. There was everything from cash to cows, pounds to potatoes, shillings to sheep!

However, not all members of the community were enamoured with the Bruce Auction. In 1876, an application for a temporary license for a banner for a Bacchus Marsh Bruce Auction was made at the local Court. However, his Worship expressed his reluctance to grant a licence unless a written application was put in by Managers of the Church! Bureaucracy was rife even in the 1880s.

Presenting the "Bruce Auction" cocktail, a true culinary adventure for our history-loving enthusiasts

The "Bruce Auction" is a cocktail that pays homage to historical events, offering a delightful fusion of flavours and a bit of fun. Cheers to the past and present!

Bruce Auction Bazaar

45 mL Gordons 0% Gin 0% 

15 mL Lyres Malt Whisky 0%

15 mL  Abstienth 0% (for a burst of orange flavour)

15 mL Lyres Orange Sec 0% (for a touch of elegance)

15 mL Campari 28% (for a hint of bitterness)

15 mL Cinzano Rosso 15%

15 mL Dry Vermouth 18%

7.5 mL  Creme de Cassis Liqueur 15% (for a floral note)

7.5 mL  Ouzo 37.5%  (for an intriguing twist)

50 mL Soda Water

1 dash of aromatic bitters 

In a mixing glass add all ingredients then fill with ice.

Stir gently for 30 seconds to let the flavours blend.

Strain into a chilled stemless glass then top up with ice.

GARNISH: dehydrated lemon, sprig of thyme, cherry 


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