On Friday I spent the majority of the day fighting through a hangover haze at work. It was bad. I even had to use my lunch hour to nap on Queen Square…. :-S Why? The temptation of the most delicious cocktails from the wonderful bars of Bristol at Cocktails in the City: a somewhat genius event that brought together all our talented bartenders into one room. Dangerous.
Admittedly my memory gets a little bit hazy the further into the evening we go: with so many tempting cocktails on offer I felt I needed to try as many as possible. :-S Fortunately they provided a handy Cocktail Recipe Book to refresh my memory -Thank you event organisers!!
So, the premise was that each bar focused on a different spirit. The bars varied in the theatre and number of drinks on offer; all were focused on showing of the skills of their establishments. Tokens were given on arrival that could be swapped for cocktails – I had a LivingSocial deal that included 2 tokens. Further tokens could be bought for £5 each- the tokens making it feel like you weren’t really spending money. Demonstrations were put on throughout the evening such as throwing the perfect cocktail party and making cocktails from everyday items found in the kitchen.
My particular evening went as follows:
Woodford Reserve at one of my favourite Bristol places: The Rummer. Kicking off the evening with a bang, we went straight for the bourbon. I went slightly off menu with a blackberry based concoction – which mellowed the stronger taste of the bourbon most wonderfully.
Next we were tempted by the hidden bar of Hyde & Co. With no idea what was to come behind the red curtains, we sampled shots of Ron Zazcapa Rum with delicious dark chocolate from Hotel Chocolat (the good stuff! 😉 ) Anyone who provides me with chocolate with my drink is a big winner! We were then taken into a little cubicle to try one of their new specials: ‘Under the Clouds’. Smoked in a bottle with dried citrus fruits this is made to share at your table with friends and is definitely made to impress. It was so light and mellow we seriously regretted only getting one to share.
Gentleman Jack at Hotel Du Vin followed. We shared this… The Romeo Y Jack cocktail concocted images of a dapper gentleman in tweed sitting in his wooden walled library with a cigar in one hand and swirling this drink in the other. This bar was the only place we found food – thank you for the pistachios! I don’t think I’ll ever be a bourbon drinker though…
The most theatrical of the evening goes to The Milk Thistle, with a mad hatter’s tea party themed table and William Chase Gin based cocktail. Their area was transformed into a mini version of their bar – with old pictures adorning the walls and stuffed animals at the side. We sat at the table with our cups and saucers while the ‘Morning Mist’ was concocted in a hat and a dramatic tale of the ingredients (including a potentially deadly shnaffleberry – unsure of spelling). Incredibly tasty, yet potent – not to be gulped down…
And we kept buying the tokens…..
Absolut Vodka was served at The Colour Inn in the form of a Disco Cosmo, reflecting the theme of the bar’s current cocktail menu. We got overly excited at the fact we got to colour in at The Colour Inn. It was genius! The drink tasted like a sweet and went down too easily. We also went away with umbrellas in our hair and an oragami camel…obviously.
The most decadent cocktail of the night goes to Papaji’s. Dressed up to the nines, they mixed Galliano Ristretto with espresso and chocolate flavours to produce the incredible Mochatini. Practically a creamy, alcoholic frappuccino. We also shook the cocktails – so I practically made it.
Finally (I think) I had the excitement of making my own cocktail (heavily guided and supervised by the barman of course) at Bordeaux Quay. The final cocktail was a Quay Autumn Crumble – pretty much a liquid dessert made with Stolichnaya Gala Applik. Topped with fresh pear and blackberry – it looked stunning (the barman’s expertise).
If I didn’t make it to the other bars it was either because the queue was too long or I was just too tipsy to drink anymore…
The evening was incredible. The only downfall was the lack of food. With five pistachios, a slice of pear and a blackberry being my only food of the evening this did not soak up the extent of alcohol I consumed very well. My flatmate had some seriously entertaining times on my return. :-S
Oh and it’s Bristol Cocktail Week next week – keep an eye out for some of these events: http://www.bristol-cocktail-week.com/. They are sure to be very entertaining – just don’t plan too much for the next day. 😉