Friday 11 August 2017

Event: Trust Your Senses at The Botanist Birmingham

The Botanist Birmingham is well known for food and cocktails in the city, and is a top tip for food and drinks with friends and family for anyone in the area.

I was recently invited to try something a little different at The Botanist; an evening called #TrustYour Senses. Intrigued, I made my way down to The Plant Rooms below the main bar and restaurant to find out more.

A twist on the traditional cocktail masterclass, instead of simply making cocktails, we were first asked to blind taste test a number of cocktails from the new menu.

We had The Plant Rooms to ourselves, and this underground space is usually used for events and private hire, with separate rooms available for large groups.

Huddling around the downstairs bar, we watched as our bartender expertly mixed, shook and poured a number of cocktails that showed off just how innovative The Botanist's cocktail menu really is.

Pear and Kiwi Cup

Once the cocktails were ready, complete with smoke to boot, we set onto the cocktails with our straws and tried to guess the ingredients in each.

I'd like to say that after years of expertly sipping numerous cocktails across the country and beyond that we had this down to a t, but sadly this wasn't the case and the task was surprising difficult!

Raspberry Disaronno Sour 

We taste tested the Raspberry Disaronno Sour, Velvet Green Martini, Cinnamon Oregano Old Fashioned, Rhubarb and Gin Old Fashioned, Pear and Kiwi Cup and Grapefruit and Rum Punch.

Rhubarb and Gin Old Fashioned

Now, it was time for us to try our hand at making our cocktails, with the help of the experts of course. Everyone took it in turns to come up with their very own cocktail, and I created a Peary-Good which included muddled pear and hints of cherry.

I enjoyed my drink so much, it was gone in a flash! But thankfully I managed to take a picture first. We also voted for our favourites and mine won! If only I could remember exactly what I put in it, I'd make it again but alas, I forget.

By now it was home time and full of botanical cocktails, we said our goodbyes. Bespoke cocktail making and blind tasting turned out to be a whole heap of fun, and I'd recommend a cocktail masterclass for anyone looking for an alternative way to celebrate a birthday or event.

*A big thank you to The Botanist for inviting us and for our complimentary cocktails.

Thursday 10 August 2017

Event: Haig Club Bar Launch at The Cube, Birmingham

It's highly likely that you'll have heard of Haig Whisky by way of David Beckham, the brand's high profile ambassador.

Although you may not be able to meet the man himself, you can now enjoy Haig Whisky, whisky cocktails and bar food at the newly launched Haig Club Bar.

Located on Level 25 of The Cube, right alongside Marco Pierre White's, the Haig Club Bar is a brand new whisky bar with a spectacular skyline view.

I was recently invited to try out the whisky itself along with cocktails and food from the new menu.

Welcomed with a shot of Haig Man and Haig, this was my first introduction to the brand. Something of a novice when it comes to the grain based spirit (you may remember I recently attended an event with the Birmingham Whisky Club), I thankfully rather enjoyed this single grain Scotch.

With a list of 22 cocktails to choose from, we may not have tried them all, but we did try quite a few. As well as Pears in Paradise, we also enjoyed the Clubman Apple Mule, Ginger Julep and Berry Beauty which was sensationally served in a cocktail pyramid, expertly poured by head barman Jack Spencer.

The venue itself is intimate but comfortable with plenty of tables and bars stools to make sure there's space to sit and enjoy the evening. Inspired by the bottle itself, the blue and copper themed bar is relaxing and sumptuous, and I especially liked the blue velvet chairs and copper tables located by the floor to ceiling windows.

The entire menu was available for us to try including Chicken Satay Skewers, Smoked Duck and Sesame Skewers, Halloumi and Courgette Flowers, Aromatic King Prawns, Iberico Ham and Dijon Croquettes, Scotch Eggs, Patatas Bravas, Moules Mariniere, Chorizo Frito al Vino, Crispy Fried Calamari, Chorizo and Black Pudding Sausage Rolls and Black Pudding Bon Bons.

Although not everything was gluten free, the team was very good at signposting and I did end up trying a few dishes such as the Patatas Bravas, King Prawns and Chicken Satay, but do check with the team if you're gluten free or have any other dietary requirements.

The grand finale had to the be watching head barman jack expertly mix and pour a whole pyramid of cocktails for us at the bar. As you can see, it was pretty spectacular; and the Berry Beauty cocktail itself was easy to drink too.

The whisky itself? I found it smooth and easy to drink, as well as expertly blended and matched in the cocktails on offer at Haig Club Bar.

If you're looking for a new hang out in Birmingham, Haig Club Bar is as smooth and intimate as the whisky itself. 

The Haig Club Bar is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 6pm-1am and offers up cocktails, mixers, whisky by the bottle and snacks and sharers.

*With thanks to Haig Club Bar and Rewired for the invitation.