There’s a lot more to drinking than just going out, buying drinks and stumbling home (really? – ed) and this has most definitely been proved by another belting trail from those sauce sessionistas, the boozy brilliance that is The Liqourists.
This month we kicked off with Rumberdrone 3, the third incarnation of their Rum Trail – in a bid to show that three is not a bad number (as in tv series, difficult third albums, date gooseberries…) The Liquorists went all out and upped the numbers of rums, cocktails and bars to six (from a paltry five) - with a VERY SPECIAL bar at the end.
We kicked off in Hula, an underground tiki bar with a lot of attitude – here we sampled the Plantation; a small run rum where each individual cask is sampled and only bottled if it conforms to the strict tasting standards of each rum. Tasted bloody lovely to me – a slight caramel toffee that matched brilliantly with the bananas and toasted pineapple that was served alongside. Those Hula chaps also mixed up the Atlantic Boathouse Daiquiri, fruity and light and made with Plantation three star.
Then off we popped to Keko Moku, THE home of rum in the Northern Quarter, and a pretty good place to party to boot. Here we cracked open the El Dorado 12 Year – silky smooth, heavy on the butterscotch and definitely one I could sip all night. This was quickly followed by the Sanguine Swizzle, a fruity concoction made with a good dose of blood orange and a massive floral hit from the Earl Grey syrup – best cocktail of the night by far.
A quick jaunt over the road to Northern Quarter old-timer and non-cocktail bar Odd. Next rum up was a dryer, lighter Matusalem with an astonishing back story full of Communists, feuds and lost fortunes – intriguing and spun well by our guide (and one half of The Liquorists) Tom Sneesby (as were all his tall tales and cheeky quips of the night). So how does a non-cocktail bar serve a cocktail? They give you a steel bottom (matron!); basically a glass of rum and a glass of beer, idea is you take a sip of each and that’s how that all works. Oh and they serve you mojito chicken skewers with lime mayo – see there was a cocktail lurking about!
Next a short stumble to Tusk Bar – which is decked out in groovy African prints. Here we settled back unsuspectingly and then suddenly out came the big guns! Here was an overproof 63% Wray and Nephew, wow face scorch! Luckily we were served up some water to ‘soften’ it (still bloody face melting if you asked me). In case we were in alcoholic coma from this devil water, Tusk has created a Hipster Daiquiri, major lime assault but really did the trick and woke us all back up so we could carry on.
A short walk over the road (glad they were short erm ‘walks’ ie stumbles) and we landed in the Parisian chic of The Blue Pig - I expected ladies in flapper dresses and champagne slippers a go go; but instead a dainty dry and light Brugal, with a sharply sweet apple daiquiri and a MASSIVE plate of cured meats and cheeses for that sophisticated continental vibe – we were a bit loose by this point so definitely needed sophisticating up.
And then the SPECIAL SURPRISE – a bit more of a walk this time (I was glad of the fresh air, not sure Tom Sneesby enjoyed my constant stream of chat on the way though) – and then we arrived at nirvana, at paradise, at the end of the rainbow – also known as ‘The Office’ by The Liquorists or 22 Redbank. Yeah these crazy chaps had brought us to their office. OMG can I have a job there? They. Have. A. Bar. And ping pong. And golf clubs. And leather couches. Did I mention they have a bar in their office?
At 22 Redbank we were served up a Pussers Navy Strength Rum (the only single malt rum, natch) whilst eating a kick arse Thai green curry The Liquorists had rustled up for us (good thing, lined my stomach – so they did come true with their ‘No Hangover Guaranteed’ motto). The boys laid on a good show and treated us royally, serving up cocktails and chat for the rest of the night.
So if you fancy something a bit different, or want to actually learn things, or want to get the best drinks from the best bars with the best people – then book on a trail. It’s very cheap, between £35-£45 and for that you get more booze than you can drink (I don’t think I even managed half, yes lightweight I know) plus food and they’re lovely people to boot. And as my companion noted “Wow, this way you don’t fel guilty if you’re shitfaced, ‘cos you’re actually learning – it’s pretty classy this.”
Want a proper night out? Book one with The Liquorists NOW (you can book HERE – I’m nice to you like that).