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Cocktails in the city

I always loved a game of musical chairs as a child even though I rarely won.

There always seemed to be a fast, pushy kid at the birthday parties who would get to the last seat first and win the bottle of bubbles from Woolworths.

Now I’m 30 or so years older, the game has got much more civilised though and the jelly and ice cream has been replaced by cocktails.

We were invited to Pata Negra, the Spanish tapas and wine bar in Bristol’s Old City, for a preview of the upcoming Cocktails in the City event which brings together the city’s best cocktail bars to show off specially made concoctions.

A few minutes after arriving, a mysterious curtain was pulled across to reveal four drinking stations.

We were given seven minutes at each for a masterclass and sampling of the creations before the music played and we moved onto the next.

Just in case that fast kid was around, we moved quickly to our first stop; rum!

Four shots in seven minutes isn’t bad especially when it’s Admiral Old J’s Spiced Rum.

Cherry Spiced was particularly yummy and our favourite although the 75.5% Tiki Fire was pretty memorable!

Next up was cocktail bar Aluna which has created something special from Old J’s five rums.

A steaming copper pot demonstrated that Aluna is no ordinary bar (see the video below).

The company is interested in the science behind the drinks and uses chemistry to create cocktails; that really is commitment to the cause!

A twist on the classic Long Island Iced Tea with the kind of floating balls you get in bubble tea was a triumph.

Full ingredients for Caramel Spiced Tea:
7.5ml Old J Spiced
7.5ml Old J Cherry
7.5ml Old J Tiki Fire
7.5ml Old J Gold
7.5ml Old J Silver
22.5ml Monin Caramel
22.5ml lemon juice
Lemonade top
Chantilly vanilla cream
Aluna toffee art logo
Chocolate flavoured alginate sphere

Next stop was our host, Pata Negra.

Now I must admit, I’m not a fan of sherry, the base for the bar’s cocktail, but combined with lime juice and rosemary honey, it was super tasty and I could easily imagine enjoying a few on a night out.

Full ingredients for Sherry Honey-To:
40ml Micaela Fino Sherry
15ml lime juice
15ml rosemary honey
Crushed ice
Lime and rosemary garnish

The final stop saw us pay a visit to Harvey Nichols, which has a bar on the top floor of its department store in Bristol’s main shopping district.

Spotting the gin, her favourite tipple, Nina jumped at the chance to be the volunteer bartender for this one.

This cocktail includes blackberries handpicked and handmade into a syrup.

It was absolutely amazing so Harvey Nick’s Bathtub Blush took the gold medal on the night for us.

Full ingredients for Bathtub Blush:
25ml Bathtub Gin
20ml Bathtub Sloe Gin
25ml freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
10ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
5ml Crème de Mure
5ml homemade blackberry shrub
10ml botanical syrup
Grapefruit spritz

All these and lots more cocktails will be on offer at Cocktails in the City. You’re in for a real treat!

Cocktails in the City is on 15 September at the Passenger Shed in Bristol. Tickets available here.

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