It’s time for another round of the Seven Deadly Sins with Bitters ‘n’ Twisted and Brumderland. This time around was Envy, at Marmalade. Marmalade is situated in The Rep theatre on Broad Street. Serving up lunch, pre-theatre meals and after show cocktails, Marmalade is a little different to the usual Bitters N Twisted venue.
Like all the Bitters venues, Marmalade has a signature spirit. Their speciality is Vermouth, a fortified wine spirit used in a lot of classic cocktails. According to those in the know at Marmalade, Vermouth is a due a come-back and follow gin into being the hot spirit of the moment. We kicked things off with a welcome drink using Vermouth; the Bitter The Devil You Know, which also includes spritzer and blueberry syrup.
Most of the cocktail menu, like the whole venue, has a literary spin, with names inspired by famous plays or books. Special cocktails are created to match with whatever show is on at The Rep, so the choice is constantly changing.
The menu has a ‘flexitarian’ theme, catering for meat-eaters, pescatarians, vegetarians and vegans alike, with the same focus and attention put into all the dishes. No second though boring veggie option here! Each of the samples we had were paired with a cocktail. From these stage…things got a little hazy.
We started with a vegetarian option of Halloumi, fried and coated in sesame seeds. The cheese was paired with La Vie En Rose (gin, creme de casis, dry white wine and peach bitters), which is designed to work with the ‘meatiness’ of the cheese, almost like a red wine. It reminded me of a sweeter port, and the sweetness worked well with the salty cheese. I love halloumi, so this was always going to be a good option with me.
For fish, we had salmon marinated in tequila served with a wasabi dressing, paired with a tequila based cocktail which doesn’t have a name yet. The salmon was delicious, with just the right amount of kick from the wasabi. I can’t say I could taste tequila though. The cocktail was citrusy and refreshing, just right with the fish.
Our meat eaters option was Beef Skewers with Captain Ahab’s Grog (ginger preserve, spiced rum, apricot liqueur, lime, plum bitters and pomegranate juice). The beef was well cooked, but nothing to write home about for me – it was a nice beef skewer with some vegetables, but after the more unusual pairing of flavours from other dishes, I wasn’t as enamoured with this. The Grog, however, was my favourite cocktail of the night. It was fruity and spicy from the combination of ginger and juices, and more than made up for a less thrilling skewer.
The vegan choice was chestnut mushroom and hazelnut pate on toast, served with Midsummer Day Dream (Aperol, limoncello, fresh lemon, raspberry, rose & orange bitters and soda). The pate was converting a lot of meat-eaters in the room, which tells you how tasty it was. The cocktail looked beautiful, served with a wedge of orange, and was full of flavour.
Marmalade is a great stop, whether it’s for pre-theatre or for a cocktails with friends. Check it out and tell them I sent you.
Disclaimer: I was invited along to Marmalade to test out their new menu. All opinions are honest and my own.