With more and more cocktail bars springing up around Birmingham, an offering with something unique is always exciting. The Botanist invited some of Birmingham’s cocktail loving bloggers down to taste some of their most diverse options on the menu for Trust Your Senses.
We headed down to the Plant Room, hidden below the main bar. With a seperate bar, and a selection of pretty dining spaces, the Plant Room would be an excellent choice for private hire.
After confusing ourselves and repeatedly tweeting about Taste Your Senses instead of Test, it was clearly time for some sustenance.
Boards of treats from the nibbles menu arrived and we all got stuck in. We tried Cumberland and Pork Chipolatas with excellent honeygrain mustard coating and tangy dip (£3.95), Pork Crackling with sweet apple sauce (£3.95), Green Olives (£3.25), Salt and Pepper Onion Petals (£3.95) and Crispy Whitebait (£3.95). I love a good bar snack, and these went down a treat. I especially liked the Crackling, which was surprisingly light.
Full of olives, it was on the important part. The tasting. The Botanist pride themselves on using unusual extras in their cocktails, pushing the boundaries with botanicals. Our bar tender for the evening set to work mixing a selection from the cocktail menu, choosing drinks that she felt would show off how different their drinks are. Straws at the ready, we bloggers tasted everything and attempted to guess what was in each drink. Spoiler alert, we weren’t very good at this.
Arriving in a test tube full of smoke, the Cinnamon and Oregano Old Fashioned (£9.95) is Bourbon stirred with cinnamon syrup and oregano. This was strong and pleasantly smoky, and perhaps my favourite of the evening. The Pear and Kiwi Cup (£7.95) is kimis, lime and apple juice shaken with Licor 43, pear cognac, green apple liqueur and a splash of green tea. Served in a steaming teapot, before pouring over a teacup full of crushed ice, we soon guessed the delicate flavours of the fruits, but struggled to guess the alcohol. Pretty, softly flavoured, and a very generous serving, this was a popular one. The Grapefruit Rum Punch (£7.50) was another favourite of mine. With sweet apricot, pink grapefruit, vanilla syrup, pomegranate and SailorJerry Rum, this was pleasantly sharp, which I love. One that really stumped us for ages was the Velvet Green Martini (£.7.25). While we soon identified the apple juice, kiwi, egg white, lemon juice and gin, the addition of apple liqueur and believe it or not, chlorophyll, threw us totally. This drink is designed as an alternative to the Bloody Mary, with savoury flavours and an almost healthy feel from all the botanicals. The Raspberry and Disaronno Sour (£7.50) combines raspberry puree, lemon juice, pomegranate juice, Disaronno and raspberry liqueur and is served in a gently smoking flower pot. With all the ice, you’d be forgiven for thinking there wasn’t much actual cocktail in this, but it seemed to keep going forever. Perfect for a sweet tooth, but with the added lemon to stop it being sickly. After the guessing was done, we were treated to a Rhubarb and Gin Old Fashioned (£9.95), which is Portobello Road Gin stirred with rhubarb, black pepper and and grapefruit zest. Sharp, boozy and delicious.
As if we weren’t boozed up enough, we then had a go at creating our own cocktails. I paired up with our bartender who encouraged me to go wild and create something quite divisive. We combined chili, lime, mint, green pepper liqueur, gin and egg white to create the Rogue Chili, which was then garnished with more chili and pink peppercorns. It looked gorgeous, but was pretty spicy. Less chili next time…
Mixing our own was a lot of fun, especially naming them. My favourite name? Bite Your Brum‘s offering, which she named the Blue Rinse, as it ‘tasted like a Grandma’. If you’d like to have a bash at your own cocktail mixing (and naming), check out the Cocktail Masterclasses at the Botanist.
It turns out that tasting, and creating, cocktails is quite a challenge, no matter how many you drink. Big thanks to the Botanist for a brilliant fun evening!
I was a guest of The Botanist for #TrustYourSenses in exchange for an honest write-up. All opinions are honest and my own.