Like most girls
my age ever I’m a huge fan of cocktails, as both my bank balance and hangovers can justify most Saturday and Sunday mornings. You can not beat an afternoon out with your friends trying out all the different varieties, or a date night where your drink costs twice as much as your poor fella’s. Naturally, I tend to photograph them as well because most of them are just so bloody pretty, as are some of the bars themselves!
Following years of cocktail drinking, I’ve fine tuned my favourite tastes and can happily micro manage the unfortunate bar person that serves me, right down to the decoration. My favourite type of cocktail makers, are the ones that just know their shit, they can create something new and random without flinching, and that’s actually pretty rare these days with so many bars hoying any old Sally on the bar and telling them to follow what’s on the menu. I know because I once was one.
Here are some of my favourites, and where you can find them, apologies in advance I can’t remember the names of them all, for some of them I think I even saw someone else have them and it was a simple case of point and ‘I’ll have what she’s having’.
This little beaut of a cocktail, at The Wynn, Vegas.
If I remember rightly, this one was a twist on a pina colada, and whatever the twist was it turned it this gorgeous turquoise colour. Whack on that equally gorgeous pink flower and you have a cocktail lovers dream. It tasted rather special too.
This ultimate babe was called ‘The Pretty Woman’, and was a special creation at the Regent Beverly Wilshire hotel in LA.
As you can probably guess from the hotel, it was inspired by Pretty Woman, and when we were there it was the 25th anniversary of the film. Each cocktail was served to us individually from separate shakers, with a great deal of emphasis being put into the shaking. Whatever was in it was seriously strong though, it knocked us all for six. Shopping half cut on Rodeo Drive afterwards was…interesting for my money situation.
The strawberry daiquiri and something else alcoholic at The Ivy, LA.
Lunch at the Ivy was one of the best experiences of my trip to LA. The food was incredible, we saw Kris Jenner at the next table, and the cocktails were flowing without being as overpriced as you might think they would be. We knocked them back all afternoon.
While I’m on about LA, the Mondrian hotel also served some corkers.
I really enjoyed a concoction called VoCo, a mix of vodka and coconut water that was very refreshing after a ten hour flight, and also the strawberry frozen daiquiris.
This attractive little so and so was one made specifically for me at the Chandelier Bar in the Cosmopolitan, Vegas.
I have no idea what it’s called, I didn’t actually like it that much at first but by the end I was hooked on it. Sometimes you just have to trust the barman. Isn’t it cute too?
When in Paris I couldn’t possibly resist ‘The Tiffany’, served at the Sofitel Faubourg.
There’s no mistaking the Tiffany blue, and I had this cocktail after I had bought one of my first Tiffany necklaces after saving for so long before the trip.
Brandy Sourz in Cyprus
This was from the Elysium hotel in Paphos, and I chose it because when I was little and we went to Cyprus every year, Brandy Sourz were all my parents drank. I quite enjoyed it myself, but you can’t beat a pina colada in hot weather, so I had to have that too.
Fruity treats in the Pirate Ship, Marbella
A must visit every single time we go to Marbella, we as in both me and my friends, or me and Kieran. I think everyone who’s been to Marbella/Banus knows about this place, right on the port and always busy. Themed out like a pirate ship and complete with a massive cocktail menu, they have a whole kitchen dedicated to creating and serving up these babes.
One of my favourite cocktail bars in the world, and similar to the Pirate Ship in terms of the amount of fruit processed, but the bar itself is completely different. Set behind a large wooden door you could almost miss it when walking the streets of Palma, but behind the door is a large cavern filled with fountains, overflowing fruit baskets, and the most quaint little courtyard with ponds and a Juliet balcony.
The cocktails are fabulous too, but a word of warning they don’t give you the ingredients. You either need to know what you like by name, or be prepared to have a conversation with the waiters and see what you get!
Sushi Samba, London
I’ve not yet managed to get a table for food here when I’ve been in London, but I have been for a drink. The mojitos were excellent, and to top it off you’re drinking them against the London skyline. Perfect cocktail atmosphere!
The Cookie Monster at Tonic, Edinburgh
I love this tiny little bar in Edinburgh! Kieran wasn’t a fan though because it’s so small and gets so busy it also gets very hot. That might be why I went for the frozen cookie dough ice cream cocktail complete with cookie. If you have a sweet tooth this is the one for you!
I honestly can’t remember what the name of this cocktail was, it looks lemony but I’m not a fan so I’m guessing it was more pineapple or orange. I just remember really enjoying it with these prawn tapas sat at the bar on a hen weekend.
The Botanist signature cocktail, Newcastle
The Botanist is obviously such a well known place for cocktails, although service can occasionally be slow while they’re making them, they’re worth the wait. Even better when you have a table for table service. I’ve tried so many on the menu, but I’ve yet to find one I like better than their signature Botanist.
The Alchemist, Leeds
Similar to the Botanist, except so far I’ve only been to the one in Leeds, I love the cocktails at the Alchemist. I remember this rose gin cocktail going down a treat, and I’m really excited for the Alchemist to open in Newcastle.
Angelicas non alcoholic cocktails
Right, before you judge let me explain myself. I really wanted to go to Angelicas for evening cocktails last year, however we got pretty sidetracked by Kierans mate and his love of shots on Call Lane. We didn’t make Angelicas that night but we did the next day and I was in no fit state to be drinking more alcohol. Instead I tried this refreshing virgin cocktail and it was exactly what was needed.
The English Country Garden, Bealim House, Newcastle
This was the first gin cocktail I ever tried, and it was the gem that turned me into a gin lover. With a mix of elderflower and Newcastle gin, with fever tree tonic this is an absolute delight. If you aren’t sure if you like gin, I highly recommend trying this, and welcome to the gin lovers club.
Red Snapper, Revolution
This take on the classic Bloody Mary is a new discover for me following my visit to Revolution last week. I don’t like tomato juice, but I do feel as though a good brunch cocktail has been missing from my life all these years. This one swaps vodka with gin and has a real bite to it. I loved it.
As I learned in my cocktail masterclass at Rub Smokehouse before Christmas, cocktail making is an art, and done properly you can get some of the most divine creations known to my excited taste buds on a Saturday night.
Of all the cocktails I’ve had in my life these are the ones that stick in my mind the most. If you asked me where I didn’t like, I’d say Turtle Bay (they come half full), and Chaophraya (overpriced and watered down). I’d also say as much as possible to get your moneys worth try not to go for just how they look, there’s nothing worse than having to force down a drink you don’t like. Although I think I’m the worst culprit in the world for going for cocktails because they’re pretty!
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