Birmingham Cocktail Weekend is back this weekend!
Birmingham Cocktail Weekend is back once again for another three days of running round the City Centre, trying new cocktails and discovering locations unknown to us.
Last year had 30 different locations and amazing drinks to try (I still dream of Hotel Du Vins beautiful Lemon Cheesecake cocktail) but this year it's stepped up another notch. 36 is the number this year and once again we intend to hit every single one and give you our verdict on them (as well as the multiple events going on across the weekend).
However we imagine not everyone has the aspirations or the alcohol tolerance to get them all, so we thought we'd give you a heads up on where not to miss.
1 - Aluna
We finished off last year at Aluna, the pyrotechnic filled bar behind the mailbox, and what a finish it was. With sparklers and flames galore, this gem is always a highlight. This year their cocktail is a sweet rum (both silver and spiced) based drink mixed with lime juice, pineapple juice and kiwi syrup! And why not grab some food while you're there? With dishes like their Massaman Curry or Singapore Noodles, it's a great choice for your Friday night meal.
2 - Rub Rub is one of the most indulgent places on this earth. An American themed bar/restaurant based in almost the centre of England, this USA haven has a plethora of state-side meals and drinks. If you've looking for a meal that will leave you speechless, this is the place for you. With Burgers inside Pizzas, Chicken Nuggets weighing over 1KG and so many other insane dishes, Rub will fill you up. For at least two days. But this is Cocktail Weekend! So what about the drinks? Well their themed cocktails are amazing, with props, sparklers and terrible, terrible (read: amazing) puns and this year they're even running an event with Licor 43 on the Sunday, which I heavily advise you go to and try!
3 - Siamais Siamais is a relatively new location to dine and drink at in Birmingham. Based in Brindley Place, this Thai based restaurant has some incredible decor and brings something very new and epic to the area. With a cocktail menu that could keep you there for the weekend (and back on the Monday when they're 2-4-1) and their Thai Tapas, it's no wonder that they're being featured in pretty much every list about BCW this year. So take your feet down their and grab a 'Dragons Breath', a rum based drink, mixed with strawberry and apple with a Thai basil finish. It may be their first year, but I'm definite it won't be their last.
4 - Victoria Round the back of the Alexandra Theatre (which is also a venue!) is a pub that many local to Birmingham will know. The Victoria. Now if you like a good whisky, this is not one to miss. They've previously ran whisky treasure hunts, tastings and more. But it doesn't stop there. With a grand circular bar stretching through two rooms, they have a great selection to drink from and it suits the atmosphere down to a tee as well. Oh, and if you can still book, there's a whisky tasting on the Friday night. Am I talking about whisky too much? I don't care.
5 - Bodega Cocktail Weekend truly helps to show off tastes around the world and this continues with the next recommendation. Bodega is a South American themed restaurant based very much in the city centre, just opposite the Briar Rose. They're bringing the taste of tequila to you this year with their 'La Bodeguita' (Little Cellar). Tequila with kaffir lime leaf liquor (see, even more interesting spirits!), orange bitters, Marachino liquor and orange and lime juice, creating a deep complex bouquet of flavours to really suit the atmosphere. While you're there, you have to grab a plate of nachos. They are the best you'll find in this half of the hemisphere and I promise you'll be back to order more.
6 - Amantia I've talked so much about food in this list. But I'm not stopping. Amantia (just up the hill from Bodega, past Buffalo and Rye, another venue!) is a Spanish themed tapas bar. Cocktail wise, last years nearly took the top spot for me, with a Bayleef Licor 43 martini, so I can't wait to see what they pull out the bag this year. With a team of award winning staff, Amantia is one of the most welcoming places you'll visit during the weekend. And don't even get me started on the food. If you're looking for just something light, the tapas is to die for and then the authentically cooked paella for a main dish is just perfect.
7 - Everywhere else. No this isn't cheating. You're cheating yourself if you don't hit as many of these venues as you can. Every single venue has something different and new to offer, with your taste buds being treated to everything imaginable over the course of the 3 days. Try somewhere you've never been before, a spirit you've never heard of, food you've never tasted. Just have the time of your life. This weekend is one of the best events in Birmingham every year, with so many places all coming together across this amazing city to put on something incredible.
Hopefully we'll catch you over the weekend, keep an eye on our twitter for pictures of every single drink available and anything else going on over the event!