Anyone else feeling the festive pinch, time wise? I nearly lost the will to live queuing to pick up presents in my lunch break today, but after a couple of bottles of wine (as presents people), I think I’m all done…now I just need to wrap. Talking of Christmas and drinking, a natural pairing I think you’ll agree, I joined a few other bloggers for a mini festive bar crawl at the Mailbox last week to check out some cocktails at Aluna and Gas Street Social.
I’ve been to Aluna recently to try out their new food menu (review soon), but this time round it was much busier – there were a few Christmas parties in, by the looks of things. Thankfully we were meeting Natalie from Rewired who had a table reserved for us. As we all caught up and heard about each other’s Christmas plans, we grabbed a drink – I had a Passion Fruit Mojito which is a variation of the classic rum drink, but was a bit too sweet for me and could’ve done with a bit more lime juice, but I know lots of people who like sweeter drinks.
After everyone had caught up and finished their drinks we were taken over to the end of the bar for a mini cocktail masterclass. Having participated in a few cocktail masterclasses before, I was quite content to stand on the right side of the bar and let me fellow bloggers do the hard graft while I documented the event instead. One pair of bloggers had a go at making a Black Forest Gateau cocktail, which always feels like a wintery to me although I’m not entirely sure why. The second group got to make one of Aluna’s most popular drinks from their menu, the Lava Lamp cocktail which bubbles away and has little floating balls of gel in it – it seemed to involve a syringe and a steady hand, but both girls managed to get it and their drinks looked great.
After Aluna we headed upstairs to Gas Street Social to check out some of their festive range. Gas Street Social have really gone to town on Christmas and the decoration in the venue is fab. Sadly I didn’t get a decent picture, but they’ve turned their booths into little festive huts and created a lovely little festive haven. But the drinks haven’t been forgotten either; they’ve got four festive cocktails plus two more unusual mulled drinks (cider and ale) and 12 festive cocktail shots.
I’m not much of a shot person, but these all have some lovely flavours to them, including Black Forest (clearly a bit of a theme) and After Eight, which was probably my favourite. Whilst you could order a paddle of shots for a table of friends as a way to celebrate the upcoming festivities (drink responsibly), they’d actually make pretty nice drinks to sip after dinner too. We also tried a few of the cocktails and whilst I generally like anything with gingerbread in it, the Gingerbread Espresso Martini was delicious.
Disclosure: I was invited down by Rewired and drinks were complimentary. I wasn’t obliged to write anything, but I like Christmas and I like cocktails, plus writing means I can avoid wrapping presents.