Legally Blonde The Musical is coming to the Alexandra Theatre in Birmingham this week, and I decided to compile a list of pink drinks in the city, in homage to Elle Woods.
For anyone not familiar with the musical, it’s based off the 2001 box-office smash movie starring Reese Witherspoon as Elle Woods, a seemingly ditzy sorority girl who decides the best way to win her ex-boyfriend back is to follow him to law school. Sure, it’s formulaic and predictable, but that’s sort of why I watch it – and Reese Witherspoon is kinda brilliant in it. It’s also very, very pink.
And just like Elle Woods, pink drinks get stereotyped based on how they look, because lazy marketeers insist on gendering drinks, somehow suggesting that pink drinks are for girls. It’s 2018, get a grip, drinks don’t have genders and it’s not like bars require you to whip out your willy if you want to order a drink with blue Curacao in it.
Some of the best bars in Birmingham have cracking pink drinks on the menu, and with the help of them, I’ve compiled a list. This isn’t every great pink drink in Birmingham and I wouldn’t recommend trying them all in one night (drink responsibly folks) but as the theatre production is in Birmingham for a week – and these drinks aren’t going anywhere soon, you’ve got plenty of time…
It’s pink…Oh! And it’s scented! I think it gives it a little something extra, don’t you think?
The Edgbaston is the signature serve of the boutique hotel and bar which shares the drink’s name. It is elegant and decadent, serves long with floral and fizzy notes coming from the Tanqueray 10, Suze Aromatics, seasonal citrus, all topped off with Rose Champagne. And with the beautiful settings of The Edgbaston on Highfield Rd, it’s hard not to feel like royalty.
If you want to keep it simple and timeless, but also enjoy something with some fun, the Davenports run pub The Bulls Head on Bishopsgate St, up near Five Ways, serve Old Curiosity Lavender & Echinacea Gin, which turns from purple into a light shade of pink when you add tonic. As Elle might say “OMG you guys, it’s like magic”.
Avant-garde mischief makers (at least on twitter), The Wilderness have taken their approach to using British flavours and modernist technique to create a bittersweet, tongue-in-cheek variation on a classic. Their Nuclear Negroni uses Dry rhubarb gin from Yorkshire and London-made Rosehip bitters to soften and create a fruit-forward drink.
Champion Cobbler from 40 St Pauls
Just like the tall tales in the Brooke Windham case, the Champion Cobbler from 40 St Pauls is inspired by a completely made up story of an amateur footballer from Jerez who feel in love with a lass from Yorkshire, and the county itself. But thankfully this delicious drink of Slingsby Gin, rhubarb & rosehip cordial, Fino sherry, Yorkshire Tea, apple juice and lemon juice is very real, and very delightful. It’s also served in a trophy. How extra.
With possibly my favourite cocktail name on this list, Gas Street Social’s “Alright, Petal?” cocktail is a fruity, fresh drink which uses Havana Club 3 Year rum, lychee juice, Fraise de Bois and fresh lime, with a delicate rose garnish.
The Vanguard’s Vintage Candy Punch is inspired by the traditional British drink consumed in punch houses in the 18th century. Traditionally bowls of spirits mixed with fruit juice, spices, and other flavours, The Vanguard’s uses brandy, rum, citrus flavours, cinnamon and Assam Tea with a Vintage Sweet Cordial to give the drink it’s name. If Elle and her Delta Nu sorority sisters were looking for something spectaular to serve at one of their parties, this would be it.
The OG gin parlour of Birmingham, The Jekyll & Hyde on Steelhouse Lane has an array of sweet treats both upstairs and down, but it’s their Sweet Gin Music cocktail from the downstairs Mr Hyde’s Hostelry menu with Larios 12 gin, candy floss syrup & grapefruit bitters which will lift your spirits.
The Ivy Royale
Elle is taken to an expensive restaurant where she thinks she’s going to be proposed to. Sadly that’s not the case. But if Elle were taken to The Ivy on Temple Row, I could totally see her drowning her sorrows in something classy, like their twist on a Kir Royale. Their The Ivy Royale is made with Briottet rose liqueur, Sipsmith sloe gin & hibiscus, topped off with Champagne.
Tom’s Kitchen in the Mailbox has a delightfully named Belle en rose, made with strawberry-infused Beefeater Pink Gin, elderflower cordial, Chambord, lime juice, rose wine and topped with soda for a little sparkle.
Sugar and spice and all things nice isn’t just for girls; The Butterfly effect from Dirty Martini uses Hendrick’s Gin shaken with fresh raspberries, rose syrup, soursop juice, Sichuan pepper, fresh lime juice, and Dr Adam Elmegirab’s Teapot Butters, served with a Silent Pool kaffir lime mist.
Revolución de Cuba’s Mariposa cocktail
I like to think Revolución de Cuba’s Mariposa cocktail might be the sort of sugary, tropical drink Elle enjoys whilst she’s lounging around by the pool at her parents house. With a Koko Kanu coconut rum based and Chambord black raspberry liqueur, passion fruit, pineapple, cranberry and lemon its certainly fruity.
We know Elle enjoys a good pampering, so she would almost certainly approve of The Alchemist’s Bubblebath cocktail, which uses Tanqueray gin, Aperol, Chambord, lemon, apple and fairy liquid.
So there you have it, a whole pile of pink drinks you can find in dear old Brum. And whilst this is a post that I did because it was fun, it would be remiss of me not to tell you Legally Blonde The Musical hits the Alexandra Theatre from 21 – 26 May. Tickets are available here.
I’ll leave the final words up to Elle…
Whoever said orange is the new pink was seriously disturbed.” – Elle Woods