To celebrate the end of what must be the longest January in history, Tom’s Kitchen and Rewired PR invited a handful of Brum Bloggers along to sample three of the cocktails from the bar’s menu. Only thing was, we had to make them first…
First up, our expert mixologist Noel (variously called Joel and Will by us throughout the evening) took us through a quick introduction to the tools of the trade, including jigglers and muddlers, before taking us through our first cocktail – the Noel-created Pom Pom. I watch intently, in between taking photos, videos and making notes. This concoction requires the classic cocktail shaking, which I suddenly realise may be far more complicated than Tom Cruise makes it look in Cocktail.
Group One step up to the mark and there is some pretty impressive cocktail making and shaking going on. Groups Two and Three look on enviously as Group One get to finally let alcohol pass their lips (not as though this particular group of Brum Bloggers would ever partake in Dry January…). It’s my turn. It’s a good start when I get the right amount of each liquid in my glass (unlike Charlotte who “accidentally” doubles the amount of vodka…) and I successfully rim my glass with orange sugar. The frequent use of the word “rimming” causes giggles through this unruly lot. Then it’s time to shake. I’m tentative at first, not wanting to cover me or my fellow cocktail makers with Pom Pom juice, but I find my confidence and I’m soon shaking it like a pro. I juggle an implement that looks like a Japanese torture device (a strainer) and finally pour my finished Pom Pom into the (rimmed) glass. I finally get to sample the goods whilst Group 3 try their hand – and it tastes wonderful.
After a quick break to catch up with fellow bloggers, it’s on to Cocktail No 2 – the festive-sounding Poinsettia (cue lots of Brum bloggers googling how to spell Poinsettia). This time the champagne flutes are out and we’re required to handle another medieval torture implement – this time, the bar spoon. After adding Grand Marnier and cranberry juice, it’s time to show off our layering skills by hovering the spoon over the liquid in the glass and slowly pouring the fizz down the corkscrew length of the spoon. This requires some patience and a steady hand, neither of which I’m known for. From the top it looks like everything has mixed together and I’ve failed the layering test; however a step back reveals a pretty impressive separation between liqueur and champagne. I’ve impressed myself, and it seems a shame to give it a stir (for the sake of a Boomerang…). This is definitely going to be a Christmas morning tradition from now one…I just need to get myself one of those torturous spoons.
After another break for a gossip – now fuelled by two cocktails inside us and getting more raucous by the minute – it’s time for the classic gin martini. Leading to Charlotte’s shocking confession that she doesn’t like gin. She may as well have announced that she doesn’t like kittens by the reaction in the room. This is a simple stirred, not shaken, martini – who knew there were so many types – with a 100% alcohol combo of vermouth and gin. It’s all in the stirring you know. Once in the classic martini glass, we garnish with a sliver of lemon peel, and congratulate ourselves on our fabulous martini-making skills. Even for me though, a martini is a little too much alcohol in one glass. But it doesn’t stop me polishing it off.
We thank Noel (Joel/Will) profusely for his patience with us, and beg him to create his favourite chilli and gin cocktail for us. (I want to say a CBGB? But I was three cocktails down and my note-taking got a little random from here on in. I’ve just found a sentence on Evernote simply with the word “bar”. Bar what? Humbug? Stool? Stard? I think it was spoon…). It’s passed down the table for us all to take a sip and we proclaim it – and the night – a success.
Tom’s Kitchen Birmingham offers cocktail masterclasses for £35 per person, with an expert mixologist on hand to guide you through mixing three cocktails. Sounds like a fab way to spend a girlie evening, or even for a unique date night!
I was an invited guest of Rewired PR and Tom’s Kitchen, and the cocktails and tuition were complimentary; all views however are my own and I was not obliged to write a review, positive or otherwise!
Tom’s Kitchen, 53 – 57 Wharfside Street, Level 2, The Mailbox, Birmingham B1 3RE