Monday, 26 March 2018

JUST JULIA TRIES: New cocktail menu at Orchid: Review (Aberdeen)

One of Aberdeen's leading cocktail bars has officially launched a new menu - and this time, the new menu's concept once again plays homage to Professor Jerry Thomas' "fancy drinks" categories.

Orchid Aberdeen officially launched their new menu just under two weeks ago which saw 13 new drinks take to the menu, with the addition of the infamous Pink Orchid which has been on the menu since Orchid opened in 2007.

Arriving on Thursday night, I'd brought one of my best friend's along to try out a couple of the new drinks. Although, little did I know we'd end up trying out over half of the menu!

Greeted by the wonderful Nick Gordon who is an award-winning bartender and the General Manager of the bar, he showed us to our seats and presented us with cucumber infused water.

Scaling the menu, Nick talked us through the concept behind it and offered us an AJ's Knockout cocktail as we decided on which drink to try out after.

AJ's Knockout was phenomenal, and quite possibly one of my favourites of the night. The Havana Especial based drink was made with clarified milk, pineapple, raspberry and strawberry, and was extremely sweet and light. It was so easy to drink and was a drink you could sip all day throughout the summer months. I think it may be my new take on Aperol Spritz.
Next up we decided to dive into something a little more fruity. Rachel went for Smoke But No Cigar - a tropical tiki style drink made with Monkey Shoulder, Pere Magloire, Martell VS, mango cordial, and lapsang syrup. Although fruity, the drink was also rather smokey too and made for a refreshing long drink.

I opted for the Woodstock Revival. Served in a highball, the El Jimador tequila created with Lustau White Vermouth, St Germain elderflower liqueur, lemon and Patchouli tincture is a long, herbal cocktail. Not only is it nice and light, it's not too alcohol-heavy and again, is another great cocktail for summer.
Both gin lovers, we'd simultaneously looked at the Grannie's Smith cocktail. But the good friend I am, I decided it was only fair Rachel got the honours of trying it out. Instead, I decided to order the D.I.Y Bru. A spritz cocktail, this was also a gin based drink featuring Aberdeen's first gin in over 100 years, Porter's Gin. The drink also boasted Amaro, Monrenegro, citric acid, prosecco and Dr Adam Elmegirab's Bitters & Botanical Spirits Spanish Bitters. The short, alcoholic Irn Bru was scrumptious and tasted as good as it sounds.

Grannie's Smith was created with Porter's Gin, Briottet Apple liqueur, guava cordial, lemon juice, Dr Adam Elmegirab's Bitters & Botanical Spirits Spanish Bitters and egg white. The fruity and sweet cocktail was ideal for Rachel's sweet palette and came garnished with a pansy.
Next up I decided to try out the American Pharaoh and Rachel tried the Maya & Elena. My American Pharaoh was a julep style with Martell VS, Briottet Peach liqueur, malic acid, peach and pink peppercorn syrup, and garnished with mint. The fresh drink was nice on the nose, and the cocktail itself was extremely crisp and light.

Rachel's Maya & Elena was a milanese style drinks. With Four Roses Bourbon, Amaro, Montenegro, thyme cordial, orange shrub and lemon, the drinks was more tart and bitter than my fresh, fruity cocktail. Herbaceous and with a shed load of citrus, it was beautifully refreshing.
Working the following day, we decided to call it a night after one last drink.

Sherry Shoes for me, and PB & P for Rachel. The Sherry Shoes cocktail was very delicious and not what I had expected. I've not ever really liked sherry, however the fino sherry cocktail was extremely refreshing and the strong taste of fresh kiwi was what sold this drink for me. Not only did it have fresh kiwi and sherry in it, it also boasted lemon, and kiwi syrup too.

Rachel's PB & P was a twist on a classic Bellini. The sparking cocktail boasted a pineapple and blackberry cordial topped with prosecco. The fizzy, fruity drink was the perfect way to round off our night and was rather fitting for the celebratory occasion.
We were also treated to a cheese and meats board which featured a number of local cheeses from Devenick Dairy. The creamy cheeses went well with the flavoured bread and oatcakes, and the chutney and meats also complimented many of the cocktails with their pungent flavours. There was a nice variety of salty, spicy, and sweeter cured meats which made for the perfect snack.
Heading home for the night, I would say we'd manged to get a real insight into the talent behind the bar in Orchid. It's clear from their diverse menu that this is one impressive team who know their stuff when it comes to creating innovative, creative, yet simplistic cocktails. With drinks trends continuously changing the team stay in the know and bring unique, handcrafted drinks to the people of Aberdeen year in year out.

  For Now...

Just Julia
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