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Cocktails at The Edgbaston

I’m still on a quest for the VERY best cocktails in Birmingham and at some point over the next few months will bring you a list of my absolute favourite individual cocktails. But for now, if you’re looking for quality all in one place head to The Edgbaston. A boutique hotel and cocktail bar in the suburbs of Edgbaston, just on the edge of Birmingham City Centre. We stayed there recently for Lee’s birthday and really made the most of sampling some of the fine cocktails they had on offer.

The menu really has something for everyone covering a wide range of spirits, twists on classics and originals as well as virgin combinations for those teetotallers and drivers amongst us.

We started with one up in our room as we were getting ready (Yes, there’s a menu in your room which they deliver from too!)

I chose a Sandee Westgate – Moet & Chandon, Sweet Passion Fruit & Vanilla Foam and Champagne Jelly. This was so delicate and a perfect girly combination to drink for donning your glad rags and doing your make up. Lee’s first drink of choice was an Abercrombie Zombie – White Aged & Overproofed Rum, Fresh Citrus, Caramelised Passion Fruit & Caribbean Spices. This was another hit – I tried a sip (or 2!) and it was probably one of my favourites of the evening too.

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Sandee Westgate

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Abercrombie Zombie

Moving downstairs into one of the three cocktail lounges we tried a few more cocktails before dinner. I tried the Santa Muerte – Jose Cuevero Tequila, Fresh Citrus, Pineapple, Passion Fruit and Agave Honey and then the Dashboard Hula Girl – Belvedere Vodka, Lychee Liquer, Golden Grapefruit, Pressed Pineapple and Hibiscus. The Sante Muerte I loved, tequila often brings back bad memories of drunken shots at University for some people but I have always loved the flavour and this is one gorgeous drink. The Dashboard Hula Girl was a little floral for me, very drinkable but not one I would choose again due to personal flavour preferences.

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Santa Muerte

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Dashboard Hula Girl

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Lee’s two pre dinner cocktails were, firstly, a recommendation from the bar – The Clover Club 3000, coming complete with a little stick of rhubarb candy floss. His other was a choice that again I was mad keen on the sound of, The Crumble – Spiced Bacardi Black Rum, Fresh Lime, Bramley Apple and Pear, Crumble Syrup. He loved both, but the Crumble took centre stage, simple presentation but glorious in taste.

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Clover Club 3000

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Crumble

We then went on to have The Edgbaston’s 6 course tasting menu with paired cocktails, more about this in another post soon, but we treated ourselves to one more drink before bed, a digestif we tried to tell ourselves! I was keen on the Milk & Cookies – Bacardi 8 Year Rum, Madeira, Chocolate Chip Cookes, light cream and Vanilla but unfortunately they had run out of a couple of key ingredients. Instead they offered to go off menu and provided me with Bourbon Chocolate Milkshake – I’m not sure of the exact ingredients but you could probably hazard a guess! Delicious. Lee had the Smoke and Mirrors – something he had had his eye on from the start – Glenfarcles 105 Single Malt, Smoked PX Sherry, Cherry Liquer and Chocolate Bitters. A perfect way to finish the meal! Apologies for photo quality in the last few, it was dark by then and my hand wasn’t quite as steady (see cocktails already drunk….)

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Smoke & Mirrors and Bourbon Milkshake

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Have you been for cocktails at The Edgbaston or somewhere similar? Let me know about your favourites in the comments!

Disclosure: We paid in full for our drinks

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Review: Revolution Birmingham

We all remember those heady days at university, drinking rafts of flavoured vodka shots at the local Vodka Revolution right? Well I do, and I always seemed to be the one that ‘lucked’ out and got the Chilli flavoured one! Back then Revolution weren’t known for their food offerings – I vaguely remember a bad panini in the Sheffield one about 10 years ago. Well fast forward to the present and things are changing and it seems they are really trying to push forward with their food.

We went down to the Broad Street branch in Birmingham to try out their new menu, inspired by American Street food which is pretty on trend at the moment. The menu involves sharing crates and starters, burgers, dogs, burritos and much more.

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I liked the interior decor, with a long bar down one side with an attractive display behind, table and booth seating on the other side. It was simple with some bold blue colouring and really effective.

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Obviously the ‘drink’ side of Revolution is still their big attraction, and their cocktail selection is LARGE! I tried one of their new Absolut cocktails – the Absolut Soup (absolute vodka, coconut schnapps, apple & grapefruit) I really enjoyed the flavours of this. It was served in a ‘soup can’ which was a funky twist. Lee stuck to beer – they have a small craft section on the menu including Pistonhead and Brooklyn Lager. Later on in the night I had an Asian Spritzer mocktail – a nice refreshing mix of ginger ale, elderflower apple and lime.

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It was good to see they still had the vodka shot menu too! The barman treated us to a sample of his favourite – the salted caramel popcorn and then the creme egg to finish off the meal later on. Both delicious and reminded me how they went down so easy way back when!

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We were looked after really well on the night by the team – particular praise to our waiter Jacob who was friendly & knowledge about the food and happy to make recommendations. To start we decided to share one of the new items on the menu – a Deli Crate. Made up of San Fran chicken sliders, crispy goat’s cheese bon bons, oaky smoky houmous, garlic flatbread, crispy chorizo, crudités, olives, Wotsits. We really enjoyed this – particularly the goats cheese bon bons which were creamy and piping hot. The smoky houmous was unusual in that it was quite chunky but had an excellent flavour and went well with the fresh veg to dip in it. The chicken sliders fell marginally short of where they should be, a little dry and lacked the flavour punch of the other items. The Wotsits, well, a curious addition, but who doesn’t like a Wotsit I guess??

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Mains saw Lee choose another new item on the menu –  a Salt Beef Burrito which was packed full of guacamole, black beans, smokinnaise, spicy red rice & cheese served with tortilla chips. This came pretty spicy but with some cooling dips of salsa and big easy mayo. This Mayo also came with my burger and we both loved it. Speaking of burgers, my one was the Fizz Bomb – Smoked cheddar, armageddon sauce, spicy pork n’duja balls, roquito peppers, popping candy. There was no shortage of of spice on this burger either. The arrmagedon sauce almost blew my head off but I liked it, not for the faint hearted. The burger was well cooked, not dry and the chips crisp, but I didn’t taste/hear the popping candy coming through. For burger and chips – thumbs up!

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We both chose a chocolate brownie for pudding – large portions and I couldn’t quite finish mine. It was probably the weakest course, but in saying that it was perfectly pleasant to eat, just didn’t knock our socks off.

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I was pleasantly surprised by the food at Revs. They are definitely improving from the food I remember and for a meal in this kind of category you could do a lot worse!

Disclosure: We were invited to try the new menu at Revs, the meal was complimentary. All views are entirely honest.

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Tried&Tested: Nigella’s Nutella Cheesecake

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I recently found myself with two jars of nutella in the cupboard (I know – it’s a hard life eh?) But I was at risk of sitting and eating them with a spoon so I wanted a recipe to use up a decent proportion and a very quick internet search bought up a Nigella Lawson Cheesecake recipe. Cheesecake is a favourite of mine so what could be better!

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You can find the recipe online here, its really easy to follow and doesn’t take to long to make, except for the times for the base to chill and then the topping to set, but I’m sure you can all find something to do during these times (maybe sit on twitter and instagram like me!) The recipe uses up an entire 400g jar of nutella  – not a calorie light dessert, so make sure you invite some friends round to share it, or better still take it to work like I might! The only other ingredients are hazelnuts, digestives, icing sugar, butter and cream cheese so mostly stuff you’ve probably already got in your baking cupboard. It tastes best chilled, so serve it straight from the fridge if you can.

In esscence all you need to do is blitz up the biscuits with some of the hazlenuts, butter and a spoon of the nutella to make the base

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Then whizz up the topping, decorate and leave to chill.

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There you have it!

Happy eating :)

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