I’ve been known to enjoy a cocktail or few. What sane 26 year old doesn’t? I’d take a cold, champagne pink cosmo over a glass of white wine any day. There’s something so indulgent about going out for a round manhattans or margaritas, whether it’s with friends or family – it puts a spring in your step. Well, spring is an understatement, especially if you have five espresso martinis in a row. They’re mostly coffee anyway right…? As I found out the other night at BeAtOne, probably not. But they are o so good.
I went to check out the new cocktail menu at Her Majesty’s Secret Service (HMSS) on Whiteladies Road on Monday night. Despite it being the start of the week, I never turn down a chance to don the lippie, get dressed up and sip on peculiar potions.
HMSS can be found on the doorstep of Clifton Down station. Established two years ago, the 80-capacity bar’s interior is classy, quirky, romantic and rebellious. If you’re up for more than just drinking, there are games of jenga and a great selection of music to lose yourself in; from old school hip hop, through 70’s & 80’s funk to the occasional piece of classic cheese.
At the start of the month, the bar launched the first in a brand new series of British-inspired cocktail menus. This one comes in the form of Winston the bulldog’s Guide To The British Isles – a light hearted illustrated drinking journey through the UK’s favourite attractions. Drinkers are taken from the White Cliffs of Dover to Loch Ness and every great landmark in between. If you’re one for out-of-the-box or unusual ingredients, you’ll be a happy customer. Acorn vermouth, laughing gas and even a chip of prehistoric stone feature in the ingredients lists.
Founder of the Clifton-based bar, Ben Alcock, said: “The menu has been created to start conversations, be a visual aid, an icebreaker and a souvenir that embodies the bar and the inspirations of HMSS.
“Whether its tourists discovering the wonders of the country or simply reminding Brits of the delights we hold, the new series of menus will embody the best of Britain.”
The menu itself is presented in the style of a vintage pocket edition travel guide, which now looks very pretty on my wooden coffee table. Inside you’ll find an assortment of highly interactive, humorous, playful and impeccably presented drinks that are a far cry from the standard cocktail offerings.
Here are a few of my personal favourites:
- Green Manalishi (£8.50)
Barcardi Carta Blanca, Hemp Orgeat, Lime, Aloe Vera Oil, 1 Chip of Prehistoric Stone
- Loch Ness Mobster (£8.50)
Patron Silver Tequila, Peach Wine, Lemon Juice, Absinthe, Laughing Gas
- Twister (£8.50)
Grey Goose LaPoire, Mozart Strawberry, Kiwi Sherbet, Milk, Whole Egg White
- Greenhouse Project (£9.00)
Sugar Snap Hendricks, Dry White Wine, Spear Asparagus, Celery Bitters
Her Majesty’s Secret Service address: Whiteladies Gate, Whiteladies Road, Bristol, BS8 2PH