Friday, 10 February 2012

Anyone for a tobacco flavoured drink?

To Barts last night to sample their new tobacco flavoured range of cocktails with my friends B, G and V. Barts is a cool, speakeasy-style bar in Chelsea Avenue which is hard to find but lovely once you're there, with cartoons and old clocks on the walls and fishing buckets hanging from the bar and lovely wooden tables and comfortable, squashy chairs. They are known for having some of the most delicious (and brilliantly named) cocktails in London - including a wonderful rhubarb one called The Charleston Crumble - which you can get served in sharing portions in teapots or tophats. All in all, retro heaven.

I must admit, I was somewhat apprehensive about tobacco flavoured drinks. I mean, there are few smells more delicious than a packet of fresh rolling tobacco - but few more revolting than an old ashtray. Where on the scale would these fall?

We were brought a selection of four drinks: a Signiature (tobacco liquer, honey liquer, champange and orange peel); an In Vogue (tobacco liquer, rasberry liquer, fresh rasberries, tequila); a Holy Smoke (tobacco liquer, cognac, rum - above); and a shot of straight tobacco liquer. And they were all absolutely delicious. The In Vogue particularly was fab - crisp and sweet and fruity with an aniseedy aftertaste from the tequila. The straight tobacco liquer wasn't bad either, slightly smoky and sweet (it's flavoured with vanilla, too), a bit like Amaretto or Cointreau. Yum yum yum. Plus, we were given a cigar which we smoked in the car on the way home, feeling very gangsta.

I never really experiment with cocktails; like most people, I know what I like (mojhito or daiquiri) and tend to always order that, rather like a Wagamama's. But wow they can be delicious when you branch out. We also sampled a margherita (heaven) and some more of those rhubarb ones (which taste like a Platonic ideal of rhubarb). If only one could have a cocktail tasting, like a wine tasting. But it'd only be a matter of minutes before one'd be too drunk to be able to taste anything.

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