Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few weeks, you might have noticed the numerous posters, flyers, tweets and sneak peeks of Nottingham Loves Cocktails Festival which kicks off today!
To learn all about what the festival was about, which bars were featured and how the festival began, the creator of Loves Cocktails, Nick, and Brass Monkey owner, Ehren, gave some of us bloggers an info session with a few cocktails for good measure.
Because it was a gorgeous warm day, we were all taken up to the outside sun roof tucked away at Brass Monkey which was like a little piece of sunshine in the middle of such a bustling city.
As soon as we’d arrived, we were greeted with a gorgeous cocktail which was Gin based with added cloudy apple juice and a hint of thyme.
What I loved about this drink was the refreshing hit and the subtle taste of gin which wasn’t too overpowering at all – perfect for summer!
When all settled outside and my hayfever tablet taken (there were A LOT of flowers and plants) we quizzed Nick with a bunch of questions about how the festivals started up.
Nottingham is the fourth city to have it’s own festival dedicated to crafted cocktails with the other cities being Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool.
Nick thought Nottingham was the perfect place to get stuck into and discover all the little quirky bars along with some of the chains lurking around.
The next concoction was a shot size of a French Martini which is one of my favourites.
Before Nick had the chance to tell us what this cocktail was made of, I already knew because I try to be a bit of a cocktail whiz. Vodka, Chambord, pineapple juice with a dash of lemon.
It was such a gorgeous evening and there was something about being sat with a nice drink in a lovely sun spot talking to people who’s company I enjoy… it almost felt like the middle of summer.
Before I knew it, the next drink was being brought out for us to taste. It was a punchy Pineapple and Basil Margarita sprinkled with pepper.
Although this cocktail had a shed load of flavour, it was a tad bit too strong for me and Tequila reminds me of too many bad nights out.
However it was smooth and definitely worth trying if you’re a Tequila fan and into the tropical vibe.
My favourite of the lot was the last cocktail aptly named a ‘Passionate Afternoon’ made with Vodka, clementine juice, passionfruit and topped with Prosecco for a girly touch.
I could sip on these ALLLL DAYYYY LONGGGG in the warm sunshine with some music playing in the background.
At this point we were a tad bit tipsy and started laughing a lot more than usual but perfect for a Friday night!
Before I knew it, we’d been there for two hours and we’d talked all we could talk about – it was time to go home!
But not for me and Gemma from The Gem Agenda, I wanted to explore some of the best cocktails Nottingham had to offer from some of the independents so off we went!
The first placed we stumbled into was Das Kino (sister bar to The Brooklyn Social in Derby) which has a cool American dive bar vibe with a massive ping pong table in the back.
At this point I was craving my all time favourite cocktail, a Pornstar Martini and just my luck, it was on the menu.
After some chatting and admiring the industrial style decor we hopped on to the next bar.
I had always wanted to go to the next one, I had heard so many good things and I love little quirky places.
This place has the coolest neon sign and three floors of plants, sofas and a chilled out vibe like no other. We also got a bag of free popcorn on entry – how cool is that?
I had a Cherry Bakewell and a French Martini because I’m obsessed with sweet and sour cocktails!
We had a bit of a groove here and then decided it was time to move on to Coco Tang which I didn’t even know was there!
The outside is so inconspicuous and looks very exclusive… I was intrigued. After stumbling underground, we had arrived in a low lighted bar with a glowing dance floor.
I had heard all sorts about the drinks menu here and I was not disappointed. I just had to pick a twist on the classic Cosmo named the Regina George.
It has an edible mini Burn Book and some bubbles which tasted delicious! I was so in awe of this thing, I didn’t want to touch it!
After discovering all the little nooks and crannies of this bar including a fairy lit cosy corner (I want one in my house!!) I finished my cocktail and decided I was time to get home as the time had escaped me.
After having an eventful Friday night learning all about the festival then discovering some of the funkiest venues Nottingham has to offer, I’m certainly excited to go along to a night or two of the festivities.
The festival kicked itself off today and lasts all week with plenty of events to suit everyone’s tastes!
You can check out the event guide here and buy wristbands for £5 cocktails all week!
I personally can’t wait for the event on Sunday at Das Kino with Southern Comfort which is one of my favourite spirits.
Thanks to Nick and Ehren for the masterclass and cocktails, I had such a fun night and I’ll see you in Notts for a cocktail or 10!