It’s now the final round of our tour of sins with Bitters ‘n’ Twisted, and hosted by the wonderful Vicky Osgood of Brumderland. Previous events can be read about here:
Situated just off Suffolk Street in the heart of the city and less than a minutes walk from Beetham Tower, it’s a bit of a Brum stalwart.
The Island Bar is coming up to it’s 10th anniversary after opening in 2006, though in my hazy memories of youth it feel like it’s been there since before I can remember! Downstairs has a funky retro bar but upstairs (where we were located for the evening) is a Tiki Bar, bringing a slice of Hawaii to Brum.
The Island Bar is centred around a particular beverage, as are all B&T venues, this one being the sailor’s favourite, rum!
Starting off with a ‘Banana Colada’, a fun twist on the classic Pina Colada, this creamy little beverage got us into the cocktail mood whilst general manager Simon Gilligan talked us through what fun we were to enjoy this evening
First up we made B52’s:
This is a classic cocktail of Kahlúa (coffee liqueur), Cointreau (triple sec) and Bailey’s (Irish Cream). Built (rather than stirred or shaken) correctly, it separates into distinct layers giving a really pleasing effect and always a good one to make when showing off. The Island Bar has taken a unique twist on this, putting the Irish Cream last rather than the Triple Sec giving it a little bit of a mini pint of Guinness look.
I made a right mess but you can see Dave Massey of #BrumHour and Laura of Brum on a Budget making their fantastic efforts below:
Next up was a very special little drink. The Island Bar’s famous Flaming Moe!
A tribute to this classic Simpsons cocktail (you know the one with the Cheers theme parody). No Cough Syrup in this one but instead heady mix of Wray & Nephew Rum, Orange Liqueur and Cotton Candy flavoured syrup, all set on fire in spectacular fashion!
Our final cocktail to make was Island Bar’s most well known cocktail and named after a legendary old Birmingham night club, The Rum Runner.
This one was made of Appleton Rum, blackcurrant liqueur, banana liqueur, grenadine, and orange juice. A rather fruity mix and slipped down lightly, I even got to test out my shaking skills:
Don’t forget The Bitters & Twisted cocktail trail is back and runs until the end of June. Across 8 Birmingham venues, including: Island Bar, The Victoria, The Jekyll & Hyde, Buffalo & Rye, Marmalade, The Rose Villa Tavern, Bodega Cantina and The New Inn. Each have their own special cocktail in aid of Acorns Children’s Hospice with 50p from the sale of each special cocktail going to the charity. At the end of the trail, every full cocktail trail card exchanged for a free cocktail will generate an extra 50p for Acorns. By my accounts, that gives you a day a cocktail so get cracking!
You know, I could get used to this bartending lark…
Disclaimer: For this evening, we were guests of Brumderland and The Island Bar who provided all drinks for Wifey and I; this provides no bias to the post. This blog is my own personal opinion and strives to provide an independent view, promoting, enjoying and reviewing the range of exciting food and venues in and around Birmingham.
Where: The Island Bar, Suffolk Street, Birmingham