I confess, it has been far too long (once AGAIN), however, after a hectic few weeks with a change in jobs and handing in assignments, I’m finally ready to hit the keys and get back to one of my favorite pass times.
In spite of me being super busy, I’ve still managed to find the time to make and sip cocktails and sample new food at The Botanist in Chester – everyone needs down-time after all!
Last week I was very lucky to receive an invite from the lovely Jordan at The Botanist to sample some of the latest additions to their cocktail and food menu. As a regular visitor to The Botanist, it was an instant ‘Yes!’ and I wasn’t disappointed.
It was a lovely evening with a few select local bloggers (sometimes I find events like these slightly over-crowded with little opportunity to network, thankfully this wasn’t the case), taking it in turns to make cocktails, trying out the new food menu and taking as many pretty photos as my camera would allow.. (not many then).
We kicked off the evening at 6:30 with a cocktail masterclass that lasted an hour and a half. I was lucky enough to finally meet Hollie from It’s Hollie Ann, a fellow Chester/Wrexham blogger who’s content and photography I have admired for a LONG time (you should 100% check out her site), and we both stepped up to the bar and absolutely smashed (not literally, no teacups or plant pots were harmed in the making of each cocktail) the cocktail making, pouring and throwing bottles like absolute pros… well, we didn’t throw bottles but we DID pretty well, imo.
The first cocktail we made was the Pear & Kiwi Cup.
Dry Ice is a pretty integral part to both the cocktails we made. Everyone loves dry ice, it looks incredibly dramatic and makes each drink so much more than liquid in a teacup, or flowerpot!
In this drink, it was added in at the end to give the effect of a steaming pot of tea, very cute.
My attempt, once I’d had a one or two (or 4) sips.
As you can see, the second cocktail didn’t scrimp on the dry ice either. The dry ice for this cocktail is added into a separate little conical flask (just visible under the ice) and ‘activated’ by pouring a tiny jug of boiling water with pomegranate syrup into it.
The second one was a much sweeter tasting cocktail. I likened it to cough syrup, while Hollie described it as the top of a Fruit Pastille ice lolly which is slightly more appealing. The ‘Planter’ contains ‘Raspberry purée, lemon juice, pomegranate juice, Disaronno and raspberry liqueur’, and I may have accidentally made way more of this drink than I should have done… oh well!
One thing I really liked about this drink was the added garnish at the end. Our cocktail expert told us that the Lemon Thyme next to the drinking straws are added to give a scented element to the drink, so not only is it visually appealing and extremely delicious, it also smells wonderful!
Once we’d finished the cocktail lesson, we were taken upstairs to sample the new delights added to the menu.
We were treated to the following:
Crispy Whitebait dusted with cayenne and served with saffron mayo
Lamb meatballs with smoky beans
Chicken Ham and Leek Pie
Stilton, apple and walnut saladJerk Pork Chop (which was absolute FIRE, don’t attempt this if you don’t like spicy food!)
Tenderstem Broccoli with harissa and sesame seeds (these also have a kick to them, again, not for the faint of heart)
Smoked Haddock Fondue with a herb crumb poached egg and fougasse bread (not a big fish eater, but I really enjoyed this)
I’d like to thank The Botanist for the invitation to sample their new cocktails and food menu, it’s well worth checking out if you’re ever looking for a bite to eat in Chester!
Let me know if you pop in and try anything I’ve mentioned today.
Till next time,