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Monday 4 March 2013

Gin Parlour @ The Jekyll & Hyde

The Angela Langley, one of the best cocktails I have ever tasted (and the source of major drink envy, since I didn't order one)


In my desperation to post without having anything to post about, I am doing something that I don't think I've done before: a review of a bar. Well, not a review as such, but a call to attention. I had a great time there; you should go.

I have, on the subject of not posting very often, been trying to come up with a 31 before 31 'bucket list' type thing, which would give me LOADS of material to write about, but thinking of 31 food related things proved exhausting and if I include the non-sugar fuelled items, it just becomes impossible. Maybe I'll do a 32 before 32 after my birthday in June, which gives me a lot more time to focus on item number 9 on the list: 'Have an international smash hit single with my orchestral version of Try Again.' (Call me, Timbo. Let's make it happen.)

Now, to the matter in hand. I went to this amazing gin parlour. In Birmingham! Of all places.

The Jekyll & Hyde is a pub with a twist; it has another venue within. Downstairs they do beers and cocktails, which are lovely, but it's what they have upstairs that is amazing and, as far as this boy is concerned, unique. A juniper room. A botanical paradise! A velvet rope screened parlour dedicated to that most fragrant of hard liquors, gin.

My Gin Sling was good. But I wanted Jude's Angela Langley.

It was love at first sight.

The Jekyll had, when I visited, 84 gins at the bar. I could have stood and gazed at the bottles in awe all night had it not been for the lovely cocktail waitress who saw that we got a table (I don't think they allow standing drinking upstairs, so we were lucky to get in without a reservation.), and seated us.

I won't lie - we didn't know where to begin. The gin menu seems, at first glance, to be an overload of information. There are cocktails, 'flights' (that's bar code for a selection of gins and mixers to play with as you please), notes on tonics and a few flavour profiles of the different gins available.

I thought this was fantastic. Whereas I would have been more than happy to sip Tanqueray Ten and tonic all evening (and did finish with one), it was great to see so many fun and varied ways to enjoy Mother's Ruin being presented.

Service was smooth and the presentation was top notch. I'm afraid I only have a few Instagram shots (@peterdelicious), since I never thought I'd be blogging about the place, but you can see that the drinks look beautiful. When ordering martinis, we were asked which gin we'd like, what proportion and type of vermouth the bartender should use and given a choice of garnishes - olive, lemon, grapefruit, orange and lime.

The Jekyll even makes its own tonic for those who are brave enough. I went for Fever Tree, but next time I'm going to try theirs.

I also loved the fact that this was a place that knew what a Negroni was and even does one that uses half parts of Campari and Aperol. I mean, for me, that's worth an air fare for, so no excuses.

It's not a perfect experience - I don't know how I feel about some of the cocktails coming in tea cups (it feels rather too Shoreditch for me) - but it's definitely a fantastic night out. I say go. Now!

Let us disclose: in the interests of being fair and open, I should say that I visited The Jekyll & Hyde with friends of my own accord. I paid for all drinks myself (well, a 1/3 split). I'm not doing a sponsored review, I just genuinely liked it. So there.

The Jekyll & Hyde
28 Steelhouse Lane,
B4 6BJ


That's what he said.

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