We at Fed Up & Drunk HQ are rather big fans of Revolution’s cocktail making sessions. After visiting last year to sample their Mojito making kit, we decided it was time for our annual educational trip and this time opted to attend a masterclass. In addition to the expected demonstrations and opportunity to get behind the bar yourself, there’s also some great games and canapés that perfectly pair with specific drinks.
We entered and were enveloped by the warm and relaxed atmosphere and cordially greeted by our host for the evening, the lovely Nate. He promptly handed out name stickers and presented us with a giant urn of Woo Woo – we were instantly friends. After a few sips, he began explaining the layout of the evening; we would all be making a cocktail each, nibbling on some well-matched appetisers, playing a few games and then settling on the comfy banquette for some more filling fare.
Once behind the bar I was tasked with creating a classic Mojito. A cocktail that boasts numerous variations, we chose to stick to the original, using white rum and white sugar. Into the glass I chucked sugar, a squeeze of fresh lime and a couple of lime wedges. This I then mashed with the adorably named muddler, before pouring in the rum, giving the mint leaves a slap (to release the flavour, of course) and popping in too, along with some crushed ice. I then gave it a good stir and topped it off with some soda water. After an intrepid taste test, I willingly shared my creation with the group.
Next up it was my turn to whip up one of my favourite cocktails – the classy Cosmopolitan. I’ve ordered the cocktail many times but have never had a go at making my own until now. I swapped spectating for bartending and headed behind the bar where Nate showed me what to do. In went cranberry juice, a squeeze of lime, crushed ice, lemon juice, a shot of Citrus vodka and Cointreau. Then I shook the ingredients up and strained the pink liquid into a Martini glass. Nate wanted to impress with a trick to finish it off: I heated a piece of orange peel with a lighter and squeezed it next to the glass for a burst of orange flame. Another – and slightly easier trick – was sticking two small straws to the edge of the glass. Voilà! My concoction was paired with creamy guacamole tortillas.
Afterwards, in a battle for the best shaker and maker, Jess and I went head to head behind the bar to see who could create a cocktail the quickest. The winner had a tasty vodka shot of their choice and sadly, the loser (me) ended up with a very, very hot chilli vodka shot. Yuck!
I chose to take up the task of making one of the strongest concoctions – the Bramble. Using gin, this modern classic is a cocktail reportedly created at the height of the 80s cocktail craze. Not quite Tom Cruise in the movie of that decade, I didn’t quite have the strength for the vigorous shaking this cocktail required.
I started with a tumbler glass filled with crushed ice. Under Nate’s direction – and approval – I poured a generous double shot of Tanqueray gin into a Boston shaker. This was followed by lemon juice and sugar syrup to balance the citrus with sweetness. Having thrown the shaker around in the air for a few minutes, I poured through a strainer into the tumbler of crushed ice. Simple but strong, a final wedge of lemon and scattering of blackberries added a spot of colour. Gin and tonic is always a winner for me, and the Bramble has opened my eyes to easy ways of mixing this classic up at home.
When Nate asked me what my tipple of choice was, I was a little hesitant with my standard answer of spiced rum, since Revolution is so well known for its vodka. I needn’t have worried – the Captain Coconut was by far my favourite cocktail of the bunch! I started with a couple of good doses of Kraken spiced rum and Malibu, followed with banana liqueur, orange juice, pineapple juice and pomegranate grenadine, and after a good go on the cocktail shaker (just as much fun as it looks!) I topped it all off with some exotic-looking pineapple leaves. My pirate-y potion was declared delicious by all five of us, and added a little bit of desert island sunshine to our dark Bristol evening.
Being the last to volunteer myself to make a cocktail, I’m pretty sure I got the easiest recipe! I made the Cranberry Fizz in my favourite kind of glass, a handled Kilner Jar (or Mason drinking glass). After filling it to the brim with ice I poured over SKYY vodka followed by a shot of Cointreau before topping it all up with the main ingredient, Cranberry Juice. Placing a lemon wedge on top (which looked like a little boat), I then took a sip and another and maybe another one after that – I found it went down rather easily, to say the least. I would highly recommend this drink for anyone who doesn’t necessary like an overpowering taste of alcohol in his or her cocktail but wants a casual and refreshing drink that’s a little bit different.
After all of the excitement, we were invited to choose two shots each, which Nate lined up atop a row of lemonade filled glasses. Armed with a wooden spoon, Becky then proved his wonderful assistant and set off a domino-like trick. Doesn’t it look awesome?
We then retreated to a table and tucked into some delicious food, while enjoying the results of our cocktail making class. It was a great evening and we were thoroughly impressed with the volume and quality of food and drink we received. We shall definitely be returning soon!
And then there was brunch…
Brunch is one of the best parts of the weekend. The food is usually the perfect balance between being hearty and healthy, it is a meal enjoyed late enough in the morning to allow for a lie in, it can be accompanied by cocktails, and it’s often a social affair. Despite seeing each other five days a week at work, we at Food & Drink Guides HQ couldn’t resist meeting up on a Sunday to sample Revolutions’ new brunch menu.
The pancakes are American style, and come piled high with fresh fruit and berries, and a drizzle of maple syrup. The Eggs Benedict meanwhile is paired with chorizo for an intriguing, flavoursome take on this classic meal. After practically inhaling a pot of tea, I selected the malted sourdough toast, topped with smashed avocado, a poached egg (with a deliciously runny yolk), vine tomatoes, passion fruit, pomegranate and maple syrup. It was a wonderful blend of sweet and savoury, and I devoured it with gusto. Hannah ate her meal at a much more normal pace, but was equally impressed with her full grill. Comprising smoky pork sausages, grilled streaky bacon, sourdough toast, fried eggs, mushrooms flavoured with garlic and thyme, and slow roasted tomatoes, it proved a more elegant take on the traditional full English.
I have no doubt that I will be back to sample more of the Revolutions brunch menu soon.