I was lucky enough to be invited to try the Spring cocktail menu at Tom’s Kitchen in The Mailbox in Brum; obviously I said yes immediately, and apologised to my liver and blood sugars in advance. I’m actually writing up this review at the start of being sober for the foreseeable future due to health stuff, so I feel it’s a lovely way to say a fond farewell to booze for a while. It’s like alcohol has set sail on a large ship during the turn of the last century (I think it’s going to the USA); I’m waving it off with a white lace handkerchief and weeping, because I’m really going to miss it. In my heart I know it’ll return to me, but it needs to go on this voyage, and some time apart will do me good. There it goes, with that big ship horn sound…
Anyway, back to the best leaving party for cocktails I could possibly wish for; I took the luckiest man alive to try the selection with me, aka my husband. I was to have three, and so was he, and we agreed to sip the other’s choices for research purposes. I have to start by saying a massive thank you to Kieran, our bartender for the evening; he was an absolute joy. We had actually been given a booth to sit and enjoy our drinks in, but chose to stay and sit at the bar because he was so lovely. It’s so good when somewhere has staff who are passionate about what they’re creating, and who are knowledgeable about their craft. He was both of these things, and very entertaining too. He told us that the bar team at Tom’s Kitchen had each been able to create their own drink for the menu, so I was even more enthusiastic to start
slurping sipping away. Marv had a clear idea of what he wanted to try, whereas I live life on the edge and all that, so decided to ask Kieran to surprise me. I trusted him, and he did not disappoint.
I started with Kieran’s creation for the menu; a Marmalade Medley, and it was by far my favourite. I would never pick a whiskey-based drink, as I tend to gravitate towards gin (both in cocktails and life in general), but this smooth, orangey delight was heaven. It wasn’t too sweet at all, as the bitters balanced it out. Somehow there was both a fresh and zesty punch, coupled with pure warmth; I loved it. I mean, if you absolutely hate orange, this might not be for you; but everyone else should pick this first.
Marv had a Honey Suckle; a vodka-based, simple drink which felt like a classic. It also comes in a fancy Cosmo glass so you can live you SITC dreams as you sip. Again, I loved this; the mix of grapefruit and honey provided a great balance and I wasn’t left with a sickly aftertaste at all. This one is easy to drink, which could prove problematic or enjoyable, depending on how your evening turns out (drink responsibly kids).
*Apologies in advance for my pictures. They are all from my phone and Insta stories because the memory card in my camera failed me. We’re all entitled to our bad days, but he had to pick that night to throw a tantrum (eye roll). Thank the universe for my Instagram addiction, or I’d have had to illustrate each drink…
Next up for me was a Spring Time Breeze, another vodka-based one. Now, I know it’s the spring menu, but if you could describe a British summer in a drink; this would be the one. It tasted like a strawberry ice lolly with a teeny hint of floral flavours, so it was like I was playing in my parents garden as a kid again (but with vodka). This was quite sweet; too sweet for me, but if you love refreshing, sweet coolers; it’s definitely one for you.
Marv had an Acai For Sore Eyes (see what they did there), and I was a little jealous when I tried his. When I read the ingredients, which included cachaca, acas berry liqueur, and agave, I thought it would be way too sweet for me. However, it wasn’t at all. The acai and lime were enough to balance it out a bit, and I found it refreshing over syrupy. I’d recommend this to this that like a balanced, in-between cocktail. Like, you haven’t got your sweet tooth out for the night, but you don’t fancy anything that with leave that burning sensation in your throat either. A great middle of the road cocktail with a lovely combination of fruity flavours.
Last of all came a Tequila Mockingbird (I love these names), I hope you’ve kinda worked out what was in this one. I really enjoyed this drink, but I knew as soon as sipped it that Marv would hate it. It’s definitely a divider. I found the flavour of the tequila mixed with chamomile and lavender to be beautiful and soothing. It would make the perfect post-dinner drink for me. It’s super laid-back and grown up; not sweet, soft and warming, with a firm hola from the tequila; that Mexican scamp. The glass and the ingredients made this drink feel dainty, but there was plenty of punch, and I’d definitely order this again (when alcohol and I are reunited). It’s one you could treat your mom to if she’s had a tough day. I loved it.
Marv finished with an Aviatrix, a gin-based cocktail that i would have probably picked from the menu, having not tried what I had. The lemon really came through in this drink, and the egg white gave it that creamy texture, reminding us of sours. Definitely one for G+T lovers out there; I loved the hint of lavender and maraschino cherries, it was a lovely combination. These guys really know how to combine their flavours.
Well, what a way to bid farewell to a beloved companion. We had the best time. Having only been to Tom’s Kitchen for food, I didn’t even realise that there was a bar area which is perfect for drinks and bar snacks. It’s the ideal place to park your bum after a stressful day, for pre and post dinner drinks, or to get your Friday night off to a great start. The staff are great, I love the decor, and there’s something for all on the drinks menu. I’m so glad I got Kieran to choose my drinks; my two faves (Marmalade Medley and Tequila Mockingbird) would be drinks I’d have never picked. I’d have automatically gone for an Aviatrix (and enjoyed it), so it’s made me more adventurous in my future menu choices.
We soaked up some of the alcohol with a pot of Truffle Fries (a potato-ey gift from the bar food gods), but they just weren’t enough, and we were eager to eat more by the end. Therefore, you can expect an upcoming blog post all about our lovely post-cocktails meal at Tom’s Kitchen. We moved from the bar to out booth and continued to consume deliciousness.
At between £8.50 and £10 a cocktail, you’re not going to go for a cheap night out. but, the drinks are well worth that price. I’ve paid a tenner for some fruit juice combined with cheap spirits atrocities elsewhere in the city before, and ended up with a sugar hangover. The drinks at Tom’s are a real treat, something special, and well worth a trip to The Mailbox.
Peace, love, and Marmalade Medleys, Fay x
*I was invited to try the spring cocktail menu by Rewired PR (thank you so much guys), so my drinks were all complementary. All words, opinions, and awful phone photos are my own.