Going out for cocktails. It feels special dunnit?! It’s a different sort of evening; you get your gladrags on and it all feels a bit posh and indulgent, a bit of a treat.
Her Majesty’s Secret Service has a reputation in Bristol for pushing the creative boundaries and pretty much smashing all stereotypes of a classic cocktail bar. If you haven’t been (seriously!?) this hidden gem is situated (I’m not giving the game away, that’s part of the fun) near Whiteladies Road and upon entry you find yourself in a big red telephone box, and the fun then continues from there. The bar dominates the space, with bottle upon bottle of spirits, syrups and special concoctions piled up behind it, old fashioned pint glasses filled with monkey nuts sit on the wooden surface ready for you to help yourself and a pile of jenga blocks are just waiting to be knocked over by punters who have nabbed themselves a bar stool. Depending on when you visit, the soundtrack changes; I’ve enjoyed some absolute classic 80’s singalong tunes on one evening and then my favourite throwback RnB bangers on another.
The team here have recently dropped their new cocktail menu, which is a homage to some of their favourite places across the U.K; ‘A Guide to the British Isles’. I thought it would be rude not to pop in to sample a few of the new creations just to you know, make sure the boys’ sterling work was up to scratch. I didn’t realise then how much of a treat I was in for.
I’ll admit, I was nursing a slightly sore head from too much fun the night before, so I was torn between going all guns blazing with something punchy, or going with the most commonly described cocktail ever, ‘a long and fruity number’. I opted not to mess about and ordered the ‘Loch Ness Mobster’, a concoction of Patron Silver tequila, peach wine, lemon juice, absinthe and…laughing gas. If this couldn’t sort me out, nothing would. My drink arrived in a short green glass and to my surprise the texture of it appeared frothy and foamy, with edible flowers floating on top. I’ll be honest, I thought the first sip was going to hit me like a slap in the face due to its ingredients, but I was in for an unexpected surprise – it was deliciously fresh and fruity thanks to the peach wine and lemon, with a very subtle hint of tequila coming through as an aftertaste. It tasted wonderful and the frothiness was fun and different – I m want to ruin the surprise but there was also a little something waiting for me at the bottom of my glass too. So far, so fun – as is always expected with the HMSS crew.
My next cocktail was an instagrammers dream (as you can imagine I was in my element). Taking inspiration from Cornwall’s Eden Project, ‘The Greenhouse Project’ is made up of sugar snap Hendricks, dry white wine, celery bitters and asparagus. It’s the most beautiful looking beverage I have had the pleasure of enjoying and if you are a Gin fan, it will hit all the right notes. TIP: you can take the glass out of the box to drink – we discovered this nearer the end of the drink.
The team at Her Majesty’s Secret Service never fail to wow me and we are so lucky to have this impressive cocktail joint within our neck of the woods; never have I experienced such wonderment when drinking and the team here are masters of their craft.
Keep these guys in mind when planning your next night out – for if you want one to remember.