Here at Danny’s Craft Bar and Kitchen we LOVE a cocktail. From mojito to martini we think we’ve created a great menu… But how does the rest of Salisbury’s mixology game match up? In the name of research (and perhaps a desire to see just how many cocktails I could knock back in one evening) my quest to sample all the best cocktails Salisbury has to offer begins.
I start my cocktail crawl at Cosy Club, a quirky chain of restaurants/lounges/cocktail bars, I sink into one of their many enveloping sofas and peruse their extensive menu. I’m immediately drawn to a Maple and Pecan Old Fashioned; a mix of Bulleit Bourbon, chocolate bitters, toasted pecans and maple syrup. I can’t wait to taste the richness of the maple syrup contrasting with the nutty notes of pecan. Sadly, I get neither of these. Whilst the bourbon is deliciously smooth I can taste none of the other ingredients and am sorely disappointed. I even question at one point whether I have in fact been given the right drink. I fear I have been sold a dream here; a lovely idea, but in practise this mix just doesn’t work. In order to restore some of my faith in the Cosy Club name I order a Cherry Bakewell, having been recommended it by several friends. This mix of cherry juice and Amaretto almond liqeur, Barcelo rum and caramel syrup is delicious. Not only is it sweet without being too sugary but it even has a slightly biscuit-y aftertaste. I will be returning to drink more of these.
Retro-chic cocktail bar YOYO has been a favourite haunt of mine from the very first time I realised my drink of choice was more cosmopolitan than rum and coke. The quaint cottage feel and kooky décor make for an outlandish mix between fairy-tale and a prohibition-era speakeasy. I begin with my first love, a Sherbet Dip-Dab. This sweeter than sweet concoction consists of Finlandia grapefruit vodka, lemonade, Midori, and a couple of scoops of sherbet. Served in a martini glass with a lollipop, the child within me love this, perhaps why I drank it religiously upon coming of age in Salisbury! Whilst a lovely drink to start the night with, I find more than one is now a tad sickly for anyone without a prodigious sweet tooth. Next, I move on to the Passionate Sex on the Beach. Now, sex on the beach cocktails are something of a sore point where I’m concerned. Watered-down pitchers from Wetherspoons and shockingly poor imitations the world over had made me swear off this beverage for years. And yet I thought, in the name of research it was only fair for me to try what I presumed would be another disappointing mix of Archers, vodka and a splash of orange and cranberry juice. Oh how wrong I was. Yes there is Archers, and yes orange and cranberry juice, but there is also grenadine and passion fruit syrup and the delicious addition of 42 Below passion fruit vodka. This twist on the classic is fruity, sweet and bursting with passionfruit flavour. I could have been on a sun-drenched beach in the Caribbean after just a few sips. Sorry for underestimating you YOYO. As I make my way past the shelf of retro board games on my way out (making a mental note to come back and play operation) I resolve to spend an evening making my way through the entire menu here. Just for research, of course.
Rounding off my night, I head back to my home turf; Danny’s. Danny’s Craft Bar and Kitchen opened in Salisbury in July of this year. In the daylight hours we make for a lovely place to enjoy a great cup of coffee or one of our indulgent burgers and sweet potato fries. Come nightfall our cosy interior slightly off the beaten track is the perfect place to meet friends for a drink and work your way through our extensive rum and gin collections. Initially we had a cocktail menu comprised of both classic drinks and more obscure mixes. Over the past few months we have altered this menu by keeping some of our most popular cocktails and adding a few more we think will be hits with our customers.