Nottingham’s very own entertainment hub, The Cornerhouse, will soon be hosting the opening of a new cocktail bar celebrating all things gin, prosecco and British. Aptly titled ‘GinSecco’, the bar plans to have a garden rooftop view of the city and provide an array of cocktails dedicated to Nottingham heroes and institutions. On the 9th of April, the Playhouse Bar and Kitchen played hosted an exclusive launch party for the new bar in town.
The evening started with a light-hearted introduction by GinSecco’s General Manager Joe Macbeth who explained the concept and ethos of the bar and spoke of the variety of the quality gins that will be available there. This was swiftly followed by the 6-course tapas meal, paired with cocktails that complemented the food, specially concocted for the event. Keeping with the spirit of GinSecco as an institution that is incredibly British at heart, the food comprised dainty takes on quintessential British cuisine. The first course was a savoury tapas version of the classic English breakfast with a twist and an accompanying gin cocktail to match. A well-seasoned hash brown topped by a soft-boiled egg, bacon, sausage and beans, it was breakfast in a mouthful alongside a cocktail with Greenalls gin and prosecco. The sweet notes of the rhubarb stood out, pairing brilliantly with the richness that comes with a runny yolk in a perfect soft-boiled egg. The second course was the British pub favourite, fish and chips with tartar sauce – served in a paper cone, no less. Served with a refreshing glass of prosecco, this one was an indulgent delight.
“The fanciest potato croquette anyone could ever comprehend”
We swiftly moved on to the third course of the meal – Macbeth’s personal observation of it being a rich but delectable serving was not wrong – the tapas version of a Scotch egg. No ordinary hen’s eggs or sausage meat here, this tapa was a beautifully cooked quail’s egg covered with a deliciously generous coating of wild boat meat. The richness of this dish was offset by a Berkeley Square gin cocktail of Wyldwood apple cider and thyme cordial, the fresh notes of which lent a much needed sharp lightness. The next course was a take on bubble-and-squeak, a British classic I had personally only ever heard of, never tasted. It was the fanciest potato croquette anyone could ever comprehend, with bacon and a creamy thyme sauce along with it. It was paired with a Bloom gin cocktail to balance out the flavours. The presence of carrot juice made the cocktail both refreshing and sweet, although anyone who is not a fan of carrots would find the taste of the juice a tad overpowering.
“It is bound to be a success amongst students, office workers and families alike”
Four courses in, the food was ample and coming in swiftly enough that I started getting full – not something one would expect from a tapas dinner! The fifth course was, unsurprisingly, their take on a British roast dinner. A nice fillet of beef stuffed into a Yorkshire pudding with generous helpings of carrot and swede puree, potato and beef jus made its way onto our plates. This was served alongside a gin and tonic cocktail with Thomas Dakin gin – the history of which was narrated to us before the meal. This was the drink that I personally found to be too strong for me, but the business manager seated across me found it delightful.
We finally moved on to dessert, a brilliant version of bread and butter pudding that I demolished within a few seconds. Subtly sweet brioche with a white chocolate custard and a crème anglaise proved to be the best finisher to a delightful evening – it was my favourite course, closely followed by the Scotch egg. The dessert was served with a dessert cocktail – Macbeth’s personal favourite, as he later informed us – an Opihr spiced gin with coffee infused Oloroso sherry and walnut bitters. It was delicious and a fitting end to a great evening with hospitable service and a personal touch to the meal, with the General Manager describing each course in detail before it was served and warmly asking everyone about it after we were done – not unlike how food is served at home. Not only is GinSecco going to be serving artisanal gin cocktails at the heart of Nottingham city, but also if the launch party is any indication, it is bound to be a success amongst students, office workers and families alike.
Featured image courtesy of GinSecco Facebook page
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