As I walked into the Jekyll and Hyde, I felt I’d been transported to a world from years gone by. Myraid Gin bottles lined the back bar, a purple sign beckoned upstairs to ‘The Gin Parlour.’ Ascending the ornate staircase, Alice in Wonderland style rabbits stared at me through tiny windows before the vivavious Victoria Osgood practically jumped through the door to welcome me to her first #Brumderland event; Greed: Pure Gin’ious.
A G&T was placed in my hand within seconds of arrival and it was clear that tonight was going to be good fun. Tables were set for us, with a seating plan designed to get us mingling and chatting to people we didn’t know, and before long, cocktails started appearing.
We had a short introduction to the venue and their staff, explaining the split personality of the Jekyll and Hyde and its cocktail menu.
Then the gin started to flow as we were served the Gin Parlour’s signature cocktail, Madame Genever’s Bathwater.
Made with Genever, a Dutch traditional drink flavoured with Juniper, often noted as Gin’s predecessor, this fruity concoction tasted as good as it looked. Each of us had tiny cup to serve ourselves from the bathtub, so we got to know our fellow diners, a great ice-breaker.
Once we’d got warmed up, we were introduced to the manager of the Jekyll and Hyde who talked us through the food offering – the Eat Me, Drink Me gin infused menu – and introduced us to the Sous Chef who gave us an in-depth talk about our two sample dishes for the night.
We got to sample the Wild Mushroom Risotto and the Pan-Fried Red Snapper.
The risotto was creamy, with just enough moisture to make it indulgent without being sloppy. The white wine flavour came through and the earthiness of the artichoke stuffed mushroom complimented the creamy rice.
The red snapper was also a delight, delicately flaky fish with moroccan spices, jumbo cous cous and a salad of fresh vegetables bursting with colour and flavour.
Every ingredient in each of the Eat Me, Drink Me menu’s dishes is designed to compliment the botanicals and flavours of the various Gins recommended to enjoy them with. Utmost care and attention goes into the cooking, the presentation and the accompanying drinks, making these dishes a real treat.
Of course, the fun wasn’t over after we’d finished our food though. The fabulous bar team then gave us a potted history of Gin, and even had prizes to give us for our Gin knowledge. Skating around the ‘mothers ruin’ issue, we were talked through the hay day of Gin, bathtub brewing, The Gin Act (which effectively acted to increase Gin’s popularity rather than quash it!) and of course, the renaissance of Gin happening now.
Along the way we got to sample a Tom Collins, made from a style of Gin called Old Tom. We were told the story of the Tom Collins Hoax of 1874 which popularised this refreshing lemony number in the US.
We also got to try a Gimlet, a dangerous but delicious cocktail consisting of half Navy strength gin and half Rose’s lime cordial, named after the tool designed to drill a small hole into wood without splitting it, due to its ability to drill a painful hole in your head after one too many of them!
Apparently the Navy strength Gin used in a Gimlet was to protect the gunpowder on the ship. It’s strength made it flammable, so when stored next to the gunpowder, even if it got spilt, you could still light the gunpowder if need be. The lime cordial part came from the Brits penchant for limes in order to ward off scurvy!
Now, it might be the Naval blood in me from my Granddad (God rest his soul) but I absolutely loved this Gimlet! I could easily make it and drink it at home, and it’s definitely one I’m adding to my favourite drinks list. So simple but so perfect.
As the evening drew to a close, we all finished up our varying G&T’s (mine was a locally distilled Langleys) and said our goodbyes. A roaring success of a first event, everyone left with a smile on their face, a skinful of Gin and eager excitement for the announcement of the next installment from #Brumderland.
Well done to Vicky at #Brumderland and the team at the Jekyll and Hyde, looking forward to next time!
The Gin infused menu is available upstairs at the Jekyll & Hyde Thursday to Saturday from 5:30 to 9:30, with a menu that is updated every 4 weeks with seasonal ingredients. Booking in advance is advised but walk-ins are available.
My meal and drinks at The Jekyll & Hyde were complimentary, many thanks to the Bitters & Twisted team and Vicky at Brumderland. All opinions remain my own, as always.