Rib Nights & UK Burger Battle have been a great success in the city for forever boisterous Ahmed Kage, and his new event – CocktailXChange – offers more of the same grown-up fun. The first of the series of events was sponsored by Brugal Rum from the Dominican Republic, which will be followed by further cocktail evenings showcasing specific spirits.
The format of this first event was fairly simple. After a welcome drink of a very tasty Dark & Stormy, the man himself (this time thankfully without the air-horn though nonetheless with a microphone never far away) introduced us to Luke Todd-Wood from Maxxium who was there to promote and educate us about all things rum.
We were talked through the history and finer points of rum production, whilst being introduced to the range and brand of Brugal.
We were then led through a tasting of 5 different styles of rum that Brugal had to offer. After tasting each sample (some maybe more than one sample but we won’t mention any name, eh, Nicky) we were then given a cocktail that had been specially prepared by the bar team at Bar Opus who were joined in the event from the Cosy Club’s new bar manager Andrew Hyman.
Each cocktail as well as being created to make the most of each rum’s characteristics was also designed to pair with a canapé created by the Bar Opus kitchen team.
We then had some time to enjoy each cocktail & canapé and discuss with others whilst being entertained by a couple of live numbers from duo David & Crystal.
The rounds we were treated to included:
- The Maestro: Brugal extra dry, cucumber & mint water, fresh lime, ginger & chilli syrup. Served with smoked mackerel bonbon with limed salt.
- Pineapple & Coconut Fizz (a take on a Piña Colada & Ramos Gin Fizz combined together): pineapple & honey cordial, coconut cream soda, Brugal Anejo Rum, sprinkled with toasted desiccated coconut. Served with Jerk chicken.
- The Volcano: Dry Spiced Brugal rum (not yet released but undergoing trials in Bristol & Glasgow), black smoked Lapsang Souchong tea, cherry juice, mango, passion fruit, peach puree, lime juice served over a smoking bed of tea. Served with king prawn & passion fruit, mango & ginger.
- Brugal XV, prune liqueur, soda water served in a coffee pot and poured over a sugar cube coated in orange bitters. Served with plantain crisp with guacamole & cubed mango salsa.
This was just the first in the series of events planed by the team. The forthcoming events includes a special to celebrate world gin day. The CocktailXChange journey continues with a swap of bar tenders (mixologists if you prefer) from the Brum bar scene with other cities both in the UK and around the world.
Get following them on twitter for more information, and make sure you follow the brains behind all these events, Ahmed Kage, to keep up to date with his other food & drink projects and his soon to be announced return to the music scene with an upcoming release.