Did you know it was Brighton Cocktail Week from 18th-28th May? I foolishly didn’t until yesterday when I opened a card revealing a delightful pre-birthday present from my awesome older sister.
She, along with many people who have the questionable pleasure of knowing me, are aware that I do love a drink! As a result of this borderline addiction to the strong stuff I was pleased to discover I would be attending The Salt Room that evening for a ‘Craft of The Modern Cocktail’ event.
It was put on for this gloriously boozy week that focuses on the many impressive bars, venues, mixologists and bartenders that Brighton has to offer.
I’ve been to tastings and drink events before (you may recall this dandy review ) but never one as magnificent as The Salt Room’s COTMC.
As I sipped a perfectly made Dirty Gibson waiting to be taken through to the private dining room (and yes it is hidden behind an arras!) I had a brief chat with award winning Bar Manager, Matt Ottley. He would be our guide on this fascinating tour of modern cocktail making.
I was hugely impressed with Matt, who has worked in Le Gavroche under Michel Roux Jr. This is a guy who’s not only very knowledgeable but extremely passionate about what he does. He is one of those few people in life who I genuinely believe loves his work and rightly sees it as an art form.
As our group was taken behind the arras (a word I rarely get to use unless I’m chatting about Hamlet… which is like never by the way, so you will see it being overused to my heart’s desire) we were seated in the intimate and decadently decorated area overlooking Brighton beach.
We began with a glass of prosecco and munched on in-house marinated nocellara olives and candied nuts throughout the evening.
The following 5 cocktails were available for tasting, which are all available at the reduced price of £5 with your Brighton Cocktail Week wristband :
1: Bananegroni (My favourite of the evening.)
2: Tokyo to New York
3: Complex Cuban
4: Season’s Collins
5: Salted Happiness
I recommend trying every last one of these as they will blow the mind and tickle the taste buds of any cocktail lover. Be ye a novice or liver withered veteran there is something for everyone on this list of modernised classics.
Over the 3 hour experience Matt made an example cocktail from scratch, explained the rich history of the industry, the cocktails origins and gave a comedic telling of his career.
Although this was a special event for Brighton Cocktail Week Salt Room regularly hosts well priced, value for money cocktail experiences and supper clubs in a professional yet entertaining manner.
Overall this was a wonderful experience and ended with an unexpected flourish as I moved tipsily back through the arras. Matt answered all the groups questions and personally introduced me to new mezcals, tips and twists on classic cocktails.
To top it all off I bumped into none other than comedic legend and actor, Mr Steve Coogan of Alan Partridge fame!
If the rest of Brighton Cocktail Weekend is anything to go by then this city is in for one hell of a treat.