Located somewhere on Thorp Street, 18/81 is a specialist cocktail bar headed up by Brum drinks legend, Robert Wood.
With a menu that focuses around pre-batched cocktails (where the very best ingredients are combined ahead of time, perfectly diluted, chilled, and then poured out over huge blocks of branded 18/81 ice within moments), alongside shaken contemporary classics – if you’ve not yet been to this awesome bar, then quite frankly you’re doing this whole Birmingham thing wrong.
The bar doesn’t broadcast its location, merely stating it is somewhere on Thorp Street – finding it is all part of the cocktail adventure. So check out these 8 mouth-watering cocktail photos, read all about these glorious tipples, and then go find 18/81 and ring the doorbell. Inside, glorious pleasure in the form of cocktail perfection awaits.
A beautiful ode to the winter wonderland that is Jämtland, sip the thrilling combination of gin, lingonberry, rhubarb and raspberry leaf, served over a crystal clear iceberg and topped with raspberry and rhubarb powder. It looks great, and tastes even better.
Secret Life Of Barrels
Definitely one to create waves on your Instagram feed, Secret Life Of Barrels is a taste journey that denotes what happens to barrels after distilleries are finished with them. It’s a strong, whisky concoction, with tones of American Oak, maple, and stout – finished off with what appears to be an entire rosemary bush. We like their style.
Garden To Glass
A light and refreshing Gimlet-style drink that reminds you of your garden in summer, Garden To Glass is quite a sensational tipple. Gin combined with wild nettle, cut grass, and garden herbs all makes for a delightful drink. Garnished with a Nasturtium leaf, see if you can replicate the awesome photo above – then drink up and order another, because it’s that good.
White On Rice
Another super Instagrammable tipple for you to enjoy, White On Rice is an immersive experience where guests are encourage to pick up the vessel with both hands and breathe in the scents of Elderflowers, before sipping this glorious cocktail and subsequently nodding in silent appreciation. Elderflower, gin, Sake, and citrus-led bitters, this is a celebration of Elderflower like no other – and is sure to be a truly memorable cocktail experience.
IB Cocktail Of The Month: Strudel
Only available to those of you with an Independent Birmingham Membership Card (see below), every month 18/81 create a super tasty (and super Instagrammable) *exclusive* off-menu cocktail just for Independent Birmingham. This November’s head to 18/81 with your IBcard and drink Strudel. A beautiful and heart-warming combination of English heritage apples, which are baked, spiced and sweetened with Golden Syrup, and then fortified with 18/81 proprietary Rum Blend. Quite simply… it’s a hug in a cup!
Hot Spring Bath
Because all cocktails should come in a Masu Cup and garnished with a pretty Viola flower, right? Hot Spring Bath is a heart-warming combination of Sake, Yuzu, Cypress Wood and Chamomile. Japanese flavours mixing together to create a wonderful infusion – and, as with every other drink on the menu at 18/81, the understated presentation and functional garnish only adds to the experience. Simple, elegant, and dangerously-drinkable.
Prepare to have your mind blown. Not your usual G&T, this one comes with a pine cone that gets sprayed with a woodland aromatics mist (think acorn, pine and oak moss) and tastes like the forest in autumn. 18/81 have even made their very own tonic water to go with it too! Talk about awesome. If you love a G&T, this is the upgrade you NEED in your life. One sip and you’ll never be able to go back to the regular version again.
Named after the famous Kiwi chef behind Attica (currently the 20th best restaurant in the world, as per San Pellegrino’s World’s 50 Best Restaurants), Ben Shewry is essentially a Rum Old Fashioned that sees Wattleseed-infused Rum (yep, we have no idea what that is either – but it tastes damn good), mixed with Macadamia nut caramel and beer vinegar, topped with shaved Macadamia nut. It’s a taste of the out-back, found in the heart of Birmingham. Go drink many.
Bonus: Seasonal Prix Fixe
Ok, so we cheated a little with this one – since this isn’t just one cocktail, it’s three. Prix Fixe Menus aren’t usually associated with cocktail bars, but 18/81 tread a different path. Multi-course cocktail tasting menus are part of their Smultronställe legacy (if you know, you know…). Here find three courses uniquely presented in a progression of flavours and styles, using seasonal produce from the current and past seasons. Begin with something light and aperitif like in nature, before moving onto something richer and (usually) longer, and then wrap up the whole experience with something boozy and unctuous. This is something you won’t find anywhere else – so go experience the Seasonal Prix Fixe and have your mind blown.
If you like the look of these, make sure to follow 18/81 on Instagram here – then get planning your next visit.
IB Deal: Seasonal Prix Fixe Menu For Just £20 (Instead Of £25) [Wednesday and Thursday Only] OR An Exclusive Off-Menu IB Cocktail Of The Month For Just £7.50 (Anytime).
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