Unfortunately, I'm yet to find anywhere with totally affordable cocktails all the time. Sure, some establishments offer a $10 special or a cocktail of the week- but I'm talking access to the full range for about the $10 mark, which lets face it, is still expensive for one drink- but not for the ingredients in a good cocktail. Although I love a nice glass of red, if I had endless $$ I would probably drink cocktails much more often.
But.. despite the cost, we all know I can be decadent at times (more often than the budget permits) and so on the weekend C and I decided, or rather I decided and invited umm insisted C come along to Salon at Teneriffe.
Salon and West End sister venue Sling Lounge are both well known for their extensive cocktail lists. When I say extensive, I mean intensive, and huge and respectively 43 and 67 pages long extensive. Practically a concoction worthy of every occasion. I have been to Sling a number of times and had been meaning to visit Salon for some time now. Funny thing is, I had known about it, but never ever spotted it, nestled in beside The Ice Bar, directly across from Beccofino.
Salon is European styled with lovely little antiquey chairs and tables that are seperated by sheer curtains. The ceilings are high, the bar is also gorgeously high and the dark wood and adjoining ladder make you feel as though you could be in a bar anywhere else in the world.
We were seated in the corner booth (probably the best table) and handed the huge book containing the cocktail list. In true food blogger style, I had already stalked the menu and had narrowed down my choices, whilst it took C ages to decide.
We headed in quite early 6:30 on a Saturday night and the 'knockabout type of guy' waiter was very happy to help with advice.
I went with the Mandarin which at $16 was one of the lower priced drinks. The mix of muddled mandarin, sage leaves, spiced cuban rum, cane sugar and clove syrup was simple and warming. To me, this is the perfect winter cocktail, a hit of vitamin c, the warming spiced rum served in a glass with no ice.
C had one of the specials- a watermelon mojito which was maybe $16 from memory. This drink was probably suited better to a warmer day, but was a nice fresh twist on a classic all the same. However, I would have preferred some extra acid as I found the mojito a little sweet.
For his last drink, C chose the Cuba Libre which means 'Free Cuba.' The story behind the drink on the menu suggests that coca cola was only available in bottles when the rough riders (click on the link to get some history about the rough riders- one of the most famous units fighting in Cuba)brought it along with them to Cuba. Apparently, they mixed it with Cuban rum and lime and named it after their battle cry - Cuba Libre. The drink, true to history, is Havana Club Anejo Blanco with lime wedges, topped with coke, served in a glass coke bottle. For all the history behind this cocktail, the drink itself was fairly underwhelming. It was basically a nice rum and coke with a $16 price tag.
That being said, the effort that has gone into the cocktail menu is obvious. It is well executed and there are a huge number of drinks to choose from. There are plenty of classics, and more than enough originals to keep anyone entertained. The menu also contains interesting tid bits of information about some of the drinks, which when reading, gives you a sense of the story behind it all. This, coupled with the tapestry styled walls, transports you another place- perhaps even sipping a dirty martini across the table from Franklin Roosevelt in the early 1900's- if that's your kind of thing. If it's not, there are plenty of other fantasy scenarios to choose from, perhaps you would like to be THE Margarita or downing a mint julep at the Kentucky Derby or perhaps joining Carrie and the girls sipping a Cosmo at one of New York's hot spots? Whatever you choose, you can drink it at Salon.
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