Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Oscar's Wine Bar

By now you may have released I love nothing more than a good cocktail in a bar with friends. I much prefer bars to big clubs, and defiantly cocktails over single mixers. Don’t get me wrong, I like clubbing, but I love bars.

I’ve wanted to Oscar’s Wine Bar for some time now, as it sounded like my kind of haunt, so what’s been stopping me I hear you ask?

Oscar’s made the national news after a women was rushed to hospital after drinking one of its liquid nitrogen cocktails. Liquid nitrogen cocktails have become very popular, as they do look very swanky indeed, with all  the frosty liquid gas billowing over the top. It’s also popular in molecular gastronomy as shown on TV by Heston Blumenthal. However in its unprocessed form it is actually severally dangerous and as the incident proved, can cause life threatening burns.

I’ve talked about eating liquid nitrogen ice-cream before, however I’ve been assured by the makers of Chin Chin labs (who are chemists by the way) that they use it correctly and only use it as a method to freeze and would never serve ‘’liquid nitrogen in a glass, that's just crazy!’’

However it has caused a lot of people to shy away from Oscar’s, and who can blame them. While Oscar’s has been acquitted and is fully open and operational, trade has been down. While the nitro cocktail is gone from the menu, there was always that niggling doubt in my mind. However I plucked up the courage after I needed time out from work, and all I wanted was  good, social evening out with my favourite drink type.

They had a large selection of cocktails, from the classics such as Vodka Martini and Woo Woo, to the more adventurous such as Sweet Georgia Brown and French 74. I also found out that they will make you up any cocktail if you ask for it, even if it isn’t on the menu. Well trained bar staff I see. Shame, as so far I think my favourite cocktail is Singapore Sling.

First up was Oscar’s Crimson Crush made from Belvedere vodka, Chambord, lemon and cranberry juice.

Next was the one and only Cosmopolitan made from Belvedere Citron, Cointreau, lime and cranberry juice. Very Carrie of us. I’m not actually a huge fan of Cosmo’s and yes, I tried this and it wasn’t too my taste, but only because any Cosmo isn’t.

My favourite was The Porn star Martini- Grey Goose Vodka, Passoa, Sugar, Passion Fruit Puree with a shot of Moet and Chandon. It was fruity and sweet, yet has that sharp kick from the vodka to keep it strictly 18+. Also the shot of vodka is a nice touch.

Finally a blackberry mojito made with fresh mint, lime, Castillo Silver rum and lemon-lime soda. I know it sounds silly, but it was quite... minty. I did get laughed at for pointing this out!

We were then given a demonstration in how to pour and style the perfect cocktail by our lovely bar man. 

The number one tip I took away which I found particularly useful and doable (yes, OK upgrading my liquor cabinet probably will make my cocktails better, but certainly not my bank balance) was: 
  • Always match the drink and glass temperature. Apparently the cold inhibits taste receptors in your tongue, making the cocktail more palatable and taste less like alcohol. Think of people who drink straight vodka (no, not those drunk students types), they always have it one ice or on the rocks. Makes sense doesn’t it?

So what did I learn? To give an old bar a second chance? Yes. However I do want to say that my heart does go out to Gaby and her family. It is truly a tragedy what happened and I hope she makes a good recovery.

My favourite cocktails is currently Singapore Sling, however I wish to expand, what cocktails would you recommend?

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