For the next two weeks Grant’s is sponsoring an early evening, reservations only, (free!) ephemeral bar. So I dragged along a +1, past the eye candy at the entrance and into a space that was actually even better than I had anticipated after seeing the press packet and Facebook page. Lively guests were partaking in tastings, billiards and cocktails while photogs snapped pics. The space is large and open, but the copious comfortable chairs and sofas lend a surprisingly relaxed air and allow for somewhat intimate groupings.
We headed to the busy bar to choose from the five featured cocktails. I started with the Old Fashioned (Grant’s whiskey, angostura, orange bitters, simple syrup) and Luke took the Grant’s Sour (whisky, lime juice, honey, simple syrup). Judging by the orders, the sour seems to be a popular choice and also a good option for those who are not die hard whisky fans. The barboys are doing a nice job of it and seemed to be – if not speedy – conscientious about what they were mixing and shaking.
We bumped into lovely Sion (of Paris (im)Perfect) and joined her and Ericka on their sofa while the first act of the evening began. A comedian and then a band hit center stage. After a bit of couch-time, we had a visit with the pleasant Ludovic, who was overseeing the degustations for the night. (henceforth, it will be Raphael heading up the tastings) He gave an interesting and concise rundown on Grant’s whisky and took us through a sampling of the Family Reserve, Sherry Cask and 12 year. While the 12 year was a crowd pleaser, I preferred the Sherry Cask. The 12 year is a drink with a good smokey, woody touch. But for me, personally, when it comes to scotch, I prefer some serious smoke over a little tease.
We finished the evening with a bit more meandering, a few nibbles from the passing waiters and a final stop at the bar. I ended with the Grant’s Jazz Club (Grant’s, creme de cacao and a vanilla bean). On leaving we got a swag bag with 3 sample bottles and a whisky glass in the triangular shape for which Grant’s has been known since they introduced it for their bottles in the 50′s.
Sound fun? Well, you’ve got until 30 April to experience it for yourself. Reserve via their Facebook page and go play a bit of foozball with a whisky cocktail in hand. And, report back! I’m curious to hear about the scene and crowd on regular nights.
I’ve been known to be a bit snarky about heavily brand sponsored events. But, I do think that if you believe in your product, the best advertisement is to give people a taste of it. If it’s as good as you say, they’ll come back for more. So, kudos to Grant’s for sharing their spirits in a fun, informative environment. In short, I like the people and products at Grant’s (especially their Hendricks gin – you know I couldn’t go a whole blog post without mentioning it!) But taking a tastebud detour for an evening was definitely a nice change of pace.