A Penny Saved is a Cocktail Earned
The elegant surroundings of the Edgbaston Hotel bar are the perfect accompaniment to bask in with some truly inventive and lovingly created drinks
Review by Andy Barnham
Approximately ten minutes car journey south west of Birmingham city centre on Highfield Road is the Edgbaston Hotel (not to be confused with the Edgbaston Hotel on Hagley Road), a boutique establishment with six individually decorated rooms and three cocktail lounges. The hotel sits on the northern tip of the same neighbourhood as the famous cricket ground – just a mile and a half away.
Externally the hotel is a non-descript period building which, while obviously large, does a successful job of hiding the decadent black and gold art deco interior within. Built on a theme of classic era Martinis before dinner and table side service, the Edgbaston aims to be one of the world’s best cocktail lounges. By current popularity and industry awards, the bar is succeeding, with thirsty guests recommended to book in order to guarantee a seat (online bookings need to be made with at least 24 hours notice) and any bookings kept for only 15 minutes before before offered elsewhere due to high demand. In addition to high demand for tables, the Edgbaston has won numerous best cocktails (Belvedere Bloody Mary Best Cocktail 2012, Twisted Cesper Cocktail Winner 2012 & 2013) is the brand ambassador for various spirits (Bowmore Ambassador, Makers Mark Embassy and Licor 43 Accounts, all 2010 – current).
The cocktails offered range from their Pendennis Club, an Old Fashioned using traditional loaf sugar and inspired by an 1805 recipe from the Kentucky Pendents Club, to Finally The Bride which mixes the Japanese flavours of Nikka, cherry blossom and ume plum, to The Fennel Countdown made with Knob Creek Rye Whisky, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur and other Sicilian flavours fused into a summer smash. Each recipe is as tempting as the next and all lovingly and precisely made by the bartenders; this reviewer fell in love with the Pendennis Club and may have had more than one or two…
With prices around the £10 mark, the cocktails are strikingly good value. For anyone in or visiting Birmingham, the Edgbaston is a must for a tipple or two, but be mindful, the cocktail lounges are so popular on weekends that the Edgbaston recommends booking as far ahead as possible. While still a rather hidden gem in Birmingham, at this rate, the Edgbaston will succeed in its aim of world domination sooner rather than later.