Whenever I talk to people about cocktails (which is, er, quite a lot), time and time again people say that it’s the price that holds them back. Why would you pay the same amount for one drink as you could pay for a meal? Now, as a fully converted cocktail fan, I’ll happily part with my cash for a beautifully crafted drink, but I also can see how if you’re wanting more than a couple on a night out, things can get a little too pricey. Enter 2-4-1 deals! These hours of happiness cut the price of an evening’s drinks dramatically (in half, in fact), but often there is a compromise on quality. I was invited down to Rub Smokehouse to try their 2-4-1 deal on their classic cocktails, and having reviewed their flamboyant signature cocktails previously, I wanted to see if Rub could still serve a good drink when brought back to basics.
Rub Smokehouse is situated at the town-end of Broadstreet, a stones throw from the Christmas markets and the ice-rink if you’re in need of a lesser known get-away from the cold. Now, as a pescatarian, Rub and it’s outlandish meaty challenges are not exactly my kind of thing, but there is a separate bar area for those just coming for a drink. The bar is brightly coloured and American themed, and as it’s up a lift from the ground level of Broadstreet, is a more secluded spot from the weekend crowds below.
The 2-4-1 deal is for 2 of the same drink, but for the purposes of this review myself and my friend Katie were able to choose differently, before you start thinking we had 8 cocktails each! First up Katie ordered a margarita, which, after a bit of an extra mix, had a really good kick and the wincingly sharp taste you want from this drink. I, on the other hand, was disappointed with my first drink – an espresso martini that was far too sweet for my liking.
For our next order, Katie went for a pina colada and I opted for a whiskey sour. Again, Katie here had the better drink – her cocktail had a lovely texture and the perfect burst of pineapple flavour with the Koko Kanu rum. My whiskey sour was made with Buffalo Trace, but unfortunately again was too sweet. If you order a whiksey sour, you certainly don’t want to be served something verging on sickly!
Katie then moved on to a passion fruit daiquiri (there is a choice of fruit flavours), which was served with half a passionfruit. This was a really refreshing drink that really hit the spot, the citrus and the sugar were well balanced and the rum was able to come through – one thing you can say about these 2-4-1 classics is that Rub don’t scrimp on the alcohol. I went for a mojito, which was perfectly fine, and not too sweet this time!
Finally, we ordered our final round from the server (who, by the way, was very attentive and helpful). Katie chose a mint julep – this, again, was nothing special, but certainly enjoyable all the same. This paired back whiskey-based drink was short and strong, and was one of the more interestingly presented cocktails of the evening. My final drink was an ameretto sour, which I didn’t take a picture of as it is identical to the whiskey sour. Sadly, again, there was nothing sour about the drink, as far too much sugar syrup had been used for my taste. All I can say is, if you like your drinks sweet, which a lot of people do, pay Rub a visit!
Overall, the drinks on the night were the kind of standard you would expect from a 2-4-1 deal – similar to that found at the likes of Turtle Bay or Revolution. Are they great cocktails? No – but at around £3.75 each they certainly do the job for a night on the town when you’d rather get a few more rounds in for your money. If you’re on Broadstreet between the hours of 11am (not judging…)-7pm or after 10pm then I’d certainly try Rub for a few drinks, but you won’t catch me here paying full price at peak time any time soon. Thanks to everyone at Rub for having us!