Unlike a few years ago, there are now a tonne of places you can go for a cocktail in Birmingham. In just the three years that I have been living here, cocktail bars seem to have sprung up left, right and centre, and I am certainly not complaining. Some of the drinks on offer in our beloved city are fantastic, some are distinctly average. Now don’t get me wrong, an average cocktail is still a pleasant one (it’s booze and tasty flavours in a glass – it’s hard for it NOT to be pleasant), but every now and then there comes a place that clearly has that bit more flair behind the bar than most. Bourne and Co. is one of these places, and I’m so glad that it is one of the latest additions to the Birmingham cocktail scene.
Themed as a New York speakeasy, Bourne and Co. is all about simple, dark decor, with hardly any signage out on the street. The bar is certainly at its best after dark and on a busy evening; my first visit was made in this setting and it was a great experience – unfortunately when I went to review at 5.30pm for after-work drinks it admittedly lost some of its charm. One of the great things about Bourne and Co. is the table service, as hanging around for forever at the bar has to be one of the worst things about cocktails. I have to say though, it’s a good job that this bar has table service, as it seemed to take a particularly long time to make the drinks, considering we were the only ones in there at the time!
Jack started the visit off with a Strawberry Fields Forever. The Jim Bean with the fruity sharpness and the hints of almond, cinnamon and ginger was stunning, and clearly showed a real sophistication when it comes to original recipes. The presentation, as with all of the drinks we tried, was simple yet effective, and oozed class.
My first drink was the Mudslide Flip. Though it was described as ‘heavy, rich and decadent’ on the menu, this wasn’t as thick and creamy as it sounded, though still delicious. Again, a whisky based cocktail, this drink had a subtle hint of coffee and the egg yolk gave it a really silky texture. As this was a longer drink it was so easy to sip on, and I was only disappointed that it ended so soon!
Next, based on the bartender’s recommendation, Jack opted for a Last Minute Cancellation. This long drink was sublime – with fresh apple flavours and a hint of vanilla – it was a beautiful combination of flavours that we could have sipped on all night! Bourne and Co. clearly proved that they know what they’re doing when it comes to whiskey-based cocktails, as each base was paired pefectly with complimentary flavours. (Pictured above).
Finally I ordered a Pink Lady, a gin-based drink with apple brandy, honey, lemon, pomegrante and grapefruit. This was one of those drinks that simply blows you away. The layering of the subtle flavours and the smooth texture was simply divine, and I would certainly not go back without ordering this one again! The presentation, again, was simple and stylish, with a single giant ice-cube in the centre of the glass.
Overall, Bourne and Co. is a must-try if you are in Birmingham and a fan of cocktails! Though this bar is incredibly stylish, it’s certainly not pretentious, and you can forget about style over substance because Bourne and Co. is ALL about the beautiful drinks on offer. Located close to New Street Station, just a little further down the road from Island bar, you have no excuse but to make sure you visit soon! Thank you to everyone at Bourne and Co. for having us, we can’t wait to come back!