One of my favourite things about being a bona fide adult has to be cocktails. The combination of taste, presentation and alcoholic goodness makes them a winner for me on a number of levels. However, though I may be an adult, it’s going to be a fair few years before I can spend £8 on a single drink and think nothing of it. At Revolution Bars however, breaking my student budget is not an issue.
Yes, other cocktail bars have happy hours, which is great, but Revs have their own student card, meaning two-for-one cocktails all day, everyday (except after 9pm Sat). The card is a mere £2 and boasts 10 offers altogether, including selected food offers and a discount on their famous flavoured Vodka shot sticks. Although Revs is also a restaurant and a busy nightlife venue at the weekends, this review will be based on my visit on Friday which was for chilled after-work cocktails with The Boyf.
The atmosphere in Birmingham’s Revolution on Broad Street is relaxed yet sophisticated. For 5pm on a Friday it was neither too busy nor too quiet, and the music wasn’t so loud that you couldn’t talk over it. As it was still early in the evening we were served at our table, and the two staff who served us were really friendly, finding the perfect balance between not being at our sides the minute we finished our last sip, and not leaving us waiting to order again for too long.
For our first round, we both chose our sure favourites. The Boyf had a Royal Mojito, which was a classic mojito recipe of rum, sugar, mint and lime juice, but topped with prosecco instead of soda water. It was bursting with flavour and sweeter than many mojitos which meant I annoyingly kept sipping away at it too! I started with the Peanut Butter Martini. Not only is this my favourite from the menu, but it was the cocktail that a friend and I were spontaneously invited to go and make ourselves behind the bar on a different visit. After having made one myself, I can really appreciate the recipe; forget peanut flavoured syrup, this drink is made by straining real peanut butter along with salted caremel vodka, kraken rum, Teichenne chocolate, milk and cream. The drink is also served with a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup (see here, for how much I love those things), which was not simply an extension of the flavours but a perfect sweet accompaniment to the strength of the vodka and rum.
Next The Boyf ordered a Tennessee Mudshake. This drink is heaven for anyone with a sweet tooth. It’s like ordering a thick chocolate shake and somebody spiking it with vodka, yet it works. The mix of vanilla vodka, Jack Daniel’s Honey, chocolate liqueur, milk and cream is topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and crumbled oreos. It was by the far the best chocolate themed cocktail either of us have ever tried. I went for The Jammy Bastard which was served in a jam jar glass and was a mix of berry flavoured vodka, amaretto, Chambord, blackberries and apple juice. This was the perfect balance of sweet and tangy flavours, but then I am a sucker for any drink that mixes amaretto and Chambord so disappointment was unlikely on that account alone.
For our final round we ordered a Manhattan and a Pornstar Martini. Unlike most of the others we’d tried, The Boyf’s Manhattan was definitely more a ‘vintage classic’ than one of Revolution’s own fun recipes, but I am told, as my taste buds aren’t quite sophisticated (read wrong, whiskey is just wrong) enough to judge for myself, that it was made perfectly. My Pornstar Martini became a new favourite of mine; made with vanilla and passion fruit flavoured vodka, sugar, passion fruit and topped with orange juice, this was a seriously fresh tasting cocktail. The shot of prosecco was a really nice contrast and added interest to an otherwise straight forward tropical drink.
Overall, Revolution Birmingham has been, and will continue to be, one of my favourite cocktail bars, as not only are the drinks made to perfection, but with the student card, they are affordable too. Although I enjoy exploring the independent bars Birmingham has to offer, Revs keeps me coming back, and chain or not, it deserves to be recognised for it’s great service, great drinks and it’s student friendly ethos.