The first Brumderland x Bitters n Twisted event of the year was held at Rose Villa Tavern. Believe it or not, I had never been here. I had a good idea of what to expect, having been to so many others in the chain.
The Rose Villa Tavern is an old, traditional pub in the heart of the Jewellery Quarter. This being Bitters n Twisted, they've retained the charm- think big stained glass windows, traditional seating, tiles and lots of mahogany- but added in quirky touches, a fantastic cocktail menu and American diner style food.
Onto the event. We were there to hear more about RVT's giant vodka collection. Over the next couple of hours, we tried several of their favourite vodkas, with a little bit of information about the brand, appropriate foods to try with it and a couple of cocktails along the way. We'd started with a lovely Winnie the Pear cocktail, naturally a pear and vodka based drink.
We started off with Five Vodka, distilled in Wales. Launching straight into neat vodka is quite tricky, so we were given some tips such as breathing in while drinking the vodka. I tend to go for the 'mouthwash' technique which I learnt at a gin masterclass. The first sip you wash round your mouth and breathe in. The second sip will be much easier to drink and you will start to notice the flavours.
Here's me sniffing some vodka with a slightly greasy fringe. I'd been at work all day guys!
And here's Dave also known as Brum Hour. He looks happy. Vodka makes us all happy.
Here's Ryan of Brummie Gourmand, also looking cheerful.
Edd however, is taking this vodka tasting malarky seriously.
I've tried Reyka vodka before at a Halloween event last year. It's a small batch Icelandic vodka made with Arctic spring water filtered through lava rocks. It's one of my favourite vodkas- it's crisp and pure and quite easy to drink. Apparently you can now get this at Asda so I think I need to add it to the collection!
We tried two lots of Chase Vodka- one chilled and one at room temperature. Edd and I always used to keep vodka in the freezer but have stopped in recent years so I was intrigued to try the difference. The room temperature vodka definitely had a more complex flavour but the chilled one was easier to sip. Very interesting!
For those who don't know, Chase was set up by the people behind Tyrells crisps, so we had some crisps to go with them. They also make gin which I'm a big fan of.
The final neat vodka we tried was Belvedere- apparently the Whiskey drinkers vodka! This vodka had nutty, salty notes- very complex. I'd had a LOT of vodka at this point so it was great that we'd been provided with a variety of traditional palate cleansers- pickles, saurkraut, beetroot and cheese curd. Sourkraut suddenly makes more sense combined with vodka.
Here's Vicky at Brumderland herself having a jolly time with Chloe of Gastronomic Gorman.
As well as neat vodka, we tried a variety of vodka based cocktails. The St Clements is a twist on a classic orange and lemon mocktail- but this one contained vodka.
A Caipiroska is a short drink made with vodka, lime and sugar, very tart and refreshing.
I'd already tried the Winnie the Pear of course- this was sweetened with lots of honey.
We also had a classic Vodka and Coke, but it was 'uplevelled' (as the year five teachers at my school would say) with Skyy vodka and Fritz Kola. Vodka and coke was really the first alcohol drink I drank on a regular basis- it was basically my go-to drink throughout uni- so this was a bit of a trip down memory lane!
After all that drink, we were treated to a feast of samples from RVT's American Diner inspired menu.
Proper nachos came with a variety of toppings. They were almost as good as Bodega's and that's saying something.
I was happy to see some chicken wings with a gorgeous crunchy coating.
We also had some burgers and fries to try. They were just standard burgers but I liked the meat and will definitely return to try the more exciting ones.
After food, Edd and I hung around to sample a few more cocktails. I was impressed with my Clover Club and Negroni. I loved the atmosphere and the old fashioned features at the Rose Villa Tavern. They have a crazy amount of vodka which is just waiting for you to try. I'll definitely be back!
Rose Villa Tavern, Warstone Lane, Jewellery Quarter
Photos by me and Edd.
This event was complimentary in return for an honest blog.