I’ve never had much willpower when it comes to cocktails, I simply can’t resist the tempting concoctions with their exotic names, the more lavish the better! So I figured it was about time I worked out how to make a few different cocktails myself and The Vermont Hotel, Newcastle had just the solution!
The Vermont Hotel has probably one of the most enviable locations in the whole of Geordieland. It stands proud in the heart of Newcastle city centre, next to the Castle Keep but also just two minutes from Central Station and the lively nightlife. The Hotel’s Redwood Bar combines 1930s grandeur with contemporary elegance and this is where I recently took a cocktail masterclass in an attempt to learn how to mix my own drinks (and impress a few friends)!
The master in this ‘masterclass’ was Hatem who patiently guided me through the techniques needed to create a selection of the most popular drinks on offer at the Redwood Bar. We started off with a classic French Martini and then a modern twist on this called a ‘Martini Marshmallow’, both were surprisingly easy to make and I quickly built up a bit of confidence!
I also asked Hatem to show me how to make one of my most favourite cocktails, a raspberry daiquiri as it contains two ingredients that I absolutely adore, rum and raspberries! The trick to getting this delicious drink just right is to pulverise the fruit and extract all of the flavours then strain out the pulp to create a nice smooth drink, the result was much better than the fruit slush I’ve been served up in some less sophisticated bars!
I also managed to create a ‘Midori Sours’, ‘Elder Bubble’ and ‘Old Fashioned’ before the night was out, all of which were absolutely delightful and had me feeling rather merry but the highlight of my evening was having the chance the check out the views from the roof top terrace at the Vermont Hotel. I can honestly say it took my breath away and left me feeling prouder than ever to call Geordieland my home! I mean just look at it, isn’t it spectacular?
A little birdie tells me that the Vermont Hotel, which is also home to one of the city’s most lively night-spots, Livello, will soon be opening the rooftop terrace as a unique space for guests to be wined and dined – and personally, I can’t think of anywhere better to enjoy a cocktail in Newcastle City Centre!
Do you know of any hidden gems with great views or places to enjoy cocktails? Share your favourite places with me by leaving a comment below.
By Rachel Kershaw