Bristol Cocktail Week 2014

Bristol Cocktail Week bartenderBristol Cocktail Week is celebrating all things booze with delectable and delicious treats for you to enjoy. From 20-26 October, jaunt around the city tasting all of the best bits the bars have to offer.

From cocktail cup heats to sherry tastings to Bacardi’s “A Night in 1930s Cuba” party, there’s more than enough to whet your palate. So go on, hand over that fiver and grab your wristband — you’ll make up for it in spades with all the discounted cocktails and cheap entries to the week’s festivities.

And if you really want to share the bar love, you can vote for your favourite haunt or event and say who you think is the best.

Best Bars tip: On Saturday night, take a journey with Hendrick’s Gin Through The Ages shindig. 
— Sasha Filimonov, @SashaSips
Bristol Cocktail Week logo

The Love Inn

The Love Inn BristolAn American diner by day, The Love Inn kicks off in Bristol’s Stokes Croft as a party bar come the evening.

If you like a bit of fire to your mixed drink, The Love Inn Mary should do the job, incorporating gin with an in-house spice mix packed with smoky paprika. Easier on the tastebuds but no less of a disco in your mouth, It’s a Love Ting is another gin-based drink – zesty pineapple and a cute-sounding Ting top make it ideal for summer sipping. The fast food menu slips down a storm, and includes a triple slider selection alongside classic burger combos served on red plastic trays.

Later on, casual dining is somewhat restricted as late-night Bristol revellers flock to The Love Inn for house music grooves and good times.

Best Bars tip: A petite smoking area can become quite the flirting ground for ever-friendly Bristolians – it’s The Love Inn by name and nature, then. 

— Laura Richards, @Lala_Richards

The Love Inn Bristol

The Christmas Steps

The Christmas Steps Pub BristolNew backstreet Bristol boozer, The Christmas Steps, offers plenty of hipster charm and craft beer to boot.

Indeed, craft ale takes centre stage, with locally brewed options from Arbor Ales, Moor Beer Company and beyond championed behind the bar. Although local ales get their due attention, you’ll still find national favourites like Dark Star served on cask. The menu offers poshed-up pub grub – think Wye Valley lamb burger or deep fried Cornish whitebait – and Sundays serve roast dinners with a gastropub twist.

The Christmas Steps occupy a characterful old building down the historic steep backstreet of the same name. Dressed in black, the building stands out from the crowd, and the interior is just as moody with medieval chandeliers and old brick walls – it’s a charming, old-fashioned look with a totally modern feel.

Best Bars tip: Owned by the forward-thinking team behind Bristol’s Crack Magazine, the music line-up at the pub is just as exciting as its weekly music quiz – check listings in advance.   

— Laura Richards, @Lala_Richards

The Christmas Steps Pub Bristol

Poco

Tom Hunt at Poco Bristol (29th April 2013)In keeping with the hippy buzz of Bristol’s Stokes Croft, Poco holds sustainability at its heart when serving small plates and mixed drinks.

As such, cocktails are seasonal as well as local, often using ingredients you’d find from foraging in the Somerset shrubbery. For a real taste of the West Country, the Somerset Daisy uses local cider brandy, sloe gin from Thornbury, lemon and agave, resulting in a sweet springtime blend. For cocktail enthusiasts, the Applewood Smoked Bacon Old Fashioned is boozy and bold with a delicate twist of orange and Bristol honey. These pair perfectly with Tom Hunt’s award-winning tapas menu, which includes the likes of rainbow trout ceviche, deep-fried Dorset oysters and beetroot hummus with sourdough.

For the true tapas experience, prop up a stool at the front of this cute little eatery and nibble the night away.

Best Bars tip: A boozy brunch is just as good at Poco. Wash down Moroccan eggs with an organic Bloody Mary.

— Laura Richards, @Lala_Richards

Poco Bristol cocktail

The Apple

The Apple BristolIf ever there were a pub synonymous with Bristol, it would be The Apple, a cider-serving boat rocking the River Avon.

The West County’s finest craft ciders and perries come on tap, with guest ciders including the like of Thatchers, Sheppy and the ever-popular Old Bristolian. But there’s even more to explore by the bottle, such as Weston’s Wyld Wood and Orchard Pig Charmer. To further echo the rolling of the West Country hills, Ploughman platters replete with cheeses and meats from local suppliers are available, and on sunny Sundays The Apple often welcomes revelers with street food favourites.

The adorable Dutch barge is moored in Bristol’s historic old market and you can board her and take up a table indoors. But in summer months, picnic benches litter the terrace beside the boat so punters can bag some summer rays with their cider.

Best Bars tip: Ask to try before you buy – you won’t find friendlier bar staff in Bristol, and they sure love talking cider. 

— Laura Richards, @Lala_Richards

The Apple Bristol alfresco