Blind Tyger is set to open in just over a week, and it is safe to say we are pretty excited.
In the true style of the secret drinking den, they have kept things pretty hush hush, but we have been lucky enough to get a sneak peek at their cocktail menu, and well, let’s just say you are in for a treat.
One thing about Blind Tyger is that it is inspired by the first prohibition era in the late 19th century which interestingly enough was the time where many ancestors of the cocktails we know and love today were conceived.
Blind Tyger looks to these original cocktails for the inspiration of their menu, and not only have they given us a little preview, but they’ve also given us a history lesson too…
Although it may sound like an early take on the traditional Rum Old Fashioned, the Mimbo-Bombo actually has links with a type of palm wine that originated in Cameroon, which was a simple mix of rum, brown ‘loaf’ sugar and water. This version replaces the sugar with a honey & mango cordial and adds a bit of citrus to give it a more modern twist.
Back in the olden days, ‘Grog’ (or a half pint of rum) was on daily ration for men in the Royal Navy. To make the ration go further, and to stop the crew getting absolutely rat-arsed, this would be diluted with water and flavoured with sugar and citrus and was probably the first ‘cocktail’ as we understand it. Blind Tyger will feature a homage to grog on their menu which is made up from Appleton white and signature rums, cynar (that’s artichoke liqueur to you and me), pineapple juice for sweetness and a twist of lime.
One of the most common ways of making cocktails back in the day was mixing anything and everything you had until you had something that A) you could stomach and B) wouldn’t make you go blind. Lots of times milk was mixed with eggs and beer and spices from the new found lands in the Caribbean to make a gross boozy custard. Blind Tygers take on the drink contains considerably less milk- thank god. It takes Tanqueray Sevilla gin, Cocchi Americano aperitif, blood orange juice, star anise and clarified milk for a little nod to the original recipe.
Cider was a big part of drinking culture for us boozers in the early days. The apples that were grown were generally small and sour crab-apples which were not great for eating, but perfect for making cider. A favourite of many was to drink cider and rum, usually together, before a fight in order to steady the nerves. Not the most romantic of combinations, but it got the job done. The modern take on the Stone Fence takes Havana Club Rum, Bramley apple kombucha for that sourness, mint stalk syrup and celery bitters.
Everyone loves a little snifter before dinner and they have been going strong since the dark ages. The OG aperitif was the Ratafia – a pre-meal bev made with unaged brandy pressed wine juice then steeped with citrus peels, sugar and peach kernels. Sounds rather lumpy if you ask me. The Blind Tyger version is a beautiful and aromatic concoction of H by Hine cognac, Rinquinquin peach aperitif, lemon juice and orange flower water. This drink is lovely and sweet and you are going to love it.
Back in colonial times, beer would go sour pretty quickly and often tavern owners would try and sell this beer that was certainly on the turn by boiling it with treacle, corn and rye bread which sounds…delightful. Deep, dark and full of body, this cocktail has had a modern update at Blind Tyger with Bulleit rye whiskey, Kriek cherry beer reduction, Cocchi Torino vermouth, chocolate and plum bitters.
Blind Tyger opens on Thursday 21st March. Watch this pace for more details…