You can’t really miss Call Lane Social: it’s the newest addition to the Call Lanebar scene and its name is literally in lights. Bright red lights. Thanks to The Culture Vulture, aka the best blog in the North, a few bloggers were invited down there recently (ish, my blogging hasn’t been especially timely of late) for a mysteriously titled ‘mixology event’ where we would check out the bar and have a go at mixing our own cocktails.
On arrival, after a quick catch up with a few awesome blogger folk, I got chance to check out my surroundings. The space was dark, the walls exposed brick, the seating and bar sleek and black. So far, so trendy Call Lane. The last thing I expected was what happened next, which was that we were whisked upstairs, up a narrow, dark staircase, and into a completely different world. The bamboo walls, the pufferfish lightbulbs, the treasure map of themed cocktails: it was like being transported to a beach bar in Hawaii.
After a few minutes to explore, we took our seats at the bar and began our cocktail lesson, led by Andy, the talented and incredibly knowledgeable barman, pictured below. We started off with one of their best sellers, the Amputated Zombie (so named because just two or three of them will reduce you to a similar state), and as one of the first ‘volunteers’ I took my place behind the bar, surrounded by fragile looking bottles and fruit displays, to shake, layer and pour my masterpiece.
Under Andy’s expert instruction, I combined no less than three increasingly potent varieties of rum with a blend of tropical fruit juices, ice, and the garnishes of my choice. The enormous, chunky Aztec style glasses are a nice touch; they add to the ambience whilst making sure you get great value for money. The final flair, though, was a slice of lime, topped with a rum soaked sugar cube. Suddenly, Andy produced, as if from nowhere, a vicious little blowtorch, and ignited the sugar cube. It was obviously a little more flammable than I expected, as instead of the gentle glow I anticipated, a billowing flame shot up, threatening to melt my straw.
After the flames had subsided, I got to work tasting my work of art. The blend of sweet fruit juices was the perfect counterpoint to the spicy heat of the rum; the drink was obviously strong, but it tasted sweet, fruity and spicy, with just a kick of alcohol at the end.
I watched a few other people make their Amputated Zombies, but unfortunately I had to leave shortly after this to attend a birthday dinner. It was the perfect start to my evening out, even if I did feel a little deflated stepping out on to the grey, drizzly Call Lane after such an exotic experience.
Call Lane Social’s Tiki Hideaway is open from 9pm on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and if you fancy holding a private function there, you can book it up until 9pm on those nights.