The latest bar to get a cocktail overhaul is Coast to Coast at the Gate, somewhere that's a starting point to a wild night out to some but for those of us in the Slipper Brigade is a rather forgotten corner of the Toon.
So it may come as a surprise to discover that Coast to Coast makes rather delicious cocktails with a nice manageable list of drinks to choose from. The cocktail list is split into nice easy sections including "Classics", "Something Fun", "Hard Shakes" and "Sparkling" - perfect if you're rubbish at making decisions!
I was invited to Coast to Coast to try out a few cocktails from the menu and to learn how some of them are made.
We started off at the "Sparkling" menu and the "Candy Floss Royale", a Coast to Coast twist on the Kir Royal, this has the added ingredient of homemade candy floss.
Arriving at your table as a "do it yourself" you pour the jug of Kir Royal into your candy floss filled flute and watch it dissolve into your drink to give it an extra sweet kick.
Next we visited the "After Dinner" cocktail menu for a Raspberry and White Chocolate Martini - a beautifully sharp raspberry drink with a tasty white chocolate rim.
Staying with the After Dinner drinks we moved on to the Crème Brulee - Vanilla Vodka mixed with Crème Brulee syrup and topped with cream and a caramelised orange.
At this point the bar tender decided it would be a good idea to invite me behind the bar to play with a blow torch!
Sam from North East Family Fun was up next with the Tiramisu Martini, she put my cocktail making skills to shame with her professional cocktail shaking - I think she'd done it before!
Next we headed to the "American Classics" and a drink for the gentleman, a Smoked Old Fashioned. I loved creating this drink, it had a lot of dramatics!
The Bourbon and Bitters were mixed with Gingerbread and then infused with Applewood Smoke. Not for the fainthearted, it was a strong drink but tasted amazing! This is definitely one that Simon will love (if I ever decide to let him into the secret of how amazing the cocktails at Coast to Coast are!)
Obviously every great night finishes with dessert so I was happy that the last part of the cocktail menu we visited was the "Hardshakes" with an indulgent "Swiss Shake".
A delicious combination of Chocolate Ice-Cream, Double Cream, Chocolate and Hazelnut Liqueur with the added bonus of a piece of Toblerone adorning the top. Just be careful about how enthusiastically you drink this one though, or you'll lose your piece of chocolate at the bottom of the glass and will have to sweet talk the bar tender into letting you have another bit!
Coast to Coast is now firmly on my radar of places in the Toon that do amazing cocktails. It probably is about time I shared this find with Simon so I think we'll be heading that way soon for another explore of the brilliant cocktail menu.
I was invited to try out the new cocktail menu but all opinions are my own.