I am a huge fan of anything herbal; I love herbal teas, I love herbs in food, and I specially love herbs and drinks. For that reason it was probably inevitable that on my birthday *32, groan* I chose to take my mum to try out some of the botanical cocktails available at The Botanist on Temple Street.
I’m no stranger to this bar – having actually attended the launch way back when – and it has remained somewhere that I enjoy visiting on a Sunday afternoon. It’s always a little bit too busy for me on Friday or Saturday night (read: it’s always rammed and stresses me out) but on a weekday afternoon or a Sunday lunchtime it’s a dreamy spot to enjoy casual cocktails.
The entrance is beautiful and is a popular spot for a drink and a chat as it’s less noisy than the bar itself. It’s a light and airy bar-come-restaurant that has some pretty spectacular ceiling lights which (if you’ve not seen) are worth a visit for alone.
The cocktail menu itself is vast, with numerous floral and herbal additions which make for decadent but light drinks. Think flavours such as basil, lavender, rosemary and elderflower.
As a gin fan I’m relentlessly looking for a new way of trying my favourite tipple, and I can always find new and delicious drinks to try from this varied and eclectic menu that suit my tastes.
My usual favourite go-to is the Gin Southside (£6.95) which is a small but mighty *bloody strong* gin based cocktail with plenty of aromatics and basil, as well as lemon and gin. If you like strong gin-based cocktails you’ll love this!
Anyway. This time I opted for a herby and spicy combo: the Thai Chilli Crush (£7.75). Made with Tanqueray gin, fresh red chillies, Thai basil, apple and lemon juice, and green apple liqueur, not only is it absolutely delicious, it looks truly stunning. A big thumbs up.
The Strawberry and Cucumber Breeze (£7.95) is also a refreshing cocktail worth trying, with the strawberry purée, mint and cucumber mixed with vanilla sugar syrup and gin. The additional strawberry liqueur adds a delicious depth and the drink is made as a long cocktail with apple, cranberry and lemon juice to boost the flavour punch.
The Lemon and Jasmine Collins (£6.95) is also a refreshing treat with hum of thyme running through it.
If you’re into your cocktails, and you enjoy the fresh herby flavours of basil and rosemary this is definitely a cocktail menu you need to take a look at. Both my mum and I found various flavour combinations we had never thought off and agreed that whilst not being the cheapest of cocktails (some come in just under £10) they were definitely some of the best we had experienced in Birmingham.
I watched the bartenders tentatively make each one of our drinks and I realised when the bar is less busy it’s really reflected in the quality and presentation of the drinks.
My advice is to try The Botanist during quieter times; it’s a completely different experience and worth a second chance if you’ve been unhappy with a previous experience on a busy weekend evening.
14-16 Temple Street, Birmingham, B2 5BG
*Disclaimer: This post is not affiliated with any brand/company mentioned within. All views are my own*