As I turn the corner from The Mall to Caledonia Place, I’m met with a striking display of pumpkins and autumnal foliage outside The Ivy Clifton Brasserie.
The latest in the restaurant’s string of seasonal installations celebrates ‘Harvest Moon ’ – a new, limited edition cocktail menu ideal for whisky lovers.
The carefully crafted cocktails are made with Johnnie Walker, and include festive ingredients like pumpkin puree, cinnamon syrup and aromatic bitters.
They are the perfect accompaniment to the restaurant’s menu of classics – which includes white onion and truffle soup and shepherd’s pie.
The restaurant, as ever, is packed even on a Monday night. We are shown to our table near the bar and handed the new Harvest Moon menu which comprises five cocktails.
It reads: “This autumn, at The Ivy Clifton, we’re inviting you to join us in a special celebration of our ancient heritage, and the lunar phase that represents this changing season with a touch of theatrical glamour.”
We order Thyme for Harvest (£11.75) containing Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, Beet it juice, lemon juice, and sugar syrup topped with ginger beer, and Foraged Boulevardier (£11.50) which also contains Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, apple infused Mancino cherry Vermouth, and Aperol.
Thyme for Harvest
Our favourite out of the two, Thyme for Harvest is aptly named, garnished with a sprig of thyme.
It’s a glorious fuschia colour but a simple, refreshing drink which compliments a meal and isn’t too heavy.
It tastes mostly of ginger beer – almost resembling a tart, raspberry lemonade – with the whisky not an overwhelming note.
For £11.75, the drink isn’t cheap, but the Ivy experience and drinks service is definitely worth paying for.
Served in a classic cocktail glass and garnished with orange peel, this drink is particularly attractive to look at and smells gloriously fruity.
It’s a little strong to have with a meal, though, and would be best drunk at a bar instead of with fish and chips.
If you like Aperol you’ll love this, though be careful as a mixture of Johnnie Walker and apple infused Mancino cherry Vermouth is bound to have you feeling tipsy.
At £11.50, the cocktail is at the pricier end of drinks on its menu, but is exceptionally strong and well presented.
We order two more cocktails, this time the Smashing Pumpkin (£10.85) and The Perfect Pear (£11.50).
The Smashing Pumpkin contains Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky, pumpkin puree, lemon juice, topped with ginger ale. Meanwhile the Perfect Pear also contains Johnnie Walker Black Label, xante pear cognac, pear puree, cinnamon syrup, egg white and aromatic bitters.
The Smashing Pumpkin
The Smashing Pumpkin is a long cocktail with lots of ice and garnished with a flower.
Again, the ginger ale is a presiding flavour while the pumpkin puree and lemon juice make for a refreshing, juicy taste.
The cocktail was a welcome accompaniment to a Chocolate Bomb dessert, but perhaps isn’t the drink for you if you don’t have a sweet tooth.
The drink is worth the £10.85, in my opinion.
The Perfect Pear
The Perfect Pear is a short drink garnished with a cinnamon stick.
This tasted festive and warm – the drink equivalent to a log burning fire.
I must say I didn’t taste the pear but I enjoyed the flavours nonetheless as well as its consistency. It was a little thicker than the other cocktails with a frothy layer at the top which I enjoyed.
Again, this drink is sweet so would be a good way to finish a meal.
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