Eight Birmingham-themed cocktails to get you through the semester

Because we all know a cocktail night is in order in anticipation of lockdown lifting

Two-for-one cocktails and bottomless brunch feels so close yet so far. Keep yourself going and bring Brum’s nightlife to you with a Brum-themed cocktail.

Surely we all need a reason to dress up in those outfits we impulse bought out of boredom in lockdown numero uno, so a house cocktail night is the perfect pick-me-up.

They’re delicious, however quick warning – these have been made by someone with approximately zero cocktail experience aside from TikTok. If you work in a cocktail bar, please exit now.

The Bullring Iced Tea

Okay, the big blobby blue building is actually the Selfridges building, but let’s be honest, that doesn’t have as much of a ring to it.

Inspired by a twist on the Long Island Iced tea, this has the chaos of a Saturday afternoon Bullring trip and the colour pop of Brum’s finest shopping centre.

  • 1/2 ounce vodka
  • 1/2 ounce light rum
  • 1/2 ounce tequila
  • 1/2 ounce gin
  • 1/2 ounce blue curacao
  • 1/2 ounce sour mix
  • 1 shot lemon-lime soda

Build the vodka, rum, tequila, gin, curacao, sour mix and soda in that order into a collins glass. Add large ice cubes (to resemble the discs on the building, duh) and stir well.

The Old Joe Collins

We need a classy, respectable drink in homage to Old Joe. Spruce up the classic John Collins and, in essence, dress it up to look like a clocktower.

  • 1 1/2 ounces of bourbon whiskey
  • 1 ounce lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup
  • 2 ounces soda
  • To garnish: orange slice and mini umbrella

Pour the bourbon, lemon juice and syrup into a collins glass (nice and Old Joe-shaped) filled with ice. Stir, and top with soda. For the clock face, garnish with an orange slice, and pop the umbrella on the top for the tower’s roof.

The Jewellery Quarter

The Jewellery Quarter, with around 700 jewellery-related businesses, brings us the cocktail for those who like a bit of glitter and glam in their life.

  • 6 raspberries
  • 1 1/2 ounce unicorn gin (for glitter!)
  • 3/4 ounce lemon or lime juice
  • 1/2 ounce simple syrup (to taste)
  • 3 ounce champagne (or prosecco, of course)

Sugar rim a champagne flute by dipping the rim in water then dipping into sugar.

Add the raspberries, gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup to a cocktail shaker with some ice. Shake, then pour the contents into your flute. Top with your prosecco and stir. There you have your glittery, classy Jewellery Quarter cocktail.

Cadbury Martini

Honestly, what’s better than being down the road from Cadbury’s home? Make a toast to Mr Cadbury himself and make this choccy cocktail.

  • 1 ounce vodka
  • 2 ounces Baileys
  • 1 teaspoon melted chocolate
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Grated dairy milk
  • Dairy milk strip

Rim your martini glass with the grated dairy milk, and brush the inside of the glass with the melted chocolate.

Add the vodka, chocolate syrup and Baileys to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake. Strain into the glass. Sieve some cocoa powder over the top and pop in a strip of dairy milk to garnish.

Botanical Gardens Mojito

Think back to cute summer days at the Botanical Gardens and Winterbourne House with this fresh and flowery mojito.

  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • Handful of mint leaves
  • 2 ounces white rum
  • Soda water
  • Crushed ice
  • Flavoured liqueur of choice
  • Edible flowers or fruit for garnish

Crush and mix together the lime juice, sugar and mint leaves. Pour this into a tall glass and add crushed ice. Pour over the rum, top with soda water and stir. If you have any, stir in some flowery or aromatic liqueur, such as elderflower, hibiscus or strawberry.

Garnish with some edible flowers or leaves for that nature vibe.

The Custard Factory

Don’t worry, no one will be adding custard to their cocktails (unless that’s your thing). But this cocktail, with the colour of Digbeth and the vanilla of, well, custard, is sure to hit the right places.

  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces vodka
  • 1 ounce Triple Sec
  • 1 ounce grenadine
  • 2 ounces orange juice
  • Orange slices
  • Mint leaf

Combine the vodka, Triple Sec, orange juice and vanilla extract to a cocktail shaker. Shake well and strain into a martini glass. Drip in some grenadine to the side of the glass for that colour gradient.

Garnish with the orange slice and mint leaf and welcome to the Custard Factory.

The Brum Freshers’ Night Out

You’re a fresher. You’ve just downed a bottle of warm Aldi’s own brand vodka. First stop is Spoons, where you get a round of Sourz (we’re on a budget). You toddle into your favourite Broad Street club and spend the night with a VK in each hand. Time to reminisce with a painfully sugary pitcher.

  • Blue VK
  • Apple Sourz
  • Lemonade
  • Vodka
  • Smirnoff Ice

To be honest, measurements don’t matter here, we trust you. Our idea is to pour a bottle each of VK and Smirnoff Ice into a jug, along with two shots of Sourz and two shots of vodka. Stir and add ice.

For the alcohol remains: The Canal Water

Birmingham has more canals than Venice, did you know? Immerse yourself in that beautiful Birmingham culture and mix together your leftovers, who knows what could be in there. Chin chin. (Extra points if you use it as your contribution in a game of Ring of Fire.)

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• Here’s all the latest reopening plans for the best nights out in Brum

• UoB is planning for a blend of face to face and virtual teaching for next year

• The top ten things UoB students can do to stay motivated this semester