On a gloriously warm Thursday evening I made my way to the canalside at Birmingham’s Mailbox for the launch of Aluna, the city’s newest cocktail venue. I was intrigued by the promise of unusual cocktail mixes in a stunning newly furnished bar, especially as I had been a fan of The Oriental restaurant that had previously been based in the building. I’m pleased to report that Aluna is stunning, both in decor and in concept, a new, must visit destination for cocktail lovers.
On the evening press, bloggers and VIPS were treated to Champagne, canapes and the vast array of cocktails – there are more than 80 on the menu with something for every taste. The canapes were delicious, ranging from savoury (and spicy) to sweet. I loved the delicious King Prawns, but must admit the vegetarian wraps were maybe a little too spicy for my palette. The mini brownies were particularly gorgeous – very chocolately, and topped with scrummy strawberries.
There was a definite theme on the night and that was fire and ice. Outside the venue there were glamorous fire eaters who set the scene, and then there were the cocktails. Many of them appeared to have been concocted in a mad professors laboratory, with smoke of many colours pouring from the mixers and shakers. Some of the cocktails actually resembled Lava Lamps straight from the 1970s (and tasted gorgeous too), whilst the Martini list had everything from the now iconic Espresso Martini, to new varieties like the Mochatini to the awesome Bubblegum Martini – bright blue and totally amazing. Dry Ice was the key to some of the most unusual cocktails you could create – who knew?
The decor also elicited approval from everyone I spoke too. The whole place looks amazing, with comfortable velvet seating areas mixing tables and booths. There are images, pictures and mirrors adorning the wall – some apparently quoting Harry Potter (although this is something that meant nothing to me, not being a fan). I loved the elaborate chandeliers that offered a soft, glowy lighting effect to the whole place, giving it a magical feel that was then enhanced with dry ice effect cocktails. and a rather beautiful set of celestial gilt wings on the back wall – a posing opportunity if I ever saw one!
Aluna is lovely, I can’t wait for another visit there – there are at least 79 more cocktails to try yet!
*With thanks to Delicious PR for the invitation.