In September, I alongside many other local bloggers got invited to a masterclass at the Memsahib Gin and Tea Bar which is situated on Cheltenham’s Promenade. It was such a great experience and although their masterclasses aren’t for the public…just yet, it’s a lovely place to go for a few drinks and some delectable food.
The Memsahib Gin and Tea Bar are inspired by the British Raj period where many Anglo-Indian women, called “Memsahibs” settled in the Cheltenham area, where they bought with them unique and interesting tastes and flavours. They currently offer a wide range of gins, 55 to be specific, an array of teas and an incredible food menu which is like none other.
The decor among the restaurant and bar tells their story with many drawings of Memsahib women along the deep navy walls to give you more of an insight into the history. It’s such a beautifully laid out restaurant and bar and the owners are so welcoming and passionate about what they do which makes the experience even more enjoyable.
The masterclass itself included four demonstrations including two rum infusions and two gin infusions which were all completely different and unique to each other.
The first drink to be demonstrated was the London Dry Gin, Indian Masala Chai, Lemonade and Lychee drink. This was by far my favourite infusion out of the four we tried. This gin infusion is different from normal gin drinks where you’d typically have tonic, however, here we had it with lemonade which gave it a refreshing taste. In this drink, there was quite a variety of herbs and spices including cardamom, peppercorn, cinnamon, orange, bay leaves, rosemary and lime. This is quite a mix of flavours but it was such a nice tasting drink which would go along with the food really well.
The following two drinks I wasn’t as keen on purely because I don’t like smokey flavoured tastes. This included the 3 Year Old Infused White Rum, Wood Smoked Pineapple, Raisins, Aromatic Tonic and Fruit Shashlik, which in the photos below you can see them distilling and infusing the rum, and the Gin and Oolong Tea Martini. The martini contained ginger and pepper in the oolong which gave quite an interesting taste. I must say, all of the drinks I’m mentioning in this post were all presented so wonderfully with little details in each drink that stand them out from the rest.
The last drink we tried was the Bottled Cocktail – Rum, Chocolate and Coffee. As the name of this drink suggests, it tastes of chocolate and coffee. It reminds me quite a lot of an iced coffee. It’s odd as when I went to drink this for some reason I kind of expected it to be a thicker consistency but the drink was actually really thin and super cold!
Alongside the four drinks, we were also gifted lunch which was such a nice surprise. The food was actually incredible it was all so flavoursome and tasty, I was really impressed by it all! We had some chicken samosas, masala chips, smoked duck and red onion red wine jus on a coriander and parmesan spiced ciabatta, baileys cheesecake and gin granita mango sorbet. There were also vegetarian and vegan options available.
Overall the afternoon was such a success, the drinks were like nothing I’ve tried before and all so unique in their own way and the food was delicious! If you are wanting to try some different flavours and tastes that you can’t find anywhere else, then this is the place to go. Also, if you are more of an ale or beer drinker then they produce their own locally in the Forest of Dean. So, if you are in the local Cheltenham area then definitely pop in and try out their wonderful menu for yourself.
Have you been into the Memsahib Gin and Tea Bar before? For more information on the menu and their story, see their website at www.memsahibginandteabar.com or their twitter @memsahibgin. Thanks for reading,
Check out Charlotte’s blog here.