BYOC Brighton; a taste of the 1920’s*
I’m the first to admit I’ve got a bit of a thing for the 20’s era. The record player is a centre piece in the lounge, my copy of Gatsby is well and truly falling apart and it’s always been a huge influence on my style. Introducing BYOC, or if you aren’t familiar with the acronym, Bring Your Own Cocktail. Intrigued? You should be…
Hidden away in the maze of The Lanes, Brighton, this little gem is the closest thing you’ll find to a 1920’s speakeasy. Ring the bell and you’ll be ushered inside and led down into a wonderland of vintage, art deco style. Think pianos, record players and even a secret cinema all tucked underground. After a tour and a quick chat, we took our seats and were introduced to Henry, general manager and all round whizz when it comes to mixology. At BYOC, you bring the alcohol (we went for Whisky and a good old spiced Rum) and they bring the flavours, mixing up drinks to suit your taste.
Henry told us all about their home-made bitters and talked through the kind of flavours we like best. Then he got to work whipping up some incredible concoctions. Sessions are 2 hours long and we managed to fit four cocktails and a shot each into the time. Don’t go in expecting vodka and coke though, this place is all about adventure. There’s so much attention to detail, from the exposed brickwork to the music. They even played the Ink Spots who always remind me of my wonderful grandparents – it certainly put a smile on my face.
Onto the drinks? Everything pretty much blew my mind. I’m a huge fan of refreshing fruity flavours, where as the OH loves smokey drinks. I started of with a fruity rum punch before moving on to a cucumber and cranberry concoction. The next was a combination of artichoke and orange bitters (you HAVE to try this one) and smoked maple flavours. My last drink was made with ‘Spring Loaded’ bitters which they make from all the left over fruit so nothing gets wasted!
I got the chance to ask Henry a few questions so listen up if your planning on making a trip! His favourite spirit to mix is gin by itself (definitely my choice of tipple for next time) or Whiskey and Vermouth (think a classic Manhattan). Favourite cocktail? No surprise it’s a Manhattan or a Negroni. I was intrigued how someone becomes a mixologist and it turns out Henry started bar tending whilst doing his degree and just kind of fell into it.
I want to thank the amazing team at BYOC for a beyond incredible evening. If you’re in Brighton I would definitely recommend checking it out. There are two more BYOC bars in London so I’ll certainly be stopping by when I’m next in the city! BYOC charge £25/pp for two-hour sittings and you’ll want to book in advance HERE. So grab a group of friends and the team will be more than happy to mix up cocktails, punch bowls and rounds of shots!
Do you like the idea of BYOC? Heard of it or been there before? What’s your favourite cocktail? Lets chat about it in the comments below!