Circo Bar has one of the most extensive back bars, with a stunning array of cocktails on offer, as well as a comprehensive champagne, wine and spirits list, served by charming and knowledgeable characters, whether you're a born and bred Bathtonian or a weekend visitor, it really is the place to head to.
At the helm, is bar manager Julia with a team of staff who love all things mixology. Julia instills a love and fun of spirits, as well as looking to continually build the bar tenders confidence and knowledge within mixology. In-house cocktail competitions are run to motivate and increase the staff's awareness and knowledge of spirits; how each spirit can work (or not work) in different cocktails. Learning how to best craft and create a new cocktail, how to taste and explore flavour profiles as well as presenting drinks in a creative and appealing way - all key to building the team's mixology experience.
The winners of the competitions even have the chance of becoming a guest cocktail on the main
One such winner, is Georgie's family-inspired cocktail, her Baba's Old Toddy; Georgie's take on an Old Fashion with a warm twist!
"One week this winter, the bar ordered a bottle of rhubarb bitters, which instantly made me think of my Nan who grew rhubarb at the bottom of her garden. When she passed away my mum continued this tradition and with the rhubarb bitters in stock it made me think of adding it to an Old Fashioned and making a warm version.
We had to use Wild Turkey 101 as a requirement of the competition and it all just came together as a way to take inspiration from my Baba. A warm wintery drink that customers could sit back and enjoy after coming in out of the cold." described Georgie, who's nan is of Russian descent so she enjoyed developing this classic cocktail and making it more relevant with all this inspiration.
Baba's Old Toddy:
Simply stir all of the ingredients together is boiling water whilst adding the rhubarb cordial, serve in a decorative china cup and decorate with a dash of cinnamon.
Mixed for us by Kate, a firm favourite with customers is Circo Bar's Wild Cucumber. A Hendrick's Martini sweetened with Elderflower that offers a fresh and healthier feel to a cocktail but remaining familiar and flavoursome. As part of their bar training each of the bar tenders becomes a champion for a different spirit with the task to learn all about that spirit: its story, history and flavour profiles so they share the load and help every other member of the bar develop their subject knowledge in order to provide creative talking points with customers.
Julia and Kate both see the value in the popularity of Hendrick's, the familiarity of its flavour whilst still being a premium spirit that people opt for over some of the house pours. Kate tells us, that this particular cocktail favourite of the bar has changed over time, in 2017 they decided to remove the lime cordial so as to remove a touch of sweetness as customers want fresher cocktails, a trend that is becoming more prevalent.
Wild Cucumber Martini:
Stir with ice in a glass, transfer to a Martini glass and garnish with a cucumber twirl.
Gazing into 2018, Julia describes where the bar is going. Her goals are to build on their cocktail menu (Baba's Old Toddy is going on whilst it's still chilly) and to build the bar as an events venue for the local people of Bath. And they're certainly going to be busy with visiting DJs from London, movie nights every Wednesday, acoustic nights that support and highlight the talent of Bath and a live Cuban night as a flavour of what's to come, it certainly feels like the busy London vibe has stretched its tendrils south-westerly!