They had me at ‘Rhubarb & Custard Vodka’ – and damn, it was good too.
So when local tasty booze merchants Espensen Spirit announced that they would be opening a bar in my old stomping ground of Easton (well, Whitehall, but it’s only a hop skip and a jump away) I was overjoyed.
Bristol Spirit opened at the start of 2017 and has been doing a fine trade in cocktails, pop-ups and dog-friendly shenanigans ever since.
The place itself is cosy and welcoming – owner Sam Espensen designed the cushions on the booths herself and had them made by a talented local lady (if you’re nice Sam will show you the photo album from when they redeveloped the building) and there is only room for 30 or so people in the bar at any given time, so it never feels too raucous. It’s got a lush local corner bistro charm to it that I really like.
The bar has played host to many pop-ups in its kitchen this year, but when I popped in recently it was the turn of Wing’s Diner, who make it their business to provide the good folk of Bristol with fried chicken with an Asian kick.
I’ve had a few hit and miss experiences with fried chicken recently, so I was keeping an open mind on this one – but I needn’t have worried, the chicken we got was succulent, well coated in a light and crispy batter, and really flavoursome. Spot on.
I got to try not just the Korean style spicy sauce (a bit sweet for my taste, but not dissimilar to a sweet & sour Chinese sauce with a bit of a zing), but also the peanut sauce (ohh yeah) and the sriracha mayo (my fave of the trilogy).
The fries were also well seasoned, and the blue rice that you can opt to have with the chicken was also tasty and fun to look at. But the real star was that chicken. Oooof.
Once we were done with munching our way through half the menu, we moved on to the cocktails – I opted for one which featured that yummy rhubarb & custard vodka, but there are always a good handful of boozy and alcohol-free options for you to choose from.
It was after this that we were challenged to a the bar’s latest addition: Prosecco Pong.
Yes, you’ve heard and possibly experienced the destructive forces of Beer Pong, and now Bristol Spirit is allowing you to wreak havoc on yourself and your friends with Prosecco. Of course we would have to have a go.
As it turns out, I’m pretty good at Prosecco Pong – and I implore you all to have a go, it’s way better than necking cheap American beer.
If you want a tasty few drinks in a friendly and relaxed setting, I’d definitely recommend Bristol Spirit – it’s worth keeping an eye to their events (they have regular film nights and a monthly Pudding Club!), and also making sure you check out Wing’s Diner the next time they pop up near you too.
That chicken tho. Daaaamn.