Top 50 Cocktail Bars

What to expect at this year’s Birmingham Cocktail Weekend

Birmingham Cocktail Weekend (8-10 July) is just a week away and we’ve got an inside scoop of what you can expect this year

Charli Tomney | 01/07/2022

The celebration of Birmingham’s bar scene is back for its 8th year with more fantastic bars highlighting cocktail talent across the city. The city hosts 2 Top 50 Cocktail Bars, number 44, The Pineapple Club in Great Western Arcade and Newcomer of the Year, Ikigai in the Jewellery Quarter, who are both taking part this year.

With over 40 handpicked bars to choose from, this year is set to be bigger and better than ever. Your Birmingham Cocktail Weekend wristband will allow you entry to each participating bar and will give you access to an exclusive cocktail made just for the celebrations for just £5! Throughout the city there will be tastings, entertainment and of course fantastic cocktails.

The Pineapple Club are celebrating this weekend with a delicious ‘Summer Spark’ made of Roku Gin, Italicus, lemon, cloudy apple and jasmine tea.

Owner Sam Boulton said ‘being a high-profile event which attracts thousands of people to the city (some visiting us for their first time), we wanted to use this as a change to really show off a small company we love. Our drink is themed around a jasmine tea, this is a cold brewed sparkling jasmine tea from a local tea company Saicho. The drink has been designed to complement this unique tea flavours, we have added gin, bergamot (common in earl grey tea) and grapefruit. It’s a beautiful delicate crowd pleaser we know is going to go down well’.

The bar made it onto this year’s list with their well-thought-out cocktail concepts and hospitality. Since the announcement earlier this year the team have recently opened Shibuya Underground, a Japanese cocktail and Sake bar. The new bar isn’t taking part in this year’s festivities but is a definite must-visit when in Birmingham with 6-course tasting menus available in an intimate setting.
Pineapple interiorIkigai are keeping to their Japanese traditions with their ‘Koshu’ which combines Haku vodka with bell pepper, green chilli and pear.

Owner Luke Bensley says ‘At Ikigai we are all about using savoury flavours in our drink to contrast against sweeter flavours, we feel this adds depth and the results is a drink that keeps your intestines the entire time you are drinking.

This drink uses one of my favourite flavours, bell pepper, it manages to be sweet and savoury at the same time naturally, so with this drink it was all about making those natural flavours shine’.

The bar snapped up Newcomer of the year spot with their dedication to the craft, excellent service and passion for the industry. The venue is well designed and self-described as a ‘bar within a bar’ sitting above 1000 trades in the Jewellery Quarter. Inspired by Izakaya culture (post-work informal drinks with snacks), the bar has a well put together menu including Japanese spirits and sakes.

We’ll be taking a tour of some of this year’s new bars so keep an eye on our Instagram for some behind the scenes looks.