The Old City is a cocktail of all the ingredients that make Bristol great: a pinch of retro clothing store, add a teaspoon of old Georgian architecture, fused with a fragrant trail of incense and topped off with a shimmering sprinkle of crystal stands.
However, this heady cocktail is about to get shaken up by the arrival of Brozen Bar. This venue promises to serve everything you knew about cocktails on ice but with a new, refreshing and classy twist.
Brozen Bar is the latest concoction of Joe and Ben, familiar faces of the market with their ice cream parlour - Brozen Stand. However, Brozen Bar is set to introduce the cool wonders of liquid nitrogen to 43 St Nicolas Street.
Arriving into the quaint and comfortable abode, the first thing that strikes you is the metallic tank to the left hand side. Dials and gauges intact, this centerpiece of Joe and Ben’s business reminds you that this isn’t just any ordinary cocktail bar.
At Brozen bar you won’t find any distracting “found” objects cluttering the walls and confusing the mis-en-scene: Bristol is arguably already over-saturated by these types of venues. Instead you find a Hygge inspired interior: a Scandinavian ethos of a minimalist and uncluttered style, welcoming you in with its un-garish dressing, calming beige tones complemented by gentle lighting on spacious tables, providing a comfortable capacity of 20 covers.
The lack of distracting decor is a clear statement: a bar that’s confident in its own skin.
Enjoying a touch of theatricality, we watched in awe as the bartender really shook up the process of cocktail making. From Brozen’s homemade lemon sorbet and locally sourced Bristol dry gin, our drinks emerged from clouds of mist into a delicious sorbet, all as if it was straight out of ‘stars in their eyes’. We took note, as Brozen Bars’ own take on the classic Gin and Tonic took centre stage.
This method of using liquid nitrogen to freeze, as Joe delights in informing us with a contagious passion and enthusiasm, is revolutionary in maintaining the perfect texture to the sorbets that Brozen Bar uses in their cocktails. It further aids the blend of alcohol and not to mention accentuates flavour.
The texture went a long way in aiding taste; smooth without an overpowering flavour of gin. The blend of the lemon sorbet, left a beautiful zest that doesn’t fade spoonful after spoonful, all the while as you get pleasantly merrier with each helping.
With each sample tasting, the more the benefits of this entrepreneurial-take proved itself: the gin perfectly held within the sorbet, instead of draining to the bottom. This being the common qualm of the conventional method of just adding shots to a sorbet, instead the blend was perfected and frozen harmoniously, marrying the two elements.
Looking through the rest of the menu, Brozen Bar have all the classics on offer including margaritas, daiquiris - this is to be expected of any cocktail bar worth its salt, right?
Factoring in the attention of detail attributed to the drink making aspect, you understand that each ingredient is frozen at different temperatures, and to get this right requires more than a hipster barman armed with a mere shake: At Brozen your barman is a scientist.
Rested and content in the tranquil lighting, we enjoyed display after display of Brozen’s new fusion of high tech dessert and cocktails. Returning to the outside world through hazes of mist, the performance had ended and what an appetising show it had been, as we had witnessed a new movement in the art of cocktail making.
Photo credits: Laurence Dean and Will Best