You can’t beat a good cocktail. The market for them has been growing year on year, and more places are waking up to the fact that cocktails are some of the most popular drinks on the menu. Bars dedicated to experimental concoctions are popping up all over the place. Gone are the days of a plain old martini, today’s cocktails are bright, fruity and just a little bit out there. Nowhere embodies this spirit quite like Turtle Bay. Turtle Bay’s cocktails are gorgeous Caribbean drinks to match their themed menus.
As a cocktail bar and restaurant, their venues are known for their Caribbean theme and social dining spaces. It is not that they have a huge list of cocktails on their menu (their standard ‘food and drink’ menu contains 28 cocktail options), it is the combination of classic favourites – a mai tai, a mojito, an espresso martini – with things that are a bit more experimental. For example, why not try their ‘Rum Runner’, with dark rum and amaretto combined with blackberry, banana and lemon juice. Or, if you prefer something sweeter, a ‘Guilty Pleasure’ – rum cream, rum caramel sauce, banana, vanilla and coconut milk.
As a side note, if it hasn’t become clear yet then it will as soon as you go, Turtle Bay specialise in rum. Not only do most of their cocktails contain some variety of it, they also have a separate rum menu, where guests can choose from anything from high-street brands to truly high-end.
If you like cocktails, this place is a must-try. Most of their drinks are vegan (the only one that isn’t has cream in it) and they serve a range of delicious food. Whatever your taste, they have something for you, but there are a few of their drinks that I would recommend to anyone. Some of our favourites are classics, others of the increasingly popular experimental variety.
Our top five favourite Turtle Bay cocktails are:
1. Passion Rum Punch
Sweet and tangy, this is a fun drink similar to a passionfruit martini. Made with dark rum, passionfruit, orange and lemon juices and bitters, it is great for fans of fruity drinks without an overload of sugar. It goes really well with a light meal and isn’t too strong.
This is my personal favourite. The Tingaling contains prosecco, elderflower, grapefruit crush and gin, so it is a bit stronger than others on the list. The sweetness of the elderflower pairs really well with the bitter gin and grapefruit, making it tasty without being too sweet or bitter. I would drink this with a heavier meal because of the fizz, but it is also nice on its own.
3. Jumbled Julep
Made with white rum, passionfruit, apple juice and strawberry and topped with mint, the Jumbled Julep is a delicious twist on the classic Mint Julep. It is probably the sweetest cocktail on our list, but it is smooth and refreshing, one that can be enjoyed with a meal or just for drinks.
4. Espresso Martini
In general, the espresso martini is something that I wouldn’t personally choose. However, Turtle Bay makes theirs with dark rum (although a classic version with vodka or gin is available) and this makes it smoother and I am a definite fan. It is the most bitter of any on our list and very flavourful, so might be better without a meal (their jerk chicken is amazing but not a flavour that mixes well with coffee).
5. Marley Mojito
Although they do a regular mojito, their Marley Mojito is refreshing and tasty, a fun reinvention of the classic drink. Made with Cockspur rum, watermelon and ginger beer, it has both sweet and sour notes. Great for anyone who wants something a bit different or a bit less sweet.
There is something for everyone on Turtle Bay’s cocktail menu. Sweet, sour, bitter or even non-alcoholic: they offer a range of six ‘virgin’ cocktails in different flavours., (although my favourite is raspberry reggae). With over forty venues across the UK, Turtle Bay is a fun and social place to enjoy time with friends, whether that be dinner and drinks or bottomless brunch. Their drinks are reasonably priced and, with two-for-one happy hour (up until 7 pm every day, and then 9.30/10 – close), you can try out different cocktails to find one that you love.