Fruitful festivities: Turtle Bay Christmas cocktail review
Cleo Gravett chronicles her tasting journey at Turtle Bay Exeter, offering her opinion on the best Christmas cocktails to try out.
Turtle Bay have welcomed in the festive season with five brand new cocktails, and I was lucky enough to get the chance to sample and tell you all about them!
First up was the Jamrock Punch (gin, passion fruit, strawberry, apple, grapefruit and fresh lime) — this was right up my street, with a well-earned name, as it tastes just like strawberry jam! Dark pink in colour, and served with plenty of ice and a wedge of lime, this drink is fresh and fruity, perfect for someone who wants to join in with the festivities but doesn’t want to drink too much. I could drink ten of these (and I already had two due to my visit just-so-happening to coincide with the 2-4-1 Happy Hour…).
I then moved onto the Tobago Tea (white rum, vodka, tequila, gin, grapefruit, mango and fresh lime). This is the lethal one. After being nicely warmed up by the Jamrock, this packed the real punch. A pleasantly juicy base of grapefruit, mango and lime only just manages to cloak the vast amount of alcohol in the glass, but if you’re looking for an efficient drink, here is where you will find it. Two sips of this and I was already feeling a buzz. Two full glasses and you’d be dancing on the bar.
— if you’re looking for an efficient drink, here is where you will find it.
Hot on its heels was the Caribbean Candy Sour (golden rum, amaretto and blend, green melon liquor, apple, grapefruit, and fresh lime). This was a little bougie, and a gorgeous light green colour thanks to the melon liquor. Sweet, with a pleasant sour kick, it was the smoothest tasting of the cocktails I tried. Reading the ingredients, I was a little wary as I’m not a fan of melon, but my trepidation was unwarranted — it was delicious. Here is also where the sips really started to go to my head, so apologies if the rest of this review is incomprehensible. I ordered some food to mitigate the boozy storm to come, and the chilli squid I had was fruity, spicy, and most importantly for a drunk eat, fried. Would definitely recommend. Back to the cocktail, the Caribbean Candy Sour is for sure the dark horse of the cocktail menu — it’s the third one I tried, but the first one I finished, a moreish crowd-pleaser.
Sweet, with a pleasant sour kick, it was the smoothest tasting of the cocktails I tried.
Next I tried the Ting Wray (Wray & Nephew whiskey, white rum, and, you guessed it, grapefruit and lime). Served with a chic chunk of grapefruit, this cocktail has whiskey, and is therefore automatically sophisticated, even if you’re three sheets to the wind at this point (I was maybe one and a half). It’s tart, and you can definitely taste the whiskey and the grapefruit — where the other cocktails are show-offs, this one is no frills.
— where the other cocktails are show-offs, this one is no frills.
I saved the Dessert Island (a salted caramel martini, dark rum, Tia Maria, cold brew coffee, salted caramel sauce and vanilla) until last, as one saves pudding until after the main meal (granted, the “meal” in this case was a banquet of fruity booze). It also acted as a much-needed coffee pick-me-up at the end of an indulgent evening. It smelled phenomenal, and tasted like ice cream, which potentially explains why it’s the only non-vegan cocktail I tried. The sweet-toothed drinker, fan of Piña Coladas and Baileys, will have a field day with the Dessert Island, as it very much lives up to its name. It teeters on the right side of being sickly, with faint underlying kick of coffee. You can’t taste the alcohol, and if anything it feels like a remedy for the rest of the booze — a spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down.
Turtle Bay offer a number of alcohol free cocktails as well, and have launched an exciting student deal, where you can get two free cocktails if you download the Turtle Bay app using the link https://turtlebay.co.uk/students. I’ll definitely be back at the Bay soon!