I had the pleasure of attending a Press tasting for the Nairobi Cocktail Week on 5th September. I have been bee busy during the week and I kept promising myself that I would attend the event in any outlet across Nairobi. The weather during the past few days has been abnormally chilly and it was thwarting my efforts to go sample the cocktails. The host was Brian Owango who was the man behind Nairobi Cocktail Week. He gave a brief statement on the NCW idea and how he brought it to fruition.
Brian said, “The Nairobi Cocktail Week idea is something that I have wanted to do for a long time. I believe that Nairobi has come of age because the numbers have been remarkable. This is an event to unleash the potential that Nairobi has. It is an event to showcase cocktails and an avenue for people to have fun. Cocktail enthusiasts can get their favorites at a flat rate of 400kshs”.
When I heard of the NCW2014, I was ecstatic because I have always wished for something like this closer home. I have been an ardent and keen follower of the London Cocktail Week which I so enthusiastically talked about here. NCW is a celebration of the cocktail culture in Nairobi. This culture is burgeoning at a fast pace and it has seen many outlets incorporating more cocktails in their in-house menu. Nairobi Cocktail Week was in conjunction with Aqueous Mobile Bar. The menu is so impeccable and it will feature the best cocktails for 400kshs. I believe that this is a great deal for the cocktail buffs in Kenya. On a normal day, cocktails range from 700kshs to 900kshs depending on the outlet and the cocktail. The cocktails will be based on four brands Absolut, Beefeater, Jameson and Havana Club Rum. The brands are diverse for there is vodka, gin, whisky and rum in this portfolio. Luxardo is providing the Sambuca shooters.
My favorite cocktail of all was the Absolut Cranapple. I watched the bartender make it from scratch. He filled a highball glass with ice and added a mixture of Absolut vodka, cranberry juice and apple juice which he had in a shaker. He later garnished with strawberry. I loved that it was fruity, sweet and it still had a small kick from the Absolut Vodka. I think that Absolut is a great base for vodka cocktails. I spotted most guys going for the Jamie cocktails while the ladies opted for the Absolut Cranapple and the Absolut Fruitini. The Fruitini was so girly pink and it had a fresh taste to it.
Easy Taxi was our source of transport for the evening. With the erratic rains and chilly weather, you don’t want to waste time looking for transport. Thankfully, just when the clouds were about to give, Easy Taxi was there to pick us up and drop us to the venue for free. Do you hate arguing with cab drivers who charge exorbitant prices to drop you home? With Easy taxi you will get an affordable, safe and stress-free ride home. I am loving this initiative because you just have to download the App on your phone and you can call for a taxi anytime. The company has fixed rates for given distances and there is no way that the driver will overcharge you. Take advantage of this deal. Follow them on twitter.
Here is the list of the 25 participating outlets
- Cin Cin, at the Fairmont, Norfolk Hotel.
- Eagles, at Ole Sereni Hotel.
- Arfa Lounge, at IMAX Theatres.
- Mercury, ABC Place.
- Seven, ABC & Village Market.
- Aqua Blue
- The Tree House
- Ebony Lounge
- Sarabi, at Sankara Hotel
- Balcony Bar at Villa Rosa Kempinski
- The Talisman
- Que Pasa
- The Purdy Arms
- The Vineyard
- Tribe Hotel
- WWW, Junction Mall.
- Explorer, The Whiskey Den.
- Pampa Grill
- Brew Bistro
- The Wine Shop
- Mercury the Last Drop, Junction Mall.
- Monikos Restaurant, Valley Arcade Shopping Centre.
Here are a few cocktails that are available during NCW at Balcony Bar at Villa Rosa Kempinski .
Good news, Nairobi Cocktail Week was extended to September 14th. You have no excuse.