Type of Bar: Gelato, Sorbet
Ideal For: Date, Small Groups
Anyone who’s been down to Greenwich Market has seen the queues into the gelateria on College Approach, and with the coming of summer, Black Vanilla has expanded their offerings into the cocktail world!
Readers will recognise Black Vanilla from the Hoodooist’s Guide to Greenwich (Click HERE!)
In partnership with World of Zing’s world food emporium (you might remember their flavoured salts at El Nivel: Click HERE!), the upstairs at Black Vanilla is officially for #GrownUps! Painstakingly chosen summery sorbets are paired alongside Zing’s ready-to-drink bottled cocktails.
Perched on a high-winged armchair beside the fireplace, under crystal chandelier overlooking Greenwich, a sorbet and cocktail pairing come at about 7.50-8.50 GBP on Fridays-Sundays, till a glorious 11PM.
The first round brings in a Persian Lime & Nori Seaweed Margarita, paired with a Kiwi Sorbetto: Ocho Blanco and Reposado tequila mixed in with agave syrup for a Tommy’s Margarita, then World of Zing’s Dried Persian Lime and Nori Seaweed infusion added in. The Persian lime seems to heighten the citrus notes of the Margarita, with a fairly powerful bite, blending well the light saltiness of the Nori. When paired with a lightly textured kiwi, the sweetness of the sorbetto is highlighted wonderfully.
Probably the Hoodooist’s favourite: the award winning Bordeaux Barrel Aged Negroni brings Tanqueray Export Strength to Gancia Rosso Vermouth, Campari and Zing Bespoke Serenity Bitters. It’s good to see Gancia Rosso being used, it doesn’t make much of an appearance in many bars these days. The aromatic Gancia comes through well in the Negroni as the aging allows the vermouth to mature, powering past the strong flavours of the Campari. When paired with the spectacularly refreshing and lively Sicilian Lemon Sorbetto, you get a confident, and certainly Grown Up, couple.
Now this one was interesting, the Steel Aged Manhattan: Bulleit Rye Whiskey, Gancia Rosso Vermouth, Zing Bespoke Anaesthetic Brandy & Zing Bespoke Euphoric Bitters. You will want to be specific about your garnish! Using either a fresh or a maraschino cherry can alter the flavour of your drink entirely.
When served with a fresh cherry, expect to have the vermouth and brandy take centre stage, with the woody roundedness heightened. When served with a maraschino cherry, the mineral and biting Bulleit Rye will make itself known – and these are from the same bottle!
A classic rye Manhattan, paired with a supremely creamy Black Cherry Sorbetto, powerfully sweet to take the edge off the Manhattan.
Finally, the Blackberry and Tamarind Rum Punch is a truly unique combo. The rum is softened with blackberries, then married with the tangy flavours of tamarind, with a touch of honey and chamomile water to provide a smooth, sweet cocktail to pair with the rich Mango Sorbetto.
Finally, a surprise visit from a cocktail and sorbet in one! The Barrel Aged Negroni Sorbet is a double whammy at a whopping 6% ABV, and communicates the Negroni wonderfully, tinted pink with hibiscus.
A fun, unique, and frankly, invaluable, addition to Greenwich, Grown Ups took an already excellent gelato bar and presented us with something fantastic. Here’s to hoping Grown Ups has found a permanent residence at Black Vanilla.
Kudos to both Black Vanilla and World of Zing for little something for the grownups to enjoy!