A great cocktail is more than the sum of its parts – ¬ it requires structure, integrity, and a lot of experimentation. It is that alchemy, that extra out of the box experimentation that I love about spirits and cocktails! They bring people together, inspire conversation, and create instinctual memories amongst friends. THE THIRSTY BARBER in St Julians, Malta is a bar I have been to quite a few times this year. It is my current favourite canvas to test cocktail recipes, flavour combinations, and innovative techniques by the talented bar team.
HOT NEWS: The Thirsty Barber has just launched an exciting offer! Every day between 6pm and 9pm, all cocktails on the menu are discounted by 30% and they call it the Depression Hour.
This great “depressing” news called for yet another excuse to gather a couple of friends for a mid-week cocktail tasting opportunity and a night out! So, I invited Francisco, my sexy Venezuelan friend who danced with me in the video Together is Better and my beautiful radiant friend, fitness enthusiast Ana Klaro. To my glee, they both accepted to join me at very short notice and Hola! A few days after my phone call, we met at Thirsty Barber and I had that feeling it was gonna be one of those great nights!
I wore this playful outfit by Mangano including some colour pop and sparkles to reflect my mood, and I had my make up done by MAC at Debenhams @ The Point and was so looking forward to this because I have been so busy lately, I made no time to catch up with these spicy friends.
The Thirsty Barber for those of you who don’t know is situated in a quiet road in Paceville, just round the corner from The Avenue Restaurant. We arrived at 7 pm to find the mixology team smiling away behind the bar, preparing some ingredients and garnishes. In this venue, the ingredients and mixers used to prepare the creations, including fresh flowers and herbs are prepared systematically, way in advance, sometimes two days prior. It is no surprise that the cocktails look so pretty as much as they taste good, and you cannot help but take like a 100 photos before you taste them! Yes they are very Instagram friendly too!
When you do taste them the flavours that hit your palette make you wonder what the others taste like, so you get trying other ones and you will get seriously addicted to the interesting and unique blends and you might need to order a taxi home 😉 The mixology team are very friendly and much to our pleasure, we were given a briefing about each and every cocktail we tasted. Here they are!
Pear Old Fashioned
A fruity twist on their “Bootleggers” timeless classic, it consist of Maker’s Mark Straight Bourbon, their home-made pear and apricot liqueur, demerara sugar, fresh orange juice and finished off by molasses and aromatic bitters.
Stolichnaya Vanilla Cheesecake
My absolute fave!! This cocktail is falling into category of new style Martini. With its sweetness, citrusy notes and divine deepness of vanilla, this cocktail can be the perfect start of your evening or it can give perfect finish to your dinner. Stolichnaya Pure vodka is complemented by sweetness and spiciness of Madagascan vanilla represented by Galiano Vanilla liqueur. Fresh orange juice and fresh Brazilian lime juice brings freshness and lights things up a little!
Butterfly Pea Flower Infused Gin
Their barber has travelled far wide to bring back some of the finest and most unusual ingredients and oh my goodness, was he successful. In the far east he found a little tiny flower, so beautiful and clever even the great David Copperfield was left paling with envy. This gin for gin lovers is a must-try!
Genever gin, Elderflower liqueur and lime juice. Strained into Collins glass topped with soda. You have an option to add a few drops of creme de cassis added for your taste.
Spiced in house rum, fresh pineapple juice, maraschino liqueur and pomegranate infused syrup, with a dash of ‘barber-made’ sweet and sour as a summery touch.
Fresh cucumber mixed with Irish Whiskey and a touch of elderflower liqueur, fresh lime juice and just a dash of simple syrup. Shaken all up and fine strained into an old fashioned tumbler.
If you love chocolate, this will be your new addiction. This dessert cocktail is perfect after dinner drink, if you have skipped dessert. The Thirsty ‘barber-made’ Nutella liqueur with extra portion of Grey Goose and Frangelico, topped up with Alcoholic whipping cream and Swiss chocolate shavings is one divine drink we all enjoyed a lot! Especially Francisco who took three.
To conclude, I must say that these cocktails are extraordinary. Every time I visit, they never disappoint, and I will challenge of you to try to find another place that serves cocktails of this calibre on the island and let me know about them because I love a premium cocktail. The décor of the venue is extremely trendy and cosy and I would recommend you book a table in advance if you are a party of more than 5 persons and check out their Facebook Page because they often have bands or entertainment free of charge for lovers of music. We felt so comfortable that we danced for hours into the night to some Charleston-style music, and then we also had some fun behind the bar as you can see from some of the photos that I am allowed to show you haha. Thanks goes to my friends Francisco and Ana who always bring out the best in me and for their awesome company. It was one amazing night and we will most definitely be back for Depression Hour! 😉
Stay tuned for more discoveries in Malta and beyond at graziellecamilleri.com