It has been seven weeks now since I left Southampton for the summer, unless you count the overnight stay I had a little while ago that didn’t amount to anything major. So allow this time now to reminisce on a Sunday afternoon that I spent in the company of four very dear compatriots of mine – Jon Appleby, Dean Connor, Lina Edvardsson Ceder and Jacob Flynn – at the Caribbean restaurant in the heart of Southampton – Turtle Bay. It was a Cocktail Hour of grand proportions as the previous two instalments of this series will tell you (see The Cocktail Column Turtle Bays’s Cocktail Collection Vol.1 and The Cocktail Column: Turtle Bay’s Cocktail Collection Vol. 2). Two-for-one on all cocktails from 12 until 7, and from 10 until close. Greatly appealing as you can imagine.
Caribbean Pimms (see pictured) is the only beverage I have not mentioned from our day-long trip down this restaurant, and was probably one of the only cocktails I did not myself recommend to Lina and Dean, who were sharing rounds. Like regular Pimms, I suppose those of you who are familiar with it, this drink has what you would call an acquired taste. I don’t really like it myself – for one thing there’s too many obstacles in the glass to weave around – the fresh fruit and the mint. And second of all I’m not over-keen on the flavour. I need something either strong and full of kick, or something light and refreshing. As far as I’m concerned, Pimms presents none of those things.
I turn now to the following day, when Lina and Dean were no doubt dead from the effects of the eclectic alcoholic mixture they had consumed – Jon and Jacob had remained sober all day. I was in fine spirits, much to my surprise, and to that effect I chanced upon my old friend Ellie Wicks, without whom I would not have known about Turtle Bay in the first place. She was in Southampton for her boyfriend’s birthday, and this little Caribbean restaurant happens to be a favourite haunt of theirs. With no time to lose, there were more cocktails out – to my surprise cream-based ones, such as the Koko Colada (see pictured). This one is made up of Koko Kanu – a form of Coconut Rum similar to Malibu, but is mixed with pineapple, coconut and the aforementioned cream and finished with grated nutmeg. Albeit unusual, the flavours are delightfully refreshing.
The Hummingbird was the other banana-flavoured creamy beverage I was brought upon this visit (see pictured). The cocktail menu on Turtle Bay’s website is not helpful in that it only gives away only a fraction of the drinks on offer, so I cannot shed any more light as to what was in it.
All I can say is that this particular drink was like a banana milkshake with a good kick at the end of the swallow.