The Christmas Menu

The time has come for us to release our very first Christmas menu, so let’s get in the festive spirit – with some festive spirits!

You will find a Christmas story that will be slowly released via our Facebook and Instagram page. Every drink is based on a character that you would find at a Christmas party, and every single cocktail on the Christmas menu has an equally delicious vegan alternative.

Chase Marmalade Vodka – Mulled Wine (v) – Christmas Spices

First up we have the “Pity Invite”. We all know this character, the ones that tug on your heartstrings with their big puppy dog eyes as you’re explaining all of your exciting holiday plans. If you don’t know this person we are sorry to say that it’s you…

Makers Mark – Baileys Pumpkin Spice – Homemade Eggnog – Coffee (vegan alternative available)

Next up is “The Basic Bitch” with her pumpkin spiced latte, Michael Kors handbag and saggy Ugg boots, Daddy can buy you all the things in the world sweetheart but he can’t buy you a personality. She’s the one most likely to get engaged on Christmas day with a Pandora ring.

Roku Japanese gin – Gabriel Boudier Coings  – Brenne Whisky – Dessert Wine – White Grape

“BAH HUMBUG” complains that old wanker slouched in the corner. They always have something negative to say “christmas is just for consumers nowadays!” or “Christmas cards are a ripoff! no one even reads them, then they go in the bin”. This one is for you Scrooge.

Courvoisier VSOP – Cherry – Chocolate (v) – Raisin

In walks a stunner, an absolute 10 out of 10, with legs for days and long silky hair. It’s just a shame she’s your first cousin. It’s the “Pretty Girl”.

Smokey Laphroaig Whisky – Hazelnut – Maple – Butter (v)

“You don’t believe in Santa anymore, do you?” he asks an unsuspecting 4-year-old between snorts of whiskey. Not anymore, Uncle Greg. Not anymore.

Johnnie Walker Black – Cold Brew Coffee – Tonka – Dark Chocolate (v)

The Queen’s speech hasn’t even been on the telly yet and Jeff is already slurring his words and tripping over the dog. Somebody get “Pissed Up Jeff” a black coffee – quick!

Hot Chocolate (vegan alternative) – Cotswolds Creme (v) – Brugal 1888

Sat there in their Christmas jumper, sipping on hot chocolate and insisting that everyone wears their christmas cracker hats. “The Traditionalist”Scrooge’s worst enemy.

Evan Williams Bourbon – Orange Cognac – Caramelised Banana – Spices

The Christmas perv. He doesn’t care if the pretty girl is his first cousin or if his fathers’ new wife is technically his stepmom, he’s a red blooded male and boys will be boys. When the mistletoe’s out he’s sure to be about.


All of these drinks plus more will be available from Wednesday 7th November with prices being between £8 and £9 so they are a bargain as well as delicious.

See you there.

Brocktails! Be in it to win it!!

Want to win yourself a free bottle of Brockmans Gin!?!

It’s simple, we’ve got into the finals of a very cool cocktail competition.

All you need to do, is click here and vote for our cocktail the Sassy Lassy and comment tagging a friend you’ll want to share the bottle with! Winner will be announced on World Gin Day (9th June!).

Best bar In the Midlands?!

Over the moon to have been nominated for Best Cocktail Bar in the Midlands!

For those who don’t know…
The Midlands Food, Drink and Hospitality Awards was borne out of the Birmingham Food, Drink and Hospitality Awards which, due to popular demand, was expanded to include the whole of the Midlands’ great and deserving eateries.

Once known for the Industrial Revolution, the Midlands has undergone a complete transformation and now boasts numerous booming sectors, including business, technology, leisure, engineering and of course hospitality. With so many great eating establishments ranging from English dishes to Indian, Chinese, Thai, Lebanese, Italian, Turkish, Mexican and even more, there will be no shortage of worthy winners at the inaugural MFDH Awards.

We’ve been nominated along side our friends at Aluna, 400 Rabbits and The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel!

If you like what we’re doing and want to support a small independent, please vote!

Pornstars, Starwars and Gin

What do Pornstars, Starwars and Gin all have in common? They’re all events we have planned in May!

We’ve gone events mad this May, we have 6 planned all of which promise to be great! Below is a rundown in order of the evenings:

4th May: Starwars Day Party!
Pretty much what is says on the tin: Expect Themed drinks, Cantina music, and us to be geeking out….4pm till Late

5th May: Cinco De Mayo
Cinco de Mayo is an annual celebration held on 5th May. The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican Army’s unlikely victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla, on May 5, 1862.

We have teamed up with Espolon Tequila to bring you a Mexican themed evening and a special cocktail menu of Tequila drinks!

10th May: Cocktail Culture :: From The Beginning in partnership with The Birmingham Whisky Club

The Vanguard is teaming up with The Whisky Club for a series of creative events starting with From The Beginning.

Enjoy a night learning about and trying 4 historic cocktail tasters created by The Vanguard owner and cocktail expert, Samuel Boulton.

Not all drinks on the night will be whisky based so it is an event for cocktail enthusiasts of all types.

The line up is to be confirmed…

Cost: £20 standard or £15 members of The Birmingham Whisky Club*

Cocktails are 50ml.


7:00 pm – Tasting begins, you will then be led through a selection of different cocktails and get a chance to ask all of your burning questions throughout.

9:00 pm – Although the tasting is over, please feel free to stick around and try some other whiskies at the bar. Anything you were afraid to ask? Grab our resident expert and have all of your queries answered.

Terms & Conditions
No refunds or transfers. The event is strictly over 18’s Only. If you’re lucky enough to look under 25, please bring your photo ID to the event with you. Tickets are sent in e-ticket format. These don’t need to be printed but please have available on your phone on request.

*To order your Birmingham Whisky Club member ticket and claim a cracking £5 off, please enter your code on your membership letter in the “promotional code” box. If you need assistance, please email us and we will be happy to drop you a reminder. One discounted ticket available per member.

Tickers available here

11th/12 May: Masons Gin VS The Vermouth Ambassador

Gin and vermouth have lived in harmony for many years but now we need an answer, who is truly king. The new popular Gin or the 1000 year old Vermouth? Masons Gin has challenged our in-house Vermouth Ambassador to the challenge. Come enjoy a collection of drinks made especially for the evening and see which you prefer!

Throughout the weekend we’ll also be running an Instagram competition with the chance to win a visit to the Masons Distillery!

17th May: An Evening Inspired By Studio Ghibli

We have been inspired by so much when making drinks, Studio Ghibli inspired us to create one of our best selling cocktails so we’ve decided to devote a whole night to them and Hayao Miyazaki.

We will be showcasing 5 drinks through the event each inspired by a different Studio Ghibli film, as well as some interesting pairings all whilst listening to the beautiful music of Joe Hisaishi.

Tickets are £30 (IB Discount with card and code IBGhibli)

25th May: Meet The Maker – The Pornstar Martini

Douglas Ankrah the inventor of the Pornstar Martini will be here telling us about how he made one of the most recognisable modern cocktails. We’ll have a special price on Pornstar Martinis and Passionfruit Bellinis for the evening as well!

Up & Coming Events!

So we’re really keeping ourselves busy at the moment, we have two events to run past you!

Firstly is on the dreaded Friday 13th April!

French Apéritif Evening with UK Brand Ambassador Clotilde Lataille

We will be showcasing some amazing french brands Byrrh Grand Quinquina and Suze d’Autrefois with a special cocktail menu and have the UK brand Ambassador Clotilde Lataille on hand to share her experience and knowledge!

This evening promises to be a great introduction to how we use classic french sprits in modern cocktails! Reservations not necessary, but recommended.

The second event – and it’s a big one!

An Evening Inspired by Studio Ghibli

We have been inspired by so much when making drinks, Studio Ghibli inspired us to create one of our best selling cocktails so we’ve decided to devote a whole night to them and Hayao Miyazaki.

We will be showcasing 5 drinks through the event each inspired by a different Studio Ghibli film, as well as some interesting pairings all whilst listening to the beautiful music of Joe Hisaishi.

Tickets are £30 (£5 Discount with IB card and code IBGhibli)

The event is filling up quickly! Order your tickets here Don’t be disappointed!

In Collaboration with Nikka Whisky

To be kept up to date on all our events, promotions, offers and cocktail creations sign up to our newsletter here!

Win a free round!

Japanese Milk Punch, cocktail, Yuzu, Japan, Sake, Akashi Tai

We’re giving away a free round of cocktails (or Mead!) to 1 lucky winner this month! All you need to do is sign up to our newsletter (in the menu to the right or here) and we will be picking a winner at the end of the month!

We promise we won’t be spamming you, we plan to send out 3/4 emails a year and maybe the occasional event invite (like our studio Ghibli evening we have in the pipeline….hint hint)!

We’ll also be keeping you up to date with any changes we make, such as our opening hours which we have now extended:

Wednesday: 4pm – 11pm
Thursday: 4pm – 11pm
Friday: 4pm – 12pm
Saturday: 1pm – 12pm

New Cocktail!

This week sees the arrival of our long awaited Japanese Milk Punch! Designed in a true Japanese style, light, delicate but full of layers.

The main ingredients being Akashi Tai Honjozo Tokubetsu Sake & Ginjo Yuzushu, what does this mean?

Honjozo Sake has a rice polishing rate of 60%, this means they take 40% of the outer shell of the rice away to expose more of the starchy centre of the grain. Then a small amount of brewers alcohol is added to the final product.

Yuzu is a fantastic ingredient which we’re slightly obsessed with! Sweet, sour & sherbety Yuzu is a type of Japanese lemon, commonly found in Japanese and Korean cooking, we’re using a Sake based Yuzushu made from blending Yuzu juice, sake, alcohol and sugar. Yuzu is known for its oils which contain the majority of it’s flavour, hence the bottle is left unfiltered and needs a shake before usage.

The Japanese Milk Punch is available from Wednesday 4th while stocks last!

Japanese Milk Punch, cocktail, Yuzu, Japan, Sake, Akashi Tai
Japanese Milk Punch

Easter Weekend Shenanigans with Fernet Branca!

We’re excited to celebrate our first bank holiday with the illustrious Branca Family!

Our celebrations begin on the 28th March and will continue through to Easter Sunday; when we will be introducing the world to some of our favourite brands, such as Fernet-Branca, Branca-Mentha, Antica Formula and Caffe Borghetti!

We’ll be sporting our regular classic cocktails on the menu while also showing off a whole new menu, designed for Easter bank holiday only!

Pictured: The Bartenders Handshake
Photography: Pixel Pro Media

Fernet & Coke – £4.5

Mentha & Soda – £4.5

Antica Spritz – £9
Fruity Red – Elderflower – Fizz

Our take on the Aperol Spritz but slightly sweeter and more fun.

Bartenders Handshake* – £7.5
Saffron – Mint – Lime – Almond – Honey

Amaro seem to have a bad rap, but this is one of the best drinks we’ve ever had. We’d love to say we created it, but we didn’t. Nonetheless, we want you to try it! Try not to quaff it down as it’s more alcoholic than you’d think!

Grappahopper – £8
White Chocolate – Mint – Cream

A grasshopper is a sweet, mint flavoured, after-dinner drink. The name of the drink derives from its green colour. Ours is more brown, but tastes better.

Life is Bitter* – £8
Pineapple – Coconut – Hard Spices

Tropical drinks always pair great with spices like Cinnamon, Clove etc. We’ve taken the most Tropical drink there is and packed it full of Fernet – Spiced Coconut Pina Colada goodness.

Yuzu Spritz* – £8
Lemon – Sherbet – Zesty & Fizzy

A Japanese lemon that we’re a bit obsessed with, Yuzu have amazing oils which are full of great citrussy aromas – a cross between Grapefruit and Mandarin with hints of Bergamot and Lime. We’ve mixed our favourite liqueur and spritzed it up.

Café Branca* – £7.5
Condensed Milk – Coffee – Nutmeg – Chocolate – Cinnamon

Not your every day coffee cocktail, but a corker non the less! The strong Italian espresso liqueur will keep you going all night.

* Cocktails £7 with Independent Birmingham Card

Our updated opening times for the week are below:

Wednesday: 4pm – 11pm
Thursday: 4pm – 11pm
Friday: 4pm – 12pm
Saturday: 1pm – 12pm
Sunday: 4pm – 12pm

#unfernetable #lifeisbitter

The UK’s First Cocktail Bar & Meadery! 

Open from 4pm Wed – Fri, Sat – 1pm

16 Frederick St, Birmingham B1 3HE



Cocktail Post – The Milk Punch

“Appearances can be deceiving. Take, for example, Clarified Milk Punch, an old English preparation that dates back nearly three centuries. You’d never guess at first glance that milk is a main ingredient in the punch, but thanks to a little liquid alchemy—based upon acid’s curdling effects when mixed with dairy—this milk-rich punch can be clear as day. Combining a host of spirits and spices with a grassy green tea, Lay lets his mixture meld before its final strain. The result? A silken, spirited punch that withstands the test of time.” Imbibe Magazine (2015).

Milk Punch


600ml Pere Magloire VS
200ml Grand Marnier
150ml Dark Rum
150ml Aged Rum
240ml Lemon Juice (+90ml for later)
60ml Lime
720ml Fresh Pineapple Juice
6 Cloves
30 Coriander Seeds
3 All Spice berries
3 Star Anice
1 Cinnamon Stick
500ml Rooibos Tea
400g Sugar
8 Peels of Lemons
1200ml Milk

2 large, airtight containers
Cutting board
Sharp knife
Mortar and pestle
Wooden spoon
Large saucepan
Chinois strainer

1. Zest the lemons, taking care to avoid the white pith. Add the zest to a large airtight container.

2. Coarsely grind the spices (if no mortar and pestle you can add hole but will impart less flavour). Add the spices to the container, along with the sugar and the lemon & lime juice. Muddle the mixture.

3. Add Pineapple Juice to the lemon peels.

4. Pour in the brewed tea as well as the spirits and bitters and stir to combine. Add boiling water and cover immediately. Let for 3 days in the refrigerator, then strain the mixture into a clean container.

5. Bring the milk to just before boiling, think cappuccino temperature. Add the milk and the remaining lemon juice to the strained mixture—the milk will curdle and the solids will coagulate. Leave in the fridge for 8 hours.

6. Strain the liquid a little at a time through a fine chinois lined with cheesecloth. Strain again with clean coffee filters if needed.

Served over block ice and Garnish with Nutmeg!