No Holds Barred at The Edgbaston’s latest events

Here’s the launch of a new monthly column by the guys at The Edgbaston – the city’s plush and ground-breaking cocktail lounge and boutique hotel.

Birmingham is a city of innovation. Where would the world be without Bird’s Custard? Without whistles or X-ray machines or microwaves? Without Cadbury’s?
Now the team behind The Edgbaston are putting their cocktail creativity at the forefront of Brummie innovation with a new event series called No Holds Barred.
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The idea behind the new concept is simple: what happens when you allow talented bartenders and other creative types free range to do the things they usually wouldn’t be able to, for practical or logistical reasons?
Some ingredients just don’t sell because they sound weird, despite tasting exquisite.
Some garnishes add a great deal to the drinking experience but cannot be done for 100 drinks over the course of an evening.
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Sometimes drinks aren’t just drinks – they’re social and psychological experiments that challenge our preconceptions about drinking and how we experience flavour.
At No Holds Barred, The Edgbaston team and their collaborators are
giving themselves and you the opportunity to experience the pinnacle of cocktail experimentation.
The event launches on Thursday April 14 and will happen on a monthly basis, limited to just 20 tickets per month.
It will be an intimate and immersive experience unlike any other you’ve had at a cocktail lounge.
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Importantly, the lucky guests won’t actually know what they are drinking until after they have drunk it.
All attendees are asked to provide any dietary requirements prior to coming to the event, so that the menu can be created in a way that is accessible to all but still challenges everybody involved.
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Only once the guests have enjoyed the cocktail will they be told what exactly went into it.
Each of the events will be themed, so the launch is all about Shakespeare and Elizabethan Britain in honour of the month marking 400 years since his death.
So, without giving too much away, expect flavours of this period, drinks inspired by Shakespeare’s work and by the sorts of things he may have come into contact with during his life.
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The team behind No Holds Barred are fascinated by the psychology of drinking, and want to experiment with the different ways we perceive flavour.
Does the colour of a drink matter? Does our perception of whether it is ‘masculine’ or ‘feminine’ affect the way we experience a cocktail and, if so, why do we associate certain things with a given gender?
What is the ideal temperature of a cocktail? What flavours might surprise and excite people in a cocktail? How do our other senses impact the taste of a drink? Do happy sounds make for better beverages?
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These are the sorts of questions being asked and hopefully answered at No Holds Barred and you have the chance to be a part of the experience.
Tickets cost £50 per head and for that you get four exquisite cocktails presented in an utterly immersive craft cocktail experience. It should be unforgettable.
Next month sees No Holds Barred inspired by the Chelsea Flower Show, experimenting with natural ingredients and foraging.
Book your tickets early to avoid disappointment. It is being held at 7.30pm on May 13.

The Edgbaston
18 Highfield Road, Birmingham B15 3DU. 0121 454 5212.