From Africa to Ireland, its party time at Annabel’s this weekend! by OLLI MITCHELL

The weekends are coming thick and fast at Annabel’s, no sooner have the Dirty Robbers stolen our hearts and skipped town then two more top-notch bands land ready to rock the dance floor like only they can.

On Friday we have the Congo Faith Healers, who have performed on Jools Holland and have graced the same bill as Supergrass, Finlay Quaye and KT Tunstall! True quality.

Our other headline act is one of Plymouth’s most popular bands and a guaranteed sell out wherever they play. Mad Dog Mcrea have been around for years, impressing all who see and hear them with their unique brand of Irish folk rock. Anyone who has seen them at Annabel’s before knows that they are a band who can certainly turn a nightclub into something more like a stadium rock gig!

Such is the calibre of our entertainment this weekend I thought it only fitting that both should have their own cocktail on offer to their adoring fans.

Mad Dog already have their own concoction which represents all the things that make Mad Dog McRea such an exciting act…

…the smokiness of scotch, the beating Irish heart of Jameson’s and the heat and spice of fresh ginger and chilli. This is a serious cocktail created a couple of years ago by myself and fellow Annabel’s mixologist Harri Pettit-Wade.

To create the drink we expanded on the usual bourbon sour that we regularly drank and added a ginger kick and then the red chillies to really make the flavours pop. The intense spice plays off against the sweet and sour base of the drink and also the woody notes of the whisky. The drink was so insanely good that the name Mad Dog had to be used. Eventually the drink was modified to reflect the Celtic soul of Mad Dog McRea and bourbon was substituted for Irish whiskey with a dash of Laphroiag Scotch.

If all that sounds a bit too intense for your tastes, opt for the Friday night specialty the “Congo Bongo”, a tribute to our London visitors. Again I have tried to reflect the attributes of our guest band in the drinks ingredients, resulting in a sweet, tangy and enjoyable cocktail that will leave you wanting more. Jamaican rum provides us with a sweet, dark base, lime, pineapple juice and lychee liqueur add the exotic fruit flavours and the sugar and Cointreau add something sweet and sour right at the last.

If all that was not enough we’ll have our regular homemade shot ready to pour from the outside bar, so don’t worry about the cold because that will surely warm you up.  All in all it’s a pretty tasty looking line up at Annabel’s this weekend. I would advise you to get there early in order to take advantage of it because you certainly do not want to be left outside in the cold when our entertainment is so hot!

See you at the bar……