The Milk Thistle goes wild with new cocktail menu

by Dan Izzard

12 March 2019

A taxidermy-inspired cocktail menu? It must be The Milk Thistle....

The Milk Thistle is one of our favourite late-night drinking spots for a number of reasons. The building itself (the former harbourmaster's office) is an absolute beaut for starters, decked out in ornate wood panelling and original stained glass windows, with taxidermy dotted about the place.

Speaking of which, above the fireplace in the parlour you’ll find George the elk. It’s not just on the wall he’s currently taking pride of place though – he also stars in the bar’s rather special new cocktail menu. George has been brought to life as a rambling Bristolian who meets other fellow critters on his travels, each of whom recommends you a cocktail in the beautifully illustrated menu. (With said illustrations having been created by the hand of assistant manager Sarah Offa-Jones. Talented bunch. The cocktails are as inventive as the visuals, too.

First, we ordered a rambler; a whisky-based tipple comprising Monkey Shoulder Whisky, chestnut, lemon, grapefruit bitters and a topping of IPA. The concoction – which was served in a glass tankard – looked like a refreshing half pint of beer and surprised with a sharp bitterness leading to a smooth warming whisky aftertaste. 

As we were settling in with that, a waft of The Wickerman headed over from across the room. A blend of Glenmorangie whisky, cocchi rosa, roasted barley and lemon, it left a trail of smoke across the room thanks to the delicately scorched lavender it was finished with.

We're glad the Milk Thistle has done away with its' leatherbound menus in favour of something that pairs with the creatively of the cocktails themselves. For one, it helps to remember which concoctions you've already tried. Like trying to remember your new acquaintance across the table; it's always more memorable to put a face to a name. Cheers, George.