Bar Mont Blanc: Good Christmas stuff comes in little parcels
For those of you who still aren’t familiar with Kiosk, it is (or was) that illusive little yellow hut slap bang in the middle of the Cain’s Brewery Village, a spit ball’s distance from the Baltic Market. As the sister venue to Dockleaf bar, Kiosk has repurposed a defunct watchman’s hut into something pretty bloody magical.
As you might recall from my summer visit, we were promised a kind of “revolving pop-up” that would be continually changing with the seasons… Well, Kiosk’s winter makeover is enough to send Gok Wan squawking from his perch.
Erasing its summer Sicilian lemon exterior in favour of a festive pillar box red and operating under a new name - Bar Mont Blanc - this cosy little corner of the city is set to be a hot spot over the coming months.
As the smallest bar in Liverpool (they think), a capacity of 20 gives Kiosk a real intimate charm. Have no fear, though, for there are plenty more seats in the exterior Alpine cabin, complete with faux fur throws, a roaring chiminea, tree trunk furniture and that comforting aroma of burning logs that ignites the pyromaniac in us all.
Picking our poisons (all £6) from a diddy little drinks list, propped up on a decorative wooden sledge, we ordered the Bircher and the Rose. The former a firm favourite from the “Winter Warmers” selection and the latter one of three “Refreshing Spritzes”. The warm Bircher might have packed a mighty, heady punch as a combo of Byrrh vermouth, rye whiskey and mulled spices, but was as cute as can be in its Nordic print vessel.
My Rose spritzer was both sharp and sweet, spiked with homemade rhubarb gin and a generous glug of prosecco. The kind of sophisticated beverage I could imagine Mariah Carey sipping on while she watches the dollars roll into her buxom bank account as All I Want for Christmas is played for the ten trillionth time this decade. It was the Floris Kriek cherry bear that stole my icy little heart however and, as an avid Fruli drinker during the summer, I can confidently confirm I’ve found my new Belgian obsession.
Other concoctions on the refined menu include the Beethoven (Pernod Absinthe, Apple Schnapps, cucumber and apple beer) and the G & Tea (another warm serve muddled with popular French aperitif, Suze, Beefeater gin, tonic, apple and chamomile). That’s the beauty about this utterly unique addition to the Liverpool bar scene – it defies the laws of mass market crap and Christmas clichés in favour of palpability and finesse.
The guys at Kiosk and Dockleaf are swapping carton mulled wine, bought in bulk, for more interesting and authentic ingredients like vermouth and Suze, all kept a consistent temperature of 52 degrees. They’re liquefying the Alps and blending Swiss ski lodges into rich Irish coffees and twenty-four carat cocktails that have been born from on-location research in France. There aren’t many places you get your beverages garnished with such a liberal helping of dedication.
So when you get sick and tired of the sweaty shumai, dusty Dutch pancakes and questionable mulled cider that will undoubtedly entice us all in between now and Christmas, come and pull up a pew at the Bar Mont Blanc lodge. It will be sticking around until February too, so if you’re already contemplating where to drown your January blues, these guys have got it covered.
Find Steph’s blog, Hungry Harriet here.