Greens do a cocktail called ‘Death by Whisky’. Over lockdown it was suggested to me on numerous occasions that I should have a death by whisky, though whether this was a reference to the drink or a wish from my enemies is unclear. “I’m not sure if I can afford a death by whisky” I responded, often whilst sipping on a whisky, often in the morning. It’s true. Whilst the world was going to shit, I was spending a lot of money on mixed drinks. Mixed drinks make me happy.
I’ve now had a death by whisky and as this is not a posthumous blog piece, you can rightly assume it involved a trip to Greens in Solihull. It sits in the centre of a shopping square, sharing a unit with a coffee bar (Vita) and street food space (Taste Collective), each with outside terrace space and its own identity. The name of the cocktail bar might give you an idea of the colour scheme here, the giant pages of glass ensuring it stays bright and well lit. It’s a comfy, almost Mediterranean way of people watching with a glass of something strong in hand.
Before the drinks, let’s get a quick word about the food. The cheese board is impeccable, which might have something to do with the general manager previously being responsible for looking after the cheese at Simpsons. All British, they have more conventional options like Black Bomber mingling with lesser known such as the superb Waterloo, which won the war when I was defeated. The meats too are all British including wagyu salami, venison bresaola and coppa, which is a far better use of a pigs neck than David Cameron ever suggested.
And the drinks. Headed up by Rob Wood (that name should mean something to you if you care about drinks), it’s about time that Solihull laid claim to a bar that made top-tier drinks. I really like the Death by Whisky, which is a boozy four-blend of various types with sherry and maple, maybe more so than the gadgetry of Smoke and Mirrors that requires you to pull a cherry and chocolate flavoured whisky drink from a smoke box. Fantastic Mr. Fig is punchy and decadent mouthful of wonder, whilst Whoopsy Daisy is all jammy fruitiness. Maybe best of all is Flowers and Blossoms, with its light floral notes and gentle acidity from sakè. It’s a really great drink.
Service is genuine and kind, on this night led by someone who used to run a bar in Harborne and another who was always too good to break up fights in Moseley. Now I don’t usually make a thing of writing about bars, but I feel compelled to spread the word about here. The nightlife in Solihull is dismal; it’s a place where Slug and Lettuce reigns supreme fuelled by Pornstar Martinis. Green’s offers something different, a classier, more cultured way of drinking in a part of town that can afford it but somehow never had it. Those who had to travel before for good drinks now can stay within their own postal code.