Last year I spent a week in Dorset and enjoyed sampling their local ciders, beers, gins and even vodka. This is where I discovered Black Cow, which is said to be the world’s smoothest vodka. So I was really excited to hear more about Black Cow in London and even more excited to see that Black Cow had collaborated with HIX to create an exclusive food pairing menu, served at Mark’s Bar, HIX Soho. So I had to give it a try…
The menu, created by celebrated chef and restaurateur Mark Hix, comprises four small plates showcasing the best of British produce and dishes influenced by Mark’s travels, each matched with a tastefully paired Black Cow cocktail.
Black Cow is made purely from milk. It is a super premium vodka, distilled from milk whey and treated to a secret blending process, created by dairy farmer Jason Barber. His inspiration came from a desire to diversify the produce from his 250 strong dairy herd and his personal interest in vodka. Black Cow was launched by Jason and Paul Archard in 2012. (Black Cow Vodka: RSP from £31.75 for 70cl. ABV 40%.)
To sample a bit of everything we went for the Black Cow Flight (£25) which offers a Mini Dirty Cow Martini, Mini Spritz and Mini Espresso Martini with paired small plates including Brownsea rock oyster, Spicy Portland crab chips and a mini Shrimp burger.
We sat in a cosy corner in Mark’s Bar which has dimmed lighting and a buzzing atmosphere, and sipped on the Dirty Black Cow Martini (Black Cow, Dry Vermouth, Olives in Olive Brine) which came served with a Brownsea Rock Oyster. This was a great starter dish and cocktail, . If you visit Mark’s Bar between 4 pm and 6.30 pm Monday to Friday you can get Oysters for just £1 each!
Next we moved onto the Black Cow Spritz (Black Cow, Apple Juice, Blossom Cordial, English Sparkling Wine, Cucumber Ribbon Garnish) whic came served with with Spicy Portland crab chips. This was my favourite combination, the spritz was light and refreshing making it the perfect summer drink. The chips were absolutely incredible, I demolished my plate pretty quickly.
The chips were complemented by a delicious shrimp slider. The portions may look small but were surprisingly filling leaving us feeling full and satisfied.
To finish we had a Black Cow Espresso Martini (Black Cow, Fresh Cooled Espresso, Maple Syrup, Coffee Bean Garnish) with Peruvian Gold chocolate mousse. The perfect ending to our selection.
This is an extremely rich dish which isn’t for the faint hearted but ideal for a chocoholic. The rich chocolate was balanced out by the sweet pieces of honeycomb – it was the ideal combination.
We had a wonderful evening at HIX and I would highly recommend sampling the Black Cow Flight which is available throughout Spring 2018. It’s a great chance to try a variety of the cocktails and dishes without breaking the bank. Mark’s Bar has a luxurious and upmarket vibe yet it’s also cosy, friendly and extremely welcoming. I think we received the best welcome I’ve ever had at a restaurant (or anywhere!). I’ll definitely be back.
66-70 Brewer St