Cocktails on the latest menu at Cardiff bar The Dead Canary celebrate Welsh heritage by taking inspiration from the country’s myths.
The 24-strong “Cock’tales” list takes guests on a literary journey with the classic 12 stories that make up the medieval Welsh collection called the Mabinogion.
Created by the whole bar team, the drinks use historic ingredients, medical remedies and herbs to craft cocktails with names such as the First Prince and the White Dragon.
Illustrations in the menu were created by bartender Richard Gaskell, with different “chapters” with groupings of cocktails with varying intensity throughout. For instance, the “Otherworld” chapter contains a few fiery, strong drinks representing supernatural beings and elements.
In the “Knights of Legend” chapter, the White Knight features Glenmorangie 10 Year Old and Ardberg 10 Year Old whiskies with strawberry and vanilla mead, Bénédictine, orange bitters and Angostura Bitters, where a sweet and sour strawberry flavour transitions into light smoke and a honeyed finish.
Mead is again used in the White Dragon along with Portobello Road Gin, Sauternes, Suze and tarragon tincture, providing dry and bitter gentian flavours paired with sweet honey and anise.
The bitter-sweet aperitif, the First Prince (pictured top), combines Campari and Martini Extra Dry vermouth with plum and rose water, topped with soda, inspired by a line in the Mabinogion: “Of all the courts he had seen on earth, that was the court with the most food and drink and golden vessels and royal jewels.”
The Son of the Sea (pictured below) is a mix of Death’s Door Gin, Cocchi Americano, Ceylon Arrack, olive brine, Anglesey sea salt and seaweed, delivering dry earthy juniper with a hint of the sea, served with olives on the side.
Mocktails include the Lake of the Virgins – a long, refreshing and citrusy drink with thyme, lemon tonic, nettle and skullcap syrup, lemon juice and green tea.
“This new menu has been a labour of love for the whole team,” says general manager Mark Holmes. “We’re completely in awe of how well The Dead Canary has been received in Cardiff and we are regularly full to capacity, especially on weekends hence why we want to shake things up and keep things interesting for our guests.
“We work with a very talented team, all of which are handpicked and they are one of the key reasons why we have continued to be a success. We all have a passion for delivering the best service and experiences for our customers by creating more than just drinks.”