PLY may be renowned for its delicious wood-fired pizzas and relaxed atmosphere, but they have expanded their experimental repertoire with a list of six festive themed cocktails added to their drinks menu.
It’s safe to say they are not what you might expect from ‘Christmas’ drinks. The options included some rogue ingredients such as smoked peach or blackberries, but, to PLY’s credit, they worked.
Beginning the tasting was the Dolce Vita, and the drink certainly lived up to its name. A creamy affair with panettone infused rum (yes, panettone), orange and egg white for that silky smooth texture, I found myself thinking that yes, life is indeed sweet.
Up next was a complete contrast: the blackberry messenger. This drink really demonstrated the variety on the menu. It is a mix of traditional dry summer flavours being serenaded by a cacophony of ginger, blackberries, and rum. The only complaint that can be levelled at the concoction is that some of the blackberries slipped through the straw on occasion, proving to be a touch over-powerful.
The peach bourbon on the other hand was, very much, a wintery affair. It is almost unfair to call this a cocktail, but nevertheless it is enjoyable. It’s simply old fashioned bourbon infused with peach and smoked for days on end. If you’re a whiskey fan, this is the one for you. It’s intense and full-on, but also rounded enough for you to swig on as a post-meal short. This is the most expensive winter cocktail, and even at £8 it’s still decent value for money.
Similar – on some levels – to the Dolce Vita was the white chocolate snowball. This cocktail I found the most disappointing of all, but perhaps this is only due to my extremely high expectations. Expecting a long, prosecco based sweet and indulgent cocktail, I was instead met with what I can only describe as two drinks in one. The first sip was almost tasteless, yet bitter: I would assume that this is due to the bitterness of the vodka balancing out with the sweet prosecco. The second sip, creamy and sweet, but quite insubstantial due to its foamy texture. The waitress told us that this cocktail was ‘like marmite’ and I can see why.
The final two drinks on the winter menu were the hot apple punch and the hot chocolate wine. Served up in mugs, they certainly made you feel festive and cosy, but the hot apple punch, while still enjoyable, tasted more like warm apple juice than a cocktail and lacked taste on the spiced side of things.
However, the hot chocolate wine was divine. Imagine the best hot chocolate of your life – I mean, stuff that puts you in an old M&S advert straight away. It’s milky, creamy, and whatever else you want to describe your ideal hot chocolate. Combine this with some seriously good mulled wine and port, and that’s hot chocolate wine. It’s welcoming and warming, and simultaneously smooth and sumptuous. It is also two drinks in one. It’s a boozy black forest gateau, liquidised. This is my new Christmas go-to.
Overall the cocktails were thoroughly enjoyable and reasonably priced. I would recommend you go enjoy one of PLY’s sumptuous pizzas accompanied by some of their selected wine or beer, and finish your evening with one (or three) of these comforting, festive drinks to keep you warm on your journey home.