Drink Lagos: 12 Temple
First things first, imagine experiencing RSVP which sets a standard for bars in Lagos yet hollowing in mediocrity afterward. That’s how the past few weeks have been, a pool of meaningless concocted drinks that drown your brain cells.
The menu also had a lot of drinks spelt wrongly like the ‘blood marry’ and no, it’s not a twist. The ‘pina colade’ and ‘mail tai’ were definitely the most hilarious misspelled names, it low-key looked like it was intentional. But the poorly printed menu and the sleepy bartender assured us it was a mistake.
By now you’d have figured we didn’t like 12 Temple. Genius!
Asides sounding like a fraternity club, I imagine a name like that would have gone hard-core with its concoction.
Well, it did in some ways. Let’s find out.
The Hennyberry is usually a combination of Hennessy and Ribena with a dash of lime. It’s a very basic drink like your gin and tonic but tastes like magic if mixed thoughtfully. Folarin mentioned, “it was both too sweet and strong, maybe due to the use of berry syrup rather than actual Ribena”.
Undiluted Ribena can be berry syrup right? Perhaps.
Well, we couldn’t place it because 12 Temple’s menu had no drink descriptions. I find that Ribena makes the best mixer for this drink whether diluted or not, all you need is a considerable amount of ice and liquor to balance it out. This version, however, was just blah – fallow.
The next drink was the Caipirinha which is very similar to a mojito, also from Latin America and made with hard sugar cane liquor, sugar, and lime. Not sure about 12 Temple’s recipe but it tasted too syrupy and was quite imbalanced that I doubt there was any acid from the lime in the cocktail. It was easy to move on from this.
Folarin really felt bad for our bartender who was sleeping on duty and asked that we do not bother him by ordering more drinks and just call it a night. But because we live in capitalist Lagos, I went ahead to wake him up because you can sleep when you die, please.
I ordered the Take Me Home as an inside joke to the conversation between Folarin and I. When we asked the bartender what the drink had, he stuttered and mentioned things in a way that sounded like he just made it up. I remember blue curaçao, rum, vodka, maybe tequila or triple sec and sprite making the list.
Aesthetically, it reminded me of the electric lemonade from Vellvett but upon tasting, I was just mad I didn’t take Folarin’s advice. He said, “this is such a bad drink, like the Negroni. Who comes up with these things?” It was too harsh, excessive and overwhelming.
I wouldn’t have been surprised if the Sprite was also diluted with water. If you ever want to piss yourself off and head home afterwards, this is definitely the drink for you!
Overall, 12 Temple needs to re-evaluate itself in a hospitality-booming hub that is Lagos and question its brand and relevance for the future because so far, it is a nicely structured temple with cocktails that rank lower than the ones you get at weddings.
Good for: Groups
Happy Hour: No | Bottle Service: Yes | Wine: Yes | Beer: Yes
Caipirinha - N2500
Henny Berry - N3000
Take Me Home - N3000
Christina is a TV and Film junkie who also spends an incredible amount of time reviewing skincare products she can barely afford.