Drink Lagos: The Traffic Bar
After a long run in Abuja, Traffic Bar took the leap and opened shop in Lagos sometime last year.
If you’re ever in the Ikoyi area and need a place to kill time because of Lagos traffic, Traffic might be the one.
We ordered six drinks but got four. Our taste buds suggest that three of those drinks were technically the same even though they were all different colors and served in different glassware. Don’t worry we’ll explain.
It’s no surprise that this happened when you look at the menu. It’s a bit all over the place with a universe of popular cocktails that did not follow the standard recipes.
Folarin’s favorite Old Fashioned was described as
a slice of fresh orange muddled with sweet and sour mix topped with whiskey and sweet and mix served with crushed ice
A classic old fashioned is actually made from muddling sugar with bitters, whiskey/brandy, and citrus. Traffic’s version made no mention of bitters, and that is a fundamental problem for all old fashioned lovers, Folarin especially.
After the tragedy with our drinks, Folarin would go on to conclude that menus that seem to be the Jack of All Trades are rarely good at one thing.
My first drink order was for Tanqueray Mojito because as you’ve noticed from reading this blog, I love mojitos.
Tragedy 1: It took 35 minutes for me to be informed it was unavailable.
Possible reason: Our waiter seemed new and appeared completely flustered and confused. His cluelessness made us both sympathetic even though we wanted to kill him with our eyes throughout the entire visit.
I went ahead to order the Malibu Paradise. While waiting for that to arrive, Folarin’s order the almighty African Bee Drop, which was a combination of
dark rum, orange juice, orange syrup and lime juice garnished with a maraschino cherry
showed up without the cherry of course.
Folarin shared with me that the African Bee Drop immediately reminded him of a drink he’d tasted a week before, called Dawa. Some will call it Kenya’s national cocktail, but it made with similar ingredients to this cocktail at Traffic.
It is believed that the dawa can cure whatever ails you, but I honestly doubt that anything that has vodka has the power to heal you.
Anyway, back to Traffic’s drink, in Folarin’s words, “I liked how simple the cocktail was with its honey and vanilla. It’s almost like drinking a Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey cocktail”
After an extended wait, my first drink arrives! The Malibu Paradise was a combination of
Malibu rum, vodka and cranberry juice mix with apple juice
In the original recipe, apple juice should be pineapple juice. I didn't taste any hint of apple juice so let’s assume that was a typo. Generally, it tasted like a lighter variant of what the drink was supposed to be. There wasn’t ice in here so I didn’t get why it had to taste so watered down and overall a big let down.
Folarin’s first drink was positive he had no reservation going into his second drink. His choice: Coconut Sour which had
coconut liqueur, vodka, lemon juice, topped with sprite over ice and served in a highball hurricane glass.
A hurricane and highball glass are two different things but I don’t want to be pedantic if it’s clear that they don’t have the range. On the drink itself, this is what Folarin had to say:
It tasted too artificial and sweet. Not the one for me
One thing I did like about Traffic is how they name their drinks. For a place that capitalizes on traffic and road signs, it created a great avenue for escapism to the Caribbean. We were good for a 3rd round and ordered the Bob Marley which had “grenadine layered with yellow liquor (Tubic 60) mixed with gold rum and blue curaçao.” Sadly, that the drink never came alongside the Negroni (with no explanation) we also ordered.
What I did get was another Malibu Paradise. This had obviously escalated now and when the casala bust, the waitress claimed she pointed to the drink on the menu instead of stating the drink’s name. However, the supervisor only heard: “she wants another drink”, which led to my second serving of the Malibu Paradise.
What was hilarious is that my first Malibu paradise was a different color from the second one.
If you examine properly you’ll realize that the coconut sour and both iterations of the Malibu Paradise are the same drink, even though in different colors and different glassware.
Overall, a damn shame.
Good for: group drinking, late night and pre drinks
Food: Full Kitchen
Happy Hour: No | Bottle Service: Yes | Wine: Yes | Beer: Yes
African Bee Drop - N3000
Malibu Paradise - N3000
Coconut Sour - N3000