Drink Lagos: Ile Eros
Lekki has some of my favourite restaurants and I know you know what I’m thinking, yes – HSE! Although the area doesn’t come close to the numerous bars that VI is blessed with, it was interesting to see a restaurant that crafted its drinks to suit the solid umami dishes on the menu.
Fun fact: Ile Eros is all about the new age of Nigerian cuisine that attempts to combine Western elements to indigenous Nigerian dishes, in this case — drinks.
I really went there for the palm wine and ogogoro infused cocktail called Pammie but surprisingly they didn’t have it. I get that freshly tapped palm wine is scarce, but please before you put something down on your menu, just look around for alternatives.
Instead, I received an unnamed cocktail that the mixologist made especially for me: a mixture of ginger, passion fruit, and gin. It was really good. You should never attempt to drink a cocktail without the straw it comes with because when you do, you only taste the top note which gives you a false impression. If it’s a long glass you want to swirl your straw so all the components blend nicely. I just remember sipping and sipping until it finished right in front of me. Again, it was that good.
My friend, Naranie who isn’t a fan of cocktails had the Crouching Tiger. It is a fusion of baileys, ginger, and tiger nut milk. It was definitely the winner of the night.
Another friend, who is also Ijaw (A Nigerian tribe is known for the invention of Ogogoro and an unabashed love for strong drinks) decided to go for an Ogogoro drink called Sapele Water. The drink’s appearance was very different from what we were expecting - which was a stiff and cloudy drink. To our surprise, it came in a martini shaped glass and was PINK. Judging a book by its cover, we definitely underestimated the strength of the drink but it brought a BUZZ. Thankfully we didn't pour in the extra Ogogoro we had requested which could have easily been the last thing that we remembered from that evening.
Last and definitely the least favourite drink of the night was the Jumping Jack. It tasted like a pineapple fusion with Jack Daniels. You should know that JD is the only scotch that I have a problem with, the kind similar to my disgust for vodka. Its overly spicy note isn’t my cup of tea and unlike the Jack Daniel whisky sour at The George that blended just perfectly, this was a bit overpowering. It was just good, nothing extraordinary.
When we communicated our dislike for Jumping Jack, the mixologist gave us one of the most ordered cocktails, Red Bottoms as consolation. It was quite similar to the zobo martini at Z Kitchen. I’m starting to love zobo infused cocktails a lot as it tends to improve any spirit it’s paired with. The Red Bottoms tasted like there was both gin and rum in it, which to me is pure magic in a glass. I think combining complex spirits in a way that isn’t obvious or overpowering is simply magical.
So far, Ile Eros impressed me with cocktails that do not follow the typical classics but instead show the versatility behind the various indigenous flavours like tiger nut, ‘Sapele water’ and even zobo that we have considered subpar for far too long.
And I think that’s a good thing.
Good for: Group drinking, date night and pre drinks.
Food: Full Kitchen
Happy Hour: No | Bottle Service: Yes | Wine: Yes | Beer: Yes
Unnamed Cocktail - N3500
Crouching Tiger - N3500
Sapele Water - N3500
Jumping Jack - N4000
Red Bottoms - N3500