Drink Lagos: Vanilla Moon
If you live in Lagos, then you’ve probably been seeing Vanilla Moon on everyone’s insta story. Like everyone else, we decided to check it out. It’s crisp and clean décor gives off a romantic and cool vibe, with a fire playlist and staff that overcompensate with friendliness.
One con that I noticed almost immediately was the fact that majority of the staff here are men. From the waiters to bartenders and even the chefs, I found it interesting that there were no women on site.
Our bartender Sulé, who told me head on that he likes women who drink alcohol, because it makes them smart, made the usual mistake that plagues most bars here – where they suppose that because you’re a woman then you must love overly sweet cocktails. Although he checked himself when he learned about my Ijaw heritage and overt love for just great liquor, whether sweet, sour or bitter.
To start I got the Guava Mary, a mix of vodka, guava juice, “spices”, and celery. I usually run away from celery because I find its fragrant notes a bit too strong, but because guava is probably the most amazing thing that God gave us – I was relentless and brave. Although thankfully, the menu was revised to incorporate actual guava as a garnish than celery, even if it wasn’t updated yet in print.
This cocktail is perhaps one of the interesting drinks I’ve tried so far. It was really spicy, concentrated, strong and extremely bold – which describes me in a way. It also smelt really divine and tasted almost like a meal. Sulé mentioned it was one of the best sellers as my glass was the ninth one he had made that day. It was mixed with African red pepper and tabasco, which is not to be confused with cayenne (a much milder variant). I liked that the very ripe and juicy guava accompanied the tangy notes really well. I also appreciated that they used Rubicon, a more elite juice than Chivita if you ask me. Rubicon carries just as much flavours of the fruit as well as sugar content.
Please note that this isn’t a drink you want to have in a hurry but instead over a long conversation. I also like that they didn’t go easy on the drink by masking the potent notes with sugar or any syrup. Why will I go to a bar only to drink something that mimics mere fruit juice?
I’m on a mission to unite all Niger Deltans in Lagos, and because we care about our waters and liquors I went on this venture with Adami. He ordered the Moon Fizz with gin, elderflower, and sparkling water.
It was a great refreshing drink and very light. I found it strong at first but as the ice melted the balance became much better. Elderflower syrup added a little sweetness but not overpowering. It could have been a little tangier with a better hint of citrus. Recommended for a midday/early afternoon brunch drink. - Adami
Our last drink: Fly Me to The Moon was made by the head mixologist. When we selected the drink we were warned that it was a warm cocktail, and that it particularly felt like a meal. It had enough body, to carry you and not make you feel sick even on an empty stomach. You can taste the rum but not immediately, unless it stays long enough in your mouth. Although not long enough as an aftertaste, likewise you don’t realise how strong it is until you keep it in your mouth for a while.
“It’s a very filling dessert. The top of the drink is heavy on the rum and it lingers as you hold it in your mouth but the sweet chocolate dominates the aftertaste. You almost forget there’s any rum at all. It leaves you feeling like you're just drinking a chocolate milkshake; it still had a little spiciness to it but couldn't quite place it. Maybe cinnamon? I recommended it as a night cap on a cold night. Definitely drink with the straw and stir often.”
Vanilla Moon seems great from a drinks perspective. I do hope it doesn’t fall flat at some point. However, I’ll probably go back, this time with a date.
Ed Note: Here is the restaurant review for Vanilla Moon.
Good for: Group drinking, late night and pre drinks.
Food: Full Kitchen
Happy Hour: No | Bottle Service: Yes | Wine: Yes | Beer: Yes
Guava Mary - N4500
Moon Fizz - N4500
Fly Me to The Moon - N4500