Drink Lagos: The Atmosphere
The Atmosphere Rooftop
I found it surprising that although The Atmosphere just opened, we were still the first and only ones from start to finish. Let’s just agree that Lekki residents are all about evening chills and not spur-of-the-moment boozy brunches.
The look on the bartender’s face when we arrived made us picture what the chef’s face must have also looked like. He must have been hoping to slack off for a few more hours and then we showed up. So, maybe don’t go too early on a Sunday afternoon (yes 2pm is somewhat early), unless you’re just there for pictures. And even at that, you’d have to ensure not to use a DSLR, it’s prohibited.
The menu was divided into three parts; signature, tiki, and classic cocktails. Ifiemi and I struggled to communicate clearly with the bartender because he wasn’t in the mood. We tried to let him know we hated capitalism too but he was too withdrawn. We asked for a bunch of cocktails from the menu that he also shook his head at, hinting it was either unavailable or so much of a hassle to make. What I mean is how he frowned at certain drinks because they didn’t have coconut or pineapples, but then who knows? Maybe he just couldn’t be bothered.
One good thing about The Atmosphere, is how interesting some of the available drinks read: Frosé (rose merlot, Musgrave pink gin, watermelon liquor, rose water, strawberry syrup, fresh lemon juice, fresh strawberries, watermelon, edible flowers), or the Hickory Old Fashioned (wild turkey 101, wild turkey honey: all bourbon, home-made smoked rosemary, cinnamon syrup, bogarts bitters, drop saline solution, hickory wood chips), all of which were signature cocktails.
I ordered the Frosé because who doesn’t love a pink Musgrave? Ifiemi ordered a Pink on Black Margarita that was spelt “Black Margarine” and made us ponder on the kind of drink that required that amount of fat.
We had a back and forth with the bartender about the Musgrave. Immediately I chose the drink, he warned me that they use normal gin because the Musgrave gin was really expensive. At this point, I checked the menu to confirm that the drink wasn’t a thousand naira. It wasn’t. After a lot of “plis bros”, he finally agreed to use the pink gin. And the drink that came after this drama, couldn’t have been this good with mere gin. Hands down, it has made it to the list of best cocktails in 2019.
Ifiemi was really looking forward to the edible flowers but as is typical, it was unavailable. What made things worse was when we asked the bartender what kind of flowers they were and he kept insisting “edible, edible flowers”.
The aesthetic didn’t match expectations because it tasted so much better than it looked. I think the rosewater was definitely the star of the cocktail.
Rosewater pairs fantastically with botanical flavours for obvious reasons and I loved that the watermelon and strawberry never overpowered its subtlety. In fact, the rosewater was the most pungent detail, in a way that countered the overly sweet notes of the fruits present in the drink. It was layered, not sweet in a nauseating way and was ultimately refreshing. I loved how simple and lush it tasted.
In the Atmosphere's Black Margarita, they swapped white salt for black sea salt around the rim. This was definitely aesthetically pleasing, it had no effect on the flavours. They also swapped the classic lime juice for pink grapefruit juice and syrup which accounts for the pink colour. Ifiemi found that the cocktail was a little too sweet and would have liked to taste the slight bitterness of the grapefruit, but an 8/10 for aesthetic.
I think it was just fine, not too sweet but there could be room for a bit more bitterness. (No pun intended).
Our last cocktail The Atmosphere wasn’t IT for me. Its ingredients are Smirnoff Blu 100 Proof, Remy Martin VSOP, Malibu, coconut cream, blueberry lemonade, diced fresh pineapples, blue curaçao, desiccated coconut flakes, fresh coconut, and mint sprig. I guess like me, you too would have figured that not all of these ingredients were available so it definitely wasn't the real Atmosphere. It also looked and tasted artificial. The coconut was fragrant in a nauseating way. After a few sips, it became tedious and so I had to let it go.
Apart from our drinks coming really late due to our bartender’s reluctance, The Atmosphere has a chance of being bigger than a nicely “packaged” venture if the bartender's reluctance/attitude gets managed. When I asked the difference between tiki and signature drinks on the menu, the bartender said to come back another time, after he has spoken to his superior.
Frosé - N4000
Pink on Black Margarita - N3500
The Atmosphere - N4000
Good for: Group drinking, late night and pre drinks.
Food: Full Kitchen
Happy Hour: No | Bottle Service: Yes | Wine: Yes | Beer: Yes