Drink Lagos: NOK by Alara
Must. Find. Something. Bad. To say. About. NOK.
Since Nosa and Folly have been accused of fawning over NOK, I figure the drinks section will finally be the ones to take the mighty NOK down a peg. Surely, they can't be perfect, can they?
The 1st item is the Dre Beets, and this is because each cocktail comes with an expensive yet complimentary set of headphones.
Hurry Now! If they play coy and refuse you these complimentary headphones, accuse them of false advertising and ask to see the manager. Not so perfect now, are you, NOK?
But for serious, the name gives away the main ingredient, beets (rather, beet-infused vodka). What is not given away is the fantastic mix of ginger and lemon which would have otherwise been too earthy.
Perfectly balanced, I can honestly say this is a pleasant surprise and a cocktail unlike any I have ever head. Plus, if you're hungry and food is taking too long, the drink is garnished with a slice of beet.
The Guavarita, my second cocktail on the night, is a fearless one. Some margaritas are blended, and some aren't. Blended margaritas don't have to do much, what with pre-made cocktail mixes and a pastel of neon-rainbow coloring. For those that aren't blended, it takes gumption to bare all your unique ingredients on display and dare people to like you.
The guavarita dares and succeeds. The tequila isn't too harsh, and the spiced rim balances the guava nectar quite well.
Guavarita issa goal.
On to the next one - The Eko Traffic. A more traditional cocktail relative to the NOK's unique roster.
This is a refreshing drink with elderflower, ginger, mint and clove-infused gin (I believe the scientific term for all this is serener). I actually don't know why they would name such fine cocktail "Eko Traffic" because EVERYBODY HATES EKO TRAFFIC.
My final cocktail on the night was the NOK Spritz. The only disappointing cocktail, which is a shame because it is beautiful to look at. Not horrible, but first of all the wrong glass was used (a rocks glass was used instead of the traditional wine glass, which would've helped circulate the prosecco wella-wella).
Second, I'm Team Aperol over Team Campari when it comes to spritzes, and tonic was used instead of soda. With all these tiny but important elements mixing together, in addition to too much campari in proportion to the prosecco, the cocktail ends up being too bitter. Also, the recipe promised a hint of tabasco, which never comes through whilst you're too busy squeezing your mouth from the bitter taste.
In summary, NOK has an extensive and well curated menu, not to mention the bar outside has a separate menu, much like the one at The Grill by Delis. While the sampled cocktails above give you a sense of the diversity of options, it only scratches the surface. Perfect for the adventurer, there's bound to be something for everyone. Except free headphones, apparently.
P.S. You'll notice from above that NOK is one of the few places in Lag where they infuse their alcohol, which is a big deal compared to some places in lag where they run out of ingredients for Rum & coke (Sidebar: For those that don't know what "infused" means and wants to ask "infused with what?", the answer is always "…with love")
Be sure to ask for Philip. He brings life to all the cocktails.
Good for: After work drinks - Pre drinks - Date Night
Food: Full Kitchen
Happy Hour: No | Bottle Service: Yes | Wine: Yes | Beer: Yes
Dre Beets - N3500
Guavarita - N3500
Eko Traffic - N3500
NOK Spritz - N4000