My taste has become much more refined during my long stint as Cambridge’s resident cocktail samplerjem ward for varsity

Unfortunately, this second instalment of Battle of the Bars had a much more disappointing outcome than the last. Perhaps I was just feeling cynical, having been at it for so long, or maybe my taste has just become much more refined during my long stint as Cambridge’s resident cocktail sampler. Nevertheless, read on to find out which college bars you should probably give a miss if you’re looking for the perfect cocktail.

Trinity: Trinity Red and Trinity Blue 2.5 stars

Having tried both the Trinity Red and the Trinity Blue on two separate occasions, I had no burning desire to go back and experience the sterile vibes of Trinity bar. I have recollections of bright overhead strip lighting and trying to enjoy yet another mix of lemonade and blue curacao in a pint glass while being surrounded by people working on their laptops (at 10pm!). I remember the price being fairly average, and my overall experience was neither bad nor good – Trinity definitely earns this average star rating.

Peterhouse: Quick Fuck, Olgasm, Dizzy Izzy – 3.5 stars

I’m a big fan of the concept of each bartender having their own signature cocktail named after them. The Olgasm (made by Olga) has a very satisfying colour gradient when it arrives, and its flavours recall a better version of Sidney’s Sex on the Cam. The Dizzy Izzy is also great to look at, but the Midori flavour is slightly overpowering so may not be for everyone. These both came in pint glasses (minus points), but the price (£10 for 2) wasn’t too upsetting. Peterhouse’s signature cocktail – the Quick Fuck – isn’t actually a cocktail at all. The shot, which consists of Midori with a top layer of Bailey’s, is not the nicest to look at, but I can appreciate the creativity. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the element of surprise and the opportunity to try a new (surprisingly tasty) flavour combo for the humble price of £2.70, I can imagine that the novelty of the Quick Fuck would wear off quite quickly.

“I’m a big fan of the concept of each bartender having their own signature cocktail named after them”

Downing - Machete, P&T – 3.5 stars

I am a big fan of Downing’s Machete – I can understand that the addition of port to a cocktail might not be for everyone, but it definitely is for me. The £4.50 price tag won’t hurt your bank balance too much, and life always seems better when you’re sipping a cocktail with a really cool name. On the other end of the spectrum is the P&T, which (sort of like a fizzy Stone Cold) was much too sweet and too luminous in colour for me. It was this drink which caused me to realise I was becoming sick of blue curacao and drinking cocktails out of pint glasses. Downing also offers the Purple Rain (like the one from Spoons) and Sex On the Paddock (literally a Sex on the Beach but with a different name), so bonus points for variety but minus points for unoriginality.

Tit Hall – 0 stars

After trying (and failing) to get past Tit Hall plodge on two separate occasions, upon my third attempt I was met with a closed bar and decided to cut my losses. Tit Hall gets a petty 0 stars just because of the inconvenience I was caused.

Robinson: Robinson Rain – 2.5 stars

My experience with the Robinson Rain was bang average, bordering on disappointing. To be met with yet another £4.40 blue curacao and lemonade combo at the end of a long day was rather tragic. I have heard that Robinson bar has quite good vibes outside of exam season, so perhaps this would have contributed to the overall experience and afforded a higher rating. Sorry Robinson!

“To be met with yet another £4.40 blue curacao and lemonade combo at the end of a long day was rather tragic”

Gonville and Caius: Caius Cocktail – 2 stars

Admittedly, I had a really lovely time at Caius bar, but that was most definitely down to the company and not the cocktails. Never again will I pay £4 for what is quite literally a glass of blue WKD with some grenadine on top. With a wildly boring name and a disturbing sludgy brown colour to match, I would describe the Caius Cocktail as a (much) worse version of the Catz Fire Engine: it has the sweet blackcurrant flavour, just without the alcohol. I honestly think you could find more exciting drinks at a children’s birthday party.

Newnham: High Winds – 3 stars

My tasting session at the Iris bar set me back £7.50, but they do offer a 2 for 1 deal on cocktails if you bring a friend. The drink is presented in a classy margarita glass, but the flavour wasn’t there to match. The High Winds tastes exactly like the red Big Time juice cup (a staple beverage at every school disco I ever went to), a blast from the past which definitely affords minus points. Coupled with the atmosphere in the bar, the High Winds (in spite of its name) did not blow me away.

Homerton ???


Mountain View

Battle of the bars: a comprehensive ranking of every college’s signature cocktail

I’ll be honest with you… I couldn’t be arsed to go to Homerton. I know this to be a mistake now, because I could have had the honour of bumping into Jedward, but I’m afraid I have nothing for you at this time. But I didn’t want to leave you empty handed, so I asked my editor, who goes to Homerton, for her thoughts. Over to you, Lauren: I don’t even know if Homerton has a signature cocktail, so I’ll just review the Pornstar Martini. It’s pretty good, although very tart and quite pricey. Back to you, Sophie.

And thus concludes my ranking of every college bar’s signature cocktail (or, at least, every college bar I saw fit to make the journey to).