Last Thursday saw the launch of Longhorns Barbecue Smokehouse Slaughterhouse Speakeasy at their Jesmond restaurant and I was lucky enough to be invited along to sample some of their new cocktails and some really tasty food.

If you're not familiar with Longhorns, it's a BBQ smokehouse which started out with two locations in Newcastle (one in the city centre and the other in Jesmond) and now has another seven locations up North between Sunderland and Sheffield.
They serve all the meat you could wish for which is sourced locally in Northumberland before being rubbed with authentic spices and then smoked low and slow for up to 24 hours before serving - it really is a dream come true for a carnivore like myself!

The quality of the food is always perfect, everything is made fresh and prepared on site from the meats to the sauces and the slaws... the flavours are always incredible and unlike anything from anywhere else. If you go, I'd massively recommend the Memphis Hogg Butt or the Dirty Longhorn if you're extra hungry.
The event was really secretive, with the invite titled 'Shhhhh Don't Tell Anyone' and we were even given a password to allow us entry at the door. I didn't really know what to expect, but the promise of cocktails and meat was enough to tempt me!
The Speakeasy is located down a back staircase from their Jesmond restaurant and can be entered from a hidden side-door in the courtyard, it's the perfect hang out for a couple of drinks with friends, the atmosphere is really chilled and the cocktails are just the best!

There's a really relaxed vibe about the place, with it's stone floor, wooden bench seats and tables, retro signage and the moody lighting. You feel instantly at ease and as though you're in some kind of hidden away gem (which you kind of are!)
It's fair to say that we made the most of the free bar, all in the name of research for this blog post of course!
The drinks menu is huge with a full page of cocktails which are broken down into Bourbon/Rye, Old and New categories plus there's wine, beer and spirits too... something to tickle everyone's alcohol fancy!
Our first choices were the 'Bee's Knees' cocktail made from Haymans Gin, lemon curd, honey water, lemon, orange juice and orange bitters and the 'Celebration Mojito' which consists of Brugal Blanco, mint infused process syrup and lime, both were really tasty!

Watching the resident cocktail shaker and chief bartender Roy Varty create the cocktails was like watching an artist at work, it was mesmerising and I challenge you to find something he doesn't know about these drinks! I was most impressed with his technique of cooking mint with prosecco to create the syrup for my mojito... no mint leaves in sight in my glass meant no intense and too strong to drink mint at the bottom of the glass - genius! 

For our second helping of drinks we chose a 'Hemingway Daiquiri'; Brugal Blanco, luxado maraschino, agave, lime and pink grapefruit and a 'Mai-Talian'; Old j Gold Rum, campari, orgeat, lime, pineapple syrup and a salted tiki fire fudge on the side, they were both pretty strong, but delicious once again.
Once the drinks had been flowing for a while and everyone was settled in we were treated to a huge platter of cured meats, cheeses and American pickles to snack on whilst sipping our cocktails before indulging in what I could call the main event... A platter of 16 sliders consisting of beef brisket, BBQ pulled pork and homemade slaw in the cutest brioche buns stamped with the Longhorns logo... They were so delicious I will definitely be returning for more!
The Slaughterhouse Speakeasy is open now every week from Thursday - Sunday and I can't recommend it enough, even if you just pop down for a cheeky one before or after your meal I can guarantee you'll love it!
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