An Evening Inspired by Studio Ghibli

A few weeks ago The Vanguard @ 1000 Trades hosted a very special event. Anyone who loves anything by Studio Ghibli (the Japanese animations), or indeed cocktails, would have loved this. It was a ticket only event and not surprisingly sold out quickly. I was so looking forward to the night and it exceeded expectations!

We were called upstairs in turn and warmly greeted by Sam and the team. Even without trying the drinks we were already excited just by seeing the menu! Our first drink was quickly brought to our tables and just looked fantastic.

It was a humid evening and Ponyo was lovely and refreshing. The yuzu and Nikka gin combination created a zingy citrus flavour. A great start.

Next we had Howl’s Moving Castle. A wonderfully smooth cocktail. I wondered what the Calcifer stencil was made from so dipped my finger in-turns out it was dried plum and quite tasty on its own.

Our next visual feast was My Neighbour Totoro. So cute! The watermelon flavours really stood out. A perfect summer cooler.

In-between our drinks service we were also treated to some accompanying snacks. A great little treat.

Next and I think the favourite on our table (seasoned whisky drinkers), was Princess Mononoke, a wonderful combination of Jameson Caskmates whisky, cinnamon, caramelised banana and smoke. It sounds sweet but actually the balance of the cocktail was prefect and combined many of my favourite flavours.

Our last drink was Spirited Away. An interesting mix of vodka, Asian Pear, apple and lemon. Although I enjoyed this drink I felt it would have followed Ponyo better, with its lighter citrus undertones. I felt it didn’t quite stand up to the whisky and strong flavours of the previous drink.

This was a fantastic evening. With the addition of the Ghibli themed music in the background, the night was simply delightful. Hats off to Sam and his amazing effort. I really hope this event is held again.


Head to the Vanguard Bar for mead and many other excited cocktails.

This post was not sponsored. I paid for my ticket gladly and enjoyed every minute.


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