Happy Hour of the Month: Caffeine & Cocktails

Claire Slobodian
Caffeine and cocktails

We go exploring for another Reading happy hour deal. This time, we take in fun, beach-vibe cocktails at Caffeine and Cocktails in King’s Walk. It’s a stylish space with a light and fruity cocktail menu. Find out about the drinks deal, the vibe and the service on our happy hour of the month feature.

What’s the deal?

A select menu of cocktails are two-for-£8 from 4-7pm every day and all day on Sundays.

How are the drinks?

Fun, light and, quite frequently, fruity. There’s a bumper list of 20 drinks to choose from, and you can mix and match your choices, which is a bit of rarity in happy hour. Their range of stronger, coffee cocktails aren’t included though. Instead this list could be on a chalk board at a beach bar: look out for a daiquiri, a margarita, a Tom Collins, a Cuba libre and a bellini.

There’s also a range of whimsically-named signature drinks such as the sugary pop Tailored Swift (Southern Comfort, Kwai Fei, vanilla and cranberry juice) or the Gintendo-64, which is essentially alcoholic lemonade (gin, Southern Comfort, lemon and apple juice).

We quite like the Hummingbird (Malibu, Passoa, lime, pineapple juice), which is a sweet, frothy and served in a very elegant coupe glass, or the Solero (Absolut Mango, Cointreau, mango, passionfruit and pineapple juice). Yep, it’s basically the taste of the ice lolly in a glass.

If you really don’t do sweet and you don’t want to risk something served in a frilly glass, opt for the well-balanced and foamy whisky sour (Chivas, lemon, egg white and sugar).

What’s the vibe?

Stylish and chilled. There’s white subway tiles, palm leaves, lazy Chesterfield sofas and neon signs (“You’re looking gorgeous today”, reads one. Why, thank you!). It’s very Instagrammable, but not too try hard.

The crowd is usually heavy on 20-something girl groups starting a night out, or having a post work catch up. It’s fun, relaxed and cool, without being too pretentious.

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Caffeine and cocktails

What about service?

A mixed bag. On one visit, our bartender was attentive and happy to chat. On another, it was a bit of a mission to distract the three staff members from their kitchen chat to get service. On all my visits though the bar team have been knowledgeable about the contents of their drinks and what you’ll probably like. In happy hour, they’ll also bring your drinks over to you after ordering, so you don’t have to stand around waiting at the bar.

Is it worth it?

Yes. Don’t come expecting heavy duty classic cocktails (go to the Chez Mal Bar for those), and you’ll get interesting, well-made drinks at the bargain price of £4/cocktail. Squint at the palm trees and you could almost be on holiday. It’s a much more fun and friendly way to relax on a sofa after work than just heading home to Bake Off again.

Happy Hour details

4-7pm daily, 10am-late Sunday | Caffeine and Cocktails, Unit 5,  King’s Walk, Reading, RG1 2HG.

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