Open since September, Black Sheep Rive is one of my new go-to addresses in Geneva. It has everything one needs for a great night out: nice decor, awesome food, wicked drinks and a very friendly service. Concealed on a side street to the rue de la Terrassière, it is the younger brother of the original Black Sheep on Place Grenus.
The venue is nicely sized with a split level overlooking the bar. The decor is a mix of industrial and vegetal with plants here and there. I have a special fondness for the quirky gin posters, especially for the one with the gin and tonic cartoon bottles telling each other “You complete me”. The main feature though is the back bar with its countless gin bottles.
Gin posters, gin bottles…you see the theme, right? Black Sheep Rive prides itself of being Geneva’s first gintonería, i.e. gin & tonic bar. It does have quite the gin selection with 140 references from all around the world, including Japan! Don’t look for a gin menu though: the bar shelves are the menu!
A cocktail bar as well as a gintonería, Black Sheep Rive lists a dozen signature drinks. Some are evidently gin based but rum/vodka/whiskey/tequila lovers will also find something to their taste.
I’ve been to Black Sheep Rive many times since its opening and I’m slowly working my way through the menu with my friends’ help.
The Pineapple Mule, the Manila’s Fizz and the Kama’s are light and refreshing options to start the evening smoothly. The Pineapple Mule mixes pineapple infused vodka, homemade ginger syrup, lime juice, cherry bitter, soda and grains of paradise. The Manila’s Fizz is an exotic combination of gin, kalamansi purée, orgeat, citrus and soda. Amateurs of the classic Tom Collins cocktail will appreciate a twist on the classic recipe with the Kama’s. This creation of Black Sheep Rive is a soft combination of jasmin infused gin, bergamot syrup, lemon juice, Angostura bitters and tonic.
A new creation I’ve recently enjoyed is the Zezz Fizz. The clever mix of gin, Campari, raspberries, lime and sugar, topped with soda makes for a fruity drink with just a subtle hint of bitterness. I would have liked mine with a little more soda as I’m not much of a fruity cocktail fan but the combination of Campari and raspberry was really good.
Following my statement that I’m not much of a fruity cocktail fan, I was pleasantly surprised by the Holy Tiki. The mix of rum, vanilla and tonka syrup, passion fruit and pineapple juice, ginger and kaffir lime was fruity of course but refreshing nonetheless.
Another good discovery on the new menu is the Deep Sleep (verbena infused gin, ginger rhubarb liquor, vanilla syrup, lime, peach bitters). The various flavours reveal themselves progressively, one after the other, for a surprising and very enjoyable effect. Finally, if you like more herbal flavours, try the Chartreuse based Supertramp.
Last but definitely not least: the food!
Before I became a cocktail lover I was and still am a foodie. So when I tell you I could eat at Black Sheep Rive everyday, go there with your eyes shut and enjoy the yumminess. From the beef tataki to the pumpkin quinoa or the sauteed prawns, every dish is more appetizing and tastier than the other.
When it comes to ordering, I would strongly suggest you order the sharing platter instead of the individual dishes. It will allow you to taste a bit of everything. Don’t worry about not having enough: the portions are perfectly sized and you’ll leave on a happy stomach.
Now that I’ve made you both hungry and thirsty, make your way to Black Sheep Rive and enjoy ! Personally, I’ve just returned from another evening there and I’m already looking forward to my next visit.