Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Last Night in Scotland... A Night out in Edinburgh

As we set off again, after having a relaxing night in Oban, it was time to finish our road trip and head back to Edinburgh. What an amazing few days we've had. We managed to cover lots of ground in such a short time. From the east coast of Scotland at St. Andrews, Up and over the highlands to Inverness, then down the west side to Oban and back across to Edinburgh. To celebrate the end of our road trip and also the end to our time in Scotland, we decided to head out and see what the Edinburgh night life had to offer. 

There was one cocktail bar which was on the top of my list to visit in Edinburgh, that was the "Bramble Bar”.  Bramble Bar has won many awards over the years. Australian Bartender Magazine listed Bramble in the top 20 bars in the world. It is also said to be the best bar to visit in Scotland. The menu at Bramble is extensive but without being too over-whelming. They offer a good mixture of classics, variations on classics as well as some of there own creations. I decided to order a cocktail called “Lazarus Lane”. This is a simple yet unique combination of Tapatio blanco tequila, blackberries, ginger extract, vanilla flavoured sugar and garnished with a sprig of rosemary. It’s served over one large cube of ice with is chiselled out of a huge ice block by the bartender. When sipping this drink, the smell of the rosemary hits you straight away. Then when tasted, the acidity of the blackberries works well with the sweetness of the vanilla and ginger extract. Then there is the tequila, which adds a whole other dimension to the drink. It’s a combination of simple ingredients, but they all compliment each other and work well together. Warning though... this drink is not for everyone. Cara took a sip of the “Lazarus Lane” and she did not like it at all.  It’s bitter taste did not go down to well, but I like it. It was different and had been well thought through. 

Recently Cara has been taking after my love of rum, and has started to often order rum based cocktails. Our visit to Bramble was no exception. She ordered a cocktail called a “Red Rum”. This consisted of (one of my favourite rums) Bacardi 8 year old, Plymouth Sloe Gin, fresh lemon juice, red currants and vanilla sugar syrup. This was definitely more to Cara’s liking. The sweetness of the vanilla sugar and dark rum blended well together with the flavours of the gin. This drink was not sour at all, so the lemon juice was simply there to bind all these flavours together. Out of the 2 cocktails, Cara’s “Red Rum” would certainly appeal to more people. 

After Bramble, We made our way to another near by cocktail bar, “Bon Viant”. A bar which has a great reputation as being one of the best in Edinburgh. As we walked in we could see why. The place was packed and with almost every person holding a cocktail. We found a small part of the bar to stand and ordered a lesser known classic drink, A “Millionaires Cocktail”. This classic first featured in Harry Cradock’s book from the 1930’s, “The Savoy Cocktail Book”. Since it was first published, it’s stood the test of time and has taken on many variations over the years. It consists of 25ml Sloe Gin, 25ml Apricot Brandy, 25ml Jamaican Rum, the juice of 1 lime, a dash of grenadine and a dash of egg white. Then shaken into a martini glass. Like most classics, It’s a well balanced cocktail which is easy for almost anyone to drink. It’s similar to an original daiquiri, with its rum and lime, but the added sloe gin and apricot brandy gives the drink more fruitiness.  The egg white gives the drink a unique texture. 

We headed to a few more bars in the near by area, before calling it a night. Our time in Scotland has been unforgettable and a night out in the trendy city of Edinburgh was the perfect way to finish. 

Bramble Bars, “Lazarus Lane”
In a Shaker:
Muddle Blackberries
45ml Tapatio Blanco Tequila
Dash of Ginger Extract
15ml Vanilla Sugar Syrup
Shake and Strain over ice into a short rocks glass
Garish with a Sprig of Rosemary

Bramble Bars, “Red Rum”
In a shaker:
Muddle Red Currents
30ml Bacardi 8 year old Rum
30ml Plymouth Sloe Gin
15ml Lemon Juice
15ml Vanilla Sugar Syrup
Shake and Strain into Martini Glass

Bon Viant Bar, “Millionaires Cocktail”
In a Shaker:
25ml Sloe Gin
25ml Apricot Brandy
25ml Jamaican Rum
The Juice of 1 Lime
Dash of Grenadine
Dash of egg white
Shake and Strain into Martini Glass

1 comment:

  1. Loved your last few blogs Dave...you have captured the feel of the Highlands and the warming drinks that are so necessary in that that part of the world brilliantly. I think that the 'Millionaires Cocktail' is one that suits you very well, hopefully we can share one of those together very soon! happy trails...Cheers!