Seasonal snapshot behind bars | Scottish Licensed Trade News

Scottish Licensed Trade News

Seasonal snapshot behind bars

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Neil Davidson No.10 Bar & Restaurant Aberdeen

• Which drinks will prove popular in the coming weeks and why?
The gin bubble shows no sign of bursting with new gins, especially Scottish brands, hitting the market on what feels like a weekly basis.
At No.10 we are constantly updating our range and introducing guest gins when the new ones come out as they are so popular with our customers. With so many tonics and garnishes to play around with, gin is the perfect drink for those long summer evenings.

• Do you expand any of your ranges over summer?
A summer range is very important. You have to look at expanding the range of summer drinks on offer, such as packaged ciders, light refreshing ales and of course an extensive range of soft drink options; this is now becoming increasingly important.

• Are cocktails a big part of your range? What mixes do you expect to be popular this summer?
Cocktails are an important part of No.10’s drinks range throughout the year. And our summer cocktail menu has been designed to reflect the need to offer customers both quality and consistency.
All of us here at No.10 are aware that Aberdeen has a vibrant cocktail bar scene and realise the importance of keeping our cocktail offering fresh and varied. This summer’s big hitters will undoubtedly be the gin mixes such as our Botanist Strawberry Basil Smash and, of course, no summer drinks
list is complete without a couple of classic rum cocktails like a Raspberry Mojito.

• What’s your favourite summer drink and why?
My favourite summer drink is the same as my favourite winter drink – the first one I have after a hard shift behind the bar!
However, if I was forced to choose something specific, you can’t beat a well-made classic Mojito in the summertime.


Josh Ramsay, The Blackbird, Edinburgh

• Which drinks will prove popular in the coming weeks and why?
I would say that guests tend to choose similar drinks during the summer regardless of trends; ciders, lighter beers, white wine or fizz over red. That said there are definitely drinks that we will promote more during the summer than at other times. The Blackbird has a great beer garden which essentially doubles our capacity.

• Do you expand any of your ranges over summer?
We always have a seasonal cocktail list in addition to the main drinks menu, but this year we are offering a third list on top of that. We’ve partnered with Bombay Sapphire and they are going to take over our outdoor bar, The Shed, for the summer so we’ll have a dedicated gin menu on offer outside.

• Are cocktails a big part of your range? What mixes do you expect to be popular this summer?
With the garden, cocktails are a huge part of our summer drinks range – nothing beats relaxing in the sunshine over a long drink. Obviously we expect gin to be popular; the category has been performing really well over the past year and we’ve developed a partnership with a really high quality British brand which is going to appeal to our guests.

• What’s your favourite summer drink and why?
The Cucumber and Mint Hi-ball – a twist on a classic Collins, but we’ve added cucumber and mint, flavours which are becoming synonymous with gin in Edinburgh, and then given it an edge with green chilli.


Dougie Candlish, Treacle, Edinburgh

• Which drinks will prove popular in the coming weeks and why?
When the weather is warmer we will always typically see an increase in sales of cider. Drinks which are lighter and refreshing I expect to do really well over the coming weeks.

• Do you expand any of your ranges over summer?
We change our fridges seasonally which includes bringing in drinks for summer; increasing the number of fruit ciders we have on offer and replacing heavier IPAs with lagers and pale ales. The boom in craft brewing means it is really easy now to get in seasonal beers as breweries are doing really interesting flavours.

• Are cocktails a big part of your range? What mixes do you expect to be popular this summer?
Yes, absolutely! This year we’ve chosen really refreshing flavours and a lot of citrus-led drinks – think your classic Gin Fizz and Sours. So we’ve got lime in there but also some more floral citrus notes with lemon basil bitters and also apple which gives a beautiful crispness. It’s all about building a new drink from a classic foundation.

• What’s your favourite summer drink and why?
The Jim French (cowboy). You’d expect it to be quite heavy with a bourbon base, which most people would associate as a wintery spirit, but we’ve sweetened it with a little thyme-infused honey and lightened it with lemon. It has a warmth to it from the saffron in the Yellow Chartreuse which we’ve complemented with mango which gives it a real summer kick.


Joe Cassidy, The Adamson, St. Andrews

• Which drinks will prove popular in the coming weeks and why?
As we head into summer at The Adamson, we anticipate a large number of tourists from all over the world arriving in St. Andrews. This shapes the drinks we serve to satisfy the variety of tastes and palates, which is great fun. We expect to see an increasing volume of single malt sales as well as a wide range of Scottish gins from the gantry. As for cocktails, almost certainly we will have requests for classics like gin Martinis and Manhattans from our American tourists together with a range of handcrafted specially-designed cocktails.

Some examples are Gypsy Eyes: Tanqueray gin, Aperol, lime, pink grapefruit and Green Chartreuse rinse; The Garden Party: heather honey and thyme-infused Tanqueray gin, Cointreau, orange bitters, lemon and pressed apple; The First St. Andrew’s Boy: Auchentoshan whisky, plum sake, house cherry and Peychaud’s bitters; and The Tom Morris: a gin and vodka cocktail paying homage to the iconic golfer in the home of golf.

Having just changed our cocktail menu in the spring it will be nice to see what sells well with the warm weather – especially our swizzle selection, which has some great long drinks for the long sunny days, including Summer Swizzle: Ketel One, Yellow Chartreuse, crème de violette, bitters, vanilla syrup and lemon.

• Do you expand any of your ranges over summer?
This summer we have opted to add a new Scottish gin selection to our menu featuring some of the best gins on the market including Isle of Harris Gin, Rock Rose Summer gin as well as the range of local Eden Mill gins.
Gin continues to be a huge seller for us all year round and provides an opportunity to showcase some of the best products the country has to offer to people from all over the world.

Having just revamped our list at The Adamson, we have spent a lot of time considering how the drinks would work over the holidays, striking a balance between classics, Adamson originals and some different seasonal flavours.

Adding long drinks with interesting combinations and techniques, such as our Pear and Green Tea Swizzle: caraway infused Tanqueray gin, pear, chilli & lemongrass shrub, poire williams, green tea & nettle cordial and house tea bitters should be great – showcasing how the bar has evolved in the last year. The summer is also a great time for local produce and ingredients so the bar team have been out in the countryside collecting some wild ingredients for drink specials – something to look forward to!

• Are cocktails a big part of your range? What mixes do you expect to be popular this summer?
Cocktails as you can see are always a huge part of our drinks range and especially in summer, which is one of the busiest times of year. We offer a unique experience in the local area with the standard and variety of drinks that we offer, so it is important for us to continually create new ideas. This season we have put a lot of effort into creating perfect serves for our more premium products and have spent time training the team on how to make aperitifs and vermouths into spritz and coolers, so we can continue to offer our guests something they may not have had elsewhere or a new take on the classic Aperol Spritz.

• What’s your favourite summer drink and why?
My favourite summer drink is any sort of spritz served up with loads of ice or Chartreuse served in any way I can get it.

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