Spotlight on seasonal serves

Jody Buchan, brand ambassador for Monkey Shoulder in Scotland (pictured), teamed up with Gary Middleton, bar manager at The Chester Hotel in Aberdeen, to create a special seasonal serve featuring blended malt Monkey Shoulder.

Here’s all you need to know about seasonal serve, Life’s Peachy.

Which spirit have you chosen to use and why?

Jody: We chose to go with Monkey Shoulder original. The OG! Partly because it’s a favourite for Gary and myself, but also that it’s the expression that people would most likely be able to get their hands on if they wanted to try this at home, or in their bars.

What have you made? 

Life’s Peachy

50ml Monkey Shoulder original

25ml Rin Quin Quin

10ml sugar syrup

Freshly squeezed lime juice

Dash of Angostura Bitters

Ms Better’s Bitters foamer/egg white

Method: Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and dry shake. Add ice to the shaker and shake again to chill and dilute. Fine strain over fresh ice into a tumbler/rocks glass. Garnish with an orange peel or (if you have them) steal the Monkey Shoulder logo off the bottle and adorn the glass!

What benefits do you think this cocktail will bring to bars offering it?

Jody: This brings an accessible, flavourful twist on a classic that experienced cocktail drinkers would enjoy, but also it’s a way that newcomers to the category wouldn’t find intimidating.

What drinks trends do you expect to see going forward? How important is it to offer seasonal serves and cocktails? 

Jody: Seasonal drinks keep things interesting and our guests engaged, as the menu evolves throughout the year. The Chester Hotel have seen an amazing uptake in their cocktail offering, throughout the year, owing to their approach to drinks and through their winter marquee.

Life’s Peachy is on the cocktail menu at The Chester Hotel in Aberdeen

What’s your thoughts on the seasonal serve you have both created?

Gary: This cocktail is easy to approach, it’s so tasty you would order another directly after finishing the first (responsibly of course) and it’s definitely something that would appeal to our more experienced guests as well as someone dipping their toe into the cocktail pool for the first time.

Why have you chosen this serve? Why do you think it works so well with the chosen base spirit?

Gary: The Penicillin is one of my favourites in the family of whisky sours, as well as Monkey Shoulder, so it’s a match made in heaven. The Rin Quin Quin adds subtle hints of fruit as well as lifting the whisky flavours with it. Absolutely delicious… if I do say so myself.

What do you think this cocktail will add to your bar’s offer?

Gary: We’re always looking to inspire our guests to try something a little bit different. Sometimes it’s difficult for people to get their heads around mixing whisky. Monkey Shoulder is the perfect way to show them not only how easy it is, but how tasty it can be too!

How will you promote this serve?

Gary: This serve will be featured on our menu and I believe it will be showcased in a video, shot by Jody for Monkey Shoulder. I can’t wait to serve it for our customers.

How important is it for your bar to offer seasonal serves?

Gary: To me it showcases the venue, our staff and what we can do. To show off to Aberdeen’s clientele what we’re all about.

How important are cocktails to your business?

Gary: Very important for us. We get a lot of interest in our cocktail offering with up 50% of sales being from our cocktails alone. We’ve reached 15,000 a month post-COVID with our outdoor marquee.

What drinks trends do you expect to see going forward?

Gary: Hard seltzers and spritzes will be edging into the hotel bar scene as the public demand increases.