Behind bars: summer serves

Becca Macdonald of The Voyage of Buck in Edinburgh talks seasonal drinks and cocktails

Q: Which spirits categories do you expect to perform well this summer? 

A: The popularity of tequila and mezcal are on the rise and I would expect to see more cocktails and drinks incorporating these spirits throughout the summer. I would also expect to see a resurgence in rum-based drinks, as it is a very versatile spirit that lends itself to a variety of drinks, especially combined with tropical and summer fruit flavours. It is a key component of summer classics such as the Mojito, Daiquiri and the Pina Colada. 

Q: What about summer serves and cocktails?

A: There has definitely been a rise in demand for low-alcohol or non-alcoholic drinks that still taste great. We have made sure to include low-alcohol cocktails such as our vermouth-based Pomegranate Highball and have included non-alcoholic alternatives by utilising non-alcoholic gins. Bottled cocktails to enjoy in the comfort of your own home are also on the rise, we have made sure to include a whole host of bottled cocktails for summer, including our Blood Orange Paloma and our Passionfruit Gin Fizz. 

Q: What sort of serves and cocktails you’ll be offering this summer? 

A: Two of my favourite new summer drinks on our new menu are the Peach and Basil Sour and the Shanghai Lily. We take our inspiration here from cities around the world and Venice inspired our Peach and Basil Sour. We incorporated basil to give light, Italian flavours to connote the idea of a canal-side Venice cocktail on a warm summer’s day. Our Shanghai Lily (see below) is a Marlene Dietrich-inspired summer cocktail combining blueberries, watermelon and coriander to create a refreshing, whisky-based cocktail giving you all the flavours of Shanghai. For me, the best summer cocktails are light, refreshing and full of vibrant, fruity flavours. 

• Shanghai Lily

Blueberry-infused Benriach 10 smoky whisky 

Buck’s watermelon and coriander cordial 

Upcycled citrus 


Q: How will you promote these to consumers?

A: We have a brand new drinks list which we are very excited to release to the public! We also take part in many promotions and specials throughout the year to give people those extra summery options. We are always posting updates on social media so be sure to give us a follow. Our wonderful staff always like to make sure customers are choosing the perfect cocktail for them and love to recommend something a little different but still super tasty. We are also big believers in getting involved with brands and the rest of the hospitality community. 

Q: How important is it to offer seasonal serves and cocktails?

A: So important! Cocktails are all about mood, and flavour profiles definitely change with the weather. Our biggest aim is to keep creating seasonal flavours whilst still being sustainable and maintaining as close to zero waste as possible. We definitely believe that this summer we can create vibrant, fruity flavours without excessive wastage of fresh fruits and produce. 

Q: What’s your own favourite summer drink and why?

A: My go-to summer drink has got to be Brazil’s national drink, the Caipirinha. It is light, simple and perfect for a summer’s day. It is also easy to modify and tastes great with the addition of a handful of summer berries. It is encouraging to see a rise in popularity of Cachaca and I would love to see it become a staple on cocktail menus in the future.