Glasgow’s cocktail kings join the big league

TOP TEAM Alex Riches, Jamie Moran, Michael Woods and Liam Grogan

Cult Glaswegian cocktail bar The Absent Ear has been named as one of the Top 25 cocktail bars in the UK.

Operated under a veil of secrecy, The Absent Ear’s mystery location is only revealed when guests book, together with the password to gain entry.

However the people behind this successful eccentricity are well known, as it is part of the same group that operates Saint Luke’s and the Winged Ox and The Amsterdam ­– an outfit who are no strangers to industry plaudits, having claimed both Music-led Venue Of The Year, and Mixologist Of The Year at last November’s SLTN Awards.

In London to mark the Ear’s entry into the upper echelons of national mixology, at a ceremony hosted by premium mixer manufacturers Franklin and Sons, group operations manager Alex Riches said: “The Absent Ear is a real passion project for all of us, there’s nothing quite like it in the city or indeed in Scotland. Or anywhere, we hope!

“It’s indulgent, decadent and luxurious but with a gritty edge. We pour our heart and soul into the place and into making the drinks exciting, theatrical and about as far from simple as it’s possible to be.

“This national recognition for what we work so hard on means the world, especially at a time when so many bars and businesses are struggling to keep the lights on, literally,” said Alex.

“Jamie Moran the General Manager and Liam Grogan, who is deservedly Scottish Mixologist of the Year 2022, are at the heart of so much that’s great about The Absent Ear, so we’re delighted their hard work, and that of the whole team, has been recognised.”

The two other Scottish cocktail bars in the national Top 25 are Edinburgh’s Panda and Sons – which also takes a theatrical approach to its location, hiding out like a prohibition-era speakeasy behind a fake barber shop – and its predecessor and near neighbour, the intimate Bramble Bar and Lounge.