Three accessible new serves from Edrington UK’s cocktail specialist

Veteran bartender and mixologist Brad Price in a formal suit against a carved wood background
Veteran bartender and mixologist Brad Price

Through the decades, cocktails have become an incredibly popular – and effective – way to introduce people into new spirits categories, making even initially intimidating liquids instantly accessible to bar and pub customers. 

At Edrington UK, Brad Price is the man responsible for creating new and exciting cocktail serves for the company’s world-class spirits.

A veteran bartender and mixologist, Brad is passionate about helping people navigate new spirits categories via the medium of accessible and enjoyable cocktails. 

Here, Brad sits down with SLTN to talk us through a few serves he has created for three renowned and historic Edrington brands: The Famous Grouse, Brugal 1888 and Highland Park. 

A Famous Grouse whisky bottle on a tray alongside a poured drink
The Famous Grouse

The Famous Grouse

Founded: 1896 by Matthew Gloag

Brad: One of my biggest things is how do you get new consumers into the whisky category? Many people appreciate whisky unadulterated, and many people savour whisky in their favourite stirred down cocktail, but the challenge for me is how to get those people who do not navigate the category, my wife being one of them, to be enticed into trying a whisky drink. We have to be able to formulate drinks that are accessible and versatile to appeal to those ‘non whisky drinkers’.

And that’s kind of where the serves I’ve picked come in. Bringing people into the category and showing the versatility of the liquid is so important.

We have different serve strategies with The Famous Grouse. We have the hot toddy in the winter, we have our highball serve, our Grouse and ginger serve. But it’s how we keep that consumer energised while bringing somebody new into the category.

For The Famous Grouse it was about looking at the flavour profiles of the whisky and really understanding them. 

I get these beautiful apple flavours that come through. That honey. So how do we elevate that?

So it was looking at these flavour profiles and also knowing that we still want this simplicity, because some of the on-trade venues we’ll be working with on The Famous Grouse won’t have all the cocktail equipment they may need for more complex serves. Or they might not have the time. They might need to get something out quickly. 

So how do we elevate a serve that brings out flavour profiles and freshness and vibrancy and have eye-catching garnishes? And we went with the Orchard Cooler, which has a little bit of citrus, a little bit of lemon, a big handful of fresh mint and some sparkling apple juice. 

Super simple. Super refreshing.

Two whisky cocktails alongside a whisky bottle and a lemon
Brad’s Orchard Cooler serve of The Famous Grouse

Orchard Cooler

50ml The Famous Grouse

5ml lemon juice

Sparkling apple juice

Handful of mint

Glass: highball


A bottle of rum in traditional string packaging
Brugal 1888, Edrington’s premium rum brand

Brugal 1888

Founded: 1888 by Andres Brugal

Brad: Brugal uses Oloroso sherry seasoned European oak casks and ex-bourbon white American oak barrels.

And then there’s the art of blending. It doesn’t matter if you’re talking about rum or whisky, I think blending is the hardest thing to do in the world. 

It was wonderfully put to me years ago. Can you imagine if I gave you ten ingredients and asked you to cook the best meal you can with them. Then I go ‘ok then, two aren’t available anymore. Now make it again’. That’s the art of blending, which is just a wonderful art form.

Brugal 1888 is an exceptional sipping rum. What the double-ageing process does is it brings out some huge vanilla notes. It brings out some red fruits. It brings out some toffee. And we have some cacao running through with a bit of spice. 

This all comes from the different casks we’re using. So the European oak is going to give us fruit notes, we’re going to get the spice coming from the American oak, as we would in whisky production. 

I would class this as, if a rum could nearly be a whisky, I think this is as close as you’re going to get. It’s an absolutely delicious sipping rum.

What we want to do is accentuate the flavour profiles of Brugal 1888. We don’t want to be utilising huge Tiki-style drinks. It wants to be honoured. 

Our hero serve is the Maestros Welcome. 

We use Brugal 1888, we use coconut syrup and a dash of coffee bitters. If people can’t get hold of coffee bitters, 5ml of a good quality coffee liqueur works wonderfully as well.

This really accentuates Brugal 1888 in its purest form. It brings out all those gorgeous flavours.

A rum bottle, lit by a sunny background, alongside a pair of poured cocktails in fancy glasses
Brad’s Maestros Welcome serve of Brugal 1888

Maestros Welcome

50ml Brugal 1888

10ml coconut syrup (Brad uses Monin)

1 dash coffee bitters (or 5ml coffee liqueur)

Glass: rocks


Metal gates and sign above the entrance to the Highland Park whisky distillery
The gate into the famed Highland Park distillery

Highland Park

Founded: 1798 by Magnus Eunson

Brad: Highland Park still honours very old traditions. It still hand-turns its floor maltings – one of eight distilleries that still do that.

But one of the biggest things about Highland Park is the peat that it uses. We use aromatic peat. I would never class Highland Park as a big peated whisky, I would normally call it a smoked whisky, and that comes down to the peat we use, which is from Hobbister Moor. 

And this is predominantly a combination of heather and sphagnum moss. So when this is dried out and added to the kiln, it gives these huge floral notes that come through into the barley. That is a huge characteristic that runs through the whole flavour profile of Highland Park and gives almost this honeyed flavour, this honeyed scent to it.

The Tammie Norrie are the puffins that arrive in Orkney every year. This cocktail uses strawberries, a traditionally summer fruit, so when I found out the puffins come to Orkney in May and settle across the summer, leaving towards the end of July, I thought it was the perfect name for a cocktail that utilises such a seasonal ingredient. And the drink is a beautiful red that would be on the beak of a puffin.

What we’re trying to do is bring out these fruit notes you get from Highland Park, but also to add a different dimension, a bit of a contrast, to what you might expect from a single malt cocktail. 

So bringing some huge peach elements in there, some fresh strawberries for the seasonality. Then you can either top it up with ginger ale or soda.

 I prefer soda but my wife loves this serve and she prefers it with ginger ale. This is how I managed to get my wife to drink a smoked whisky!

This was a broad serve. We’re not looking to make venues go out and source things for one particular serve. It was always a bugbear of mine that if you were putting a serve on a menu you have to utilise those ingredients in at least another serve. 

Crème de peche is something that’s pretty readily available and is on most back-bars. 

Also, strawberries, everyone is really into seasonality and strawberries are in season now. I wouldn’t be asking bars to put this on in the middle of winter. 

This is a very accessible serve. We’re not asking anybody to go away and make any homemade syrups or anything like that. The only thing we have in there is a honey syrup, which is just to help elevate the flavour profiles of Highland Park, when we’re talking about the peat that we use from Hobbister Moor.

But what that does, is it means that even if 50 bars in Scotland serve this same serve, using the exact same recipe, they can all add their own twist to it just by using their own local honey, which will have different flavour profiles.

It might be that they want to cut that honey syrup – so they won’t just be cutting it two-to-one with water, they might infuse that water with something like a camomile tea, which adds another dimension to it.

As with all serves that I create, the Tammie Norrie has that licence and flexibility to add your own stamp onto it.

An orangey-pink drink with a strawberry slice in it
Brad’s Tammie Norrie serve of Highland Park whisky

Tammie Norrie

37.5ml Highland Park 12

12.5ml crème de peche

25ml lemon juice

25ml honey syrup (2:1 ratio)

2 dashes Angostura Bitters

2 strawberries

Top with soda or ginger ale

Glass: highball