After a stellar six years touring North America, Tales of the Cocktail is coming to Edinburgh, crossing the pond to bring us the industry’s premier cocktail festival over five days.
As part of the tour, we’ve partnered with leading bartenders from around the world to devise a bespoke cocktail menu inspired by Edinburgh Gin’s dynamic portfolio.
- Leslie Ross (Reserve 101, Houston)
- Stu Bale (Bad Sports, London)
- Michael Olsson (1656 Cocktail Bar, Copenhagen).
- Ally Kelsey & Maja Jaworska (White Lyan, London)
- Graeme Moffat (The Voyage of Buck, Edinburgh)
- Jamie Moran (The Finnieston, Glasgow)
- Fabian Nordström (1105 Cocktail Bar, Copenhagen)
- Benedict Ghosn (Century Bar, Gleneagles Hotel)
- Sam McGarry (Nightcap, Edinburgh)
- Tomas Germanavicius (Heads & Tales, Edinburgh)
- Connor Knowles (The Tippling House, Aberdeen)
- Michael O’Brien (The Jolly Botanist, Edinburgh)
In the run up to the event, we spoke to the bartenders about their favourite cocktails, what inspired them in the industry and behind the bar, and what they’re looking forward to at Tales on Tour Edinburgh.
What is your favourite cocktail?
“Shower beers. Bloody Mary’s for breakfast, Bellinis for brunch. Martinis at lunch, Kelsey Daiquiris with dinner and Manhattans for a nightcap.”
“A Coatbridge Negroni – a unique take on the negroni, currently gracing the menu at London’s Bad Sports. It has equal parts Gin, Campari and Buckfast, with the latter replacing sweet vermouth in the original recipe.”
“Simple cocktails. Any drink who has to many ingredients never works for me. A classic old fashioned or daiquiri made the right way with great ingredients I find very hard to beat.”
What inspires you most in the industry?
“I am inspired by the vast possibilities in flavour and aroma combination, and love involving inspiration from the kitchen in to bartending in order to create something new.”
“I take a lot of inspiration from chefs and new and exciting techniques. My old Bar Manager Benji Puslow has been a huge inspiration for me, I really learnt a lot from him.”
“People that think outside of the box.”
What is the creative process for making new cocktails?
“My process usually begins with a trigger of some sort, some idea that gets the Citrus juices flowing! Sometimes it will be a general idea of theme that I adapt to the execution of the drink, sometimes I come across a word, or a thought or a state of being, it can be anything, it just has to be the right thing, and then viola!”
“I enjoy concepts for creating drinks. Taking one huge idea and whittling it down to liquid form. Then, taking this idea, identifying a spirit and combining flavours and textures to create an end product. Sometimes I just think of a funny name..”
“I go weeks maybe up to a month just thinking about what I want to achieve with the drink what style, what ingredients are in season how will it fit on my menu, and start to match the flavours in my mind before i even touch a bottle which tends to make me achieve the result I want within two-three tries.”
What do you expect from Tales on Tour in Edinburgh?
“I expect it’ll bring many new, exciting ideas and styles to all aspects of hospitality. Inspiration will come not only from the seminars, but through simply having the sheer volume of talented, creative professionals from all corners of the globe, together in the city at one time.”
“I am looking forward to meeting a lot of people from all over the world, engaging and networking with them. I also hope I can learn a lot and gain a new perspective, and inspiration from some of the great speakers that are presenting this year.”
“Bartending is fantastic as you can always learn more and more, whether that is technique, knowledge, everything you can always find something to improve. That is definitely something I’m looking forward to at Tales; speaking to and learning from some of the very best.”