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Bramble overhauls cocktail menu for first time

Award-winning Edinburgh bar Bramble has curated an entirely new cocktail menu – the first complete overhaul in the venue’s 13-year history.

Flower, made by bar manager Michael Lynch

The new menu, which has no specific name, took eight months to put together by the Bramble team, led by bar manager Michael Lynch, and will officially launch on 15 January.

Mike Aikman, Bramble co-founder, said: “This menu is a complete overhaul, with a thoroughly fresh outlook for a new decade. We’re freshening up our approach, just like we did when we opened in 2006, when we analysed the important factors we wanted in a cocktail menu.

“A lot has changed in the cocktail world since then, so it is important for us to try and stay relevant, whilst appealing to our existing, loyal customers and focusing on customer service.”

The new cocktails have been designed to focus on “clear and concise” flavour profiles.

Inspiration was taken from around the world, including the Philippines, with purple yams used to make a coconut syrup in a nod to Lynch’s heritage.

Other Asian influences on the menu include the use of lemongrass and galangal in the Flower cocktail (pictured above). The drink is a mix of Porters Tropical Old Tom gin, lemongrass vermouth, galangal syrup, lemon juice, a dash of OJ bitters and absinthe.

Elsewhere on the menu, the bar team has also redistilled Tequila with six gin botanicals – just one of several new techniques and flavour combinations adopted by Bramble.

“We’ve always had a very DIY approach to making our own syrups or infusions,” said co-founder Jas Scott. “We’ve had our dedicated, off-site R&D space for doing that kind of thing since 2017 and it’s made a huge impact in terms of what we’re able to do.”

Signature Bramble reimagined

The bar’s signature Bramble cocktail has been given a new lease of life and is now “presented in a completely different way”.

The signature Bramble presented in a “completely different way”

Aikman added: “Some drinks, like the Mint 500, Campbeltown Cocktail, or the Celery Sour, have become synonymous with Bramble and are ordered almost automatically, so it becomes difficult to remove them from the menu for fear of alienating our regular clientele.

“In the end, we thought rather than just switching in a few drinks every quarter we would just rip it up and start again. Integral to this process was looking at our namesake, the Bramble itself.

“We still love them and making them for customers, but having made so many of them we thought we could take a different slant on it – using similar flavours but presented completely differently.”

The new Bramble cocktail is made by distilling Braemble liqueur, then mixing it with Portobello Road gin, dry vermouth and clarified sour apple, diluted with bramble water and carbonated.

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