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Issue 98 - Stopping Time

Whisky Magazine Issue 98
September 2011


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Stopping Time

We meet the men behind forward thinking Edinburgh-based cocktail bar, Bramble Bar & Lounge.

A drink in Bramble almost feels like time standing still for a moment.

Descending down into the white washed basement surroundings, you're immediately consumed by the bar's perfectly appointed mix of modern lighting and vintage furniture, soon forgetting the world outside.

Simple ideas are turned into sensational creations, such as the bar's innovative take on the Coke Float and the Butter-Scotch Cocktail, using a butter-washed Adelphi Private Blend whisky and vanilla sugar.

A glance at the menu's 20-or-so cocktails gives you an immediate understanding that this is a bar, which really likes to mix things up – in a highly playful manner.

“The atmosphere and the quality of the drinks are the two most important things to us,” points out Mike Aikman, Bramble's manager and co-owner, who along with his business partner Jason Scott have been winning many plaudits from the bar tending community for the past several years, with their recipes.

“When we opened in 2006,” explains Mike, “there wasn't anywhere in Edinburgh where we felt we could go and have a really good drink in a great environment.

At the time there were bars trying to do cocktails but you were very much at the mercy of who was on a certain shift and you couldn't be guaranteed to get a good drink.” For Mike, being ahead of the pack is also crucial, which includes developing the house ingredients, such as home-made syrups and infusions and using whisky in a number of innovative ways.

“We try to be t...

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