Filling Station Cocktail Masterclass
On 11th June 2014 we were invited along to a cocktail masterclass held at the Filling Station restaurant in the Omni Centre, Edinburgh. First of all we must thank Tom (@TomsWhisky) of Toms Whisky Reviews for the heads up about this event and also the gorgeous folk at the Filling Station (@FSRestaurant) for organising it. Our compere for the evening was Heart Drivetime’s Paul Harper (@iampaulharper) and our expert mixologist Andy Pearson (@intoxicologyuk) from Intoxicology, the brains behind the cocktail menu at the Filling Station. You can also read Tom’s version of events on his website here.
To kick-start the evening we were treated to a fine selection of food from the menu and our choice of cocktails. Tom and I immediately went straight to the Whisky Sours, made using Maker’s Mark Bourbon. As designated driver Paula indulged in the ample Mocktail list, including this Virgin Colada and later a New Yorker.
Make your own Whisky Sours: Measure 45ml Bourbon or Rye Whisky, 30ml Lemon Juice, 15ml Gomme Syrup and a dash of egg white; Shake with ice and strain into ice-filled glass; garnish with maraschino cherry and slice of orange peel.
A selection of the fine food we washed down with our Sours. . And for myself a sample of the Key Lime Pie Cocktail, complete with biscuit encrusted rim while Tom opted for a Black Raspberry. Soon we were gathered to the bar and Andy and Paul started their double-act with Andy providing expert and detailed answers to each and every one of our questions as Paul goaded us into asking more and more. Andy set about making some stunning creations such as the Red Berry Cheesecake, with one of his first victims to get called behind the bar, as well as Mojito’s. Andy explained along the way that they have attempted to design a cocktail menu using the freshest of ingredients, including both old classics and cutting edge new creations. Not only are they handmade to order (no premixes here) but are incredible value when compared to other Edinburgh cocktail bars!
Soon enough asking the right (or wrong?) question led to a particular cocktail being constructed usually by the protagonists own hands under Andy’s expert supervision of course. Cue Tom and I asking about which cocktail takes the longest to prepare and getting hauled behind the bar to fix up a trio of Old Fashioned’s made using Maker’s Mark (Andy), Woodford Reserve (Tom) and Bulleitt (Me) Bourbons. The whole process famously taking around 5 to 6 minutes! Thirsty work!!
Make you own Old Fashioned: Add a teaspoon of caster sugar, a dash of Angostura Bitters, a dash of Orange Bitters and 10ml of soda water and muddle or crush sugar until dissolved; fill glass 1/3 full with ice and add 25ml Bourbon; Mix well with spoon; fill glass to 2/3 full with ice and add a further 25ml Bourbon; stir well and add a final volume of ice and 25ml bourbon to fill glass; garnish with maraschino cherry; express orange oil from zest on top and add in orange peel garnish.
Tom and I took a well earned rest and time to sample our handmade cocktails whilst further victims took to concocting behind the bar. Finally (or so we thought) to finish off the evening Tom sampled a dry Martini with Tanqueray Gin while I plumped for one of my personal favourites the classic Margarita.
Afterwards Tom, Paula and I chatted to Andy about more ideas for Cocktails and the possible use of Single Malt Scotch Whisky in them, as the Filling Station stock a good range of both Bourbon’s and Scotch behind their bars.
Andy (or more precisely barman Ivan) then whipped up a trio of Smokey malt Martini’s (or Maltini’s?) using Ardbeg, Laphroaig or Talisker whisky all at 10 years old and complete with olives (after all if Trapper John in M.A.S.H. demands an olive in his Martini then so must I). The results were pretty delicious and almost impossible to choose a favourite from…
Photo’s courtesy of Paula Stewart