Mixing Things Up A Bit

We visited Edinburgh's Bramble Bar for some whisky cocktail inspiration
By Christopher Coates
Whisky cocktails. They can be divisive. To some they represent blasphemy incarnate, while to others they're just another way to enjoy - or even enhance - a dram. Here at Whisky Magazine, we've long been backing the latter camp and certainly haven't been afraid to mix up some rather serious whiskies. The result, we hope, has been to deliver a little insight into where whisky sits in the broader spirits category and how the distinct flavour profiles imparted by our favourite expressions can be utilised to great effect by those with sufficient mixological know-how.

We're kicking off our new regular cocktails feature by picking the brains of three creative minds from the multi-award winning Bramble Bar in Edinburgh. The result? Three creative concoctions that can be recreated at home by you.

Like these recipes? Show us the results of your own whisky cocktail experiments (or berate us for diluting your favourite dram) by tagging us on both Twitter and Instagram via @Whisky_Magazine or by using the hashtag #WhiskyMagCocktails.

The cocktails

The Chaser

By Claudio Poggi


  • 50ml Wild Turkey Rare Breed

  • 15ml Cherry Heering

  • 15ml Bigallet China China

  • 2 dashes chocolate bitters

Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass over a block of ice.

Express and discard a twist of orange zest.

Bitter Dreams

By Michael Lynch


  • 40ml Glen Grant 12 Years Old

  • 10ml Suze

  • 15ml chamomile syrup

  • 20ml lemon juice

  • 2 dashes orange bitters

  • 1 dash egg white

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and 'dry' shake (no ice) to emulsify the egg white. Add ice and shake again. Fine strain into a chilled coup glass.

A small sprinkling of sumac.

Drowned in Moonlight

By Rebekah George


  • 50ml Peat Chimney Batch Strength

  • 15ml Bigallet China China

  • 10ml Bræmble Gin Liqueur

  • 5ml Amontillado sherry

Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Garnish with a twist of lemon zest.

The Whiskies

Wild Turkey

Rare Breed 56.4% ABV
A barrel proof expression made up of whiskies aged 6, 8 and 12 Years Old. Rare Breed has been available in the USA for some time but was only introduced to the UK market in November 2016.
Price: £50/US$43

Wemyss Malts

Peat Chimney, Batch Strength 57% ABV
Wemyss Malts has continued to impress with the quality of its blended malts and the new 'batch strength' expressions are no exception. Expect punchy peat smoke balanced by tropical fruit notes such as mango and papaya.
Price: £45/US$N/A

Glen Grant

12 Years Old 43% ABV
A new expression introduced to the re-branded Glen Grant line-up in 2016, the 12 Years Old expression delivers the distillery's characteristic flavour profile of green apple, almonds and honey.
Price: £38/US$50

Other Ingredients

Amontillado Sherry c.18% ABV

A well-balanced fortified wine in the middle of the sherry flavour spectrum, it begins life as a Fino or Manzanilla and spends some time under flor. This is later killed off, either naturally or through fortification, before being aged further to allow for oxidisation.

Bræmble Gin Liqueur 24% ABV

The brainchild of Bramble Bar’s owners, Mike Aikman and Jason Scott, Bræmble is a gin-based blackberry liqueur made in collaboration with gin pro Craig Harper.

Bigallet China China 40% ABV

Located in Isère, in the French Alps, the Bigallet distillery produces this bitter liqueur using orange peel, seeds, and spices. These are macerated in neutral spirit before being re-distilled.

Cherry Heering 24% ABV

A well known and flavoursome cherry liqueur with a recipe dating back to 1818. It was a key ingredient in the original ‘Singapore Sling’ cocktail created at the Raffles Hotel in 1915.

Chamomile Syrup

Steep dried chamomile (or a chamomile teabag) in hot water and use this infusion to make a 1:1 ratio sugar syrup.


A spice with a tangy lemon flavour that is commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine.

Suze 15% ABV

This classic French aperitif is made with gentian root and delivers a spicy, fruity, and delicately bitter flavour profile.