Summer Sippers

The Bramble team show that Scotch whisky isn’t restricted to cold-weather drinks
By Christopher Coates
The Gauntlet, Cask 27, Ossian
The Gauntlet, Cask 27, Ossian
I often hear it said that Scotch is a ‘winter drink’, great for warding off the chill of the Scottish climate, and the same seems to be said of cocktails made with Scotch whisky. The team at Bramble have mixed up three refreshing summer sippers with Scotch whisky. Two of them even use heavily sherried GlenDronach, which would certainly usually fall into the ‘after-dinner dram’ category.

Cask 27 is a refreshing straight-up take on a whisky sour. It keeps the whisky as the heart of the drink to showcase the single-cask GlenDronach’s rich fruits and spicy finish.

The Gauntlet was made to challenge the perception that all stirred whisky cocktails are heavy sippers. Combining caraway from the kummel syrup, fennel and cucumber accentuates the fresher more vibrant flavours.

Ossian is a simple take on a whisky and ginger ale, but the bitter-sweet Amaro lends greater depth and mouthfeel, while the bitters add a spiced citrus note. Why not try these at home and let us know what you think.

The cocktails

The Gauntlet

By Michael Lynch


  • 40ml BenRiach 10 Years Old

  • 20ml Noilly Prat

  • 12.5ml Lucky Liqueurs Kümmel syrup

  • 5ml fennel syrup

  • 2.5ml Suze

Stir with ice until chilled, strain and serve in a rocks glass on block ice.

A dill head, laid on the ice.

Cask 27

By Claudio Poggi


  • 40ml Glendronach 2004 Single Cask

  • 15ml Oloroso sherry

  • 7.5ml vanilla syrup

  • 15ml lemon juice

  • 2 dashes Dr. Adams Spanish bitters

Shaken with ice, strained and served in a chilled Nick and Nora glass.

An orange twist.


By Magnus Nicoll


  • 40ml GlenDronach

  • 15ml Amaro Nonino

  • 2 dashes Amargo Chuncho bitters

  • 1 dash grapefruit bitters

  • ginger ale

Stir ice except ginger ale. Strain, serve in a rocks glass over block ice. Top with ale.

A lemon twist.

The whiskies


Original 12 Years Old 43% ABV
A great example of the sweet, sherried style for which GlenDronach has become famous. Expect a creamy mouthfeel boasting notes of raising, clove, cinnamon, liquorice and ginger. A slight nuttiness is present here along with light wood spice for the medium-dry finish.


2004 Single Cask 55.9% ABV
Released as part of a collaboration between Bramble and Royal Mile Whiskies, this spirit was matured for 12 years in a Pedro Ximenez sherry puncheon and was bottled without chill filtration, at natural strength, and with no artificial colour.


10 Years Old 43% ABV
Producing mostly using spirit distilled during Billy Walker’s tenure as owner of the distillery, this expression is made up of whisky matured in both ex-Bourbon and ex-sherry casks. Expect a bright and fresh dram with notes of lemon zest, green apple, and sweet peach.

Other ingredients

Lucky Liqueurs Kümmel syrup

Made with caraway seeds, fennel and cum-in, Kümmel is a traditional liqueur dating back to the 16th Century in Holland.

Amargo Chuncho bitters 40% ABV

Based on a variety of Amazonian barks and herbs.

Spanish Bitters 38% ABV

Dr Adam Elmegirab is famous for resurrect-ing lost styles of bitters.

Amaro Nonino 35% ABV

Produced by grappa house Nonino, this rich amaro is created by infusing grape distillate with herbs.

Grapefruit bitters 17–44% ABV

A number of different brands offer grapefruit bitters, including Fee Brothers, Bitter Truth and Bittermens.

Fennel syrup

Made by steeping chopped fresh fennel in a 1:1 ratio sugar syrup on a very low heat.

Vanilla syrup

This can be bought ready to use from brands like Monin or you can make it at home.

Noilly Prat Original Dry 18% ABV

A famous vermouth created by blending aged, dry white wines with botanicals includ-ing chamomile, gentian and nutmeg.

Suze 15% ABV

This classic French aperitif is made with gen-tian root and is intensely floral as a result. It is spicy, fruity, and delicately bitter.

Oloroso sherry 17% ABV

The base wine of this type of sherry is forti-fied to around 17% ABV, which prevents the survival of yeasts and thus the growth of flor. Oloroso undergoes oxidative ageing.

The bartenders

Claudio Poggi

Claudio joined the Bramble team in November 2016 and has been mixing up cocktails with the aplomb of a true maestro ever since. His passion for fine ingredients has seen him use Amari and fortified wines to great effect.

Michael Lynch

Before taking on the role as Bramble’s bar manager, Mike worked on the opening of various new bars and restaurants for independent owners in Edinburgh. This included the creation of cocktail menus and wine lists for the capital’s prestigious Devil’s Advocate bar and Chop House venues.

Magnus Nicoll

A new member of the Bramble team, Magnus worked in various bars in Edinburgh but is now focussing on cocktail-making and learning from the best.

Bramble Bar
16A Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JE