Stockbridge stalwart Hamilton’s have created 7 bespoke winter cocktails to accompany their Christmas menu, and I was delighted to have the opportunity to try them.
Each has its own flair, with many elements made in-house by the kitchen team, and imagination and inspiration was evident in all. Joined by two friends, we gave them a thorough sampling – not such a bad way to spend a Friday night. Overall, we found the selection interesting and enjoyable, if a little on the sweet side.
The Chocolate Negroni with an orange twist was festively evocative. It contained an enormous chocolate ice cube, intended to sweeten the bitter Campari as it melted. A neat idea – and it worked deliciously – but it requires patience when everyone else is straight into sipping their serves!
The Rhubarb Flip (Grey Goose vodka, rhubarb liqueur) was quite the contrast; smooth in taste and texture and reminiscent of strawberry milkshake. A whole egg gave it an ice cream quality and plenty of body, but it wasn’t too sweet.
Free Man in Paris (Don Julio Blanco, Maraschino) was most interesting, bright green with garnishes of savoury thyme and dehydrated lime; a successful take on a cocktail at the Last Word.
Big Wheel Hymn was sweet and sophisticated with vodka, tequilla and plenty of white chocolate. Another big ice cube made this a long drink in a short glass and made for a delightfully seasonal version of a White Russian.
We were most intrigued by “Eyes of Laura Mars,” which seemed more of a dessert than a drink. Containing rum, almond milk and maple banana curd, it had a tropical quality. As we shamelessly dipped its toasted marshmallows, it felt pretty indulgent too.
The Reverse Manhattan (Jack Daniel’s, orange zest, cherry) was the most well balanced between sweet and bitter; like a light, clean Christmas cake and a welcome contrast to a lot of milky concoctions. (Of course, you don’t have to drink them all like we did…)
Lastly, This Charming Girl (Grey Goose, Chambord, Prosecco) was also very sweet, but pleasantly bubbly. We were impressed with the homemade shrub with white balsamic, which gave it a caramel-esque quality.
Whilst we didn’t try the Christmas menu, it probably comes as no surprise that we required some chips half way through this cocktail marathon. I can gladly report they were thick cut, skin-on, crisp at the edge, salted and delicious. I’d give the full menu a go, and recommend a visit for a Reverse Manhattan at some point during the festive period.
See the full menu of winter cocktails here.
Edinburgh Foody was invited to sample four cocktails free of charge.
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