Cocktail of the Month with Black Bush
James Maddison, Bar Manager at the Merchant Hotel, plays on the classic Brooklyn cocktail this issue using the deep intense character of Black Bush to give this old school sip a modern twist…
James Maddison, Bar Manager at the Merchant Hotel
The featured spirit in this month’s signature serve is Black Bush. Matured in former Oloroso sherry casks with a sweet, batch-distilled grain whiskey. Bushmills Black Bush unique recipe has rich fruity notes, balanced by an incredibly unique smoothness.
35ml Black Bush
15ml Lillet Blanc
10ml Amer Picon
2oml lemon juice
15ml sugar syrup
White of one egg
About the Bartender
Born in Durham, James, 32, has a strong background in cocktail-making having worked in restaurants for over 15 years but more recently as Bar Manager for Burger and Lobster in Soho. “The cocktails in London cover many different trends. There are a lot of Tiki-style and rum-based drinks,” said James of the drinks menu in his former place of employment. It was James’ experience in restaurants, located in both London and Newcastle Upon Tyne, that led him to a role at Living Ventures – the parent company of a group of restaurants throughout England and Scotland. This is where he was introduced to the world of cocktails.
“They had over 200 drinks on the list and I suppose that was my real exposure to the industry. I was head waiter there for two years,” said James who confesses to loving the air and water quality in NI! “People think I’m crazy saying that but when you’ve been in London for so long you notice the difference.” Talking about his cocktail, Stuyvesant Sour – Stuyvesant being a district in Brooklyn – James added: “This is a take on the Brooklyn cocktail but the Black Bush makes it a more accessible drink. Black Bush has that real versatile asset.”
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