Cocktail of the Month with Black Bush
In the latest of a regular series, we ask local bartenders to showcase a signature serve featuring the superb premium spirits brands presented by Proximo. Dom Armstrong, bar manager of Town Sq Belfast, creates a classic cocktail featuring Black Bush.
About the Bartender
Dom started out in the trade at Love & Death Inc, working in the club, but picking up the odd shift in the downstairs bar. “I would learn a bit from the guys when I was down there and, at that point, I really took to it,” he says. “In essence, you’re a chef and you’re able to take all these flavours and do great things and create new flavours that people wouldn’t expect.” A year in Dublin followed, where Dom enjoyed the close-knit community of bartenders and general scene, before he was lured back to Belfast for the opening of Alibi, just around the corner from Town Sq.
Four months ago, he joined Town Sq as bar manager, just as its newly refurbished bar was getting off the ground. Dom is enthused to be in such a great location. “In my mind, Botanic Avenue is sort of going into a renaissance period,” he says, while the bar at Town Sq offers the scope to get creative with a wide cocktail menu featuring bespoke ingredients. “Speed of service is incredibly important here but you still have that creative outlet.”
The featured spirit in this month’s signature serve is Black Bush.
In a nod to classic cocktails such as the Manhattan, Dom Armstrong’s Irish Noir is stirred down, as the “easiest way to put a cocktail together if you want the flavours to come through, and let the alcohol do the talking,” he says. “You don’t have to balance it out or lengthen the drink with juices, you can just put in exactly want you want.”
50ml Black Bush
20ml Sweet Vermouth
20ml Yellow Chartreuse
2 dashes homemade toffee tincture
2 dashes aromatic bitters Stirred down in a mixing glass with ice
Fine strained into a small martini glass
Garnished with cherries
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