Cocktail of the Month with Bushmills Irish Whiskey
In the latest of a regular series, we ask local bartenders to showcase signature serves featuring the superb premium spirits brands presented by Proximo. Lee McCluskey, manager of Babel Belfast, creates a cocktail featuring Bushmills Irish Whiskey.
Making friends cocktail
Bushmills Irish whiskey
Bushmills is a smooth and versatile triple distilled blend. An approachable whiskey which has been matured in both bourbon and sherry casks resulting in fresh fruit and vanilla notes.
40ml Bushmills Original Irish Whiskey
5ml Fernet-Branca Liqueur
5ml Romate Cream Sherry
5ml Pandan leaf syrup
2 dashes Boker’s Bitters
Stir over ice
Serve in 5-oz coupe
“I love that kind of straight-up Manhattan-style drink, with no ice and stirred,” says Lee. “I like something that packs a bit of punch, and you can sip and it gets better the longer it sits. Once it goes from being a bit cold to room temperature, I find you get more flavour.”
About the bartender
Lee is an experienced hand in the bar trade, having started out as a glass collector in The Limelight/Katy’s and worked his way up in the bars over a 10-year period. After travelling, “I came back and worked for Botanic Inns making cocktails from around 2006 and then moved to Beannchor about 2013 and I’ve been with them ever since,” he says. “I worked in The Merchant Hotel in the Cocktail Bar as a supervisor and then as manager of Sixty6 when it first opened, moved to Bullitt Hotel when it first opened three years ago and then have been with Babel for two years.” The variety of each day and social aspect of the job appeal to Lee. “Everyday, you’re learning something new,” he says, “and it’s just generally meeting people, especially Belfast now with the kind of tourists we have compared to 20-odd years ago. You’re meeting people from all round the world and being able to showcase the city as it’s growing.”