65. Oloroso – Edinburgh, UK

Cocktail – Red Rum
Bacardi 8 year, sloe gin, lemon juice, vanilla, redcurrants

Date Visited – Aug 2002 & Apr 2017

This intrepid traveller might be willing to venture into deserts and to remote islands in pursuit of her bar quest, but it’s true what they say about not seeing what’s on your own doorstep. Surely there would be ample opportunity to visit this fine dining restaurant with its unobstructed rooftop views of Edinburgh Castle. I had in fact already stepped through Oloroso’s doors three years before it was to feature as one of Allan Gage’s 80 bars, but without a reservation on a busy Fringe Festival weekend, my friends and I regrettably walked out again without even staying for a wee drink. Incredibly slow off the blocks to try and rectify this error I then missed out once again when Oloroso sadly closed its doors in 2012.

Five years too late I eventually found myself in Edinburgh once more, this time to attend the cocktail event, Tales on Tour, hosted by Tales of the Cocktail from New Orleans. The chef may have closed the doors on Oloroso, but fortunately the Mixologist, Jason Scott, continued to mix it up at his own bar, Bramble, regularly listed in the world’s best bars and responsible for producing some of the world’s best bartenders. Surely this would present the perfect opportunity for me to order a Red Rum cocktail, which still features on their menu, and with so many industry people in town maybe I’d even manage to persuade Jason to shake one up for me. However, while I was busy drinking like a fish in his hometown, Jason was busy swimming with them in the Galapagos Islands.

Not quite on the home straight yet there was still one more fence to jump as my debut visit to Bramble coincided with the Brooklyn Gin party. While Jazzie B was mixing on the decks, the bartenders were unfortunately not busy mixing me a Red Rum, there was no asking me however did I want my cocktail that night thanks to the Brooklyn Gin sponsored menu. I was too busy dancing to Jazzie’s beats to let this bother me though, and there would be other opportunities. I made sure not to miss out once again though when the bar’s other owner, Mike Aikman, hosted one of the following day’s seminars. I pleaded my case with the panel afterwards and Mike assured me that the bartenders would be able to make me one that evening, and fortunately bartender Jonny does what the boss tells him (Mike, not me)! Red Rum is a fruitier drink than I would usually choose, which tasted all the more sweeter having finally crossed that finish line.

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