I’ll admit that cocktail making has never been a forte of mine. However, for mixologist Lisa MacLeod of Aberdeen’s The Esslemont, it’s a completely different story.
The talented bartender has spent years crafting unique cocktails and drinks menus for several Granite City venues, including Under The Hammer, The Craftsman and, of course, The Esslemont.
So when it came to pulling together a special P&J cocktail for Aberdeen Cocktail Week, it was a no-brainer when the opportunity to offer one at The Esslemont — with the help and expertise of Lisa — came about.
I stopped by on Thursday to meet with her and see what we could rustle up.
Read on to find out what’s gone into our cocktail, and what we’ve named it…
Shakers at the ready — here’s how we selected the ingredients for The P&J cocktail
Lisa immediately pulled out two books — named The Flavour Thesaurus and The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create The World’s Great Drinks.
I was fascinated as she showed P&J photographer Kath and I some of the pages. They covered the flavour profiles of a multitude of different ingredients, as well as what flavours marry well with each other.
In as little as 10 minutes, we had a rough idea of what we wanted to achieve for our official P&J cocktail.
I immediately suggested the vodka — a zero-waste, grape skin-based vodka made from grape skins leftover from wine-making — thinking the taste wouldn’t overpower any of its fellow ingredients.
I also expressed how much I love peach drinks.
Already, the pair of us were off to a flying start as Lisa revealed the two would pair well together.
The Flavour Thesaurus also mentioned that almond tastes great with peach. Lisa reached out for some almond syrup.
We needed something sour in the mix to balance out the sweet flavour profile. She suggested faux citrus (a citric and lactic acid solution).
By mixing the citric and lactic acid in water, it ended up making what I would describe as a liquified sour sweet. It was perfect.
We had our ingredients, so now it was time to shake up the drink.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you… The Peach & Journal
It took a bit of trial and error, but nothing major.
In the end, our cocktail comprised:
- 50ml Discarded Grape Skin Vodka
- 50ml peach puree
- 10ml almond syrup
- 15ml faux citrus
All of the ingredients were shaken in a shaker with ice, before being poured in a chilled coupe glass. Garnished with a lemon twist, this added a zingy element — and looked the part.
I couldn’t have been more delighted with how the drink turned out.
You’re initially hit with the sour notes, which leave a lingering tingling sensation on the tongue, before the sweet elements shine through.
The peach is prominent, but the almond is there too.
Deciding on the name The Peach & Journal the following day, it’s refreshing, light and I hope all of you adore it as much as Lisa and I do.
How do I try the cocktail out for myself?
The Peach & Journal will be available for £5 exclusively at The Esslemont on Union Street this Aberdeen Cocktail Week, which runs from Wednesday (October 18) to Tuesday, October 24.
It will cost £5, as will the three other drinks on the bar and restaurant’s Cocktail Week menu throughout the festival.
To try it out and take advantage of all the superb deals on offer during the event, you’ll have to purchase a wristband from the Aberdeen Cocktail Week website.
Visit aberdeencocktailweek.com for more information.