Watching in awe as Milo Smith carefully brushes the inside of a glass with edible bright blue paint was the moment I realised that cocktail making is a work of flavoursome art.
Overflowing with creativity and ingenuity, Milo is like a scientist in his inventive approach to making cocktails at The Old Workshop Bar in Aberdeen’s Shiprow Village.
Ahead of Aberdeen Cocktail Week — from Wednesday, October 18 to Tuesday, October 24 — I went along to the cavernous brick tunnel bar which Milo manages to sample three quirky cocktails that he’ll have on the menu at reduced prices.
Inspired by one of his customers who likes the taste of wine but whose face goes bright red if she drinks it due to the sulfites, Milo cleverly created this wine alternative. Taking on the appearance of a chilled sauvignon blanc, I’m intrigued as I take my first sip.
Like summer sunshine in a glass, this cocktail was deliciously sweet with a wine-like tartness cutting through. Made using Discarded Grape Skin Vodka, apple juice, lychee liqueur, peach liqueur, a touch of sugar and a blend of malic and citric acid, it’s no surprise that this cocktail is one of Milo’s bestsellers.
“It looks like a glass of white wine, it smells like a glass of white wine, it tastes a bit like a glass of white wine but it’s not wine,” laughs Milo.
Taking on the distinctive pink colour of Pepto Bismol, the heartburn and indigestion medicine, this cocktail is definitely what the doctor ordered.
Rich and velvety, like a French Martini, this eye-catching cocktail is a creamy, sweet and sour delight.
Made using prickly pear liqueur, raspberry liqueur, lemon and lime juice, coconut cream, a dash of Absinthe and white rum, it was so moreish that I couldn’t put my glass down.
As if that wasn’t enough, Milo says he’s going to make special pink tweel biscuits as a garnish for the drink during Cocktail Week.
Hey Barb, It’s A Peach
If like me you’ve never tried a cocktail with edible blue paint, you’re in for a treat.
Flavoured with rose, geranium, lemon balm and lemon verbena, the Bombay Sapphire edible paint tasted like Turkish Delight.
Using a paintbrush to create a blue stripe in the inside of the glass, Milo says the paint doesn’t just look good, it also has a fascinating effect on the sipping experience.
“The idea is you paint it on the inside of your glass and because it’s sugar it will dissolve as the drink is being drunk, and it’ll then change the colour and the flavour of the drink as you sip down.”
This pretty cocktail, garnished with edible flowers, is a blend of vegan cocktail foamer – an alternative to egg whites – a shot and a half of gin, a half shot of vanilla sugar, a full shot of lemon juice, a double shot of apple juice and a three-quarter shot of peach liqueur. To top it off, Milo uses a rhubard beer from Fierce to create a wee foam.
Taking a sip, I could instantly taste the sweetness of vanilla and the sourness of the lemon with hints of peach and rhubarb from the beer cutting through.
There was also a wee kick from the gin while the Turkish Delight flavour from the blue paint balanced it out at the end.
Forget French martinis and woo woos, if you want out of the box cocktails that taste and look incredible then The Old Workshop Bar has your name written all over it.
And the brick tunnel setting is also the perfect backdrop for that lust worthy grid post.