From blood orange margaritas and coconut white Russians to Buckfast mulled wine and blueberry inspired cocktails, ‘tis the season to be merry’ at Siberia bar.
Buzzing to be back behind the bar with her work ‘family’, assistant manager Nicole Roy says this Christmas season feels particularly special at the Belmont Street venue, especially as they’ve just launched their mouthwatering Christmas cocktail menu.
“We’ve got some really exciting drinks on our winter menu as we’ve been working with some big brands including Bacardi rum, Patrón (a brand of Tequila products) and Bombay Sapphire gin.
“One of my favourite new cocktails is the Patrón Blood Orange Margarita blood orange margarita, I love a margarita anyway so to have one of them on the menu is really exciting.
“That cocktail has got Patrón (tequila), Martini Fiero (a blend of white wines and botanicals), sugar syrup, lime juice and some salt, it’s amazing.”
With eight wintery inspired cocktails on the menu, Nicole says there’s something to suit all taste buds.
“I’ve created my first ever cocktail on the menu called Peeling Good which has a grapefruit cordial we made in-house as well as Bombay Sapphire gin, Martini Rosso (an aromatized fortified wine) and Angostura Bitters, it’s so tasty.
“We’re also doing a Coconut White Russian with Bacardi Coconut, Kahlua and milk.
“We get a lot of orders of white Russians and the great thing is that we’re not restricted to our menu so if people wanted anything a little bit more classic then we can definitely cater to that as much as we can.”
The spirit of Christmas
Another cocktail packing a fruity punch is J’Adore Mon Cherry, a Bacardi Spice, Limoncello, cranberry, cherry puree, lemon juice, sugar syrup and Aquafaba ( a vegan egg substitute).
And with a name like ‘Berry Superstitious’, it comes as no surprise that orders have been flying in for the cocktail creation that blends Bombay Sapphire gin with St Germain ( an elderflower liqueur), blueberry syrup, lemon juice and Aquafaba.
Meanwhile, ‘The King’s Peach’, a cocktail with Bacardi, RinQuinQuin peach liqueur, Amaretto, spice peach syrup, ginger ale, lemon juice and peach bitters is also proving popular as is ‘Sage Over Beauty, a mix of Frangelico (a hazelnut liqueur), St Germain, lemon juice, sugar syrup, sage leaves and aquafaba.
But one of the most popular drinks is Siberia’s very own Buckfast mulled wine made with Buckfast tonic wine, red wine, Bacardi spiced rum, Gordon’s sloe gin and Noix de la Saint Jean (a walnut liqueur).
“Our mulled Buckfast has been a big hit the last couple of years,” said Nicole.
“There’s a lot of spices that go into it but I can’t give too much away.”
Homemade vodka and cordials
Also proving popular is the aptly named ‘Pome- Granite City, a warming cocktail with Patrón Silver Tequila, Cointreau, pomegranate syrup, ginger beer, lime juice and mint leaves.
The talented team at Siberia also make their own vodka and cordials in-house.
“We’ve got about 20 flavoured vodkas,” said Nicole.
“And we’ve also got about four or five cordials that we make in-house.”
Drinks for everyone
It’s not only cocktails that Siberia offers as the bar also has a good range of beers, ciders and non alcoholic drinks including coffee.
“At the moment we’ve got five different lagers, two ciders and Fierce IPA in just now and we’ve also got Twisted Sisters seltzer on draft which is made by one of our director’s Stuart.”
“We’ve got a pretty good gin range just now and we’re working with different brands to get some new things in.
The bar mum
Described by her colleagues as the “bar mum” for her way of taking people under her wing and looking out for others, Nicole’s kind and caring nature has definitely rubbed off as the venue is known for its friendly and chilled out vibes.
“I’ve grown to be called the bar mum, even though I’m one of the youngest out of everyone,” laughed Nicole.
“I just like to look out for everyone and if anyone has ever got any issues I like to make sure that everyone is OK as I don’t like to see anyone sad.
“We’ve had a few staff that are students who have moved away from home and they come into working in a bar where everyone is quite close to one another, it can be quite intimidating so I think it’s good to have that person there. I like to make sure that everyone is included and everyone is OK.”
Known for its chilled-out vibes and friendly atmosphere, Nicole says Siberia is where everyone is welcome.
“Siberia is one of those places where people come for any occasion,” said Nicole.
“Whether it’s for a chilled-out coffee with your pals, for lunch or a really good for a night out, we cater for everyone.
“We also have DJs so it’s nice to see people standing back up at the bar again and having a DJ back in and seeing people dancing. It feels nice to see that again.”
As a ‘people person’, Nicole, 22, says Siberia feels like home.
“I’ve been brought up to be a very sociable person,” said Nicole.
“I think more than anything I just love the people and just love that it’s like one big family at Siberia, everyone us really close with each other.
“It doesn’t feel like you’re going to work sometimes.
“Although there are some days that are hard it always makes it a bit easier when you’ve got a good team around you that are your friends as well.”
After studying commercial photography at college and university, Nicole was destined to become the bar’s official photographer.
“I’ve always had an interest in photography since I was about 14-15 so it’s good that I’ve managed to tie in Siberia as I take the photos for our social media page.
“Eventually the plan is to tie in photography with hospitality.”
And as a night owl, Nicole says she doesn’t mind working the twilight hours.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not a morning person,” said Nicole.
“I enjoy working during the day but I do enjoy working at night, it saves me money from going out at night.”
Outside of the busy bar, Nicole enjoys winding down with friends and family.
“I’m getting back in to reading books and that chills me out and I love hanging out with friends and family,” said Nicole.
“I love going out for meals and drinks.
“Now the cinema is back open, I love going.”
A round of questions with Nicole Roy
It’s the end of the day, what do you pour yourself?
My go-to would have to be a gin and tonic, simple but effective.
If you were a drink, what would you be and why?
I think I’d say a Bramble cocktail, it’s short and sweet but packs a punch.
Most unusual drink you’ve ever tried?
I’ve had a few strange requests over the last few years that I’m usually intrigued to try them but I think the worst one I’ve tasted would have to be OVD (an Old Vatted Demerara rum) and orange juice – not for me at all.
What’s the most under-rated drink?
I’d probably say a mojito, it’s a classic but I think a really good one is hard to come by.
What’s in your drinks cabinet at home?
Lots of gin, I also enjoy a glass of white wine sometimes, and of course there’s always beer in the fridge.
Best food and drink pairing?
Easy, nachos with a margarita.
If you were stuck on a desert island, what three drinks would be there with you?
I’d have to go for coffee, gin and an ice cold pint of Tennents – can’t get any better than that.
You have to make a drink to represent Aberdeen/Aberdeenshire. What would that be?
Maybe a Rob Roy cocktail, with a good local whisky. It’s simple and works well since that’s my surname too.
You have to serve your favourite superhero or celebrity a drink. Who is it and what do you serve?
At the moment, I’d have to say Lady Gaga and I’d probably serve her something like an Old Fashioned (a whisky based cocktail) because she’s an old soul and apparently loves whisky.
Tell us a secret trick of the trade?
Communication is key. We’re constantly saying this to each other at work and it really does make life easier.