April: Adam Elmegirab at the Grosvenor Hotel

As any cocktail enthusiast knows, bitters are a staple ingredient in many of the tastiest recipes.  Such is their importance, we even made our own a while back.  Being big fans of this category, we jumped at the chance therefore when Adam Elmegirab, producer of a range of fine bitters offered to come and speak at an event for us. Hailing from Scotland, this was a rare opportunity to hear Adam speak and quite frankly we couldn’t wait till the day came.

Usually our events focus on the single product in question, but given the role bitters play in ‘seasoning’ cocktails alongside other ingredients, it made sense for the evening to look at how they work in cocktails. Gin was selected as the obvious spirit of choice given that both products are produced using botanicals. This meant we needed hefty supply of cocktail ingredients, and so we were delighted when Adnam’s, Caorunn, Lillet, and Fentiman’s all agreed to sponsor the evening with their fine products.

Adam presented a passionate, amusing and incredibly informative talk on the history of bitters, his own experience setting up a business, and of course the mixing of his products.  Rarely has a presented managed to deliver such a volume of information and kept the crowd as engaged as Adam did.  It turns out he is just as good at public speaking as he is at making bitters!  We were also to learn that he is a dab hand at fixing up delicious cocktails as well.

A range of drinks were presented on the evening, each showcasing the flavour profile of the different spirits/bitters.  Things kicked off with a range of simple serves which attracted much discussion about how delicious such easy to make drinks can be;

Gin, Dandelion and Tonic

  • 50ml Caorunn Gin
  • 100ml Fentiman’s Tonic
  • 3 dashes Dandelion and Burdock Bitters

Build over ice and garnish with a fresh apple slice

Spanish Gin and Tonic

  • 50ml Adnam’s Copper House Gin
  • 100ml Fentiman’s Tonic
  • 3 dashes Spanish Bitters

Build over ice and garnish with a lemon zest

Gin-Gin beer

  • 50ml Adnam’s First Rate Gin
  • 100ml Fentiman’s Ginger Beer
  • 4 dashes Aphrodite Bitters

Build over ice and garnish with a lime wedge and mint sprig

Horse’s Neck

  • 50ml Adnam’s Copper House Gin
  • 100ml Fentiman’s Ginger Ale
  • 4 dashes Boker’s Bitters

Build over ice and garnish with a lemon spiral

Next up were some more complex cocktails…

Gin Crusta

  • 37.5ml Adnam’s First Rate Gin
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 12.5ml Pierre Ferrand Dry Curacao
  • 3 dashes Boker’s Bitters

Shake all ingredients with ice and fine strain into a wine glass. Garnish with a sugar rim and lemon zest.


  • 40ml Caorunn Gin
  • 10ml Bitter Truth Apricot Liqueur
  • Barspoon Lillet Blanc
  • 3 dashes Spanish Bitters
  • 25ml lime juice
  • Barspoon caster sugar

Add sugar and lime juice to mixing glass and stir until dissolved. Add remaining ingredients and shake with ice. Strain into a frozen compete and garnish with a lemon spiral.

Spruce Goose

  • 60ml Adnam’s First Rate Gin
  • 30ml Lillet Blanc
  • 7.5ml Bitter Truth Apricot Liqueur
  • 2 dashes Dandelion and Burdock Bitters

Stir all ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled coupette. Garnish with a lemon zest.

Highland Picnic

  • 25ml Caorunn Gin
  • 25ml Lillet Rouge
  • 25ml pressed apple juice
  • 12.5ml lemon juice
  • 3 dashes Dandelion and Burdock Bitters
  • Lemonade

Build ingredients over ice into highball glass and garnish with apple slices, and seasonal berries.

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