World Whisky Day is around the corner, so in honour of the fine spirit we caught up with Callum Rixson and Ross Mullins from The Hideout in Bath to talk all things whisky and find out which of their 160 different styles of the 'water of life' is topping their bar this month!
Hidden away in the historical lanes of Tudor Bath, it is a true gem. Stone walled, wood laden and walls lined with whisky for every taste. Legend tells us this was originally a hoard for thieves, highwaymen, scoundrels and opportunists alike, a place to laugh and cheer, make new contacts and strike deals. A meeting place for every lawless reprobate for miles around, where stories were told and drinks were shared.
As the guys tell us, The Hideout didn't want to be just another "speak-easy", knock on the door style bar, they wanted a modernised feeling of your local round the corner, slightly hidden away to keep out the riff raff (in their words - they already work there).
When you walk in, you receive a
genuinely, happy to see you welcome, and are treated like you visit everyday
(some do). Sit back, relax and sip on cocktails that have been meticulously designed by
the Hideout team, or grab a beer and a gin and tonic; listen to their
terrible banter and some awesome tunes. The motto here is "ask questions, try
new things, make friends"- what more could you want?!
The lads' approach to cocktails pays homage to the classics and the origins of the mixed drink, but not neglecting the forward thinking mindset that any modern day bartender has, slowly introducing the more obscure ingredients and methods over time, they hope to get people to fall in love with 'where this all came from'.
When starting to build a new drink Callum and Ross scrutinise the base spirit and how that affects the outcome. With whisky cocktails the there is no good or bad whisky to use, they start with the taste of whisky straight, add ingredients that enhance its flavour profile, not ones that mask it and go from there.
Being a whisky bar The Hideout try to get their clientele to try something new, even when whisky drinkers tend to know what they like. As Callum describes, there's a lot going on in the rest of the world category (basically anything that's not scotch, American or Japanese). He's a big fan of the Swedish whisky that's appearing on the market, Mackmyra Svensk ek is one of his personal favourites: it has a big malty start on the pallet with hints of ginger and black pepper, finishing with a great citrus hit. Whilst Ross is currently trying to change the general perception on blends. One brand that cannot be ignored is the Compass Box range with something for everyone as well as having forward thinking whiskies that are fantastic neat or mixed.
In celebration of World Whisky Day on 20th May, Callum and Ross have shared their cocktail, Superstitious. The Hideout's house coffee cocktail with a difference. As the bar can only seat around 25 people they didn't want to waste space with a coffee machine, so they use a cold drip infusion method instead. By cold dripping Monkey Shoulder through Cardamom and freshly ground coffee that is sourced from a local roaster in Bath, an extremely intense coffee infusion is made that is the base of this cocktail.
20ml Coffee Infusion
30ml Monkey Shoulder
10ml Brown sugar syrup (1:1)
10ml Liquor 43
Method: Add all spirits and syrups to a mixing glass, zest 1 inch wide lemon zest, spray oils and drop in. Stir until adequately diluted, single strain into a chilled Nick and Nora glass, spray with lemon oil, then drink and enjoy.
What ever your choice of whisky just remember, there is
only one way to drink whisky and that's the way you want to drink it!