Established in 1979, Raoul's Bar and liquor store is a space for Cat and the team to create. This is where their passion for mixology fuses with fantastic service. The bar is designed to an exceptionally high standard, creating a relaxed environment where they work hard to make guests feel at home.
All of Raoul's bartenders are full time professionals who know great things unfold when ideas are put into action. This bar is a space where their talented bartenders can explore the boundaries of their ability.
Raoul's have a large alumni of ex-bartenders that have gone on to do amazing things in this industry that they love, having had their passion ignited by working at Raoul's.
As Cat describes, "we believe the key to our success is education, training and developing our bar team. Our focus is on excellent service and awesome cocktails. Our bartenders stay with us for many years, so we really get to know our regular guests who keep coming back to see us time and time again. We're a small neighbourhood bar who genuinely love what we do and we believe that as hosts it's down to us to make sure that our guests have a great experience no matter who they are or why they've chosen to come to see us!"
Born out of our love for what they do, their motto is "everything inside the glass is serious and everything outside the glass should be fun". And, use a huge amount of home made ingredients and tons of fresh fruit; the cocktails are incredible.
Training being a key part of Raoul's ethos, they run sessions on Monday nights called Oxford Alcademics, where guests, other bartenders and anyone that's into their booze come together to listen to what different brands have to say while having a taste of what they have to offer. It's a great chance to gain some knowledge, have a drink and build the community.
"Rum is a fantastic category and there are many reasons why I love it. For one it's so versatile. There's simply a rum out there for everyone, even people who say they don't like rum - they just haven't found the right one for them yet.
What's more, I'm not sure there's any other spirit that brings everyone together quite like rum. There's nothing rum fans love more then getting together to chat about, drink and party with a bottle or two. It's such a social spirit.
These days there's a "fest" for everything, but it was Rumfest that started it off many years ago."
When it comes to cocktails, having that broad pallet to paint with means you can get as creative as you like. Cat is very lucky to have over 80 rums at Raoul's to play with and her choice this month is...
Rum and Raisin Old Fashioned.
In a rocks glass place 1 bar spoon of sugar syrup, a dash of Angostura bitters, 10ml sherry and cubed ice.
Into a small pan add 40ml El Dorado 8 year old and a handful of juicy raisins.
Flambé with a dusting of cinnamon. Pour the flaming liquid into the rocks glass and stir with a cinnamon stick.