Who are you and where can we find you?
My name is Tommy Matthews, I am the Assistant Bar Manager at The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel & Cocktail Lounge. We are an independent 6 bedroom hotel with 3 cocktail lounges (yes, that’s 1 cocktail lounge per 2 rooms!), located on Highfield Road in Edgbaston. We have an award winning bar team who love letting their creative ability shine in the drinks they create. We have chocolate coins, smoke, Cadbury Heroes and even candy floss! Our current menu is called the “Taste of Birmingham”, where every single drink on the menu has taken the point of inspiration from an event or person in Birmingham’s illustrious history. It’s a Brummy history lesson via the platform of cocktails, I wish I had that at school!
Tell us a bit about your whisky cocktail selection?
One of the great things about our whiskey cocktail selection is the diverse range of serves we have developed. Sometimes whiskey can be seen as an armchair drink in front of a fire with a cigar, so we decided to challenge that by creating a number of different serves to show the diversity of the category. We have a wonderful long drink called “Flight of the Bumblebee” which pairs Haig Club Single Grain Whisky with gin, calvados, pear and a homemade honey & hay cordial. It is light and refreshing which is worlds apart from the classic old fashioned or Manhattan that springs to peoples mind when thinking about whiskey cocktails. For lovers of the Old Fashioned we have 2 great concoctions; the “Peachy Blinders” being a Johnnie Walker Black Label, Tullamore dew and peach wine old fashioned with distilled miso, sesame and a touch of chocolate. Secondly, the “Smokey Old Bastard” which involves Ardbeg 10 Year Old combined with homemade “workshop syrup”, Johnnie Walker Black Label and Raicilla (smokey agave spirit). The clue is in the name to that one!
I feel like I’m giving too much away so I’m going to leave it at that, you’ll have to pop down to here about the rest!
We have a vast range of whiskey from around the globe at the Edgbaston. We are avid fans of the stuff! We have around 250 whiskeys from Scotland, Ireland, Japan, America and even as far as Taiwan! Our shining star is definitely our rare and diverse Japanese selection. We have everything from the entry level (nicknamed Pina Colada Whisky) up to wine cask and sherry finished malts, hard to find in Japan let alone the UK! If it’s a dram and not a cocktail you’re after we can definitely provide a wide range of choice. Maybe something safe and local or something a bit more out there, the choice is yours.
What’s your personal pick of the bunch?
My personal favourite has to be the “Red, Red Wine”. We had to get some UB40 on the menu and we couldn’t think of a more fitting way than a twist on a New York Sour. With the DNA of a classic Whisky Sour, we paired Woodford Reserve with an Italian almond Grappa, homemade meadowsweet liqueur and fresh lemon juice for that classic tang! A New York Sour is famous for having a float of red wine on the top for that extra body and complexity and because we like doing things a bit differently at The Edgbaston we take classic Argentinian Malbec and smoke it with American hickory wood. The two parts are then presented table side for you to combine yourself. Sweat, Sour, Smokey and delicious!
How much does it cost?
It’s £11 and easily the best New York Sour in Brum! (The only one too, I think!)