From more than 250 years ago in Scotland, to many a parents’ or grandparents’ booze stash, to today at the swankily refurbished Pullman Hotel in the Sydney CBD south – Drambuie is a liqueur stalwart that exudes old-world sophistication.
|Entrance to the Drambuie Bar Takeover at the Pullman Sydney |
Hyde Park Hotel, College Street, Sydney
Guests are transported into the world of Drambuie with Salvador Dali-inspired surroundings, Drambuie-based cocktails, matching canapés and a limited edition Gelato Messina Drambuie gelato.
|Flavours of Drambuie|
The setting in the Pullman's cocktail lounge is excellently executed: playfully decked out in an old-world feel with Dali-styled photo props. The bar itself is an impressive with a modern, surreal feel.
|The cocktail bar|
|Contortionist at the launch event|
|Duck gyoza, Bitter and Twisted Nail cocktail (front) and Rusty Mojito cocktail (back)|
This was quickly followed by the "Bitter and Twisted Nail"; a new-age take on a classic Rusty Nail with Drambuie, Scotch whisky and Campari that was certainly on the stronger side.
|Tastings of the Drambuie 15|
Not having tried Drambuie before, I was keen to taste this grain and malt blend, infused with herbs, heather honey and spices. Drambuie Original is a sweet, rich whisky liqueur with a gentle aftertaste of aniseed.
It's a great and easy introduction to the world of whisky, especially for non-whisky drinkers, as the sweetness offsets the strong first "hit" of whisky neat or on the rocks.
My favourite tipple of the night was the Drambuie 15, with a number of 15-year-old Speyside malt whiskies married with the original Drambuie elixir. I found myself slowly sipping this to savour the intriguing bouquet with its citrus blend and reduced sweetness.
We were then introduced to the limited edition Drambuie Royal Legacy of 1745. With only 2,250 bottles created, the original Drambuie elixir is balanced with subtle whisky oak and vanilla overtones. This is a more complex, smoother drink than both the Original and the Drambuie 15.
The highlight were the kangaroo sliders, featuring surprisingly tender and moist meat patties, cheese and pickled beetroot – it doesn’t get much more Australian than that.
|Oysters with finger limes|
|Caramelised pork belly|
Chilled and strained Drambuie, Campari and Shiraz might sound like a direct route to a hangover, but this reminded me of sangria, albeit a more upmarket and weighty version.
|Rusty Licker gelato by Gelato Messina|
Conceived by Messina's artisan gelato masters, the "Rusty Licker" is a playful spin on the infamous Rusty Nail cocktail – a super-sweet gelato combination of caramel, ginger and Drambuie-soaked savoiardi biscuits.
|Drambuie and Espresso Martini|
The Drambuie Bar Takeover runs from Wednesday 27 February to Sunday 3 March at the lounge bar of the Pullman Sydney Hyde Park Hotel.
Food, booze and shoes attended the launch of the Drambuie Bar Takeover at the Pullman Sydney Hyde Park Hotel as a guest, with thanks to DEC PR.