Four Pillars Australian Gin Open
As I’ve said many times before, Edinburgh is great at cocktails. Aside from Bramble winning the UK 50 Best Cocktail Bars, a recent competition saw fit to put no less than three Edinburgh bartenders through to the London final. And in some ways they tell the tale of the Edinburgh cocktail scene.
The Four Pillars Australian Gin Open showcases gins from the Four Pillars distillery which is in the Yarra Valley just outside Melbourne. It’s a gin I first came across with the Bloody Shiraz expression, which is well worth tracking down. Our Edinburgh UK competition finalists are using a range of their different gins at the heart of some innovative drinks.
I’ve known Stef since her days studying at Queen Margaret University when part of her work on event management included an interview with me in my Scran Salon guise.
Stef has since spent time in Australia, with stints at The Slip Inn in Sydney and Vue de Monde in Melbourne, before returning home to Bonnie Scotland and quickly picking up a role at The Bon Vivant.
Her competition drink brings together Four Pillars Navy, pineapple, lime, ginger and coconut milk in the excellent Chef’s Choice.
Sian Buchan of Panda & Sons, which has been plying its trade on Queen Street for just about five years, started out in hospitality in the bars of Aberdeen, with a glorious stint at 99 Bar & Kitchen. She then headed to Edinburgh as part of the opening team at Heads & Tails, which was followed by time as brand ambassador for amongst other brands Old Pulteney whisky.
Her drink is called the Sweet Yarra Valley High, and features Four Pillars spiced negroni gin, Kamm & Sons aperitif, an Austrian Auslese dessert wine and lemon balm. It’s an absolute belter.
Then we have old man Euan Halliday who works at one of the city’s newest bars, The Black Dahlia. Euan worked in some of Newcastle’s funtime bars before a stop at Lucky Liquor Co, where he racked up a couple of significant competition wins, including the UK Tapatio competition in 2016.
His drink is called Damn’Son, and features the Four Pillars rare dry, damson wine, sour and layered oils, and blackcurrant with a pate de fruits garnish. It’s a splendid bevvy and enjoyed with a great view over the city at The Black Dahlia.
The final is held in London on 1-3 July. Before then, I’d suggest you get out and try all of these drinks and support our local heroes with some social media love. Here’s hoping for an Edinburgh victory from one of these outstanding bartenders.