THE LATEST RECRUIT to a Speyside hotel is serving up some serious treats for customers – via a collection of whisky-based cocktails that have wowed visitors to several busy night clubs.
Kieran Stephens, 23, has joined the team at the Station Hotel in Rothes and immediately provided visitors with examples of his art – learned at some of the busiest and best clubs in Scotland.
Kieran has never been afraid to experiment with some of the wonderful whiskies produced in the region, including Glen Grant – just a two-minute walk from the hotel.
While old-school purists might frown at using fine single malt whisky in a cocktail, for Kieran it makes perfect sense to use the very best of ingredients – and he has plenty of whisky at his disposal. The boutique hotel’s Spirit Safe bar has a range of over 300 malts, although more expensive drams like a rare limited edition malt retailing at £649.95 a measure, are off limits for his cocktail creations.
With many hotel customers working for some of the best known whisky brands in the world, Kieran knows he has high expectations to meet.
He told insideMoray: “There are whisky lovers who enjoy a dram neat and wouldn’t even add ice so some are a little surprised, to say the least, to find it at the heart of a cocktail but for me, it’s about taking a wide variety of tastes and flavours and marrying them together to make the perfect drink.
“There’s a particular curiosity for trying the different whisky cocktails we’re making and some customers who work in distilling are surprised when they taste them. They’ll say, ‘It shouldn’t work – but it does’.
“These people could be my fiercest critics but they appreciate what I’m doing as another way to sample – and enjoy – whisky.”
Kieran’s range isn’t restricted to whisky creations and he’s skilled in the classic cocktails as well as taking pleasure in devising new mixes enjoyed by guests at the hotel.
Alongside Whisky Business, the cocktail menu for Christmas includes the gin-based classic Raspberry Collins and Gone With The Gin, which features the craft gin El:Gin, which is created just a 20 minute drive away.
Kieran shares his cocktails recipes for others to try, but for many drinks lovers, the showmanship of having a fresh cocktail made and served in a bar is part of the pleasure.
Kieran adds: “People will come in to the bar for a cocktail before going to our Pagodas Restaurant or having a meal in our bar. Cocktails may help introduce them to different spirits from their regular tipple, and enjoy new taste experiences.”
The cocktail expert has shared the secrets of three of his finest creations with insideMoray readers:
Glen Grant 10yr 37.5ml
Coconut syrup. 12.5mls
Orange juice. 37.5mls
Cranberry juice. 25mls
Pineapple juice. 25mls
Gone with the Gin
Blue Curaçao 25mls
Cranberry juice 50mls
Lemon juice. 18.75mls
Soda – dash
Lemon Juice 18.75mls
Gomme syrup 12.5mls
Angostura bitters 3 drops
Raspberry purée 25mls
Soda – dash