One of Boisdale's finest bartenders showed us what's behind the cocktail

By Rachel Bishop on August 23, 2014 9:18 AM |


Cocktails are everywhere - in all shapes and forms - with dry ice adorning some and cheese adorning others, you can't escape the alcoholic mixtures.

So we headed down to Canary Wharf's Boisdale, which boasts some delicious and rather high-brow cocktails, to chat with self-titled intoxicologist, Ernest Reid to find out more about these line of drinks and the people who make them.

"It's exactly like cooking, but more difficult," Ernest says as he whips up a Perfect Lady. "You're right in front of me while I'm making this drink, so if I don't install confidence in you, or if what I make tastes rubbish, you won't come back to me again."

Ernest has been at Boisdale since it opened three years ago, and is truly passionate about making great cocktails.


He said: "You always want to enhance the flavour of the spirit that you're using in the drink - not hide it or over-flavour it.

"For someone who's not used to the flavours of say whiskey you need to elevate the flavour within that spirit to bring it out for a less honed palate - so they can taste it without having to stress about it."

Selling some of the most unique and rare whiskies Ernest knows his stuff about spirits and has created his own aged cocktail range that includes a smoky Vintage Bobby Burns and a crisp Vintage Negroni.

And his favourite cocktail? This is a question he always gets asked, and he says the answer changes all the time, which is not surprising in a bar where the spirits are so unique there is a whiskey costing more than £1,000 for 50ml.


He said: "Although I don't have a favourite, I do have a soft spot for White Bowmore, from Islay - there's 3,000 people living on the island, with six policemen and then eight distilleries.

"All the excess heat from the distillery is used to heat the local swimming pool, so every shot you have is helping the community - that's what I like, you're helping out a community, just by having a drink."

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Three vital things to make a perfect cocktail
1. You've got to know what painting makes what colours - so know your spirits
2. Use fresh ingredients
3. You have got to put love into every cocktail and every customer.