The second event I attended as part of Glasgow Cocktail Week was at The Trading House. After having visited The Finnieston for the first event I had high hopes for The Trading House, not lease because they have just won an award declaring them Scotland’s Best Cocktail Bar. Not bad.
I’ve not visited The Trading House before but it’s a huge bar on St Vincent Place. It is very hipster. To the extent that I felt a little sorry for the staff, who have to wear suspenders as part of their uniform. However, our host for the evening seemed pretty chipper, so perhaps he doesn’t mind. I guess if I got to mix and taste cocktails I’ll day I’d be cheerful to.
The plan for this event is that we’d all learn to make The Trading House’s signature drink: The Trader. This one is an unusual one in that it features tea leaves. Not just any tea, though, it’s a herbal tea, and one inspired by the English country garden. I kept my thoughts about how the Scots might not be impressed by English gardens to myself – but I wasn’t surprised when someone else told me that they’d had to re-brand their “English mojito” as a “Scottish mojito” because no one had ordered a single one. I guess London based companies sometimes have a few hiccups when they try to understand the Scottish sense of humour.
The tea leaves get muddled in sugar syrup and lime juice. A swig of apple juice is added, and a swig of white rum (they use Bacardi for this one). A bunch of crushed ice is used to fill the glass and the whole set up is vigorously agitated with a bar spoon to blend the flavours and to start to crush the ice. Finally, a little more ice is added, along with a sprinkling of the tea and a straw.
It’s an awfully pretty drink. It’s lightly floral, fruity and a little sweet. Not overpoweringly so, but enough that I would never order more than one. Then again, I’m not a fan of sweet alocholic drinks, so perhaps I’m the weird one here. I spent a little while scanning their menu, though, and it looks like they have plenty of other options I might try for something less saccharine.
So, event number two was a success. On Sunday I had event 3: The Boozy Brunch to look forward to, and when someone dropped out of the event at Blythswood Square, I managed to take their place. I’ll tell you all about that later.