There seem to be a lot of pop up dining and drinking experiences around Sydney these days and now there’s one to please the whisky connoisseurs who may know a thing or two about Drambuie, a sweeter whisky with lovely notes of honey and spices infused into it. I must confess that I had never heard of it before, although it has been around for over 260 years and has quite an interesting heritage to do with a Scottish prince and a secret recipe.
Tonight we are at the launch night of the Drambuie Bar Takeover at the newly refurbished cocktail bar in the Pullman Hyde Park Hotel (formerly the Marriott). The place has been transformed into a whimsical space inspired by the surreal artworks of Salvador Dali to fit with the theme “A Taste of the Extraordinary”. My first taste of the whisky was in a Rusty Mojito, which is a twist on the usual mojito by adding in Drambuie with the rum, mint and brown sugar to create a rather potent drink.
Rusty Mojito, $18
There will be a few other cocktail options available such as the Bitter and Twisted Nail, Rusty Nail and Espresso Martini which I had as part of my dessert and it was heavenly, full of smooth caffeine goodness with a hint of honey thanks to the Drambuie.
Espresso Martini, $18
Apart from the cocktails, we also had a tasting of the three different Drambuie products available where we had the whiskys straight without any ice or mixers. Each of these Drambuie products have been especially matched with a canape on the bar menu and we sampled them as well. There was the lovely original Drambuie which is a special blend of aged scotch whisky with heather honey and spices and this was my favourite of the trio because of the sweet aftertaste. The original Drambuie has been matched with a Pan Fried Duck Gyoza which comes with a soy and ginger fusion dressing. I found that the sauce was a little bit spicy actually and did well to add a bit more flavour to the gyoza. The skin of the gyoza was a bit thicker than I usually like, but the filling had a good meaty bite to it which matched the thicker dumpling skin.
Pan Fried Duck Gyoza, $8
Next we had the Drambuie 15 which is made with fifteen year old speyside malt whisky and is said to epitomise the essence of Scotland with aromas of shortbread and citrus. I found this one a bit strong for my liking and it was a similar story with the Royal Legacy of 1745 which is a limited edition all malt base Drambuie with only 2,250 bottles created worldwide. The Drambuie 15 has been matched with a Petite Kangaroo burger, provolone cheese, beetroot and sumac dressing. These sliders were very tasty and the kangaroo wasn’t gamey at all; it just tasted like a leaner type of beef and even the beetroot didn’t deter me from grabbing one or two more as the sauce was quite addictive. Last but not least, the Royal Legacy Drambuie has been paired with a simple yet elegant Coffin Bay Pacific Oyster with finger lime pearls. These pearls are tiny bubbles of flavour sprinkled on top of a juicy oyster and burst in your mouth to give a zesty citrus hit.
Petite Kangaroo Burger, $8
For those who have a sweet tooth, there’s also been a collaboration between Drambuie and Gelato Messina to create a limited edition gelato wittily called the “Rusty Licker” which combines Drambuie soaked savoiardi biscuits, crystallised ginger and caramel into a smooth, creamy treat. The special flavour will be served at the Drambuie Bar Takeover and also Gelato Messina stores from 1st – 8th March 2013, for those fans of alcoholic gelato.
This special event at the Pullman Hyde Park only runs from Wednesday 27th February until Sunday 3rd March 2013 after which it turns back into its usual cocktail lounge, so those who would like to try these extraordinary (strong) Drambuie cocktails and matched canapes will need to get in over the weekend before it finishes up!
Images sourced from Drambuie Australia Facebook page: www.facebook.com/DrambuieAustralia
Pullman Sydney Hyde Park
26-36 College St Sydney, NSW 2010
Ph: (02) 9361 8400