Edinburgh bar team launches quirky liqueur range to tap into low alcohol trend

The team behind Edinburgh’s Bramble Bar and Lucky Liquor Co. have launched a new range of liqueurs with unusual ingredients including chuckleberry, sassafras and cascabel.

The new range, which uses a number of different base spirits, was first developed back in 2013. After tweaking and refining the recipes, founders Mike Aikman and Jason Scott decided to launch the full range for consumers to buy.

The Lucky Liqueurs portfolio includes a kümmel and a curaçao as well as liqueurs flavoured with chuckleberry (cross between a redcurrant, a gooseberry, and a Jostaberry, itself a cross between a blackcurrant and a gooseberry), tonka bean, violet, sassafras (the predominant flavour in root beer), coconut and cascabel (rattle chilli).

“As far as we are aware, ours is the first kümmel to be made in Scotland. In fact, most of the range are firsts as many of the flavours haven’t been used for a liqueur before,” said co-founder Mike Aikman.

His company, independent Edinburgh-based drinks company Mothership Scotland, which owns Lucky Liqueurs, already produces Sea Wolf rum, Cross Brew coffee liqueur, and Braemble gin liqueur, all of which have launched in the last 14 months

Speaking to db, Aikman said that he hoped the range would tie in with the desire for provenance and lower alcohol serves.

“I think provenance is becoming ever more important in the hospitality industry, alongside sustainability and traceability. Hopefully this will benefit us with things like Lucky Kummel, as people could be buying a homegrown product from Scotland, by an independent company, rather than a mass-produced version from France or Germany.

“Another trend we will see more of is low alcohol offerings in bars and restaurants, as people become more conscious of the negative impact over-consumption of alcohol can have. This is where liqueurs can be useful, as they pack a lot of flavour in, but are lower in alcohol than spirits. This could even be as simple as using Braemble in a G&T as it is 24% ABV, instead of 40% (or higher) like most premium gins,” he said.

The range is available in Mothership Scotland’s bars – Bramble, Lucky Liquor Co. and Last Word Saloon – and online shop, while three expressions are stocked in Vino Wines stores in Edinburgh. You can also sample the Lucky Sassafras in one of the cocktails served at the Nightcap Bar in York Place. Aikman has said he will be approaching other bars and shops in the coming months.

He hopes the range will challenge bartenders to think outside of the box.

“As bartenders, we are always seeking out new, interesting flavours for our cocktails. With Chuckleberry, I just read something about it and loved the name (as it evokes happy thoughts) so I sourced some from a fruit farm down south and they turned out to be delicious, and an incredibly vivid colour, so perfect for a liqueur! They also have a nice acidity, which helps cuts through the sweetness that some may expect from a liqueur,” he added.

The Lucky Kummel is currently used in a cocktail called Who Dares Wins at Last Word Saloon, which also contains gin, lemon juice and orgeat. Aikman also mentioned that the tonka bean liqueur “adds an extra dimension to an Espresso Martini” while the coconut liqueur can be used in a Daiquiri and works well when swapping out some rum for a less boozy concoction.

Having already caught the eye of Ryan Chetiyawardana of White Lyan and Dandelyan fame, the range is due to expand, with over 40 flavours planned. All of the liqueurs are 25% ABV and will be available in 25cl and 50cl bottles.

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