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So we stole five minutes with our Bar Manager Jack Driver on his return from a VIP tour of the Jack Daniels Distillery in Tennessee and convinced him to share some trade secrets:
How does it feel to win Best Cocktail Bar in Edinburgh?
Pretty amazing, it was a tough competition. Just to be shortlisted alongside bars such as Devil’s Advocate, Panda & Sons and Bramble was an honour so to win it has made us all extremely happy.
What is your definition of a great cocktail bar?
Good customer service, a passionate team and consistently great drinks. People keep coming back to Tigerlily because they get great drinks every time, regardless of who makes it. We have guests that regularly come from Newcastle for our daiquiris and London for our Mojitos, and a gentleman from Boston that visits us every summer.
We offer a variety of classic cocktails but also stay at the forefront of trends with our infusion and homemade ingredients which change seasonally on our drinks menu.
Where does your inspiration come from?
I am inspired by my peers. The bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler (jeffreymorgenthaler.com) is a big inspiration as is Ryan Chetiyawardana (mrlyan.com). I am lucky enough to travel so I try to visit as many of the top 50 cocktails bars in the world as possible, gathering fusions, inspirations and ideas while I watch the bartenders work.
Are there any future cocktail trends we should be looking out for?
Yes, 2017 is all about low alcohol cocktails. A low ABV means that you can drink and appreciate more cocktails without getting too drunk! And, watch out for room temperature cocktails in 2018. Removing ice from cocktails allows the ingredients to stay true to themselves.
Aside from Tigerlily, where is your favourite cocktail bar?
Attaboy in New York, it was the 4th best cocktail bar in the world when I visited.
What is your definition of a good cocktail?
A well balanced drink, not too sweet and not too sour. For me, it’s a Corpse Reviver Number 2.
What are your five top cocktails from the Tigerlily menu?
5. Tennessee Tablet
4. Arrested Development
3. Blame it on the Weatherman
2. Flippin Bananas
1. Fields Fizz
And finally, if Tigerlily was a cocktail, what would it be?
I think it would be a French ’75. A classically stylish cocktail with a kick.
Thanks Jack. And cheers to everyone that voted for us!