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Andrew MacLeod, Grain Bar

Drink: The Grain Geisha

Photograph: Daniel Boud

Andrew MacLeod well remembers the moment when he fell in love with the bartending game. “I worked in a cocktail bar in Nottingham in the UK. A guest said he was on his honeymoon and wanted to give his wife a really pretty drink. So off I went and managed to draw a rose on the top of a Martini. She really liked it and was showing the drink off to other guests. Her smile was from ear to ear.” At Grain, where there are more than 200 whiskies on the shelves, Whisky Sours are very popular, but MacLeod’s twist on the recipe took inspiration from a masterclass with Suntory master distiller, Mike Miyamoto. “I decided to make beetroot and Japanese whisky the focus. Beetroot has this earthy, complex flavour to it, but it doesn’t interrupt the floral notes or the lightness of the Hakushu 12yo.”

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