Behind the Bar at Lympstone Manor with Sam Edmonds

Bit about Sam…

Head Barman at Michael Caines Michelin starred Lympstone Manor, Sam is well known in the industry for mixing it like the best. He joined Lympstone Manor when the hotel first opened in April 2017 and has since been instrumental in developing and delivering the venues drinks menu and vision for excellence behind the bar.

Having done the rounds at some of the UK’s best-respected bars, including Heston’s Hind’s Head in Bray, five-star Bovey Castle and the Michelin starred Treby Arms, Sam certainly knows a thing or two when it comes to mixing up a cracking cocktail.

We’ve worked with Sam to create a selection of cocktail and mocktail recipes using our juices and cordials. His deep understanding of flavour profiles, quality ingredients and hot new trends in mixology certainly didn’t disappoint.

View all his recipes here plus find out more about his predictions for top tipples in 2018 and what he enjoys shaking up for us customers at Lympstone Manor.

 

What is the best-selling cocktail at Lympstone Manor?

A Bellini without a doubt – I’m sure this can definitely be attributed to the recent prosecco boom.

We adhere to the original recipe from Giuseppe Cipriani, founder of the legendary Harry’s Bar in Venice, incorporating a good quality prosecco and peach puree.

What is your favourite cocktail?

It has to be a Last Word; a complex and versatile cocktail that can be enjoyed on any occasion.

Who would you most like to make a cocktail for?

I once made an Old Fashioned for Mark Hoppus from Blink 182. It just doesn’t get any better than that!

Are classic or contemporary cocktails most popular at the moment?

I think they’re equally poised in terms of popularity. Most bars will have both on their drinks lists – and you’ll find that most of the contemporary cocktails out there tend to be a twist on a classic.

What are your first considerations when developing a new cocktail?

First, I select and work off of the base spirit. I then decide the overall flavour profile and combinations that I want to achieve and proceed to develop the balance of the drink.

Where do you get your inspiration?

My very first Bar Manager, Dan Tripp, who later went on to become a brand ambassador for Martin Miller's Gin. He set me off on a good path when it came to bartending and I’ve always tried to adopt his level of professionalism and dedication.

Which ingredients or serving trends are most popular at the moment?

Currently and in recent years there has been a massive increase in the use of homemade ingredients. As most bars serve some form of food, bartenders are making good use of their kitchen and creating their own infusions, syrups, fruit vinegars and garnishes.

Which ingredients do you envisage becoming the flavour of the future?

In my honest opinion, I think there will be a much wider use of specialist teas, fruits, herbs and spices. Numerous food suppliers have large catalogues of weird and wonderful ingredients that enable bartenders to experiment and discover new creations.

Are premium products important in the cocktails that you produce?

When it comes to classic cocktails there are often only three to four ingredients used. So, apart from the bartender’s method it really is the quality of the spirit or mixer that can make or break a drink. For example, a well-produced Martini with a premium gin can help express the fresh botanicals and really excite the palate.

We’ve seen a gin renaissance and reinvigoration of the classics in term of cocktails. What’s the next big thing?

Rum and Sherry. Rum is growing fast in terms of sales due to some great marketing campaigns and the rapid rise in rum-themed bars and festivals. Sherry is also starting to be appreciated by a much wider audience. This is due to the fact that Sherry is very flexible and comes in many different styles. It’s a great aperitif, pairs well with food and can be a useful addition to a number of cocktails.

Where do non-alcoholic cocktails sit within the sales and menu profile at Lympstone Manor?

They’re very successful as a lunchtime aperitif; at this point of the day they almost sell as well as alcoholic drinks. We also find that people are drinking more mocktails than just the juice on its own which is interesting.

Why do you think they are becoming more popular?

Consumers are being more mindful when it comes to their health and are largely reducing their alcohol intake. There is now a lot more variety in the soft drinks market than ever before. It’s a swiftly expanding sector of the industry and it’s becoming increasingly acceptable to enjoy soft drinks in a variety of social situations.

What advice would you offer operators when developing a cocktail or mocktail menu for their venue?

The main aim should be to cover a wide range of styles and flavour profiles. Unless you have a specific theme to your venue then you should be able to make good use of a wide assortment of ingredients, garnishes and serves.

Cocktails must look great and taste even better. Try to offer a variety of spirits in the cocktails you serve, but make sure to include the more popular ones.

When it comes to mocktails, make sure to add citrus flavours for acidity and finish with appealing garnishes. A lot of mocktails out there are typically too sweet and are poorly presented.

What qualities do you think make Frobishers a good cocktail ingredient?

The fact that they are 100% fresh juice makes all the difference. They are natural in flavour and colour, but most importantly they are not sweet, which is especially good considering most cocktails contain a lot of sugar content from syrups and liqueurs.

Why have you chosen to stock Frobishers in the bar at Lympstone Manor?

Even though the bar has an almost entirely adult customer base the sale of the Frobisher’s products is still very high. The wide variety of products have multiple uses such as great for mixing in cocktails, as a one on one spirit mixer or as a stand-alone drink.

 

Sam Edmonds has created two cocktails and two mocktails using our juices and cordials.

Cocktails include a cinnamon and nutmeg infused bourbon based ‘Kentucky Crumble’ using Frobishers Apple juice and a warming, gin-laced ‘Sloe Burner’, a rich hot cocktail which centres around Frobishers Cranberry juice combined with Chase Sloe and Mulberry Gin.

Mocktails include a sparklingly citrus Bitter Sweet, featuring Frobishers Grapefruit juice and a cleansing Garden of Zen combining Frobisher’s Peach and Lychee Cordial with Cucumber and Green Tea.

View all the recipes here plus watch Sam creating each of the drinks in a step-by-step video.