When we heard Vic’s and the Vine had Brockmans available on a gin tree, we booked our tickets to Scotland immediately to investigate. Emphasis on immediately.
Located on the west coast of Scotland, Vic’s and The Vine is a dual concept bar and restaurant. Vic’s is a modern pub, focused on sport, live music, and speed of service, with The Vine an upmarket, casual dining restaurant with a focus on wine, cocktails, and gin.
Aside from the all-important gin tree, we’re here to talk to Company Bar Manager David Howie about the future of the drinks industry, and of course, gin.
“Gin as a trend isn’t going to go away for a long time. It’s part of my job to try and predict what the next big trend is – some have said tequila, some have said rum. From what I’ve seen from our customers, gin is definitely here to stay. That’s why The Vine has chosen to focus on gin as a drink offering – Brockmans in particular.”
And focus they have: Brockmans is also featured as one of their signature serves, available in both venues with either ginger ale and crème de cassis, or with Mediterranean tonic. We’ve definitely come to the right place…
David explains that Vic’s and The Vine are constantly trying to be innovative to stay at the forefront of industry trends to ensure the best experience possible for their customers.
“Brockmans is also featured at The Vine in one of our top three cocktails, the Blueberry Gin Sour. It’s made with Brockmans, fresh blueberries, citrus juice, sugar, and egg white. We’re noticing a huge surge in vegan customers, so we’re swapping out the egg white for aquafaba, a chickpea alternative which makes the sour a cocktail option for vegans. It’s all about providing a great customer experience.”
David continues with an interesting customer experience prediction: communal drinking. He says the old concept of punch will be making a comeback in the form of a communal serve, especially with the introduction of gin and cocktail trees.
“In today’s drinking environment, where you can sit in your house with a Brockmans and tonic, it’s now a statement to go out for a drink. For bars, it’s about the service, the theatre, the showpiece that customers can go and tell their friends they’ve been out — something they can declare on social media. Communal serves are a big part of that, a shared experience – something you can’t get at home.”
David also reveals that sustainability has been a core focus of Vic’s and The Vine over the past 18 months.
“There’s been a lot of work done here at Vic’s and The Vine to make that a core priority. We’ve been doing things like recovering ingredients, like coffee beans for cocktails, avocado seeds for syrups, and experimenting with citric acids. It’s great for pre-batching – it helps the cocktail ingredients stay fresh, and reduces waste.”
As for David’s favourite drink?
“Corps reviver number 2. Every day of the week. It’s become my favourite cocktail in the last 2 years I absolutely adore it. It has such history to it and using Brockmans Gin in there works really well with those citrus flavours.”
Luckily we have a recipe for that…
- 50ml Brockmans Gin
- 20ml Lillet Blanc
- 10ml Cointreau
- 20ml fresh lemon juice
- 15ml Ginger syrup
- Shake all ingredients together in an ice-filled cocktail shaker.
- Strain into a chilled martini glass.
- Garnish with a dehydrated orange slice studded with cloves.