Whisky (not whiskey) and rum are two incredibly popular spirits that have a wide range of flavour profiles and are sure to tantalise the tastebuds. But what happens when you mix the two together? The results are an eclectic blend of fruit and spices with a buttery aftertaste that leaves you wanting more.
The Drinks Lab is an inspired company that takes a fantastic concept and weaves it into reality. Whether you’re a professional bartender or mixing drinks at home, you’re sure to be captivated by the methodology of this mixology business and the incredible concoctions that they produce.
As proud stockists of The Drinks Lab, we at Crafty Connoisseur are excited to give them a proper introduction (and maybe find you something new to sample). This is where we proudly present the latest in spirit innovation – Strange Bedfellows.
Ready to stir up your senses with an eclectic blend of whisky and rum?
Who is The Drinks Lab?
Located in Port Glasgow, the Drinks Lab is a Scottish innovation agency that specialises in the mixing and creation of drinks – alcoholic and non-alcoholic alike. It’s a fantastic concept, one that allows you to make your drink ideas a reality within as little as three months after contacting them.
They cover everything from development and bottling to labelling, ensuring your drink is ready for consumption and looks fantastic when you receive it. The entire process is exceptionally detailed, ensuring you are happy with how recipe development is going and the final taste.
Every step is bespoke, tailored to each customer so that you end up with exactly what you asked for. The interview process is lengthy and detailed, preventing them from missing key information and giving clients peace of mind.
But what does this mean for Strange Bedfellows?
Well, this is one of the few drinks made by The Drinks Lab for The Drinks Lab. Labelled as experiment 001, it is the beginning of something truly exciting for the company. It will be interesting to see what they create next.
How It’s Made
This experimental spirit originated from one question – can you make a rum that is able to be beautifully paired with a single cask, single malt Scotch whisky? The short answer is yes.
It took a great deal of trial and error, with The Drinks Labs testing eighteen different types of rum before finally settling on a delectable dark rum with a raspberry and cinnamon base. It’s a drink born in secrecy as the identity of the whisky remains undisclosed, but it comes from the Scottish Highlands and carries notes of orange and fudge that are delightful.
What makes this drink all the more special is the fact that each bottle is hand-filled on the line. It’s a small company, one that takes pride in their work, and you know that every bottle of Strange Bedfellows has been handled with care.
There are few drinks with a flavour profile quite as complex as this, and while it can be enjoyed neat it’s also ideal for use as a cocktail base – whether that’s in rum cocktails or whisky ones. Lingering notes of charred popcorn, orange blossoms, and cream soda make this an absolutely exceptional addition to any spirit-lover’s home.
Mixing with Strange Bedfellows
We have a cocktail recipe or two up our sleeves that incorporate Strange Bedfellows as the key ingredient. Why not try a couple of these out at the weekend or during your next gathering?
Strange Sour: This one is quite delicious, and we think you’ll enjoy it. Simply mix 60ml Strange Bedfellows, 25ml lemon juice, 15ml vanilla syrup, and 15ml egg white in a shaker and dry shake for 30 seconds without ice. Add ice and shake until well chilled, then strain into a short glass. You can add a slice of lemon as garnish if you desire.
Rum Old Fashioned: For this delicious drink, devoid of sugar but beautifully bitter on the tongue, you will need a few key ingredients. Combine 70ml of Strange Bedfellows, 25ml of black cherry cocktail syrup, and 10ml of spiced orange bitters before mixing thoroughly and pouring into your chosen glass. Garnish with dried orange for added zest.
The cocktails you choose to mix together will vary wildly according to your own tastes, but the fantastic thing about this particular spirit is that it’s exceptionally diverse. The flavour profile might confuse the tastebuds initially, but only in a good way, and it opens you up to an entirely new experience when sampling rum and whisky together for the first time.
There aren’t many official recipes out there for those who want to enjoy Strange Bedfellows as part of a cocktail (and these are the ones we have experimented with). If you’ve enjoyed mixing with this spirit, perhaps you’d like to share your recipes with us so that we can try some experiments of our own?
Other Ways to Enjoy
Drinking Strange Bedfellows straight can be just as enjoyable as having it mixed in with something else. Grab yourself a glass and pour yourself a few fingers so that you can explore the unique flavour profile offered by this exquisite drink. If you prefer your whisky and rum chilled, a few chunks of ice will certainly go down well.
Salted snacks are the best accompaniment if you’re looking to pair it well, and keeping things savoury helps to offset the dark rum quite nicely. While hard cheese always works well, soft cheese brings out some of the deeper flavours – helping you discover those zesty undertones.
Hosting Your Own Tasting Party
We are well known for our tasting parties, but at Crafty Connoisseur, we want to ensure you can still have loads of fun with them even when we can’t host one of our bespoke events.
If you’re preparing for a little Drinks Lab tasting party, we have some excellent advice to help you prepare.
- First, you’re going to need a drinks station so that guests can pour their own servings and even try mixing a few delicious cocktails using your own recipes or the ones we’ve already shared with you.
- Next, you’ll want to ensure you’re a stellar host by ensuring the correct glasses are available. A Glencairn glass is ideal for the whisky lovers out there, and tumblers are a good option as well. You can also arrange for a selection of cocktail glasses depending on your recipes.
- You’ll want to ensure you have plenty of delicious snacks available for your guests, preferably ones that pair nicely with whisky and rum. A charcuterie board is one of the best options, as the meats and cheeses tend to pair very well with both drinks. Nuts and salted popcorn also tend to be excellent when paired with rum.
- Always ensure you have a dedicated driver to get your guests home at the end of the night. Whether it’s a spirit or beer, alcohol affects our ability to drive safely. If no one is sober enough to drive, arrange a taxi or let everyone sleep it off at your place until it’s safe to head home.
What the Future Holds for The Drinks Lab
It’s exciting to see what will be next for The Drinks Lab. Strange Bedfellows has been such an incredible experience (and a popular one) that we can see them branching out into new experiments to see what else works together in equal harmony. We’re looking forward to what their next bases could be.
Perhaps we will see some experimentation with vodka, gin, or bourbon as they strive to share their creations with the world. Scotland has long been the home of innovation, and from what The Drinks Lab has expressed, this is far from the last we have heard of them and their personal line of drinks.
Awards and Accolades
The Drinks Lab has won several awards over the years. Most notably, they were announced as the winner of the Made in Scotland Awards, Scottish Edge Awards, and Scottish Food and Drink Excellence Awards. Additionally, they were also presented with the Bees Knees Business Awards in 2019.
While their awards and accolades are currently quite impressive, we are confident that there will be plenty more to come in the future – especially as we see new experiments enter the market, each of which we are very eager to try.
If there is anything The Drinks Lab does well, it’s innovation. When you mix rum with whisky, it creates something spectacular. A bitter, zesty profile that lingers on the tongue with tones of butter that soften the experience. It’s not a combination you would typically think to drink, but it’s an experiment you won’t soon forget (for all the right reasons).
At Crafty Connoisseur, we take pride in every drink and brand that we stock. We don’t just supply high-quality beverages to our customers; we also ensure that unique, local, and delicious concoctions end up on our shelves. So, for a taste of the true genius of Scotland, The Drinks Lab should be your next port of call.