The creation of head of mixology, Michele Mariotti, and his talented beverage team, each of the cocktails found on the “Book of Berries” menu is made with ingredients sourced first and foremost from the Gleneagles estate.
Inspired by the decadence and grandeur of the bar’s 1920s-themed décor – reminiscent of the hotel’s beginnings in 1924 – the new look menu is a homage to the botanicals found on the surrounding Perthshire hills.
All eighteen beverages are dedicated to a sole botanical berry respectively, a nod towards the popularity of the era’s pocket encyclopaedias or Observer Books as they were known.
These small, pocket-sized books also shaped the look and feel of the “Book of Berries” menu, which have been designed to tell a story and be whimsical in style.
Detailed descriptions and bold illustrations include the curious bumblebee, which can be spotted alongside each of the beverages; a playful nod towards the journey the American Bar team has been on to discover the world of botanical berries.
In the new menu, every element has been carefully selected and curated.
For example, to honour the Martini, the beverage team have developed three, brand new, Gleneagles-own gins in partnership with Edinburgh’s South Loch Distillery.
Intent on showcasing how juniper, as a core botanical, can enhance the taste of this classic cocktail, the three bespoke gins – all dedicated to juniper alone – demonstrate just how much diversity can be achieved through a single botanical and expresses Gleneagles’ commitment to ‘shaking up’ the classics in their own fashion.
Further menu highlights include ‘Blueberry’, a vodka-based cocktail created using Gleneagles’ Garden Café blueberry muffins; ‘Avocado’, which uses leftover avocado seeds to create an orgeat which then combines with white rum and Amaro to make a Mai Tai style cocktail; and ‘Banana’, using leftover peels which are slowly caramelised at high temperatures before being used to infuse Bourbon and create the ultimate twist on a classic Old Fashioned.
Mariotti and his beverage team also worked closely with British Designer, Richard Brendon, on bespoke glassware for key beverages.
Together, eager to further celebrate the look and feel of the chosen botanical berry through the addition of colour accents, Mariotti and Brendon created four exclusive designs for ‘Blueberry’, ‘Pumpkin’, ‘Papaya’ and ‘Avocado’ respectively.
This latest iteration of the American Bar menu follows a series of new mixology-based activations at the Perthshire hotel with a focus on sustainable practices and innovative use of ingredients.
It follows the recent relaunch of Gleneagles’ Century Bar menu, the launch of Gleneagles’ first single malt in partnership with The Glenturret Distillery, and the introduction of an outdoor dining and whisky ‘pod’ experience on the grounds of the estate, developed in collaboration with The Macallan - set to launch later this spring.
Mariotti said: “Over the last year or so, we have made real strides in developing innovative, ingredient-driven drinks menus.
"That is what the American Bar is all about – showcasing the amazing ingredients which are found on our doorstep and using them in new ways to create a unique drinking experience for our guests.
“Developing the new offering for the American Bar has very much been a team effort. Each member has crafted different drinks, mixes and combinations, with immense detail.
“We believe that even the most experienced of cocktail connoisseurs will find something interesting and unique when they visit the American Bar, whether that be an innovative new mix or a contemporary twist on a classic.”
The American Bar is currently open Wednesday to Sunday, from 5:30pm – 01:00am.
Find out more at the Gleneagles website.