OK, I’ll admit it, I’m picky. I travel a fair bit and want to be treated right at dinner. Whether it’s a hotel lobby bar/restaurant, a local comfort food classic like the Ensign Ewart in Edinburgh or a fancy foodie spot, I want to feel like the joint is glad I’ve darkened their door.
Enter Monteith’s Close on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, where I had the privilege to dine last month. Wow, do they know how to treat a gal!
Even though it was hard to get a table and very clear that the restaurant would be packed within the hour, I was greeted at Monteith’s Close with a smile and the sincere offer to have a drink at the bar before being seated. I declined and went directly to my table, but it was really nice to know they weren’t going to rush me.
Making people happy is the real product being served at Monteith’s. The staff is ready to consult on menu and drink choices to help you design the perfect dining experience.
The Outsider Cocktail Experience
I don’t usually have a cocktail, but when I asked for something unique to Monteith’s, the waitress beamed. She told me proudly that their bartender was in the Bacardi Legacy contest as a UK finalist, representing all of Scotland, with his creation, the Outsider Cocktail. He brought it to me himself, also beaming.
The Outsider Cocktail was a thing of beauty, and dangerously delicious, with dark rum (Bacardi, of course), lime juice, absinthe, black currant jam and something I’d never heard of, lime oleo saccharum.
A 3-Appetizer Meal, All Scottish, All Good
The Outsider Cocktail was just the start! I had a 3-appetizer meal, chosen carefully with guidance from my lovely waitress, and was very happy with my selections. They were very Scottish, very foodie-worthy, and very good.
The Outsider Recipe
You can make this at home!
The Outsider Cocktail
By Ken Langenfeld
Glass: Nick & Nora glass
Garnish: Discarded lime zest
Method: Shake all ingredients with cubed ice and double strain into Nick & Nora glass. Garnish with a discarded lime zest.
- 50ml Bacardi Ocho Reserva Rum
- 25ml fresh lime juice
- 10ml lime oleo saccharum
- 2 bar spoons of blackcurrant jam
- 2 dashes of absinthe
The bartender / cocktail creator Ken Langenfeld can be found on Instagram at Kenyoushake, the Outsider Cocktail. The UK winner in the Bacardi Legacy contest will advance to the international finals, to be held in Amsterdam in May. Good luck to you, Ken!
So what is this “oleo saccharum” stuff, anyway? I’d never heard of it before my visit to Monteith’s Close, but if it was a part of why the Outsider Cocktail was so rockin’, I need to know about it! Online research revealed that it is a wonderful citrus oil and sugar concoction, and super-easy to make. Saveur’s online magazine provides a recipe and describes it as: “a complicated name for a simple concept: syrup loaded with citrus essential oils that give amazing depth to mixed drinks”.
A Happy Place – I’ll Be Back
I wasn’t the only happy person at Monteith’s Close. It’s a happy place.
So, the next time I get to Edinburgh, guess where I’m going for dinner? And guess which cocktail I’m going to order??
7 thoughts on “Monteith’s Close in Edinburgh Feels Like Home – and Then There’s the Outsider Cocktail”
I haven’t been in Edinburgh since our honeymoon, but this place will definitely be on my list for when I am there again.
What an awesome honeymoon destination! What did you do when you were there?
We actually visited quite a few places: Glasgow, Inverness, Inverary, Nairn, Pitlochry, Glen Coe, Culloden, and Edinburgh. We went to a lot of museums and castles, sheared and fed sheep at a working farm (no joke), and ate too much good food. 🙂
Sounds absolutely heavenly. I have never had absinthe, nor do I know what it consists of, but I do know it was responsible for the death of the famous Moulin Rouge artist. I am not sure I have ever seen it here. The dinner and the treatment sounds outstanding though.
Hi Anne, you’re right, absinthe had a bad name for a long, long time. Green Fairy, it was called for a while, and Green Monster, too. It was blamed for many a death and many more crazy actions. The feeling about absinthe being a craven, rotting influence went viral even before social media (early in the 20th centruy). But it turns out that its power was the same as any other alcohol, and after being banned for decades, it came back ‘in’ in the 90s. New Orleans has a great – and little known- museum, the Southern Food and Beverage Museum (see https://natfab.org/southern-food-and-beverage) which has a great exhibit about absinthe and its ill-fated and undeserved reputation.
I’ll have to check this place out next time I’m in Edinburgh. It’s cool you got to try a potentially award winning cocktail too 🙂
I know! I keep checking to see if Ken the Bartender (@kenyoushake on Instagram) won the UK competition. We should know any day now. I’m rooting for him!