Budvar Hoptails #4 ‘THE BUDWEIS MULE’

A fiery, floral and flavoursome twist on the classic Moscow Mule

THE BUDWEIS MULE
By Jonah Robertshawe, The Botanist, Sheffield

Number four in the Budvar Hoptail series takes us to Sheffield in Yorkshire and into the beautiful space that is The Botanist, with its incredible design and dedication to fantastic beers and cocktails. Here, herbal and floral décor meets historic tool shed-chic; upstairs in its brilliant restaurant there are indoor orangeries with tables, wild, living plants and elaborate lighting schemes, all underpinned by the team’s passion for serving quality drinks and the world’s best beers. No surprise then to find Budweiser Budvar in bottles in its fridges, but The Botanist in Sheffield is actually doubly blessed. Here you also find Tankové Pivo or Budvar Tank Beer on draft. Fresh from the brewery cellars in České Budějovice (or ‘Budweis’), this is Budweiser Budvar as it’s meant to be: unpasteurised and alive. And it’s something truly special. 

    Drawing inspiration for his hoptail from his love of Czech beer is young gun mixologist Jonah Robertshawe. He’s created ‘The Budweis Mule’ as a riff on the classic Moscow Mule, swapping out the sweet ginger beer for fresh ginger, herbs, gin, Cointreau and the sweet-bitter bite of Budweiser Budvar Original. The Botanist will be serving his fiery, floral and flavoursome beer cocktail at all its bars across the UK, so drop by and give it a try. But if you want to try making The Budweis Mule at home, here’s all you need to know. 

    Tell us a little about yourself.

    I’m Jonah. I’m 21 and from Sydney, Australia. Bartending started off as a bit of fun for me; it was a way to meet people and earn some money. I began in a German beer café in Sydney and from there I moved to a great cocktail bar, where I could unleash my creativity and really study the art of mixology. After a while, I developed the cocktail menu and really got to play around with different flavour combinations. Although I was enjoying Australia, I also wanted to see what a bit of the world and decided to go traveling.

    How long have you been bartending in the UK?

    I arrived in the UK December 2016, after traveling around Europe where I took part in a few competitions. I’m now working on my Bar Blade – an in-house qualification at The Botanist – due to be completed in November.

    Tell us about The Botanist. What’s the ethos?

    Quality drinks, quality cocktails and quality service in all our bars. We like to use fresh herbs to put a botanical twist on classic drinks and make drinkers feel included. Each Botanist is about creating an atmosphere where customers want to come again because of its unique offerings, beautiful environment and excellent service.

    It’s a bar that really takes its beer seriously. We saw some of the staff doing Beer Master tests?

    We run an in-house Master of Beer program, where we have to submit a 2000-word essay, sit an exam, and do a blind tasting. The end goal is so we can be trained up to host masterclasses for customers. Once I have got through my Bar Blade, Master of Beer is my next challenge!

    Why do you think beer cocktails are on the rise?

    The beer scene in the UK is booming at the moment. I’ve had my eyes opened to the possibility of using beer as a lengthener in cocktails, rather than using juices. It poses a different challenge to bartenders, and has different flavours you can pick up on and enhance with other ingredients.

    You have Tank Budvar in The Botanist in Sheffield. What is it you like about the beer?

    If I was to have a pint of any lager it would definitely be Tank Budvar. It tastes incredible because it comes fresh and unpasteurised straight from the cellars in Budweis to the bar here. Simply, this is a great tasting beer. A lot of people know of it but probably don't know why it's so good or understand about its ingredients and processes. It just seems to have much more flavour than most other lagers out there.

    So how did you come up with 'The Budweis Mule'?

    I wanted to do a twist on a classic Moscow Mule, using ginger and beer, rather than the classic ginger beer. I also wanted to play around with what spirits worked best with Budvar's unique taste.

    What was it about the Budvar that gave you the inspiration?

    I wanted to work with the fresh, sweet-bitter bite of the beer and play off its hoppy tones. I felt that floral notes in gin would complement those well. Pairing these with fresh citrus flavours brought in the Cointreau - the orange liqueur - which is also a perfect partner to the gin. There is a definite herbal note in the whole-cone Saaz hops used the Budvar, and I wanted to include our trademark fresh herbs at The Botanist to reflect that. Lemon thyme seemed like a perfect choice with its subtle flavour and citrus tang.

    What is the ethos behind the drink?

    To deconstruct the Moscow Mule's use of ginger beer and swap it out for ginger AND beer, as well as some other great ingredients that lift this cocktail into a new place. At its heart The Budweis Mule is about quality ingredients. A high quality beer like Budweiser Budvar should be complemented by the use of high quality, fresh ingredients that don't overpower its taste.

    Final question. What tip would you give budding bartenders about making a great cocktail?

    Use good ingredients. It's essential in making sure your end product is of a high standard. Then use your creativity to take what you know or read about the classics and put your individual spin on them. Play around. Have a go. And don't be afraid to experiment.

    THE BUDWEIS MULE

    (Makes one)

    Ingredients:

    1 bottle of Budweiser Budvar Original
    Half a teaspoon of chopped fresh ginger
    2 dashes of bitters
    15ml sugar syrup (Gomme)
    Sprig of lemon thyme
    30ml gin
    15ml Cointreau
    20ml fresh lemon juice

    Method:

    Mix the ginger, bitters, sugar syrup, lemon thyme, gin, lemon juice and Cointreau in a cocktail shaker.

    Add ice and shake well.

    Strain over cubed ice into a glass and top up with Budweiser Budvar Original.

    Garnish with lemon zest and lemon thyme.

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