September Cocktail Specials

Cocktail Specials @ Rub Smokehouse & Bar

by Joe Macbeth

Every month at Rub we release 5 cocktail specials. Rub Nottingham will have 5 cocktail specials and Rub Birmingham will have a different 5 specials. The reason being that our specials are all about celebrating our talented bar staff, and each site’s cocktail specials are created by our talented bartenders at each venue. I’d like to take you through the 10 specials we are releasing in September and the bartenders behind them.


Tracing Dragons

Charley is one of our most promising bartenders. She’s only been tending bar for less than a year and already she’s developed a name for herself with her passion for cocktails and her success at cocktail competitions such as taking home the Nottingham Sailor Jerry competition for Rub. Her latest creation is an Asian-Bourbon medley combining Buffalo Trace bourbon, homemade Maple & Black Tea syrup, Mango syrup, Chinese Five Spice Bitters & Ginger Ale for a sweet, smokey and lightly spiced cocktail that packs a punch. Served straight up in a Tea Cup with dried mango.

Cinnamon, Spice & All Things Nice

Lyssa has been with us since we first opened in Nottingham. She came to Rub with no cocktail experience and no great love or affinity for making drinks. It’s amazing how much has changed over the last 9 months. Lyssa has grown in confidence and has learned to love making cocktails and creating new drinks. She has two specials on the board this month. Firstly, “Cinnamon, Spice & All Things Nice” which is a bit of Christmas come early. A combination of Brugal Dry Spiced Rum, Creme de Cassis, Vanilla Syrup, Apple Juice & Cranberry Juice. Served straight up with a toasted cinnamon stick.

Chocolate Armadillo

Lyssa has also celebrated her love for Midori in the September specials with a Texan melon concoction combining Titos Texan Vodka, Midori, White Chocolate Syrup, Chipotle Bitters & Lemonade. It’s a sweet, chocolaty and fruity drink served ice cold over crushed ice. The drink comes with white chocolate to nibble on and a big kick of Texan vodka.

Terry’s Tipple

Amy joined us a few months ago from Missoula. Bright, cheery and full of enthusiasm she has fit right in with our Rub persona. Climbing all the way up to Head Bartender. Amy has made cocktails for years but has only recently started devising her own creations. Her “Terry’s Tipple” is a blend of Bourbon, a Sidecar cocktail and a Terry’s Chocolate Orange; combining Jim Beam bourbon, Triple Sec orange liqueur, Dark Chocolate Bitters and a splash of Lemon Juice. Citrusy, chocolaty and incredibly boozy.

Peachy Keen

James isn’t a member of the bar team. He’s actually one of the most important members of our waiting team. You’ll see him bouncing around the restaurant giving out A* service and bringing a bucket load of cheer to our restaurant’s atmosphere. But James loves cocktails and this month reached out of his comfort zone and submitted a cocktail special to be considered. His sweet & sour ‘Peachy Keen’ is a delicious combination of Hendricks gin, Lemon Juice, Peach Syrup & Cream Soda. It’s served long over ice with caramelized peach slices.


San Antonio Slushee

Dave is our Head Bartender at our Birmingham site. A cheeky chap with years of classic cocktail experience from his time at Bank. His special is an icy cold, berry packed mix of Titos Texan Vodka, Fresh Blackberries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Lemon Juice, Grenadine and Cranberry Juice. Blended with ice and served up like a slushee.

The Meridian Martini

A twist on the French Martini combining Brugal Extra Dry Especial white rum, Luxardo Amaretto, Cherry Syrup, Peychaud Bitters and Pineapple Juice. Light, fluffy, nutty and with a dark fruity and tropical finish. Perfect for hen dos and lovers of cocktails like the Sex on the Beach.

The Kentucky Kiss

Rasa doesn’t say much but she’s an absolute grafter. She has developed a bit of a reputation behind the bar for being a perfectionist. She takes great pride in her cocktail special a nutty twist on a whiskey sour smashing together Jim Beam bourbon, Briottet Rhubarb, Lemon Juice, Pistachio Syrup and a dash of egg white. The egg white helps create a light and fluffy cocktail with a foamy consistency that we serve over ice in a tin can. Garnished with a lovely pair of candy lips.

Violet, you’re turning Violet!!!

Charlie joined us with minimum cocktail experience having mostly worked in pubs and events over her time at university. But her focus and drive has quickly led to her being one of the most talented members of our bar team. She's recently been promoted to trainee bar supervisor as a result of all that hard work. She’s created a light and floral cocktail of Hendricks gin, Violet Syrup, Lemon Juice, Elderflower Cordial and Vanilla Foam. Do you love Parma Violets? You’ll love this drink.

Honey I Drunk the Kids

Last but not least we have Syra’s creation. Syra is another bright, young face with a love for writing and a rapidly growing appreciation for all things cocktail. Her “Honey I Drunk the Kids” is a boozy and playful, long drink, comprising of Buffalo Trace Bourbon, Honey, Caramel, Lemon Juice, Chocolate Bitters and Ginger Beer. A big kick of bourbon followed by honey and chocolate sweetness and ginger spice. She serves her drink up with two little sour patch kids drizzled in honey.

Our restaurants might be first and foremost about smoked meats and epic portions, but cocktails play a big part in the Rub set-up. We’ve got 25 unique recipes on our menu all painstakingly devised and also 5 monthly specials. I implore you, next time you visit us, try a cocktail with your meal, ask your server for a recommendation or simply come in just for a drink on it’s own. We have some wonderful staff and you won’t regret giving our drinks a chance and letting them show off all that passion and creativity.