The definitive guide to the finest drinking experiences

The World Class 50: The Definitive Drinking Guide features 50 of the most innovative and talented bartenders from across the globe. Each bartender showcases the perfect location, the most inventive cocktail and the finest of ingredients and spirits that define the 'must have' fine drinking experience in their city.

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Angus Mcgregor’s Stewed Strawberry Cobbler

Angus McGregor represented the UAE at the World Class Bartender of the Year final, 2013

Hakkasan Dubai is situated at ground level between the Emirates Towers (also home to Dubai’s Ivy) on the beating artery of Sheikh Zayed Road. The first Hakkasan opened to great éclat in London’s Hanway Place in 2001 and it and its sister brands Sake no Hana, Yauatcha and HKK have expanded rapidly in the last few years in the UK, the US and elsewhere. With its blend of imaginative Cantonese cooking and Christian Liaigre’s sultry, sexy Chinoiserie interior, Hakkasan Dubai is a doppelganger of the elegant original. It also offers a Ling Ling Lounge for relaxed drinking and a terrace, a surprisingly rare find in the emirate.

The Bartender

Angus McGregor, 36, a Scot has been working in the industry for 17 years, much of it spent running Liquidstate which was responsible for the concept and implementation of bar set-ups around the globe. He has been based in Dubai for the last seven years, having opened 360º and Raffles before moving to do the same at Hakkasan two years ago. While he likes to work with local ingredients such as figs and dates, he knows that there’s only so far you can go with them. However, he finds the spice market rich pickings for bitters, syrups and purées, particularly as the restaurant produces modern Chinese dishes, therefore drinks with an Asian inspiration work particularly well.

The Drink

Angus’s Stewed Strawberry Cobbler has a long heritage, a Port cobbler being one of the very first classics he mastered. ‘It’s the idea of using plentiful seasonal fruit and balancing them around a spirit,’ he explains. In this case the strawberries are stewed with Kombucha cordial (made with Kombucha tea and peach juice, specially importe../../../post_2F61749901045_2Fangus-mcgregors-stewed-strawberry-cobbler/d for Hakkasan.css), grapefruit, lavender, salt and pepper, before reducing: ‘so rather than just muddled strawberries, you have all these extra intensified flavours.’ The result is a bolder cocktail anchored by the fresh, fruit nature of Cîroc vodka, enhanced with a medley of citrus tastes; it’s clean on the palate, with a gentle bitter snap and a long finish.

The Technique

Cîroc • 60ml
Cherry Heering • 20ml
Aperol • 5ml
Stewed strawberry conserve • 30ml
Lemon wedges • 2
Grapefruit wedges • 2
Orange wedge • 1
1 sprig of lemon thyme
Contains 24 grams of alcohol per serve

Muddle the citrus wedges. Pour all ingredients into a shaker and mix. Pour into a wine glass.

With the lightness of Cîroc and a multitude of fruit flavours, this is a cobbler to be enjoyed at any time, alone or paired with lighter foods, perhaps dim sum or fresh seafood. Where possible the entire drink, including the conserve, are made to order fresh, to allow customers to experience the full array of aromas as well as Angus’s showmanship.

With currently the biggest bar selection in the Middle East and with its distinctly beguiling style, it doesn’t get much more chic, intimate and impressive than this

Images by Hyku Desesto

Angus’s Insider’s Guide to Dubai

Place to stay
The Royal Mirage

Place to eat

Place to relax
Jumeirah Beach Park

Place to lounge
Lime Tree Café

Place to dance
Cavalli Club

Place to shop
Bur Dubai Souk

Place to visit
Burj al Arab

Place to visit
Ski Dubai