At the Drive-In, as mixed at the OXO Tower Restaurant, Brasserie and Bar, is a real eye-opener of a cocktail.
For those who favour their whisky sultry, sharp and smoky, or those who like a light fruitiness to their cocktails they wouldn’t normally associate with a whiskey base, this sweet treat will come as a delicious surprise.

At the Drive-In is Jim Beam Double Oak Whiskey stirred down with maple syrup, chocolate bitters and popcorn essence, served Old-Fashioned style. The bourbon is aged in two, new charred-oak barrels to give it all the classic sweetness and flavours of Jim Beam White Label, but with added spice.

If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool neat whisky drinker and all this sounds like a nightmare sweetness, don’t despair. The bitters balance the sweetness of the bourbon and maple syrup to make this a delicious drink, wonderfully refreshing and worth getting to know.
Equally, if you like your cocktails light and delicate with a hidden fire, the Jim Beam has a sweet spiciness that lights up this glass and works beautifully with that popcorn essence and chocolate bitters to give a warm welcoming glow.

I’m grateful to the friendly and knowledgeable wait staff at the OXO Tower who took the time to explain the delights of the popcorn essence to me, even giving me a small taster of it on its own with the bourbon. Despite my uninformed reticence, the buttery richness complements the sweetness of the Jim Beam so well I could happily drink them without any further additions.

Whether you’re not normally a whiskey drinker, or you are a dyed-in-the-wool Old-Fashioned drinker looking to branch out, or simply if you fancy dessert in a glass, park up at the Drive-In and give this a go. You won’t regret it.

Roadtested at the OXO Tower, London.

St Paul’s and the City from the terrace at the OXO Tower