Where better to get into the festive spirit than Bears and Tales? We sent Clanger and cocktail fan, Emily Finney to Lime Street to interview the man with the mixers, Tom Faden:
Originally envisioned as spirits and mixer bar, Bear and Tales on Lime Street is actually home to the best cocktails in Bedford. Created, crafted and concocted by Head Barman Tom Faden, the cocktails are made from the freshest ingredients to a superb standard.
As the self-nominated Clanger Cocktail Reporter, I sat down with Tom to discuss all things drinkable.
EF: Cocktails have gone through several rises and falls over the decades haven’t they?
TF: Ever since the 90’s cocktails have been continually growing in popularity which is down to fresh ingredients and a willingness to wait for something of quality. The 80’s ruined a well-made drink, nothing was fresh it was all about things being instant with poor ingredients. The Cosmo was a milestone for the modern cocktail; with a little help from Madonna (and some excellent barmen) cocktails became fashionable again.
EF: What’s the difference between modern and a classic cocktail?
TF: In the 20’s drinks were quite strong and used a base of something like whiskey and were designed to mask or cover the flavour of the alcohol whereas todays are full of a variety of ingredients, herbs, and citrus and with a vast array of alcohol bases and liquors.
EF: What makes a great cocktail?
TF: My advice is to make sure you balance out your flavours. There are four concepts for a drink – sweet/sour/strong/weak for example your mojito is made up of strong rum, sweet sugar, weak soda and sour lime and mint.
TF: I always get asked that and actually I don’t but I love to work with gin as a foundation to build upon.
EF: What makes drinking in this way so popular?
TF: Cocktails are not just a treat; it’s a style of drinking, especially with us as we want to deliver something accessible and intimate. We’d love you to come relax, enjoy music and drink as many different types as you like.
Bears & Tales’ Top Tipples
The Lemon Meringue Martini
The Bruised Apple
Bears & Tales, 4 Lime St, Bedford tel: 07471 681318