The Speratus Group has brought Aberdeen burger and cocktail concept The Boozy Cow to Edinburgh – and its already-legendary chilli challenge
Since opening last summer, The Boozy Cow in Aberdeen has proven a hit for operator The Speratus Group with its combination of burgers, craft beers and cocktails. Tucked upstairs above its existing bar The Illicit Still, it is not just a place to eat and drink, points out managing director Martin Brown. “It’s about how you feel when you go to The Boozy Cow – we are the experience!”
The Speratus Group is already building on this success at the former premises of its cocktail bar Amicus Apple in Frederick Street in Edinburgh’s New Town, redeveloping it into a second outing for the concept. Described as an “underground hideaway”, the space has been transformed with urban art, graffiti and back-to-basic furniture made of metal and wood. The company worked with artist and designer Lynsey Jean Henderson who is responsible for striking design features at some of its other Edinburgh venues such as Element and the Basement Bar.
Open until 1am seven days a week, The Boozy Cow in Edinburgh has DJs on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The drinks list includes a strong selection of beers, served “frosted”, including Fourpure Pilsner, Vedett Extra Blond, Founders All Day IPA, Beavertown’s Gamma Ray and Neck Oil and the iconic Pabst Blue Ribbon as well as ciders such as Westons’ Caple Rd in cans. There is a strong selection of inventive cocktails – look out for Disco Bru mixing Bacardi and lime with an Irn-Bru reduction as well as a meat-lover’s twist on a classic, a Bacon Maple Old Fashioned. A list of “boozy shakes” includes the Million Dollar Milk Shake made with Kahlua, milk and powdered Nutella.
The Speratus Group has brought over dishes popular in Aberdeen, such as the holy cow burger, mac ‘n’ cheese burger and dirty chicken burger as well as sides including coleslaw, fries and chilli cheese fries. There is also the New York Meatball Torpedo – meatballs in a rich bourbon barbecue sauce with peppers, cheese, spiced coleslaw, red onion, beef tomatoes and jalapeños.
Pudding is a Chocolate Stampede: dark and white chocolate ice cream, honeycomb crunch, cookie dough, toasted marshmallows, peanut dust and whipped cream. Where possible, they source ingredients locally and working with local suppliers. No cutlery is provided as all food is intended for eating with your hands.
They have also brought over their popular chilli challenge. Contestants are given 15 minutes to eat one chilli cheese burger, one chilli dog, one portion of chilli cheese fries and one Oreo milkshake. If you succeed, it is free, but if you fail, you pay.
The Boozy Cow is a culmination of much research that took Martin and fellow director Garreth Wood on research trips to burger joints around the UK and abroad. Martin adds: “It is a new style of dining and drinking in a funky, edgy and urban environment.”
The Boozy Cow, 17 Frederick Street, Edinburgh EH2 2EY
Tel: 0131 226 6055
Originally published in the May 2015 print edition of Bar magazine.