SCHOFIELD’S BAR IS Joe and Daniel Schofield’s first joint venture, but the brothers started preparing long ago, possibly in utero. The Schofield family produced fire protection equipment for 120 years, so a family business was in their blood. Joe and Daniel’s path to Schofield’s included many detours. The brothers worked at some of the world's most celebrated cocktail bars: Paris’s Little Red Door, London’s American Bar in the Savoy, Singapore’s Tippling Club. But Schofield’s is a family business, so it only made sense for them to return to their native Manchester. The bar is situated on the edge of the business and historic districts in the elegant art deco Sunlight House.
The Schofield brothers’ “Schofield’s Fine and Classic Cocktails,” published in 2019, outlines their approach to drinks. One of their fundamental principles states that flavor and aroma are the most critical elements, but the cocktail’s tactile feel and appearance can make or break the drinking experience. Cocktails should be made with 100% concentration. Even garnishes should earn their place, visually or aromatically. That rule could be applied to the ambience at Schofield’s as well as its cocktails; the bar’s website asks patrons to refrain from “fancy dress costumes.” Their menu includes many of the cocktails featured in their book, as well as a curated list of beers, spirits, and wines. There’s no mixology lab equipment on display, but there is a lending library of cocktail-adjacent literature (Ian Fleming, Ernest Hemingway, Dorothy Parker, F. Scott Fitzgerald).
Home bartenders likely have everything they need for the William Wallace cocktail — no need to infuse the liquor or cook up a custom simple syrup. “It was a cocktail created by Joe in 2018. The thought process behind it was something we are very passionate about, classic cocktails,” Daniel explains. “The inspiration came from existing classics like the Rob Roy or Bobby Burns. And we wanted to create a modern classic cocktail that could be made in most bars without any homemade ingredients.” Think of it as a variation on the battle-tested template of whisky, vermouth, and bitters. Once you master the basics, you can apply another one of their principles: continual experimentation. It’s the best way to improve your technique. Both Daniel and his brother taught classes, judged cocktail competitions, and guest bartended while preparing for their opening. “We took the William Wallace on nearly every single event and it is, to this day, a classic in the bar!” And with a little practice, you can make this classic your own.
- 50 ml Scotch whisky
- 10 ml Pedro Ximénez sherry
- 10 ml Asterley Bros. Estate English vermouth
- 2.5 ml orange bitters
- Add all ingredients to mixing glass/tin with ice and stir.
- Pour into a chilled coupette.
- Garnish with an orange coin and serve.
Jessica Suarez Writer
Jessica Suarez is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York.
Grant Cornett Photographer
Grant Cornett is a photographer and director based in Upstate New York. He likes to take pictures of pristine detritus and austere moments.