Mark Holmes of the Dead Canary creates Welsh inspired Whisky Cocktail



Award-winning local Mixologist, Mark Holmes of The Dead Canary, has partnered with LABEL 5 Scotch Whisky to create a bespoke new cocktail recipe, inspired by Cardiff, as part of the brand’s City Cocktails campaign.


The Cymru Old Fashioned Cocktail created by Mark is inspired by the iconic cocktail but brings flavours synonymous with Wales to the fore for a playful twist. The Whisky is combined with Dandelion & Burdock bitters, with a burnt leek cordial that involves charring the leaves of the leek and using the ash to create a cocktail that’s proud to be Welsh.


Mark Holmes, Owner and General Manager of The Dead Canary, said: “When creating the cocktail, I wanted to combine flavours that truly bring to life Welsh heritage, choosing our national emblem of leek as the key ingredient. As the legend goes, Saint David ordered his Welsh soldiers to wear the leek on their helmets in an ancient battle against the Saxons, and the Cymru Old Fashioned celebrates the legendary stories behind our culture. I can’t wait for locals to try it!”

Here’s how to make it!

Cymru Old Fashioned – by Mark Holmes



  • 50ml LABEL 5 Premium Black Scotch Whisky
  • 1 shot of Burnt leek cordial
  • 3 dashes of dandelion & burdock bitters


For the cocktail

  • Add all ingredients to a mixing glass with ice and stir until chilled.
  • Strain into an Old Fashioned glass with ice and a leaf of leek

For the cordial

  • Char the outer leaves of a leek until it’s burnt and black
  • Blitz in a food processor
  • Add the ash to equal parts water and sugar, and heat until the sugar has dissolved


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