A Gin Journey around the Mediterranean without leaving London!

With four key botanicals reaching across the Mediterranean Sea and captured in crystalline smooth form, there is no denying that Gin Mare packs a powerful punch. Reminiscent of cool evenings spent by gently lapping waves, the scent of olive groves and softly grilled meats rising from the nearby beach, this is truly a king among gin.

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One of the Martini serves along the journey…

Now, thanks to the perfect partnership between Gin Journey and Gin Mare, you can head to the Med without getting on a plane. Instead, ticket holders step aboard the Gini-Bus and take part in a three-stop dining extravaganza stopping at restaurants such as Camino, Brindisa, Arthur Hooper’s, Andina and more, with food and drink pairings at each stop and your very own Gin Guardian leading the way! You’ll have the chance to try three Gin Mare Serves which show the diversity and explorative spirit of this fantastic spirit, get a Gin Mare sample to take home, and leave with enough knowledge to impress your friends next time you’re at the bar.

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Some of the Mediterranean treats to keep you going!

We can’t recommend this experience enough not only for the fantastic tapas-style pairings and non-stop party vibe but for the interesting gin facts and mini-masterclasses you’ll have thrown at you along the way. As the website says, “the Mediterranean isn’t a place, it’s an attitude”.

Tickets available here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/med-transfers-11149137452

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English Wine Week is here and Roast restaurant are giving people a chance to show off their skills

English Wine Week is upon us, and that gives us an excuse (not that we needed one) to try some great English wines!

What is English Wine Week you ask? Well, rather obviously, its a whole week dedicated to celebrating the great wines that the UK is producing (don’t hate on us Europe, you still make banging grape juice and all). Taking place between 26th May – 3rd June, this is the week to try something new from some English vineyards.

Think you have a nose for wine? Well you are in luck! Roast Restaurant in Borough Market are giving people the opportunity to show off their olfactory skills this week by pitting a selection of English wines against their European counterparts at an event on Tuesday 29th May.

Roast has one of the biggest wine lists in the game, with over 25% of their white wines coming from good old Blighty. If you think you can spot the English wine, they are hosting two events next week that will let you try to do just that. Guests will be invited to enter as a team and will be treated to a selection of small plates each paired with both an English and foreign wine and asked to identify the homegrown tipple for a chance to win a prize. With competition from Italy, France and Portugal, to name a few, the evening is bound to bring out the connoisseur in even the most amateur of wine tasters.

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Image: Roast Restaurant

Not only that, but the guys at Roast have also created a unique ‘Market Menu‘ celebrating the ‘Best of British’ in a partnership with Chapel Down, an English Winemaker from Kent.

We will be there on Tuesday trying to spot the English wines (and hopefully succeeding, at least a bit, we’ll take a 40% success rate or so!).

Tickets for the English Wine Week event are on sale now and will be priced at £55 per person, and the Chapel Market Menu is available daily for £40pp including wines.

Get your tickets now by contacting events@roast-restaurant.com or 020 3763 5329 to purchase tickets or for more information.

Small Beer, big impact

Small Beer has officially launched to huge success!

We’ve all had that moment after one too many beers the night before, where we wished we had had one less Guinness and one more glass of water. Or sitting in the office working late, wanting to crack open a brew but not lose focus. And yes, we know, there are alcohol free beers on the market, but they so often lack in taste and charisma that it isn’t long before we are reaching for another ‘proper’ beer. Plus, come on, what are we going to do, give up drinking?

Enter small beer – low alcohol beer that actually tastes great, and the guys at the Small Beer Co making it their mission to bring you tasty beers you can drink all night long without the hangover the next day.

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Low in alcohol, but high in flavour – Small Beer’s Lager

This low ABV beer is the perfect drink for anyone looking for a low alcohol drink that doesn’t compromise on taste. In fact, one of the main selling points for this beer is this differentiating factor; where other low or zero alcohol beers taste watery and lacking in real mouthfeel, Small Beer really packs a punch. We were particularly impressed by the Dark Lager which had a very developed flavour and was lighter on carbonation than we are used to with other low alcohol drinks we’ve tried in the past. Equally great was the classic lager, a citrusy and crisp drink that we could really envision drinking all summer long.

Co-founders James and Felix have created something really different, striving not only to create a great tasting beer, but also to reduce their carbon footprint while doing so. Where it takes up to ten pints of water to create a normal beer, it takes only one and a half pints to create a small beer. Alongside this, the brewery uses 100% sustainable energy, using wind and solar power to generate its electricity, and all labels, boxes and cards are made from recycled materials.

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Much like the Mini Cooper at their brewery, Small Beer are proving that bigger isn’t necessarily better. Photo: Small Beer Company

Located in South Bermondsey, the Small Beer Brewery is a unique space. Attending the launch night was a spectacular experience with an array of food and drinks on offer that was unexpected and honestly pretty special. Oysters from The Oystermen, delicious small plates from The Shed and The Rabbit restaurants, and cheese from Bambuni, these guys pulled out all the stops as we munched on miniature beef wellingtons and drank specially crafted beer cocktails while live jazz buzzed melodiously in the background.

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Knocking back some great brews at the Small Beer brewery, and we didn’t even have a headache in the morning!

Small it might be, but this beer is creating a big impact!

Glenfiddich is bringing the highball cocktail back, and it is making us think of summer already

As we start to think of long summer nights (and try to put the recent snow behind us), our minds inevitably turn to refreshing drinks and the promise of a long sipper (When we are not thinking of other things, but who are we kidding, we are pretty much always thinking of cocktails).

Enter the highball – as simple as it is versatile. The classic highball cocktail generally describes the family of cocktails that include the combination of a spirit and mixer, which includes, for example, the humble Cuba Libre (Rum and Coke), Gin and Tonic, and perhaps the most overlooked yet iconic, the Scotch and Soda.

This drink has come a long way since its origins in 1890-something, and even further since the New York Times described it in 1904 as:

‘A pretty safe generalization respecting the highball that the best thing in it is the carbonated water – and one cannot always be sure of that’

Enter Glenfiddich (who have been around since 1886, a few years before the highball first appeared), and their new mission to bring the highball back into the mainstream and into your hands. We had the pleasure of attending an event at one of our favourite bars, Oriole in Smithfield market, a few weeks ago, and it really got us excited about how simple cocktails can really hit the spot sometimes!

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Tasty and decorative, this did not last long after this photo was taken

Glenfiddich have introduced the new Glenfiddich Highball, which reimagines the classic cocktail. Inspired by the classic combination of whisky and soda, one of the new serves by the famous scotch whisky brand pairs their 12-Year-Old vintage with soda and a lemon twist. This is as simple as it gets in terms of drinks you can make at home, and let us tell you, it sure is refreshing!

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The classic serve (Photo: Glenfiddich)

As well as this cocktail, created by Glenfiddich Malt Master Brian Kinsman (what a job title!), other twists on the cocktail include drinks from Tristan Stephenson, owner of Black Rock (and author of several great books), Stu Bale, founder of the Crucible experimental cocktail kitchen, Lulu Fedi, Head Bartender at the American Bar, and Craig Harper, Gleneagles and Fever Tree ambassador.

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Lulu’s ‘Fields of Gold’ (Photo: Glenfiddich)

One of our favourites was Lulu’s ‘Fields of Gold’ – a mixture of Glenfiddich 12-Year-Old, honeyed barley coffee, soda water and a lemon peel – which showed how versatile the mixers could be in this style of drink. Even more complex was Stu’s mix of Glenfiddich 12, Williams pears, Conference pears, honey, citric acid and wine tannin.

For those who find scotch a bit strong, ‘not their spirit’, or even just people looking to ensure a slightly less foggy head the morning after, a highball is a good shout. As the summer nights get longer (and warmer, hopefully), we will certainly be sipping a few more of these in the coming months.

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Decor and garnish game on point

If you are looking to take even more effort out of making a highball, Glenfiddich have installed a ‘highball machine’ at Oriole bar, which will be in place throughout April. Go check it out!

2017’s biggest food and drink trends become cocktails!

Something special is happening across branches of All Bar One in London this Christmas season.

Now, we don’t often find ourselves in an All Bar One, because there are so many other places to explore in London. However, this time of year, we will inevitably end up among the work christmas party crowds heading into (and stumbling out of) this chain. And one thing that is drawing us even closer to these bars is the promise of some new, experimental cocktails that sum up 2017 in a glass.

Until New Year’s Eve, cocktail lovers can order one of four delicious cocktails from renowned mixologist Missy Flynn, who previously worked with Rita’s Dining and Hawksmoor, before gaining the title of ‘Most Wanted’ in the drinks industry.

To make Christmas extra special this year, Missy has taken a look back on 2017 and created an outstanding selection of drinks inspired by this year’s culinary trends. From Foraging to Turmeric, Missy has wrapped this year up in an alcohol soaked box and presented her creations to All Bar One, in association with spirit brands like Baileys, Tanqueray Gin, Smirnoff Vodka and Captain Morgan Rum.

Missy’s creations are:

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Missy Flynn’s Baileys Blush

Missy Flynn’s Baileys Blush has all the indulgence and over the top naughtiness you’d expect from the famous Christmas drink. Missy has turned Baileys into the seriously instagrammable shade of millenial pink – and who can resist a glitter-dipped cherry garnish? We can’t resist a Baileys or two this time of year, and if you want your Christmas Instagram game to be on point, you can’t go far wrong with millenial pink!

Missy’s Root N Mule Smirnoff

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For something a little more balanced, Missy’s Root N Mule Smirnoff serve contains beetroot and vegetable juice, with a shot of vodka to give it some festive flair that will keep your vegan friends and family happily merry this Christmas. The combination of booze and managing to feel ‘healthy’ with your choices never fails to win us over!

Missy’s Tanqueray Forager Smash

Of course, if 2017’s trend for all things foraged floats your boat, you’ll love Missy’s Tanqueray Forager Smash. Experimental, refreshing and totally on-trend, you’ll find this botanical cocktail served over crushed ice with foraged and floral accents that lend it creativity you won’t find in your usual G&T.

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Missy’s Turmeric Sour

While we’re on the foodie theme, you can’t have missed this year’s turmeric explosion? The superfood has been hailed the hero of 2017, so Missy has mixed it into a fantastic Captain Morgan cocktail. Her Turmeric Sour is fun, flavoursome and SO hot right now. Tastebud tingling and cheek-suckingly sour, it’ll be a Christmas party hit for sure.

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Missy Flynn, says “I’ve really enjoyed being able to reflect on 2017 through exploring some of it’s key trends within these drinks. What’s great about observing trends take shape is understanding how or why people have taken to them and within these four drinks it’s easy to see what is appealing. Turmeric is said to have many qualities, has the most amazing vivid yellow colour and adds an exotic twist to a simple drink. Making Baileys millennial pink was fun, and also reflects the fun-loving and empowered women who I hope will drink it. Wild, natural, foods are prominent in kitchens and with the forager smash we’ve created an opportunity to play with those fresh ingredients and make something really beautiful. Finally, the Root N Mule is a simple take on the Moscow Mule using the amazing natural earthiness of beetroot, which is an ingredient I love because it gives so much colour and depth.”

You’ll find these exclusive cocktails at All Bar One branches nationwide until New Year’s Eve 2017, but if you’d like to have a go yourself, here are the recipes, have fun!

Smirnoff – Root n Mule (serves 1)

Trend: Beetroot

  • 50ml Smirnoff Vodka
  • 40ml Juicy Roots, beet and veg juice
  • 15ml ginger syrup
  • 2 dashes of Angostura
  • Top with ginger beer (appx 100ml)
  • Garnish with cooked beetroot or candied beetroot

Method:

  • Add Smirnoff Vodka, root juice, ginger syrup to a cocktail shaker or jam jar.
  • Fill with ice and seal, then shake.
  • Strain into a glass over fresh ice, top up with ginger beer and 2 dashes of angostura bitters. Finish with slices of cooked beetroot, ideally candy beetroot if you can find it.

Baileys Blush (serves 1)

Trend: Marble, Pink

 

  • 35ml Baileys Irish Cream
  • 50ml half and half cream/milk
  • 15ml Cherry Heering
  • 12.5ml cherry syrup
  • Garnish with Raspberry dipped in edible glitter/ gold

Method:

  • Add Baileys, half and half, cherry brandy/Heering, syrup and ice into a cocktail shaker.
  • Shake hard!
  • Double strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass, use a tea strainer to remove any small shards of ice so the drink is nice and smooth. Roll raspberry in edible glitter or gold until it reaches your desired level of glam, cut a slit in the base of the raspberry and rest it on the edge of the glass.

Tanqueray Forager Smash (serves 1)

Trend: Foraging/ floral

 

50ml Tanqueray London Dry

  • 25ml lime juice
  • 20ml sugar syrup
  • Mint leaves
  • Pea shoots
  • 100ml soda
  • Garnish with pea shoots, viola flower and mint

Method:

  • Fill a tall glass with ice, add the Tanqueray London Dry, Lime juice and sugar syrup. Stir to mix, and top with soda water. Add a little more ice if needed. gather all your herbs and flowers and toss into a rough mix, dress the drink with this mix, scattering a few extra flowers on the top.

Captain Morgan – Turmeric Sour (serves 1)

Trend: Turmeric

 

  • 50ml Captain Morgan Spiced Gold
  • 75ml Funkin Sour mix
  • 15ml ginger syrup
  • 1/4 bar spoon turmeric
  • Lemon twist and mint sprig to garnish

Method:

  • Add the Captain Morgan Spiced Gold, sour mix, turmeric powder and ginger syrup to a shaker or jam jar. Seal the shaker or jam jar and holding it closed, carefully dry shake so that the liquid begins to mix and emulsify the drink, building a froth. Open the shaker, add ice and then shake again. Strain over ice into a tumbler. Using a zester, take the peel from a lemon, and snap it over the drink to expel oil from the skin, resting the peel in the glass. Clap the mint between your hands to release its aroma and then place inside the drink as garnish.

 

 

All the fun of the fair at the new London Cocktail Club Liverpool Street

The guys at LCC have done it again with their new bar, conveniently placed within stumbling distance of Liverpool Street station! The theme of the latest bar is a “lock-in at the freak show”, a vintage, fairground themed basement bar haunted by Zoltar, Tom Hanks’ favourite fortune telling robot!

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Inside the basement bar you will find a fairground, complete with Ouija board tables, Tarot cards, monkeys, horses, elephants – all the fun of the fair in one illicit drinking den! Sip cocktails under the watchful eyes of contortionist portrait paintings, and watch out for the tiger’s cage. If you’re brave enough, ask Zoltar what your future holds…our guess would be another Jailbait Martini or two.

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The cocktail menu features many of the LCC classics, and as with all sites, the bar operates a banging happy hour for 2-for-£12 cocktails from 4-7pm every day and ALL DAY on Mondays! Open until 2am every Friday and Saturday, and licensed to open until 3am every Thursday-Saturday until Christmas, get your face paint on, dust off the clown nose, and head on down to the big top!

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Why not also become a member of London Cocktail club while you are at it? It is completely free, and gets you some great deals, like 20% off Craft Cocktail Co’s bottled cocktails and 2-for-£12 on a monthly ‘secret serve’ at all LCC bars, all day, every day.

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London Cocktail Club Liverpool Street, 206-210 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 4NR

Opening times: Monday-Wednesday 4pm-12am, Thursday 4pm-1am, Friday-Saturday 4pm-2am

Telephone: 0207 580 1960 Email: info@londoncocktailclub.co.uk

Tanqueray Table: exploring food through gin

We were recently honoured to attend the very first ‘Tanqueray Table’: a unique ‘gin and dine’ experience curated by mother and daughter team, Andi and Miquita Oliver in their first food and drink collaboration.

The Tanqueray Table has been launched by award winning Tanqueray London Dry gin, and aims to put a twist on the traditional supper club by putting the gin first, with food dishes to complement the cocktail menu. The gin and dine menu celebrates Charles Tanqueray’s vision and the ingredients that inspired his life’s work: juniper, coriander, angelica root and liquorice.

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Andi’s food was delicious, and complemented the drinks perfectly. As the owner of Andi’s restaurant, she has extensive experience in creating beautiful dishes, and they did not disappoint.

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An extremely tasty dessert that definitely put us in the Christmas mood!

 

The décor of the room also fit well with the spirit of Tanqueray and the botanicals in it, bringing the flavours of the gin to life as we sipped on our drinks.

Finally, the drinks themselves. We don’t want to give anything away, but we especially loved the ‘make your own’ style gin and tonic, with lots of flavours to play around with!

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Lots of gin, lots of flavours!

Overall, it was a great experience, and we hope it’s only the first of many Tanqueray Table events!

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That moment when even the water is fancy 😉

Saturday 18th November is the last day of this experience, so get your hands on tickets quick!

The last couple of tickets to experience the first Tanqueray Table at TT Liquor, Kingsland Road, Shoreditch are available at £30 each for a 1.5 hour sitting to enjoy an exclusive first taste of the Tanqueray Table menu, including two exclusive Tanqueray cocktails and three small dishes designed to bring out the gin flavours. Tickets available at DesignMyNight.com here.