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.

It’s London Cocktail Week!

It’s London Cocktail Week! One of the biggest weeks in the professional boozehound’s calendar, this week is brimming with events, whether you fancy transporting yourself to New York via St Paul’s Cathedral, a pop-up dinner club with gin, blending your own whisky, or seeing what happens when Melbourne and Berlin spirits collide, there is something for everyone.

The main event to head to is the Cocktail Village in Spitalfields market, home to over 30 specially created pop-up bars from some of the biggest names in the industry. Oh, and cocktails here are only £6 a pop!

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One of many cool cocktails you can be trying this week – The Nikka Whiskey (@nikkawhiskyeu) cocktail: Nikka from the barrel Japanese whisky, falernum, fresh lime juice and Angostura bitters. Photo: @drinkupldn

You will need a wristband to get into the festival, which you can get from the lovely folks at Time Out for half price at only £5, or from the main organisers of the festival, DrinkUp London. This pass gets you a wristband, which gets you unlimited £6 cocktails all week, both in the cocktail village and at several participating bars! Forget that 1935 bottle of Scotch you have been pining over, this is easily one of the best booze investments you will make this year.

For a full list of bars and events, check out the official website of the festival here. Now what are you waiting for? There is no better excuse this week to have a drink, so raise a glass to the best bars and cocktails this fine city has to offer!

Dante NYC comes to London for London Cocktail Week

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A light one to start with, the ‘Garibaldi’, with Campari and freshly squeezed orange

There’s a taste of New York in the city this week, as one of the Big Apple’s best known Aperitivo bars, Dante, heads to the Madison Rooftop bar in St Paul’s for London Cocktail Week. We went over to check it out, thirsty for a Negroni or two, and it did not disappoint. Located at One New Change in the City, the award-winning Dante, recently named best Restaurant Bar in America at the prestigious Tales of the Cocktail, will be mixing up modern classics until Wednesday.

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Serving up several twists on aperitivo drinks, a style of drink typically served before a meal to whet the appetite, the guys at Dante are stirring up drinks like the Italiano Sour featuring Aperol, Grapefruit and Rose, a Bergamot Negroni for the Earl Grey lover, and one of our favourites, a Chocolate Negroni, a truly decadent mixture of Fords gin, Campari, punt e mes, crème de cacao, chocolate bitters and Valrhona chocolate.

The views from the rooftop alone are worth heading up to the bar, which has free entry and gets you an incredible view over St Paul’s and the City (check it out above).

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The delicious Chocolate Negroni

The excellent team are at Madison from 4pm-9pm every day, and the pop up runs until Wednesday 4th October, so if you are a fan of a Negroni, want to pimp your usual Aperol Spritz, or just want to feel like The Godfather for the evening, head up to the Madison and say hi! 

Check out the menu here, and keep an eye on our blog for more about London Cocktail Week tomorrow!

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The obligatory photo with St Paul’s

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The only question we ever want to be asked…

London Cocktail Club Monument – Review

Location: Monument, EC3M 1AB

Nearest Tube station: Monument

Opening times: Mon-Wed 4pm-12am, Thurs 4pm-1am, Fri & Sat 4pm-2am.

Happy Hour: Mon all night, Tues-Sat 4pm-7pm

A few things are guaranteed to happen when you visit London Cocktail Club:
Firstly, you are likely to see a lot of naked flesh – the bartenders find it very hard to keep their clothes on and by the end of the night you’ll probably be joining them. Someone will get dragged across the bar to have colourful liquid poured down their throat. Glasses will get broken, problems fixed. You’ll make new friends every hour and there will be fire.

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One of the besuited taxidermy animals that greet you on entry. Photo: Kevin Williams

A few months ago we were invited to the opening of LCC Monument, a slick, sexy new addition to the ever-growing portfolio of the popular branch.

Inspired by old-school Saville Row tailors (the bar sits on the site of a former suit shop) and featuring some cool taxidermy around the bar, the surroundings might be sharp, but you won’t be for long once you get stuck into the impressive cocktail list. Having been regulars of LCC for years, we were incredibly excited to see what the team had done with the new place, and London Cocktail Club Monument, the eighth LCC bar, did not disappoint.

The night was full of cocktail lovers who all knew the first rule of London Cocktail Club: have fun and leave your social anxiety at the door.

The drinks: The motto of LCC staff is “killing it daily”. This is not something they take lightly. There are two things they care about above all – creating amazing drinks and getting people partying. Stay past 9pm in any LCC and the fun really begins.

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The last known picture of many of these items of clothing. Photo: Drinking Twins

Happy Hour at LCC runs from 4pm-7pm Tuesday-Saturday, and ALL NIGHT on Monday. This means you can fill yourself with two banging drinks for only £12, and check out the #secretserve on their Instagram to see what else you can nab 2-for-£12 all night! LCC Monument has all the classics you would expect, with a speciality focus on Scotch Whisky. Indeed, when we went, there was a whisky fountain in full flow!

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A whole fountain of whisky cocktail just waiting to be drunk. Photo: Drinking Twins

One of our favourites of the night was the Espresso Martini – a perfectly balanced hit of caffeine with a silky smooth finish. Topped with a crowd pleasing bourbon biscuit so you can kid yourself that you are soaking up the alcohol, this drink goes down a treat. Another classic is the Heisenberg – a Tommy’s margarita with an electric blue twist and a special rock candy finish. If you like them strong and sour, this is your drink.

Special shout out to the usual crew who kept us liquored up until the early hours, and to JJ Goodman, the man behind it all. He’s a living legend in the bar world and rightfully so.

So why not head on down to Monument, past all the usual tourist traps and banker-filled pubs, kick back, grab a Rob Roy, and listen to some kick ass Rolling Stones tunes. Hurry, the drinks are getting warm…

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Photo: Kevin Williams

You can follow London Cocktail Club on Instagram @londoncocktailclub (instagram.com/londoncocktailclub).
Find out more about their bars and events on their website: www.londoncocktailclub.co.uk.
For more Drinking Twins content, follow us on Instagram @drinkingtwins (instagram.com/drinkingtwins).
To recommend a bar for us to review, or just say hi, send us an email at drinkingtwins@gmail.com.
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Photo: Kevin Williams