Sean Muldoon And Jack McGarry Of Dead Rabbit To Host The First London Sessions

London Sessions

INTRODUCING SESSION #1

Joining us for Session #1, all the way from New York, New York (so good they named it twice) are the much decorated and highly lauded Sean Muldoon and Jack McGarry of world famous Dead Rabbit Grocery & Grog. Between the two of them, Sean & Jack have won eight Tales of The Cocktail Spirited Awards, including World’s Best Bartender (of which Jack was the youngest ever recipient), Best American Cocktail Bar and World’s Best Cocktail Menu, an award won by our hosts Callooh Callay the year prior, and Dead Rabbit was last year rated the second Best Bar in the World by Drinks International 50 Best Bars. 

Sean and Jack are visiting London specifically for this event and we couldn’t be more honoured or excited to have them launching The London Sessions. So basically, if you wanna see them whilst they’re here, this is your only opportunity to do so.

The first London Session is being held in association with Jameson Irish Whiskey and Fever Tree Premium Mixers at Callooh Callay on July 6th from 1pm – 3pm. Tickets are free and include a glass of Dead Rabbit Irish Coffee, which we happen to think is the best Irish Coffee, ever.

Sean & Jack are loading their suitcases with their award winning menus and will be holding a menu signing following the sessions. Menus will be available (signed) at the heavily reduced price of £20, cash only.

Please note that whilst we are happy to be announcing our speakers, we are not yet taking RSVPs – stay tuned for more info, coming soon.

English Harbour

English Harbour

English Harbour is a brand name of rum that may not be familiar to some, but to most rum lovers, it’s seen as a treat. There are not many places you would find that stock English Harbour, but to come across it means it’s a brand that needs care and attention. But why? Lets dive in a little.

English Harbour rum is produced within the Antigua Distillery, located on Antigua within the West Indies. The distillery itself was founded back in 1932 by a group of Portuguese traders and they utilised old distillation equipment from the previous century. Originally, the distillery was operated on a small piece of land named as Rat Island, but today the distillery stands next to the docks near the capital city of St John’s. The Portuguese grew their business by acquiring a sugar mill and several associated estates, ensuring they had a constant supply of muscovado molasses which was essential to one of their main rum products, Cavalier Muscovado Rum, or Cabellero Rum as it was originally named. After World War 2 and the collapse of the sugar economy in the Caribbean, the sugar mill closed but in the early 90s, English Harbour Antigua Rum was introduced.

So how do you create such a brand as English Harbour?

The distillery itself now uses molasses from other areas, and utilise what they call a fast fermentation process. Once fermented, it is distilled within one of the few copper continuous stills left in the Caribbean and then aged in small 220 litre charred American oak barrels, before being bottled with blends of both dark and light rums depending on the finished age.

So how does it fare? Well below I give to you my tasting notes on my experiences of English Harbour so far –

English Harbour Reserve 10yr – 40%

Blended from rums aged between 10 and 25 years. A thick nose of Demerara with hints of fudge, smoke and caramelised banana. Light initially on the palate, before becoming enriched with dark fruits, caramel, toffee and green apple. Slightly spiced as it nears the long, fresh finish that is lined with honey.

A cracking dram of rum here, with others within the English Harbour range including a 5 year and a rather rare 25 year. I’ve heard the 5yr is a masterpiece in its own right, so I look forward to experiencing when I can. In the meantime, grab a bottle of something a bit different from an island that gets overlooked when talking about the production of rum. Oh and the name? Well English Harbour is named after the famous Antiguan naval port of English Harbour; an 18th century theatre of war for Britain and France as they battled for world power. So you can feel historic when sipping!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

ShinDigger

ShinDigger

ShinDigger is a part of the wave of craft ales that hit the many pubs, bars and restaurants around the UK. Formed back in 2013, this Manchester based brewery has seen itself organically grow and produce a selection worthy of any major brewery. But how did this all come about?

The two owners, Paul and George, are alumni of Manchester University, and when not studying, they invested jointly in a home-brewing kit. Using the space in their kitchen to brew, and the basement of their student house to ferment, they started to sell their freshly brewed beer in the scene they knew best – house parties.

In the Autumn of 2013, they applied and received a small loan from the government and expanded the business to include the producing of ShinDigger kegs. This kick-started the growth of seeing their ales within bars and pubs around Manchester, riding on the popularity with students. Within the 1st year, 5 expressions were launched and now use the sub-letting of a variety of local breweries to keep up with the demand.

So how do they fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

ShinDigger West Coast Pale Ale – 4.7%

Using hops from the American West Coast. Soft citrus and caramel upon the nose, with hints of dry lemon peel coming through. Light, soft and subtle flavours of dry citrus upon the palate, with a short finish that offers a subtle freshness combined with a slight bitterness.

ShinDigger South Pacific Pale Ale – 4.5%

Using hops of the Southern Hemisphere. Soft with a slight sweetness of caramelised fruits on the nose. Smooth upon the palate, with caramel, red fruits and natural sweetener coming through to complete a lingering finish.

ShinDigger IPA – 5.6%

Fresh on the nose with orange and apricot aromas present. Quite sharp on the palate, but softens to a tart, lingering finish with plenty of orange rind and a smooth finish of light, delicate citrus.

ShinDigger Pils – 4.1%

Conditioned for 3 weeks and dry hopped with Aussie hop Vic Secret and US hop Simcoe. Dry, delicate aromas of herbs and oak on the nose. Soft on the palate, with an immediate dry texture that delivers subtle herbal flavours on the lingering finish.

ShinDigger PIP – 6.3%

Lively dry hops with plenty of tangerine and earthy aromas coming through. Soft upon the palate, with the dry hops coming through again, offering a sweet fudge flavour. It develops into a tart oak hit on the long, dry finish.

A varied selection available, with a Black IPA also a part of the core range. Paul and George have also branched out into aligning ShinDigger into the world of music after collaborating with Werkha, an up and coming Manchester based music producer. Oh and the name ‘ShinDigger’? It’s said that the name embodies their ethos that beer is about having a good time with your friends and enjoying the moment. To find out how you can get your hands on the range, give them a shout. One’s to definitely look out for in the craft ale revolution

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

De Kuyper

De Kuyper

De Kuyper is one of the most recognisable range of liqueurs in the world, and since 1695 the brand has been divulging into a wide range of flavours that look to innovate and impress not only bartenders, but the consumers too.

So how did De Kuyper come about, and essentially be a part of many of the bars across the world?

As mentioned above, De Kuyper was founded back in 1695 by Petrus De Kuyper, initially as a manufacturer of barrels and casks used in the transportation of spirits and beer. By 1752, the family bought a distillery in Schiedam, Holland which was then the leading center for the production of Dutch gin or genever and by the 19th century, the company expanded its export business throughout Europe, Great Britain and Canada. In 1911, a new distillery was built in Schiedam and thereafter the production of liqueur began. The roster of flavors slowly expanded, and partnerships were formed with distillers in Canada (1932) and the United States (1934, strategically at the end of Prohibition). By the 1960’s the production of liqueurs had overtaken the production of genever, and coupled with the promotion of liqueurs for use in cocktails, the sales of the brand grew.

In 1995, on the occasion of its 300th anniversary, the company received the title “Royal” from Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. This led to the company changing its name from Johannes de Kuyper & Zoon to De Kuyper Royal Distillers. In the same year, Erven Warnink – the leading producer of advocaat and cream liqueurs – was taken over by De Kuyper Royal Distillers.

The liqueurs themselves are split into a variety of sub-categories, including –

The Essentials; Apricot Brandy, Blue Curacao, Creme de Cassis, Creme de Menthe Green and Triple Sec

The Traditionals; Including Butterscotch, Creme de Cacao White and Vanilla

The Fruits; Including Dry Orange, Cherry, Mango, Melon and Passionfruit

The Distiller’s Signature; Including Cucumber, Lemongrass and Spicy Chilli

The current Master Distiller, Myriam Hendrickx, has been creating new and innovative flavours, such as the Cucumber expression, to positive reviews, especially with its versatility of serves. So below, I give to you my tasting notes on the De Kuyper range that I have had the privilege of experiencing so far –

De Kuper Bitters
De Kuyper Bitters

De Kuyper Cucumber – 15%

Using baby cucumbers, they are mashed into a pulp, then left to soak in neutral alcohol before being distilled. Then the brew is seasoned with rice vinegar and salt.
Rich, fragrant cucumber on the nose with a fresh offering that follows onto the palate. Thinner texture with a rich, fragrant kick that also offers a slight sharpness upon the finish.

De Kuyper Cherry Brandy XO – 28%

Made with Maraska cherries and almonds, before being blended with Grande Champagne XO Cognac.
Bold, rich notes of stemmed cherry upon the nose, albeit a little dry. Very rich on the palate, with a warmth from the stewed cherry flavours. A thick texture, long, with a mouth-watering finish.

De Kuyper Apricot Brandy XO – 28%

Made from apricots from France and Turkey and blended with Grande Champagne XO Cognac.
Rich honey on the nose, with bold kicks of the apricot and a dry finish. A natural sweetness lines the palate, with a thin yet long flavour of stemmed apricot.

The company also produce a range of bitters too;

De Kuyper Juniper – 64%

Very rich and tart on the nose, with bold kicks of juniper coming through. Rich, sweet and floral notes of the juniper upon the palate.

De Kuyper Orange – 64%

Soft, sweet candied orange on the nose, turning to a sharp hit on the palate. Bitter with a hint of natural sweetness following, then to a rich orange that offers a long, dry finish.

As mentioned, De Kuyper pride themselves in creating versatile expressions, so try your hand at some of these cocktail recipes –

Pornstar Martini
Pornstar Martini

Pornstar Martini

Glass –

Martini

Ingredients –

15 ml De Kuyper Passion Fruit
60 ml Vanilla infused Vodka
15 ml Fresh lime juice
15 ml Sugar syrup
60 ml Champagne
1½ fresh passion fruit

Method – 

Scoop the seeds and flesh of passion fruit into base of shaker. Add next four ingredients (all but Champagne), Shake with ice and fine strain into chilled glass. Separately, pour champagne into chilled shot(s) glass to serve on the side. Garnish by floating half passion fruit.

or perhaps

Blood and Sand
Blood and Sand

Blood & Sand

Glass –

Cocktail

Ingredients – 

25 ml De Kuyper Cherry Brandy
45 ml Whisky
25 ml Sweet Vermouth
25 ml Fresh orange juice

Method –

Shake all ingredients in the shaker & fine strain in a chilled glass. Garnish with orange zest and cherry on a stick.

Versatile indeed. But it’s not just De Kuyper liqueurs and bitters that De Kuyper Royal Distillers create, but in fact the likes of Mandarine Napoleon, Warninks Advocaat, Kwai Feh and No.3 gin are all produced under the Dutch flag. Worthy of having one or two of the flavours in your drinks cabinet to create some impressive cocktails for your friends and family, or indeed look out for them in your local bar.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Abelha Organic Cachaca Launches Its Exclusive Summer Limited Edition Label

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ABELHA ORGANIC CACHAÇA LAUNCHES ITS EXCLUSIVE SUMMER LIMITED EDITION LABEL AT COYA RESTAURANT ON 16TH JUNE

DESIGNED BY BRAZILIAN URBAN ARTIST ANANDA NAHU (anahu.com), THE LABEL IS A HOMAGE TO THE BAHIAN WOMAN AND MARKS THE LAUNCH OF ABELHA´S ART COMPETITION: ROAD TO RIO 2016

RIO DE CONTAS – BAHIA, situated on the northern region of Brazil, surrounded by the lush green canyons and waterfalls, is the home of Abelha Organic Cachaça and served as the inspiration behind its new summer limited edition bottle.  Abelha Organic Cachaça commissioned celebrated female urban artist Ananda Nahu, to design Abelha´s new label, which will be unveiled on Tuesday 16th June at Coya Restaurant. Ananda´s partnership with Abelha Cachaça will mark the start of a competition inviting bartenders, artists and members of the public to submit designs for a label for limited edition run of Abelha Organic Cachaça which will be launched before the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

THE LABEL: Ananda Nahu is famous for her complex and colourful murals enriched with intricate patterns and featuring powerful women as centrepiece. Her Abelha label captures all aspects of her more large-scale works; the woman portrayed on the label excites the senses and highlights the rich history of Bahia. Playful honeybees dart amongst flowers in full bloom in a world where cachaça is a feast for both the eyes and the mouth.  . Nahu is one of Brazil’s top muralists, recently featured in Phaidon’s new book Brazil, an ode to the country’s contemporary culture.

Abelha Cachaça has produced a limited number of bottles showcasing Ananda’s exclusive design which will be finally unveiled on Tuesday 16th June at Coya Restaurant, from 6pm to 8pm. Gian Carlo D’Urso, Group Bars Manager for Coya has created a special drink using Abelha Organic Cachaça for the event, the Bahia Sour, which will also be available at Coya throughout June at the restaurant.

A number of these limited edition bottles will also be available for Abelha’s customers within bars and selected retailers.

Ananda Nahu said: “I created this design which was inspired by memories of my home state, Bahia, a region which is very close to my heart.  It is a land of colour and beautiful strong women, so the art pays a homage to these people and the vibrant beauty of this region.”

Abelha is an organic cachaça created using the most traditional artisanal methods from organic sugar cane grown on the sunny slopes of Bahia.  The cane is processed within 24 hours of being cut, fermented and then distilled in a traditional copper still.  Only a small fraction of the distillate is kept to ensure the highest possible quality.

Hal Stockley , Director of Abelha Cachaça said: “The Bahian style, colour and vibrancy are at the heart of Abelha and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this than through Ananda’s artwork and label; it encapsulates it all.”

During her first visit to the UK, Ananda will produce a special commission for Vamos! Festival, in Newcastle: her first mural in the UK. She’ll also showcase some of her artworks during a special launch event at Coya Members Club, on 16th June.

ROAD TO RIO 2016: Art Competition for Abelha´s new Special Limited Edition label – Rio Olympics 2016

This is the first limited edition label commissioned by Abelha and it will mark the launch of a worldwide competition to design Abelha´s label for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.  Email hal@abelha.co.uk to register your interest.  More details on entry criteria, prizes and open-source judging panel will be available soon.

Nikka

Nikka

Japanese whisky has grown leaps and bounds over the last few years, gaining recognition within the world as some of the best whiskies available. It’s with this that I thought I’d dive into one of the categories most recognisable names and check out their expressions. Lets say hello to Nikka.

Nikka can trace itself back to 1918 when Masataka Taketsuru travelled from his native home of Takehara (now Takehara City), near Hiroshima, Japan to Scotland (via a couple of wineries in San Francisco on the way), eventually arriving in Glasgow to become the first Japanese to ever enroll at the University of Glasgow, ultimately majoring in chemistry. From here, he became an apprentice at Longmorn distillery in April of 1919 to learn all about malt whisky, moving to become an apprentice in July at James Calder in Bo’ness to learn the art of Coffey grain whisky before training as a blender at the Hazelburn distillery in Cambeltown.

In 1920 Masataka returned to Japan with Jessie Roberta (Rita), whom he had married earlier that year, and joined Kotobukiya Limited (Suntory) in 1923. The building of the Yamazaki distillery came under his tuition, and he engaged in the first whisky production that Japan had ever seen. Wanting to utilise his experiences from Scotland, he left after 10 years to establish Dainipponkaju Co. Ltd. in 1934, building its distillery in Yoichi, Hokkaido. The name we associate now, the Nikka whisky expression, first had its run from the new distillery in October of 1940, before making such an impact that the name of the company changed to The Nikka Whisky Distilling Co. Ltd in August of 1952.

Despite the passing of his wife Rita in 1961, The Nikka Whisky Distilling Company expanded to include Coffey stills, imported from Scotland, at the Nishinomiya plant in 1963, and the completion of the Kashiwa plant (1967), Miyagikyo distillery (1969) and Tochigi plant (1977). The opening of the Tochigi plant was to be one of the last expansions under Masataka, as he passed away on August 29th, 1979 at the age of 85.

With the numerous plants and distilleries under the Nikka name, each offers a different role within the company –

Yoichi Distillery – malt whisky distilling and bottling.
Miyagikyo Distillery – malt whisky distilling, Coffey grain whisky production and bottling.
Hirosaki Plant – cider, brandy and apple wine brewing, as well as distilling and bottling.
Tochigi Plant – Coffey grain whisky storage and ageing, plus the re-storing of blended whisky.
Nishinomiya Plant – liqueur bottling.
Moji Distillery – Shochu distilling and bottling.

With this, they produce a variety of expressions, so below, I give to you my tasting notes on a selection that I’ve been lucky enough to experience –

Nikka All Malt – 40%

A blended whisky made with malt from Yoichi and a combination of malt and Coffey Still whisky from Miyagikyou.
Rich fruit upon the nose, with glazed apricots and green apple scents coming through before a good dose of treacle and caramel. Thin and light on the palate, with notes of oak and a developing warmth. Dry raisin, spice, honey and walnut draw out the very long, lively finish that has a hint of carrot cake.

Nikka Taketsuru Pure Malt – 43%

Features plenty of whisky from the Miyagikyo distillery, as well as percentage of malt matured in Sherry casks. Dry on the nose with spice, liquorice and stemmed ginger combining. Grape must and walnut round off the aromas. A lively palate with a slight sharpness, but becoming rich with a glazed Maraschino cherry flavour, assorted red fruits and a long, dry finish.

Nikka Coffey Grain – 45%

Grain Whisky distilled in a Coffey still. Light fruits on the nose with a subtle coffee and fudge combination that offers a soft experience. Becoming very soft on the palate, with the subtle coffee bringing about a creamy texture. A mix of spice and cocoa on the finish.

Nikka Coffey Malt – 45%

Using the two Coffey stills at their Miyagikyo distillery to create malt whisky. Rich chocolate and coffee notes on the nose that gives a dry, soft aroma. Subtle upon the palate, with a coarse offering of the coffee. Moves to a mouth-watering finish though with cream and butterscotch.

Nikka From The Barrel – 51.4%

Matured malt whisky and grain whisky blended and then re-casked.
Light oak aromas on the nose with a thin scent of chocolate and apricot coming through. Light, subtle flavours on the palate too, with floral fruits offering a short, dry yet bold finish.

Nikka Pure Malt Black – 43%

A blended malt made up of whisky from Nikka’s Yoichi and Miyagikyo distilleries. A nose of light peat, but a good kick of oak comes through. Very smooth on the palate, with a short hit of citrus that mellows into malt and peat, combining for a long finish.

The Nikka range is also a rather versatile range –

Old Fashioned
Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned Coffey Malt

Glass – 

Tumbler

Ingredients – 

60 ml of Nikka Coffey Malt whisky
1 piece of brown sugar
3 dashes of cocktail bitters
Orange zest

Method – 

Rub the piece of sugar against the orange skin to extract its natural oils. Imbibe the sugar with cocktail bitters and muddle in the glass. Add whisky and ice cubes and stir.

A great selection of expressions from Nikka, and feature some of the most awarded whiskies available. Even to the point that it’s too much for this writer to type, so I’ll direct you to their medal winning page! A brand that needs to have a presence in your drinks cabinet, or indeed an evening out with friends.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Hard Rock Cafe World Burger Tour

Hard Rock Cafe

Hard Rock Cafe are well-known for their burgers across the world, and all 199 sites have been coming up with creations that define their corresponding city. For the next two months though, customers are being invited to sample the aptly named Local Legendary Burger offerings, with 8 being highlighted at Manchester’s Hard Rock Cafe over the coming weeks.

So, if you pop in this weekend, you can grab yourself the Indian styles of the Tandoori Spiced Chicken Burger, coming complete with chicken breast marinated with authentic tandoori spice and fresh herbs, topped with Jack cheese, cucumber and mint yoghurt. Or perhaps the Java Lava Burger from Seattle, America that involves the beef patty rubbed with espresso to release a subtle flavour of coffee, alongside homemade lava sauce, java onions, Cheddar cheese and smoked bacon. This works perfectly with its American cousin the Maple Old Fashioned, Hard Rock Cafe’s twist on the classic American cocktail that uses Makers Mark bourbon, cherries, maple syrup and orange juice, garnished with a stick of crispy bacon.

Hard Rock CafeSan Antonio in America are also featured, giving you an insight into the city’s culture with their Jalapeño Cream Cheese Burger. This comes layered with double-battered jalapeño slices and jalapeño cream cheese, alongside red onion and Sriracha mayonnaise. The South Pacific island of Guam also makes an appearance with their Chamorro Burger, using island spices that are rubbed into the beef patty, with layers of Pepper Jack cheese and homemade Chamorro glaze and chilli paste on top. Perfect to accompany is the Mai Tai One On that features Mount Gay Eclipse rum, Cointreau, Monin Orgeat, fresh lime and orange juice.

Other cocktails that work perfectly with the World Burger Tour include the likes of the Pomegranate Mule, blending Absolut vodka, Monin Pomegranate and ginger beer together, as well as the Mezcarita that offers Del Maguey Mezcal, Cointreau, Malibu and fresh strawberries for a Mexican flavour.

Of course no visit to the Manchester cafe would be complete without the Lancashire Hot Pot Burger that features a de-constructed Lancashire Hot Pot, minted lamb pate, potato rosti and onion frazzles, all topped with gravy!

As of June 1st though, four new burger variations will be available, including delights from Miami, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and Guatemala. So you have two reasons to pop in and really splash out on your cultured cuisine!

See you on the big booth at the back!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Disaronno Announces Elite Lineup For Mixing Star Final

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Disaronno has announced its finalists for the 2015 Mixing Star competition. This year’s top ten line up of bartenders have created some exceptionally impressive recipes which will be served up at the London final at Nightjar on 1st June. The finalists are confirmed as:

  • Simone Rossi – Aqua (London)
  • Giacomo Di Matteo – The Groucho Club (London)
  • Federico Pavan – Salvatore at Playboy (London)
  • Federico Gisbert Johnson – Hawksmoor Guildhall (London)
  • James Bowker – The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel and Cocktail Lounge (Birmingham)
  • William Wilson – Palm Sugar Lounge (Leeds)
  • Joe Macbeth – Rub Smokehouse & Bar (Nottingham)
  • Joe Nelson – Amicus Apple (Aberdeen)
  • Stephen Rutherford – Orchid (Aberdeen)
  • Ehren Khoo-Steel – The Blind Pig (Jersey)

The 10 finalists will battle it out for the Mixing Star title and the top prize – an all-expenses paid trip to the world’s premier drinks festival, Tales of the Cocktail. The competition will be a two-part process, involving peer judging as well as bartenders taking the stage one-by-one to showcase their serve.

The 2015 finalists were selected by Disaronno Mixing Star judging panel; UK brand ambassador Rod Eslamieh, The Artesian’s Simone Caporale, Gary Sharpen of The Cocktail Lovers and 2014 Mixing Star finalist, Adrian Gomes.

The Diner’s Delectable Selection Of Drinks

The Diner - London

As well as providing the capital with endless classic American dishes, London’s favourite hangout, The Diner, will be bringing a selection of new drinks to London this summer.

FROM THE SOUTHERN STATES TO THE COCKTAIL CAPITAL OF THE WORLD

Iced teas originated in the Southern States in the late 1800’s, but it was only in the 1940’s that these ice-cold sweet teas became really exciting, as they started to be enjoyed as a punch mixed with hard liquor.

The Diner is bringing this tradition back and transporting guests to the southern states, with a cheeky Cherry Pie Amaretto and Berry Tea, with its sweet and nutty flavour. Equally, if bourbon is your tipple of choice, try the Tin Cup Tin Cup Bourbon, with peach puree, or simply stick to the classics with The Diner’s twist on a ‘G&Tea,’ blended with elderflower and apple.

BANGING BEER MENU

Travel the globe with The Diner’s new beer menu. With over 20 options you can start in London with a traditionally British Camden Pale Ale, head west to New York and enjoy a Brooklyn Ale before heading south to Mexico with the Pacifico Clara.

SHAKE IT UP THIS SUMMER

The classic milkshake gets a grown up makeover with The Diner’s range of hard shakes. Cool off with Rumble Young Man Rumble, a delicious concoction of vanilla ice cream, ELLC Rum and butterscotch sauce.

Chilgrove

Chilgrove

Grapes within gin is a rather niche subject, especially if coming from England itself. The French styles of G’Vine is probably the most recognisable name to be made from grapes, but Chilgrove claim to be the very first from England, and launched in time for World Gin Day this time last year. So, why the hype on grapes?

For this, we need to head to the hamlet of Chilgrove itself.

Christopher Beaumont-Hutchings and his wife Celia can be found at the foot of the South Downs in Sussex. It’s here that they came to the idea of using grapes within their gin after inspiration from the original wine bases found in jenever. With Celia growing up in The Hague, it was to be more of a natural fit and they enlisted Charles Maxwell of Thames Distillery to become their Master Distiller to help develop the recipe. Chilgrove keeps the gin traditional with its production methods, and utilises the natural mineral water that is filtered through chalk from the Downs. The neutral grape spirit is a combination of Bobal, Airen and Tempranillo grapes and has within it 11 botanicals; juniper, coriander seed, angelica root, sweet orange, bitter orange, orris root, liquorice root, grains of paradise, fresh lime, savory and wild water mint.

So how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Chilgrove – 44%

Soft, with a slight bitter orange and orris root coming through on the nose. Small hints of fresh lime and coriander come through near the end. A developing sharpness upon the palate, with an underlining sweetness from the liquorice and orange. A light base from the grapes holds together a good kick root spice and fresh mint to create a lingering finish.

Great on its own, and within one of these –

The Chilgrove Fizz
The Chilgrove Fizz

The Chilgrove Fizz

Glass – 

Champagne Flute

Ingredients – 

25 ml Chilgrove Dry Gin
25 ml Fresh pink grapefruit juice
25 ml Fresh lemon juice
Sparkling Wine (English, Champagne or Prosecco)

Method – 

Shake the gin and juice well with ice. Pour gently through the top of a ¾ full flute of sparkling wine. Garnish with a thin twist of orange peel.

A great drink for all year round, and a different take for a welcome drink if you were to impress your friends. The use of grapes offers a different take on your classic gin styles, and even if you’re a fan of G’Vine, don’t expect this to be similar. The botanicals make all the difference between the two brands, and they both offer a unique outlook to the gin category.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Freelance Events Curator/Collaborator, Brand Development, Drink Journalist, Taster & Guide to the World of Drinks

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