New Cocktail Creations Cause A Winter Meltdown At Elixir, Tonics & Treats

Elixir Tonics & Treats

I often get asked where the best bars in Manchester are for a drink. Whether it’s a cocktail, a dram or two, glass of wine or just a good old-fashioned soft drink, there are always venues that spring to mind that can cater for all. Elixir, Tonics & Treats is such a venue that sees itself in my mind as one of the best. If you read my feature on the bar when it first opened, you’ll know that I was impressed with the effort that the team have put behind it, essentially bringing some of the London bar scene to the North, and not losing sight of alienating the Mancunian customers, or indeed the liquids being used.It’s with this in my mind that I went along last week to experience some of their winter inclusions to their cocktail menu.

A re-jig of the current menu sees the main eye-focus train to the Elements Experimental, a look at the earth, wind, fire, sky and water, plus a combination of all five. Speaking to Jamie Strickland, my bartender for the hour, he says that with the heavy nod that Elixir, Tonics & Treats has towards the healing elements of crystals and the powers that the various forms can give off, the look into the elements is the natural course to take, which over the last couple of months has come down to the likes of By The Fire, using a combination of rum and dark chocolate, and Hope Floats with its twist on the White Lady classic.

Mermaid's Teardrop
Mermaid’s Teardrop

But it’s the Down To Earth (£9) which Jamie creates first. A choice of Jim Beam White Label, Rittenhouse or Johnnie Walker Black Label are available for the base, (essentially peaty, dry or sweet) with Jamie opting for the use of Johnnie Walker this particular time. The whisky is blended with Antica sweet vermouth, Cynar, Angostura Bitters and dark agave, topped with Samuel Adams and accompanied by a ‘muddy puddle’, essentially squashed home-made chocolate, a sweet worm and edible stones. Served on a tray laden with grass, the crystal cut tumbler gives off the expected Samuel Adams nose, creating a fresh scent combined with liquorice coming from the liquorice stick used to act like a, well, stick (hopefully you’ve noticed the woodland scene developing). Coming through the two is the Johnnie Walker Black Label, followed by the bitterness from the Cynar artichoke. The Cynar follows onto the palate too, with the dark agave giving a punchy kick alongside the blended whisky. When sipped after a bite of the muddy puddle, the experience is smoothed off and a more velvet texture arises, essentially toning down some of the bitterness. Not a bad start, and one I can see working for beer drinkers to develop into whisky cocktail lovers.

A Mermaid’s Teardrop (£8.50) came next, combining the base of Stolichnaya Red with Kwai Feh, coconut and ocean syrup (essentially lemon-grass and seaweed infused into neutral syrup). Accompanied by a teardrop ice bomb and chocolate sea-glass shell, once again the presentation was extravagant yet subtle. Housed in a stylish coupette, plenty of fresh lavender and lychee from the Kwai Feh are noticeable, acting rather enticing to sip quicker than you expect. An incredibly well-balanced drink awaits, Plenty of citrus notes are dancing around, but the sweetness from the Kwai Feh tones it all down, with the length from the Stolichnaya becoming more noticeable.

Fantastic.

Utopian Cascade
Utopian Cascade

Into The Ether (£8), and one of two on the new portion of the menu that twists a classic cocktail. An Old Fashioned is a personal favourite of mine, especially using a spirit with a good, heavy base like rum or whisky. Although I’ve had many a tequila based Old Fashioned, especially in Elixir, Tonics & Treats itself, I saw it as a brave move to serve with a side-order of citric acid and an intensifying flavour vapour! Jamie opted for a spot of blue food colouring to really show off what I can only describe as a bubbling orb can do to your Sauza Blanco Old Fashioned. Truly the elements at work! As you can imagine, plenty of fresh citrus on the nose, with the tequila noticeable on the palate once you’ve calmed down the reaction. A cocktail aimed for the ladies of the group with the array of colours available, as well as the interaction you have when you have to finish off the cocktail yourself.

Lastly, Jamie created for me the Utopian Cascade (£8.50), seen as the mecca of all the elements combined. Jamie kept this one until last due to the heavy spirits used including Chairman’s Reserve Spiced, Calvados, Five Spice syrup, pressed apple and lemon juice. It also combines an Elixir signature so-to-speak with the drink served over Star Anise and clove cascaded dry ice, topped with a dried apple and cinnamon star. A great flavour concept, seen as pure and clean with plenty of fresh apple, cinnamon and underlining Calvados notes on the nose. Although a light start on the first sip, the buds develop with spiced apple and hints of lavender present. Despite the finish being short and dry, it’s mourish, meaning a night on the Utopian Cascade is not generally out of the question.

It seems that Elixir Tonics & Treats have kept up the form. Subtle extravagance through their showmanship and presentations keeps the newcomers flocking, and the twists on classics and new-age statements prove that they can offer something unique to the Manchester table. I still love the way that the venue is brave to use liquids such as Cynar and Calvados within their work. There’s simply not enough bartenders being creative with these lesser-known brands and categories, let alone see them featured on a menu in what still is one of Manchester best cocktail bars.

Get down, try them all, especially the Mermaid’s Teardop which came as a surprise hit for me. One of the best.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. 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.

Chivas 18 And Pininfarina Announce Second Year Of Partnership

The Chivas 18 by Pininfarina Chapter 2 Ice PressChivas Regal 18, one of the world’s leading ultra-premium Scotch whiskies, has announced a new collaboration with prestigious Italian design company Pininfarina to create Chivas 18 by Pininfarina Chapter 2. Through innovative design, this limited edition will deliver luxury experiences to the on and off trade through ice, one of the most commonly used elements in premium whisky consumption.

Unique in the world of whisky, the Chivas 18 by Pininfarina Ice Drop is an elegantly contoured shape that embodies the Pininfarina design philosophy, marrying form and function. The Ice Drop celebrates the meeting of air and liquid to create our partnership symbol The Drop – an exquisite experience to be enjoyed in the world’s most iconic bars, and at home.

The Chivas 18 by Pininfarina Chapter 2 Ice Press

The limited edition Ice Press has been developed to enhance the whisky serving ritual in premium bars around the world. This exclusive tool creates a seamless Ice Drop and will first be gifted to a selection of the world’s most prestigious bars, including The Artesian at The Langham Hotel, Nightjar, Happiness Forgets, The American Bar at The Savoy and The Connaught Bar at The Connaught Hotel.

The Chivas 18 by Pininfarina Chapter 2 Ice Drop Mould

Crafted from high grade silicon, the Ice Drop Mould delivers two flawless Ice Drops with ease. The limited edition pack, of which only 1,500 pieces have been created, contains brushed steel tongs and a pair of Pininfarina designed ‘Drop’ glasses, enabling whisky connoisseurs to replicate and enjoy the Ice Drop ritual in the luxury of their own home. The Ice Drop Mould will be available to purchase for US$399.

Richard Black, Global Brand Director for Chivas Regal, commented, “Chivas 18 has a deep understanding of luxury and a proven history of working with iconic visionaries, and Pininfarina is a brand that is revered globally for its expertise in the world of design so our shared values of beauty, harmony and craft made this a natural partnership for us. We have created a contemporary limited edition that is as practical as it is enjoyable and that will deliver unique experiences to the world’s top on-trade venues and Chivas’ fans through the perfect ice shape. Chapter 2 epitomises Chivas Regal’s enduring commitment to excellence while marrying Pininfarina’s combination of innovative and seductive design; a celebration of form and function.”

Creative Director for Pininfarina, Paolo Trevisan, commented: “Both Chivas 18 and Pininfarina are united in their vision to create unique and unparalleled luxury experiences. The continued partnership between both brands enables us to focus on what we believe is the perfect embodiment of our design philosophy combined with the unique heritage and ethos of Chivas 18.”

To mark the second year of the collaboration, renowned mixologist Ago Perrone has crafted a series of cocktails to elevate the drinking experience at home. The innovative collection combines influences from Scotland and Italy while showcasing the versatility of ice.

Chivas 18 Year Old by Pininfarina; Chapter 2 collection will be available globally from November 2014.

AKA

AKA Vodka

From a customer’s point of view, you want to go for a brand that stands out to you, one that shouts “buy me!”. Poshmakers have been doing such a thing in the last few years with the release of -ish gin, accompanied by a marketing campaign that involves a lot of Soho-esque twists. But it’s not just the gin market that they’ve dabbled in though as they released the so-called ‘Secret British vodka, also known as AKA vodka’, or AKA for short.

The makers say that the brand is “unmistakably British . . . . with an air of sixties pop” and despite being ‘secret’, it can now finally be enjoyed by the vodka loving public. The background behind the brand is something akin to James Bond. It is said that in the heart of London in the late fifties, the KGB were developing a secret formula to conquer the International Vodka Market. It subsequently disappeared in mysterious circumstances until the Poshmakers discovered the formula by chance on a microfilm in a camera they came across at a vintage bazaar.

So with an air of British action, AKA is created from 100% British grain spirit and distilled five times in continuous stills, with 50% of the finished spirit re-distilled in a pot still in London. But how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes -

AKA – 40%

A clean, soft nose with a thick hit of grain coming through. Very soft on the palate though, again a clean mouth-feel with a slight spice and a dry finish.

Not bad on its own, but I think the cocktails could win you over -

Miss Poison (otherwise known as a Lychee and Blackberry Sling)

Glass - 

Old Fashioned

Ingredients - 

50 ml AKA vodka
Fresh Blackberries
90 ml Lychee Juice
Dash of lime juice and blackberry liqueur

Method - 

Shake all ingredients in a shaker with 3 ice cubes. Strain into an Old Fashioned glass and decorate with fresh blackberries.

or perhaps 

Die Twice (otherwise known as a Vesper Martini)

Glass - 

Martini

Ingredients - 

20 ml AKA vodka
60 ml -ish London Dry gin
10 ml Lillet Blanc

Method - 

Shake all ingredients well in an ice-filled shaker until ice-cold. Strain into a Martini glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

Some good cocktail ideas and to be fair, uses a good vodka for its base. One to have in your drinks cabinet for sure, especially when watching James Bond. It just feels right!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. 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.

Bunnahabhain Introduces Limited Release Ceòbanach

Bunnahabhain-Ceòbanach

Bunnahabhain Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky has announced it will introduce a limited release expression to the range, Ceòbanach in October this year, inspired by life on Islay in the 1800s.

Ceòbanach (pronounced ‘kyaw-bin-och’), which means ‘smoky mist’ in Scots Gaelic, reflects the origins of Bunnahabhain, both the place and the single malt’s charming, complex character. Bunnahabhain Master Distiller, Ian MacMillan, took his inspiration from life on Islay in the 1800s, when the community was dependant on peat for warmth, fuel and trade. A time when smoke from the open fires mingled with the salty sea air to create a ‘smoky mist’ you could taste.

Perfected and nurtured by Ian MacMillan for over 10 years, the new expression contains layers of flavour, evocative of time past yet reflecting the heart of Bunnahabhain today. The lemon gold liquid has an unusually rich, complex character marrying ex bourbon cask sweetness with intense Islay malt peatiness and subtle hints of the sea. As with all Bunnahabhain expressions, Ceòbanach is unchill-filtered meaning that nothing is added or taken away, leaving the whisky exactly as nature intended.

Ian MacMillan, Master Blender comments “With the new millennium I decided to turn back the clock and recreate the original Bunnahabhain. I have spent a decade regularly monitoring, nosing and tasting these whiskies as they matured. I always envisaged that this product would be perfect around 10 years old and I certainly have not been disappointed. Although we could never fully replicate the original style of spirit produced at Bunnahabhain, Ceòbanach is as close as we could possibly hope for.”

Alison Gibb, Global Marketing Manager at Burn Stewart, said: “This is an exciting release for Bunnahabhain, not only because of its limited availability, but because it reflects the history and heritage of our location and our unique single malt. Taking its inspiration from the distillery’s surroundings on Islay, the taste is rich, complex and distinctive.”

The World’s Leading Bartenders Cause A Stir At The First Noilly Prat Classic Dry Martini Cocktail Challenge

Noilly Prat Martini

THE NOILLY PRAT CLASSIC DRY MARTINI COCKTAIL CHALLENGE

NOILLY PRAT®, one of the world’s finest French vermouths, kicked off its first ever International Noilly Prat classic dry martini challenge on 1 September 2014 with some of the world’s best bartenders judged by leading drinks experts. In recognition of Noilly Prat’s rightful place in the history of this iconic cocktail, 2 of the 4 markets participating have already caused a stir at the brand’s home in Marseillan showcasing their individual take on the classic dry martini cocktail. With the winners from the DachNordic and UK markets having been selected, there will be fierce competition at the upcoming heats with the French and US markets in early 2015 to earn the all expenses paid trip to the Manhattan Cocktail Classic in New York in May 2015.

SETTING THE SCENE

What better setting to host the Noilly Prat classic dry martini cocktail challenge than at the home of Noilly Prat, situated in the pretty fishing village of Marseillan that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea. The challenge begins with an exclusive tour of La Maison Noilly Prat where both competitors and judges are given the opportunity to discover the closely guarded secrets of creating Noilly Prat.

From the tasting of the local grape varietals picpoul and clairette that are used in the creation of Noilly Prat Original Dry, to the discovery of the unique outdoor ageing process of L’Enclos and the time-honoured process used to blend the secret recipe of herbs and spices, the guests uncover over 200 years of history and heritage, which has made Noilly Prat world-renowned amongst the top on-trade.

THE CHALLENGE. THE RULES.

Having been immersed into the long-standing craftsmanship of Louis Noilly’s original recipe, the bartenders were charged with the seemingly simple, but notoriously complex challenge of creating the world’s best tasting classic dry martini cocktail at Le Bar Noilly Prat. Participants were judged on the complete experience, from the serving ritual and storytelling through to the temperature, glassware and taste of the serve, which must use only 3 ingredients.

THE WORLD’S BEST TASTING NOILLY PRAT CLASSIC DRY MARTINI COCKTAIL

With the winner from the DachNordic market, Gabriel Daun, and the winner from the UK market, Steve Lawson with his serve French Pride, we wait with anticipation to discover the winner of the French and US heats, with the international winner of the Noilly Prat classic dry martini cocktail challenge being announced in April 2015.
http://www.noillyprat.com

Discover A Unique Taste Of The South Of France At La Maison Noilly Prat

marseillan-port-1

Just 45 minutes drive away from Montpellier lies the home of La Maison Noilly Prat, nestled in the enchanting fishing village of Marseillan overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Immerse yourself in the local traditions and culture of this quiet town to discover the 2 things that Marseillan is most famously known for: the local Bouzigues oysters and NOILLY PRAT®.

LOCATION LOCATION

Marseillan has been the home of Noilly Prat for over 200 years and was selected by Louis Noilly due to its coastal location. Noilly Prat Original Dry is created using a unique ageing process inspired by the transportation of wines in the 19th century on the decks of sailing ships where the sea spray and effect of the four seasons left its powerful mark on the wines. In L’Enclos, a walled enclosure located in the centre of La Maison Noilly Prat, hundreds of oak barrels are exposed to the natural elements for 12 months before the wines are macerated with a secret recipe of around 20 herbs and spices. The local eateries surrounding the Marseillan harbour proudly savour and serve this unique liquid as a Noilly Prat Original Dry L’Apéritif.

TASTE THE SOUTH OF FRANCE

Alongside creating one of the world’s finest vermouths, Marseillan also produces some of the world’s best oysters, huîtres de Bouzigues. Bouzigues oysters come from the local oyster beds located on the Étang de Thau – the largest of a string of lagoons (étangs) that stretch along the French coast and feeds into the Mediterranean Sea.

The creaminess of Noilly Prat’s neighbouring oysters perfectly complements the unique taste of Noilly Prat Original Dry with its floral nose, citrus notes and long-lasting herbal finish. Simply pour 2 parts Noilly Prat Original Dry into a wine glass over ice and stir once to unlock the herbal aromas. Finally, twist a peel of lemon to release its essential oils and lift the notes of bitter orange, one of the key botanicals used to craft Noilly Prat Original Dry.

Guests of local hotel Port Rive Gauche can enjoy a chilled glass of Noilly Prat at their leisure whilst taking in the panoramic views of the Étang de Thau’s blue lagoon decorated with its famous oyster tables. Santé!

DISCOVER THE CRAFT OF NOILLY PRAT

With over 300 sunny days a year, any season is the perfect time to visit Marseillan. The iconic home of Noilly Prat is open to guests eager to discover the rich culture, authenticity and history of one of the world’s finest French vermouths and for a limited time only Noilly Prat will also be offering VIP visits. During the VIP tour guests will be guided through the unique production process of creating Noilly Prat, from the Chai des Mistelles to the dramatic arena of L’Enclos and the time-honoured process of the dodinage, before taking part in a cocktail masterclass held in Le Bar Noilly Prat. Here expert bartenders will unveil the secrets of their art and demonstrate how to create some of the world’s most timeless cocktails at home. Tickets start from €45 per person.

The ‘DEWAR’S TRUE SCOTCH COLLECTION’, Created By Award-Winning Bartender Tom Walker

Dewars_Scotchlaw copySCOTCHLAW

Tom Walker: “This is a riff on the Scofflaw – a cocktail originally made with American whisky. The serve reflects a time when blended Scotch started to become popular in the USA, mainly thanks to the work of Tommy Dewar, at the end of the 19th Century. This was the same time that a liquor tax under the guise of ‘Raines Law’ was also introduced.”

2 oz DEWAR’S White Label
3/4 oz lemon juice
3/4 oz Noilly Prat(R) dry vermouth
1/2 oz Grenadine
2 dashes of Angostura bitters
Egg white

Method: Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and blend to emulsify the ingredients. Add ice, shake vigorously and strain into a chilled coupette. Garnish with a lemon twist and serve.

Dewars_RubiconRUBICON

Tom Walker: “This takes inspiration from the ‘Malecon’, a drink by Erik Lorincz. The Rubicon is a Scotch sour made with completely untraditional ingredients, specifically the lime and port. The bitters give the drink length, and the egg white provides body and texture. The name is a reference to the cross over into using alternative ingredients, and thus creating an alternative whisky sour.”

2 oz DEWAR’S 12 Year Old
3/4 oz lime juice
3/4 oz Dow’s Fine Ruby Port
1/2 oz sugar syrup
3 dashes Angostura bitters
Egg white

Method: Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and blend to emulsify the ingredients. Add ice, shake vigorously and strain into a chilled coupette. Serve naked.

Dewars_RaeburnRAEBURN RICKEY

Tom Walker: “The name of this drink chimes with the surging popularity of classic Scotch cocktails named after famous national luminaries, such as the Rob Roy and Bobby Burns. This time our luminary is Henry Raeburn – a Scottish portrait painter that Tommy Dewar favoured. The use of lime and Drambuie create a drink that is refreshing and rich in equal measure.”

1 1/2 oz DEWAR’S White Label
3/4 oz lime juice
3/4 oz Drambuie(R)
1/4 oz simple syrup
Soda

Method: Add the first four ingredients to a cocktail shaker. Shake hard but briefly, and strain into a Collins glass. Top up with soda, garnish with a sprig of mint and a lime wedge and serve.

Iordanov

Iordanov

‘The Art of Vodka’

A bold statement where one would expect a well-crafted liquid to be in the same manner as a masterpiece within the art world.The bottle itself, adorned with an intricately decorated and rather large, hand crafted crystal encrusted skull, shouts premium, the level of Grey Goose, Crystal Head and Ciroc perhaps. The fact that Iordanov, or “yor-da-nov” as it is pronounced, hails from Germany, it offers a different twist on your usual vodka origins. No Russia or Poland back story in sight, although to be fair lately the trend for vodka is to create a liquid from within the far-flung areas such as Kazakhstan (Snow Queen), Canada (Crystal Head) and New Zealand (Broken Shed).

Iordanov, as mentioned, comes from Germany, or the town of Koblenz which is situated on the Rhine and Moselle rivers to be exact. The distillery is one of Germany’s oldest with over 150 years of activity and it is here that they use 100% fine wheat blended with de-mineralised crystal clear water from the Vogelsberg highlands. From there, a five times distillation method is used before being filtered through charcoal.

But how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes -

Iordanov – 40%

A clean nose with sweet tones of butter cream coming through near the end. Incredibly smooth on the palate with a developing heat on the back of the throat, although not intrusive as you would expect. Velvet texture, butter notes with a slight dry, thin finish. Lingering.

Surprising, but what’s more surprising is some of the cocktails that they promote, including this one -

Red Kick
Red Kick

Red Kick

Glass - 

Highball

Ingredients -

40 ml Iordanov
20 ml White Rum
40 ml Pineapple Juice
40 ml Cranberry Juice

Method -

Shake all the ingredients together in an ice filled shaker and pour into an ice filled highball glass. Garnish with a column grapefruit and passion fruit.

Personally, I’d stay drinking Iordanov neat, maybe a cube of ice. I think it may get lost if you start adding heavy ingredients to create a cocktail. Saying that, a Martini could work quite well.

Give it a go, let me know what you think. You can also choose between four different designs (silver, red, pink and gold) or search for the Union Jack skull if your feeling flush. Oh and if you are a vodka enthusiast, splash out on a bottle that has 8,300 Swarovski crystals attached to it, coming in at $3,905. The appropriately named Decadence Edition could be a hell of a conversation starter!

Iordanov is a good vodka to enjoy. It certainly tastes up to the standard you would expect for a premium vodka, but I think ‘The Art of Vodka’ tag line could be more to do with the crystal skull than anything. Still, keep an eye out for it in your local bar on your travels in Germany, it’s worth a go for sure.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. 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.

5cc Opens In The Historic Electricity Showrooms

5cc Electricity Showrooms_2lo[16][1]

5cc, London’s most illustrious cocktail bar, has opened its fourth establishment at the iconic Electricity Showrooms in Hoxton Square. Tucked away beneath this Shoreditch institution, the new 5cc is a sanctuary for discerning cocktail drinkers in East London.

The new Electricity Showrooms bar remains true to 5cc’s philosophy, serving up honest drinks with fresh produce and homemade ingredients. Introducing a new breed of barrel cocktails, including Barrel’y Legal with rock candy cordial and rum – these unique cocktails are perfect for sharing with friends.

Head Bartender Daniel Andersson and Group Bar Manager Charles Montanaro have created the new 5cc Electricity Showrooms cocktail menu that will exclusively debut this month. For Negroni fans, the Italian Gentleman combines bourbon, rye, Campari and white vermouth finished with a touch of maraschino and served in an absinthe rinsed glass. Adventurous drinkers can enjoy the Play Dead, an exhilarating combination of rye, yellow chartreuse, Lillet blanc and Fernet Branca. Alongside this will be a selection of bespoke cocktails with handpicked unexpected ingredients, such as the Postorder that plays with the sweetness of rosemary honey and Demerara rum, coupled with mint and lime juice and finished with Cremant.

Guests at the new bar can also indulge in a selection of nibbles including marinated goat’s cheese with chilli, garlic and smoked beechwood mackerel pate, and the delicious free range British duck liver parfait.

5cc Electricity Showrooms has taken inspiration from sister bars at the Well & Bucket, Harrild and Sons and Exmouth Arms, whilst keeping the site’s historic identity. The cocktail bar features plush high leather chairs, snug booths and long copper bar tops, contrasting with the distinctive neon-lit flooring and black sheen walls. The bar’s sophistication and eclectic soundtrack, is perfect for those looking to hide away on long winter nights or come out and play at the weekend with the bars guest DJ’s who will be spinning soul, old school rock ‘n’ rolland rhythm and blues.

Located below Electricity Showrooms, 39a Hoxton Square N1 6NN, the new 5cc cocktail bar will open from 6pm to 12am Sunday to Thursday, and 6pm to 1am Fridays and Saturdays.

Bookings are recommended and can be made by emailing reservations@5cc-london.com. For more information visit http://www.5cc-london.com or find 5cc on Twitter at @5ccLondon.

Borough Market Calls On The Public To Help Name The First Ever Borough Bitter

bm_beerbrand_final_bottle

What do you call an ale that has been brewed from hops grown in the world’s oldest market? That’s the challenge that has been set by Borough Market which is celebrating its 1,000th year in Southwark by creating an as-yet unnamed landmark beer.

Specialist drinks company Utobeer and micro-brewery Tap East are brewing the anniversary beer from hops planted, grown and harvested in Borough’s on-site Market Hall but it is being left to the public to offer up naming suggestions which draw upon the area’s great brewing tradition.

Keith Davis from Borough Market said: “Southwark’s commercial breweries were among the first in Britain to popularise the use of hops and the area was once home to the largest brewery in the world. This prompted us to follow in the footsteps of our brewing forefathers and revive the legacy by creating our own brew.

“Over the past decade there has been a revival in the craft beer market and Southwark is at the heart of this revival, with a number of microbreweries setting up in the area’s railway arches and old industrial buildings. Borough Market’s own brewing operation will offer a welcome addition.”

The #BrandTheBrew competition is open to anyone over the age of 18 and can be entered via Facebook and Twitter. The winning name will be used on labels for the 500ml bottles of Borough Market Bitter and the pump clips for casks of the beer. The winner will receive a crate of their self-named beer and have the honour of pulling the first pint in The Globe pub where it will be on sale to members of the public.

Mike Hill, owner at Borough Market’s craft beer stall, Utobeer, said: “Borough’s hops are quintessentially British and, combined with the history surrounding Borough, led us to brew a style of beer that was traditional, British and had strong links with the Market. The winning name needs to reflect these values.”

A shortlist of 10 names will be selected by a judging panel of experts and representatives from Borough Market and the breweries on Wednesday 5th November 2014. The public will then be invited to vote for their favourites.

The beer consists of four main ingredients: water, malted barley, hops and yeast. The recipe involves a selection of hops and malts including East Kent Goldings which have a spicy, floral almost earthy aroma, as well as Fuggles and Styrian Goldings hops which provide a mild grassy, floral aroma.

Mike Hill of Utobeer gives his top tips for naming the Borough Bitter:

1. Describe the beer, it sounds obvious but really helps customers and staff. The beer type – bitter – will already be printed on the label, so think of a good name to run over the top of that.
2. Use a maximum of three words – too long and it gets confusing.
3. Avoid all the ‘isms’ and profanity – obviously – we are appealing to a broad section of the community.
4. Weak innuendo is another pitfall to avoid, it’s rarely funny.
5. In-jokes can be genius, but should work on a number of levels to have a wide appeal.

For more information about Borough Market, its traders and events please visit http://www.boroughmarket.org.uk.

Freelance Bar Advisor/Consultant, Events Organisation/Collaboration & Reviewer, Taster & Guide to the World of Drinks

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