Thomas Dakin

Thomas Dakin Bottle

The year 2015 will be seen as the year that Manchester itself has gained its own city based gin. Although initial production will be housed from the relatively local, yet one of the oldest gin distilleries in the world, G&J Distillers in Warrington, the new brand of Thomas Dakin gin will be a Mancunian brand complete with its own distillery within the city limits.

With the launch night been and gone, I was able to gain a glimpse of the gin itself, complete with Joanne Moore, Master Distiller at G&J Distillers, hosting an intimate tasting session. Thomas Dakin, if you are not aware, is the creator, founder and brain-child behind G&J Distillers itself, way back in 1761. It is only right then that the new expression be named after the man who started out in the distilling world when he was just 25 years old. Choosing Warrington due to its prosperous links between Liverpool and Manchester, joined together by the canal network and offering quick export of his produce to the country, Thomas Dakin became a pioneer when gin itself was seen as the ‘mothers ruin’ and the sabotage of its reputation through the likes of William Hogarth’s famous print ‘Gin Lane’.

It comes as no surprise then that over 250 years later, Greenall’s gin is still available and enjoyed to this day, after the Greenall family became the owners of Mr Dakin’s original recipe back in 1860. Since then expressions such as BLOOM, Berkeley Square and Opihr have been introduced under the stewardship of Joanne, and now what could be her finest hour, her research of Thomas Dakin himself sees his name emblazoned upon a label for the world to see.

With eleven botanicals within, including juniper, orange zest, coriander seeds, grapefruit, cubebs, liquorice root, angelica and the unique red cole (or horseradish as it’s more commonly known) the gin is created in the traditional, classic way, as seen back in 1761 within a baby pot still. The pot still itself will be uprooted and transported to its new premises, scheduled for the end of this year.

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

Thomas Dakin – 42%

Soft red cole, with hints of ripe grapefruit rind and coriander coming through. Sharp upon the palate, with a growing dry spice of liquorice and coriander. Fresh kicks of the grapefruit appear, alongside savoury notes of the juniper and the warmth of the red cole to give a long, bold finish.

A fantastic savoury styled gin, one which would work perfect for these two recipes –

Tom and Tonic
Tom and Tonic

Tom and Tonic

Glass –

Highball

Ingredients –

50 ml Thomas Dakin
125 ml Fever Tree tonic water

Method –

Pour the gin over a full glass of ice and top with the tonic water. Twist a 5cm strip of orange peel onto the top and garnish with a sprig of coriander.

Or perhaps,

Thomas Dakin Negroni

Glass –

Rocks

Ingredients –

30 ml Thomas Dakin
30 ml Sweet Vermouth
30 ml Campari

Method –

Combine all the ingredients within a mixing glass, add ice and stir. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with an orange peel.

Liverpool and Leeds have had their own respective gins for a year or two now, and Manchester has come onto the scene with a point of difference, standing out against the normal botanicals seen as working well the traditional flavours seen back in the 1700’s. One for the drinks cabinet for sure, and expect to see this in many bars in and around Manchester.

© 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.

Linie

Linie (2)

Aquavit.

Ever come across the name?

It’s not the most common of spirit categories here in the UK compared to the likes of whisky, rum or gin, but if you’ve ever visited any part of Scandinavia you will have more than likely drank some form of aquavit, the local tipple of choice. Aquavit itself is a distilled spirit from either grain or potatoes within pot stills, then redistilled with the likes of anise, coriander, dill or fennel, filtered with charcoal and then bottled without ageing. It is interesting then that when I visited Sweden to attend the Linie Aquavit Awards this year, I not only came across aquavit for the first time, but also an aged aquavit.

The Norwegian brand of Linie can trace itself back to 1780 when Catharina Lysholm built the brig Trondhiems Prøve with her brother and sailed towards the East Indies in 1805. Within their cargo hold were five casks of potato spirit alongside other types of merchandise, hoping to open a trade route which ultimately failed. However due to the storing of the potato spirit within the deck cargo, it was discovered when the ship came back to Norway in 1807 that the spirit had vastly improved in flavour. Keeping this close to their chests, Jørgen B. Lysholm rebuilt his fathers soap factory into a distillery, before moving the distillery and offices to the centre of Trondheim and the creation of Linie aquavit. The unique maturation of the Linie aquavit has meant that for the last 200 years, the spirit embarks on a four and a half month journey, taking in 35 countries and crossing the equator twice. It’s interesting to note that at any given time, more than a thousand Linie aquavit casks are maturing as deck cargo.

So how does Linie fare? Well below I give to you my tasting notes, as well as two further expressions I had the opportunity to try on the awards evening mentioned above –

Linie Pre-Journey – unknown abv

Rich on the nose with glazed fruits and fresh vanilla combining well. Very thin on the palate, with light flavours of aniseed bringing a lingering dryness to the finish.

Linie – 41.5%

Matured within Spanish Oloroso sherry casks for 16 months. Plenty of honey on the nose, with fragrant meadow scents coming through slowly. A thin texture on the palate, with light flavours of kummel and aniseed drawing a dry finish.

Linie Double Cask – 41.5%

Aged for a further 6 months within selected port casks. Rich oak and soft port notes on the nose blend well, with the richness following to the palate. A boldness develops over time, with caramel flavours giving the finish a sweet, long experience alongside the heavy port notes.

Three very interesting expressions here, with the main Linie expression perfect for these recipes –

Complement Cocktail
Complement Cocktail

Complement Cocktail

Glass – 

Martini or Cocktail

Ingredients – 

45 ml Plymouth gin
20 ml Linie
2 dashes Maraschino liqueur
1 sprig Dill

Method – 

Fill a cocktail shaker two-thirds full with ice. Add the gin, aquavit and liqueur; shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled Martini glass and garnish with dill.

Or perhaps,

Swedish 60
Swedish 60

Swedish 60

Glass – 

Champagne flute

Ingredients – 

45 ml Linie
15 ml freshly squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon sugar syrup
85 ml Sparkling Wine

Method –

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the aquavit, lime juice and simple syrup. Shake well, then strain into a Champagne flute. Top with the sparkling wine and garnish with the twist of lime peel.

Linie aquavit is commonly drunk at room temperature within a tulip shaped glass, accompanying smoked salmon or marinated fish dishes, which shows off the versatility of this traditional Scandinavian spirit. A bottle to shake up your evening meal perhaps, or impress your friends with something a little different, or indeed head to your local bar as Linie is starting to push its way around the UK’s bartenders to really shout about the Norwegian flavour spectrum.

© 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.

Gancia

Gancia

Gancia, available all over the world, yet a sort of unsung brand when talking vermouth.

Shall we rectify a little?

Carlo Gancia was born back in 1829 in Borolo, Italy and studied in Reims, France to learn the production techniques for Champagne. He returned to Italy in 1850 to establish the ‘Fratelli Gancia’ Company and set to redefine the Champagne style by exploiting and re-elaborating his knowledge and applying them to the typical muscat grapes that were cultivated in the area. With this, Gancia created a new type of champagne in 1865 and called it Italian Sparkling Wine.

At the age of 18 though (back in 1847), Carlo became the nominated partner, and later Director, of the company Dettori &C., where he created a new recipe to refine the taste and the aroma of Vermouth. Following his past intuition, Gancia used the moscato grape as a base for the infusion of the herbs commonly associated with vermouth. It’s here that the Gancia expressions came into focus.

The famous 'Vermouth Bianco' poster
The famous ‘Vermouth Bianco’ poster

1927 saw the foundation of the French Gancia company at Marseilles arise with the idea to promote the Bianco and Americano expressions, with both becoming very popular in France as a result. Two years later, Turin born Eugenio Colmo designs the famous poster “Vermouth Bianco”, and in 1950, the company celebrated its First Centenary with the official launch of Gancia Rosso.

The three usual names, Extra Dry, Rosso and Bianco, alongside the Americano, are all produced in Canelli and are a base of young white wines (or red in the case of the rosso) and a selection of herbs. The production itself is split into three phases, seeing phase one as the selection of the most neural wines which are perfect to combine the selected herbs and spices. The mix of herbs and spices itself is turned into a liquid with an abv of 30%. This is then blended with the selected wine alongside sugar and extracts, then filtered and refined within tanks. Once tasted and deemed ready, it’s bottled and enjoyed.

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

Gancia Extra Dry – 18%

Soft fresh herbal notes on the nose, with rich grape and smooth sugar beet notes. Light on the palate, with a thin texture of fresh citrus, ripe herbs and dry bark. Natural sweetness underlines, but a lingering dry finish is prominent.

Gancia Bianco – 16%

Bold vanilla and banana notes on the nose, with plenty of natural, fresh sweetness coming through. Aniseed, soft lavender and pomegranate come though. A light kick of sweetness on the palate, turning slightly sharp once it develops. Plenty of muscato grapes shine through, with stewed apple and ripe pear flavours joining on the lingering and slightly dry finish.

Gancia Americano – 14.5%

Light, natural sweetness comes through on the nose. Subtle wormwood is present, as is orange rind. Thick texture on the palate, with a well-balanced offering between sweet and bitterness. Genting notes are present, as is the expected orange and grape flavours. A bold finish with dry spices offering a subtle, lingering finish.

Gancia Rosso – 16%

Rich, fresh notes of herbs and dry spice on the nose, with bold red berry and soft sweetness. Thin texture with a fresh fruit base on the palate. Sharp herbal notes come through, with some stewed spices offering a long, slightly bitter finish.

A really good range of vermouth here, and of course are versatile enough to not just have chilled –

Americano Cocktail

Glass – 

Highball

Ingredients – 

35 ml Gancia Vermouth Rosso
35 ml Gancia Americano
35 ml Soda Water

Method – 

Combine each ingredient over an ice filled glass and stir. Garnish with a wedge of fresh orange.

Although yes, Gancia may be seen more as perhaps a wine and sparkling wine brand over vermouth, with much of their history focusing over the two categories, the vermouth is an unsung hero within the aperitif world and is not one to gloss over. Worth shaking up your drinks cabinet at home and treat yourself to a straight Gancia Bianco, or a round of Americano cocktail 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.

And Union

Friday

The gentleman at And Union have launched an Indian Pale Ale expression named Friday.

Brewed over a 10 week period, it’s said to be their first take on the American style IPA and joins the existing And Union range of unfiltered biers and IPA’s that are brewed in Bavaria.

But who are they actually?

Back in 2007, the trio of a father, his son and a longtime friend worked on a project to create craft lager and ales, collaborating with four small family owned Bavarian breweries, one being almost 500 years old and the youngest at only 90. Using only barley, yeast, hops and water, they create small batches that hone the aromas and flavours, something the more commercialised brands can fail on sometimes.

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

And Union, Friday – 6.5%

Lots of ripe peach notes on the nose with plenty of deep barley and yeast aromas setting the smooth tone. A slight sharpness on the palate initially, but softens out to become a light aromatic peach flavour, wrapped with dry hopped notes and deep tropical fruit.

A tasty expression, one that is unfiltered and unpasteurized, whilst also adhering to the German purity laws (a vegan friendly IPA). Other expressions to look out for include Unflt Lager, Neu Blk, Beast of the Deep, Steph Weiss, Hand Werk and Sun Day. I’ll let your intrigued mind seek each out to find what styles they could all be.

© 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.

E&J Gallo Winery

Gallo Spritz

E&J Gallo is one of the most well-known brands within the wine category here in the UK, and you have no doubt come across one of its expressions over dinner, a gathering with friends or trying one of the many cocktail recipes they like to release to show off its versatility. But what do we actually know about the brand itself?

Back on September 22nd 1933, brothers Ernest and Julio Gallo founded a winery at 11th and D streets in Modesto, California, and grew over the next 36 years to the point of recognition as the largest winery in the USA based on volume of sales. In the same year of 1966, they introduced their first range of sparkling wines, Eden Roc and André, which incidentally went on to become the largest selling brand in the USA. November 27th 1972 saw one of their biggest marketing recognitions as Ernest and Julio Gallo appeared on the cover of Time for an article titled “American Wine Comes of Age”, followed by the opening of their first International office in London and the release of their first vintage-dated wines, both in 1983.

1993 saw the introduction of the Gallo Estate Wines, but also the unfortunate passing of Julio Gallo at the age of 87. Before the turn of the century though, E&J Gallo was named “Winery of the Century” by the Los Angeles County Fair’s Wines of the America’s competition and “Best American Wine Producer” by the London-based International Wine and Spirits Competition in 2000. The acquisition of wineries and vineyards in Napa, Monterey and in the Central Coast over the next few years certified the continued growth of E&J Gallo, carrying on a tradition introduced with the first acquisition back in 1954 with the purchase of Cribari Winery in Fresno.

In 2005, they became the first USA based winery to receive the International Standards Organization’s ISO 14001 certification, and purchased the popular Barefoot Cellars brand before the passing away of Ernest Gallo in 2007. The family still live on within the company as Ernest and Julio’s children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren have roles within, effectively becoming the world’s largest family owned winery and the largest exporter of California wine.

So how do their expressions fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes to the varieties I have had the pleasure of experiencing –

Gallo Spritz, Pineapple and Passionfruit – 5.5%

Gallo Pinot Grigio gently spritzed and blended with natural flavours of pineapple and passionfruit.
A soft nose of the well-balanced pineapple and passionfruit, with a natural sweetness and fresh grape aroma coming through. Light on the palate, with a slight burst of the fresh passionfruit, followed by the soft pineapple base. Bursts of the fresh Pinot Grigio comes through on the lingering finish.

Gallo Spritz, Raspberry and Lime – 5.5%

Gallo Grenache Rosé gently spritzed and blended with natural flavours of raspberry and lime.
Light notes of the raspberry and lime on the nose, with a fresh zest and soft sweetness following. The raspberry dominates a fresh and crisp palate, with the lime following to soften the dryness on the long, aromatic finish.

As you may have guessed, these are not your usual expressions when talking about wine, but the inspiration for me to look into E&J Gallo came from the introduction of the Spritz range this year (2015), itself inspired by the sun-drenched fruits of California. The Spritz expressions are said to be “perfect for those who like the idea of wine, but love fruity tastes and want something more informal”. The best way to enjoy is to serve each chilled or over ice.

Of course the more traditional expressions are available, including the base of the pineapple and passionfruit Spritz in the Pinot Grigio, as well as Chardonnay and Moscato, a Whtie Grenache and White Zinfandel if you prefer your rosé styles, and of course Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir amongst the expressions of red available.

The Spritz though are a great change to your normal sparkling choices, and well worth a try before the Summer turns to Winter!

© 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.

He’s Coming . . . . . .

tom estes

The London Sessions have started, and session number two has just dropped into my inbox . . . . . .

INTRODUCING TOMAS ESTES, SESSION #2

We are more than delighted to be announcing our second session with none other than Tomas Estes. As well as being one of the London Sessions founders, Tomas is also known globally for his work with Agave, for which he has been recognised by the Mexican Government, as the American Ambassador of Tequila to Europe. Tomas came of age in California in the 60’s and opened his first restaurant, Café Pacifico, in Amsterdam almost 40 years ago and his most recent, El Nivel, in London last year. He is widely credited with bringing agave spirits to Europe and released Tequila Ocho in 2008, which is now available in over 14 countries, and on the back bars of the world’s best venues. Tomas’s first book, The Tequila Ambassador, was nominated for Best New Book at Tales of The Cocktail 2013, and currently retails on Amazon for over $1,000… So if you have a copy, keep it. Tomas has been awarded The Imbibe Chairman’s Award, Theme’s Life Time Achievement Award, and in 2008 was voted as the 6th most influential person in the bar industry.

But… You know that all already. What you might not have heard, are Tomas’s tales of riding his Triumph topless and shoeless around Cali, how he came to meet Devil the chain smoking monkey, that timeHunter S Thompson was interviewed at Cafe Pacifico London, or what Freddie Mercury was doing at Cafe Pacifico Amsterdam.

Tomas’s session is being held at one of our favourite venues, El Nivel, on August 10th from 1pm. As with all the sessions, entry is free but very limited, and will come with a few surprises. For general release, There’s only two ways to get on the list – email us from Monday 20th at 12pm (emails sent before this date and time will not be counted), or via Difford’s Guide, to whom we have given 5 pairs of tickets – more info on that soon. We have a limited number of tickets allocated for press – if you want one, reply to this email.

Til then, a photo of Tomas on his Triumph, just because he really is that cool. 

Oh and that first session . . . . .

SESSION #1 WITH DEAD RABBIT

For those of you who weren’t able to get tickets to our first session… we don’t mean to rub it in… but you missed out. You can view the photos here, the podcast and video are coming soon, and we really enjoyed this post about the night by one of our favourite bloggers Highball Hoodoo. Our thanks go to Sean, Jillian, Mark, Jack, The Dead Rabbit, Jameson, Guinness, Callooh Callay and Fever Tree. 

Here’s some gratuitous feedback too… 

“It more than lived up to my already ridiculously high expectations… In all seriousness, it was absolutely worth the journey, and then some. Fascinating, inspirational, funny and occasionally – surprisingly – dark and ultimately moving. I loved meeting Sean, Jillian and Mark; all lovely people.”

I loved hearing Sean Muldoon’s story directly from him; it was very inspiring and the camaraderie and relaxed mood that reigned were also key. It’s thanks to the London Sessions that I wish and believe that a new, different and necessary level of bonding and fellowship within our industry can be achieved.”

Here’s to me wishing I lived in London.

A Dreamy Summer With San Carlo Fumo Manchester

San Carlo Fumo - 'The Dream' cocktail

Summer evenings call for something fruity and refreshing, and ‘The Dream’ cocktail, from the expert mixologists at San Carlo Fumo, is the answer to all those sunshine-filled moments with friends – so come down and try it!

The cocktail is a combination of ice-cold vodka and delicious fruit juices, with a luxurious topping of prosecco and garnish of cool mint and watermelon.

The Dream

Ingredients:

50ml Vodka
10ml Prosecco
20ml Cranberry
15ml Grapefruit Juice
25ml Watermelon

Method:

Shake together the vodka and fruit juices with ice and serve in a Hurricane glass. Top with the prosecco.

Garnish:

To finish the cocktail, garnish with watermelon and a sprig of mint.

Fumo is a new concept cocktail bar, all day restaurant and late lounge, part of the San Carlo Group. For more information visit the website http://www.sancarlofumo.co.uk

Finest Call

Finest Call

High volume venues can struggle to produce consistent cocktails, especially in the high-demand areas where one below-par drink can effect several others. It’s with this that developers have sought out opportunities to produce brands that can take the stress away from cocktail creations, especially in venues that are not traditionally cocktail led. By coming up with a base ingredient, or a multitude of them that forms the basis of a classic cocktail, and ‘all you need to do is add your spirit’ and it’s as easy as one, two, three.

Or is it?

Some brands work well for a time-being, and then start to lose their own flavour, their own consistency and ultimately you are back to square one. But one brand that prides itself with knowing how a venue works, no matter what the scale of service you are on, is Finest Call.

In 1995, the American Beverage Marketers (the same company behind the Real range) came out with a new line of premium cocktail mixers, designed with the bartender world in mind. Using fruit sourced from around the world and redefining the packaging by utilising a store-and-pour design, Finest Call made waves within the industry.

To go away from my usual style of feature, It’s best with the Finest Call expressions to explain as we go along, so below, you will find my tasting notes on each variation I’ve had the chance to experience so far –

Finest Call Pina Colada Mix – 0%

Produced with Bakers cream of coconut from the Philippines and Dole pineapple juice from Thailand, they utilise the coconut meat and milk for a thick and creamy texture.
Fresh coconut on the nose, with the bold pineapple aromas coming through slowly. A thick, natural sweetness follows. Thick texture with a thin flavour of the coconut flesh, followed by a slight zest from the pineapple. A lingering well-balanced flavour to finish.

Finest Call Mojito Mix – 0%

Using Key limes from Mexico and blended with spearmint and superfine sugar. Plenty of lime notes come through on the nose, with soft hints of the spearmint following nicely. Natural aromas of the sugar gives a good base. Light with a dry lime flavour standing out. More refreshing on the second sip, with the spearmint releasing fresh aromas on the lingering, slightly sweet finish.

Finest Call Sweet and Sour – 0%

Created using pure lemon juice from California (Eureka and Lisbon varieties) and simple syrup. Sharp on the nose with the citrus naturally dominating. Soft sugar notes come through to underline. Clean and light on the palate, with natural elements of the citrus drawing out a long finish with kicks of sweetness following.

Finest Call Cosmopolitan Martini Mix – 0%

A blend of New England Ocean Spray cranberries, Key lime juice from Mexico and sweet orange oils. Fresh, dry aromas of the cranberries come through on the nose, followed by the natural note of the Key lime juice and the subtle orange. Thick texture on the palate, with a stringent stewed cranberry and lime mix as the dominating flavour. Subtle orange oils follow but the cranberry offers the long finish.

Finest Call Wild Berry Puree Mix – 0%

A combination of strawberries from California, raspberries from Pacific NW and mangoes from India, combined and then an addition of pomegranates and lemon juice from California. Bold, fresh raspberries come through on the nose, with the mangoes offering a soft underlining aroma. Thick texture with a good balance of the strawberries and raspberries. The mango once again offers the smoothness and kicks off the subtle aroma on the finish. Fresh and naturally sweet.

As you can imagine, all of these are designed to be a part of recipes such as –

Wild Berry Colada

Glass –

Highball or Hurricane

Ingredients –

30 ml Finest Call Wildberry Puree
30 ml Jim Beam Red Stag
90 ml Finest Call Pina Colada Mix
3-4 leaves mint leaves
2 cups ice

Method – 

Pour Finest Call Wild Berry Puree in the bottom of the glass. Combine remaining ingredients in a blender and pour over Wild Berry Puree. Swirl with spoon and garnish with fresh berries.

or perhaps

Finest Call Mojito

Glass – 

Highball

Ingredients – 

50 ml White rum
90 ml Finest Call Mojito Mix
Top with soda water

Method – 

Combine the first two ingredients in a Boston glass filled with ice. Shake and strain into a tall glass filled with ice. Top with soda water and garnish with a mint sprig and lime wedges.

There are many other expressions available, including Margarita mixes, a range of purée such as banana, mango, strawberry, passion fruit and watermelon, a Bloody Mary mix and syrups like sugar syrup, almond and triple sec. These are perfect for at home too, with simple to use bottles and a long shelf life (on average around 18 months unopened, 12 months when opened and refrigerated and 3 months if not) and great for summer or winter punch bowls. Pick up some bottles for your bar at home and take a test to see how quickly it can be to whip up a cocktail, and keeping the freshness.

© 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.

Magnify Your Mind, Stimulate Your Senses And Delve Into Discovery

Hendricks

This August the delightfully diverting Hendrick’s Emporium of Sensorial Submersion – an unprecedented panoply of sensory enlightenment, will offer audible, palatable and tangible stimulation to all curiously minded individuals, in the homeland of its unusual gin, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe (7th – 30th August).

Within the sumptuous surroundings of 91 George Street, Hendrick’s Emporium of Sensorial Submersion will immerse festival goers in the experimental, the esoteric and the entertaining.  Charming cocktails will enliven auricular and gustatory perception as you explore the Hendrick’s Gin soundscape. Prepare to leave a smidgeon better educated and an imperial ton more befuddled by the absurd abilities of your very own senses.

Inspired by this most unusual gin, world-leading sound artist Mark IJzerman from the University of Utrecht has unpacked each atom of Hendrick’s to create a programme of mind-expanding diversions that utilises the senses to deconstruct the cocktail drinking experience. Be enlightened by the harmonious sounds of cocktail shakers in the ‘Cacophony Bar’, cleanse your mind as you enter the ‘Quietest Bar on Earth’ and be part of a mysterious and magical synaesthetic experiment in a delightfully peculiar laboratory.

Those looking to simply brush the outer circles of their sensorial psyche can enjoy a delectable Hendrick’s Gin cocktail in The Hendrick’s Emporium of Sensorial Submersion bar. Peruse an array of curious oddities, including an extraordinary self-playing piano, the Pianola, Pavlov’s talking dog (trained to associate sound with taste through classic conditioning) and delight in the sounds of cucumber and rose – the twin essences of Hendrick’s Gin – at special listening posts. The sensorially adventurous may delve deeper into the recesses of peculiarity and partake in the packed programme of synaesthetic diversions, offering stimulation and satiation for ears, mind and palate.

Visitors looking for complete sensorial satisfaction can partake in all five experiences for £24, available through www.edfringe.com (ticket price includes a host of refreshing cocktails).  The curiously minded can submerge themselves in any one of the sensorial experience for £8 (including one cocktail).  Tickets for the latter are available from the venue box office.

The Quietest Bar on Earth

Author E.B. White once proclaimed the Martini ‘the elixir of quietude’. In the ‘The Quietest Bar On Earth’ cleanse your palate from sensory overload and enjoy a state of stillness as you marvel at the art of the wondrous Martini.

Quantumphysical Soundscape of Hendrick’s Gin

Have you ever pondered what a cocktail would sound like if we could hear it? Using a most curious contraption we will uncover the secret quantumphysical voice of cocktails as we amplify the effect one has on the vibration of concoction’s sub-atoms, in the Soundscape of Hendrick’s Gin.

Sonic Cucumber Bath

Purify your mind and embrace your alpha brainwaves as our gongologist envelops you in sound taking you to a state of total mental relaxation.

The Audio-gastrotorium Laboratory

Our sensory stimuli are all interconnected.  We have known this for some time, but we rarely prepare our beverages or cuisine with sound or colour in mind.  In the lab, you become part of our experiments as we divulge the secrets of the way we perceive taste and sound.

A Gentle Trip Through The Ages of Gin

Bringing the story of gin throughout the ages to life in a sensory group experience. From the introduction of Jenever in the Dutch Wars to Hogarth’s 1751 engraving Gin Lane, take a trip through gin’s rich and intriguing history, exploring the sounds, smells and tastes that have made this esteemed spirit what it is today.

The Cacophony Bar

Revel in the riotous dissonance of sound at the Hendrick’s Cacophony Bar and peruse our collection of oddities at your leisure, as you enjoy a delightful Hendrick’s Gin cocktail.  Free admission midday – 11pm, with cocktails available from £6.

Commenting on HENDRICK’S at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Sam Bovill, Senior Brand Manager for Hendrick’s Gin, said: “We are extremely excited to launch the Hendrick’s Emporium of Sensorial Submersion in the homeland of our unusual gin. With a host of intriguing experiences, and a menu of incredible Hendrick’s Gin cocktails – the Hendrick’s Emporium of Sensorial Submersion is set to be the venue of choice for thirst quenching, mind tingling entertainment.”

Hendrick’s Emporium of Sensorial Submersion will be located at 91 George Street from 7th – 30th August 2015.

The full Hendrick’s Emporium of Sensorial Submersion experience will run every hour from 6pm – 11pm, Wednesdays to Sundays. Each experience will last approximately two hours and will be undertaken in groups of 20. Tickets for the full experience cost £24 (including drinks) and can be purchased from https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/hendrick-s-emporium-of-sensorial-submersion. The tickets include the following experiences:

–       Welcome Bar

–       Quietest Bar on Earth

–       The Audio-gastrotorium Laboratory

–       Quantumphysical Soundscape of Hendrick’s Gin

–       Sonic Cucumber Bath

–       A Gentle Trip Through The History of Gin

Introducing Scapa Skiren, A Single Malt Forged By The Elements Of Orkney

Scapa Skiren with Box

September 2015 marks the launch of Scapa Skiren, an artisanal single malt forged by the elements of Orkney; a remote island of natural contrasts.
Crafted by five dedicated artisans at the manually operated Scapa distillery, Scapa Skiren’s smooth taste embodies the unexpected contrasts of the Orkney Islands, setting it apart from traditional Island Malts. A unique barrel-shaped Lomond wash still – the only remaining working Lomond in the Scotch whisky industry – is used for distillation, resulting in a richer and fruiter honeyed spirit. Exclusive maturation in First Fill American Oak casks gives Scapa Skiren a smooth creamy sweetness with a hint of tropical, citrus fruit and coastal heather, uncommon for an Island Single Malt but distinctly Scapa at its core.

Scapa Skiren gets its name from the Old Norse for glittering bright skies and lights up the senses with its delicate scented floral flavours as well as fresh pear, sweet and fruity pineapple notes on the nose. The smooth and sweet taste of ripe honeydew melon slices as well as bursts of fruity pear contrast with the tantalising taste of sweet sherbet on the palate. The end result is a long refreshing sweetness, reminiscent of the summer Orcadian skies after which it is named.

Scapa recently opened its distillery to the public, for the first time since its launch in 1885, on the beautiful, wild and untameable Orkney mainland. It is situated on the shore of the Scapa Flow, a natural harbour and one of Britain’s most historic stretches of water.

Scapa Master Distiller, Brian MacAulay says “It has been a real pleasure to bring the dynamic and unexpected contrasts of Orkney to life in Scapa Skiren. It is a product of our island; forged by the elements and the expertise of our dedicated team who use traditional methods and skills honed over several generations to create our distinctive Island malt with its unique smooth honeyed taste.”

Scapa Skiren, priced at $60 USD RRP, will be released in September 2015, in selected retailers in the UK and France.

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

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