I’ll hold my hands up, I’ve no idea how I came across this Irish whiskey and for it to end up in my possession, I simply can not remember. That doesn’t mean it should be excluded, as after doing some research on the expression, it turns out its from a rather well-known distillery.

Locke’s Irish whiskey gets its name from John Locke, who was one of the previous owners of the Old Kilbeggan Distillery located onthe banks of the river Brusna. The Locke’s Kilbeggan Distillery was first licensed in 1757 by Mathew MacManus, making it the oldest licensed distillery in the world. The ownership was passed on to Patrick Brett in 1833, then John Locke acquired the distillery in 1843. A topsy turvy century went by before the Irish government raised the spirit duty from £6.85 to £8.80 a proof gallon in April 1952. This resulted in a huge cut in demand. By November 1953, Locke’s could not afford the duty to release the whisky from bond for the Christmas period and distilling ceased.

The distillery survived until November 1958 when a debenture issued to the bank in 1953 became due. Locke’s could not raise payment so the bank called in the receiver and ended 201 years of distilling history. In 1987 the Cooley Distillery acquired Locke’s Kilbeggan Distillery from its then owner Lee Mallaghan for an exchange of Cooley shares and a place on the Cooley board. Cooley restored the warehousing and used it to mature its output from its distillery at Riverstown, Dundalk.

So it’s now Cooley Distillery who run the name Locke’s Single Malt, a part of its growing portfolio with names such as Greenore, Conemmera and Tyrconnell alongside.

The brand itself says that they distil within traditional pot stills and use malt barley as their base cereal as well as Irish spring water, but how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting note -

Locke’s 8yr – 40%

Soft, creamy vanilla and toffee notes on the nose, with a rather light, thin texture on the palate with a little sweetness. Lots of aromatic malt with a little spice to finish.

Not a bad dram at all! A hidden gem some could say, and perhaps something just that little bit different from the mainstays of your drinks cabinet. Although not littered with big, bold points in their history like some brands, and an extensive production method like others, if you think about it, its the liquid that does the talking. Try something new from Ireland.

© 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.



The Camarena family are well known within the tequila world. They started producing tequila way back in 1937 and are now three generations in, still producing it the traditional ‘slow’ way. The family grow their own agave, the base ingredient of all tequila, which in itself is a rare choice to opt for. When Master Distiller Carlos Camarena asked Tomas Estes if he wished to collaborate with him on the creation of Ocho, the man who has run Mexican bars and restaurants since 1976 and helped raise the profile of tequila as a whole jumped at the chance.

So what have they done?

Ocho uses the exploration of terroir (the use of natural elements to effect agriculture) to determine the optimum places to grow their agave. They produce batches of tequila from single fields (ranchos) instead of the two main regions (Tequila Valley and Los Altos) that many other tequila producers use. Arandas is the are used, naming the ranchos as El Carrizal, Las Pomez and Los Corrales. One they have their over-riped agave, or piñas, after 7-10 years of growth, they are taken to the distillery and placed within brick ovens. They are slowly cooked for around 48 hours at a temperature of 80-85 degrees centigrade, then rest in the oven for 24 hours to cool. The first 8 hours of juice from the piñas is removed as this is seen as too bitter. Once cooled, it is then transported to the milling machine where each piña is pressed to release all the juices. The resulting liquid is added to natural spring water from the distillery.

Once added, it is then put within a 3000 litre capacity pine vat to ferment in the open air. Natural yeast is used over a 4-5 day period. Once fermented it is distilled twice, first within a stainless steel 3,500 litre pot still, then through a 300 litre copper pot still. This process is done slowly and takes off less of the ‘heads and tails’ than usual (the heads and tails are where most of the flavours are kept, i.e. the start of the process and the end of the process). Once distilled, the liquid is aged within ex 200 litre bourbon barrels for a designated amount of time (depending on the expression to be created), and then bottled and labelled by hand.

And why the number 8 on the bottle? The tequila is made from the eighth sample created by the Camarenas for Tomas Estes!

So how do they fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes on my experiences of the range so far -

Ocho Blanco - 40%

Light on the nose with grass and agave aromas coming through. Slight honey sweetness develops too. Very light on the palate, again with a slight sweetness. The agave dominates a good finish.

Ocho prides itself on being versatile too -

El Diablo
El Diablo

El Diablo

Glass – 


Ingredients – 

50 ml Ocho Blanco
25 ml Lime
10 ml Fresh ginger syrup (1 part ginger juice : 1 part simple syrup)
10 ml Crème de Cassis
Top with Ginger Ale

Method – 

Shake and strain into ice filled glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Ocho have a variety of expressions within their portfolio, including the Curado, Resposado, Anejo and Extra Anejo. I’m looking forward to experiencing these wen I can, and I hope you would be too, because if the Camarena family can create brands such as Excellia, the rest of the Ocho will be spot on.

© 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.

Langtons No.1

Langtons No.1

The Lake District is not your usual port-of-call when it comes to the creations of a spirit, or gin in this case. But Langtons No.1 has defied the normality and creates a styled gin that tips the hat to its origins and its process.

The water source kick started the Langtons No.1 story, after discovery of an aquifer that sits under the Skiddaw mountain in Keswick, The water is up to a million years old, and has filtered through black slate which dates to 450 million years old. With this discovery, they used the borehole in Underskiddaw to tap in to the water and use for their new gin.

Langtons No.1 is distilled four times using the traditional copper pot still production method, and uses eleven botanicals to create, including the ancient Lake District Oak Bark, These are steeped over time within English grain spirit and the water from the Skiddaw mountain is added.

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

Langtons No.1 – 40%

Floral on the nose with a slight lemon and soft herb scent coming through. Very light citrus on the palate, turning into a perfumed offering that kicks a little on the end.

Although they recommend the likes of a Martini, Gin and Tonic or a Negroni, how about one of these to show off the versatility?

Pink Lady
Pink Lady

Pink Lady

Glass – 


Ingredients -

50 ml Langtons No.1
15 ml Applejack
Juice of half a lemon
1 fresh egg white (pasteurized if you like)
2 dashes grenadine

Method – 

Shake all ingredients vigorously with ice, strain into a chilled glass and garnish with stemmed cherry.

Different, yet shows that you don’t just need to go for the classic gin cocktails sometimes. If you need another reason to go for the Lakes, the bottle has been designed from a piece of slate from the source of the water used. An extra contour was added to the front to match the profile of Skiddaw and the bottle manufacturers are based in the north of England to keep with the locality theme that Langtons No.1 prides itself upon. Give it a go, and the Damson expression too if you can.

© 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.

Magners Unveils Refreshing Twist To Orchard Berries

Magners Orchard Berries - 500ml bottle shotMagners, the premium Irish Cider brand, has unveiled a fresh new look and bottle size for its popular Orchard Berries flavour – a clear 500ml bottle which shows the juicy red colour inside, packed with ripe strawberries, tangy raspberries and zesty blackcurrants.

Previously named Magners Berry, the new-look Magners Orchard Berries is perfect for hot summer days, with a popular fruity taste and attractive bottle size; it’s an ideal accompaniment for picnics and parties with friends.

Offering an additional twist on the classic serve, Magners’ expert mixologists have created a range of fresh and exciting cocktails using the Orchard Berries product to coincide with the launch of the new look bottle. Perfectly pairing the zesty flavour, the team have built a collection of deliciously refreshing drinks to highlight the fresh, fruity tones of the classic liquid.

Accessible and easy to create from home, the cocktails are designed in three mouth-watering variations – Orchard Berries Blossom, Orchard Berries Royal and Very Merry Berries.

Karen Crowley, Brands Marketing Manager for Magners, said:

“Flavoured cider has boomed in the UK, since we first launched our berry variant in 2012. Our new look Orchard Berries combines the original unique recipe with a stylish fresh design to appeal to the product’s growing fan base.

“Backed with a delicious collection of cocktail recipes, targeted towards new and current cider lovers, Magners Orchard Berries is the perfect summer drink, best served straight and over ice or with an additional fruity twist.”

Magners Orchard Berries is available from supermarkets including The Co-operative and Tesco, convenience stores and selected bars across the UK. For more information please visit http://www.magners.co.uk

Magners Orchard Berries Cocktails

Orchard Berries Blossom
Orchard Berries Blossom

Orchard Berries Blossom (one Magners Orchard Berries bottle makes two cocktails)


· 8 Mint leaves
· 4 lime wedges
· 15ml sugar syrup
· 200ml Magners Orchard Berries
· Crushed Ice

To garnish: mint sprig and a trio of speared berries

Glass: wine balloon


· Lightly muddle mint, lime and sugar
· Fill ¾ glass with crushed ice
· Add 50ml of the Magners Orchard Berries, churn and stir
· Cap with more crushed ice and top with 150ml Orchard Berries
· Garnish with a sprig of mint and a trio of speared berries

Orchard Berries Royale
Orchard Berries Royale

Orchard Berries Royale (One Magners Orchard Berries makes five cocktails)


· 1 sugar cube
· 10ml Creme De Cassis
· 100ml Magners Orchard Berries
· 25ml Proseco or Champagne

To garnish: lemon twist

Glass: Champagne flute


· Simply add all ingredients to the flute glass
· Garnish with a lemon twist

Variations: Substitute Cassis for Aperol or Campari or Absinthe

Orchard Very Merry Berries
Orchard Very Merry Berries

Very Merry Berries (one Magners Orchard Berries makes two cocktails)


· 4 raspberries
· 4 strawberries
· 4 blueberries
· 35ml pink grapefruit juice
· 15ml sugar syrup
· 200ml Magners Orchard Berries

Glass: Pint glass tanker

Garnish: Grapefruit twist and strawberry garnish


· Quarter the strawberries and half the blueberries
· Add the berries into the glass along with the ice, grapefruit juice and syrup
· Top with the Magners Orchard Berries
· Garnish with the grapefruit twist and strawberry garnish

Pisco Portón

Pisco Porton

I’ve never covered pisco in any way, shape or form. I never sold it when I was a bartender, and have never used it within my work since, but recently I’ve had the chance to fill the clean slate with a new brand to hit the UK in Pisco Portón.

It’s probably best to explain what Pisco is before we hit on the variety of Portón.

Two countries in South America lay claim to pisco as their home-grown spirit, and much like whisky in Scotland and Ireland, the debate still rages on. The main differences between the two countries though depicts the style of pisco you wish to enjoy. Pisco is essentially a white brandy, and in Peru, pisco regulations allow for the spirit to be distilled from any one of (or a blend of) eight local grape varieties. Each imparts a slightly different characteristic to the finished spirit, but all are distilled using the same methods: stainless steel and glass are the only containers that Peruvian piscos ever come into contact with; they may be distilled only once, and never diluted. No wood-aging or any sort of manipulation other than the blending of varietals is allowed.

In Chile, pisco regulations allow distillers to have a bit more influence on their final product. Distillers may run the spirit through multiple distillations, they may dilute the final product and they can even barrel-age. However, as opposed to the eight grape varieties used regularly in Peru, Chilean pisco makers tend to focus on only three, Moscatel being the most common.

The history is rather lengthy too. I’ve taken the following timeline from the Pisco Portón website:

1560 – Spaniard Francisco de Caravantes introduces the first grapes to Peru in order for wine to be made for church mass.
1604 – Vineyards in Ica, Peru produce 81 million liters of wine, and there is substantial production in several other coastal regions.
1613 – A vineyard owner makes the first written reference to pisco in his will.
1600-1699 – Peruvian vinted wines start to outsell Spanish wines. The Spanish crown moves to protect the country’s vineyards by imposing taxes on wine exported from Peru. Gradually, vineyards switch to distilling pisco to avoid these taxes.
1684 – Juan Facundo Caravedo Roque buys a group of vineyards he calls Hacienda La Caravedo and constructs a distillery to make pisco there.
1700 – Pisco production overtakes wine production in Peru. First produced to avoid taxes, it becomes a beloved spirit around the world.
1726 – Peru’s pisco exports are double its wine exports.
1821 – Peru proclaims independence from Spain.
1830 – First written record of pisco exported to the U.S., heading to San Francisco, CA.
1849 – The Pisco Punch becomes a famous San Francisco drink and remains so until Prohibition.
1883 – Outbreak of phylloxera attacks Peruvian vines. Some farmers switch to food crops or cotton. Pisco exportation falls.
1899 – Rudyard Kipling describes pisco in his novel From Sea to Sea: “I have a theory it is compounded of cherubs’ wings, the glory of a tropical dawn, the red clouds of sunset, and fragments of lost epics by dead masters.”
1916 – American Victor Morris opens Morris Bar in Lima, Peru and invents the Pisco Sour.
1920 – Prohibition begins in the United States. Pisco, once a beloved drink on the West Coast, never regains popularity after Prohibition.
1946 – Cocktail and Wine Digest publishes a Pisco Sour recipe.
1991 – Peruvian government declares pisco a national heritage and defines approved regions and distillation methods for its production. All producers must submit their pisco to governmental organization INDECOPI to taste and verify authenticity of product before sale. The law accelerates a renaissance in the quality and pride of Peruvian piscos.
2002 – INDECOPI rules that pisco must be made from one or a blend of eight traditional grape varietals (Quebranta, Common Black, Mollar, Italia, Muscat, Albilla, Torontel and Uvina).
2004 – Johnny Schuler founds Peruvian Academy of Pisco with the mission to promote and protect the heritage of Peruvian pisco.
2011 – Portón Pisco launches in the United States.

So what makes Pisco Portón a standout? Well I had the chance to meet Johnny Schuler, creator and Master Distiller of Pisco Portón, and he was more than happy to explain the production styles that he uses.

Pisco Portón is created using a combination of traditional and modern methods. To preserve the full character of the grapes chosen, Pisco Portón uses the mosto verde method of distilling from a partially fermented grape juice known as must. This method keeps some of the natural sugars within the grapes from converting into alcohol. Despite not being the easiest method, and least popular, fifteen pounds of grapes are used within each bottle of Pisco Portón. The three grape varieties that Pisco Portón use are Quebranta (most popular pisco grape in Peru), Albilla (offers a smoother finish) and Torontel (offers a heavy aroma with strong citrus).

Pisco Portón is distilled using custom-made French copper pot stills. Johnny Schuler, by Peruvian law, can not add water to the pisco to bring it to proof, ensuring a small batch distillation process, which ultimately gives him more control over the whole process despite only having one shot at creating a batch.  After distillation, the pisco rests in neutral cement containers named cubas de guardia for five to eight months in order to let the flavours marry. Once ready, they are bottled and individually numbered and signed by Johnny. All this happens within the Hacienda La Caravedo in Ica, Peru, the oldest distillery in the Americas, being established in 1684.

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

Pisco Portón – 43%

Light on the nose with a dry aroma of hay, cocoa and ripe grapes. Light again on the palate, with a developing sharpness over the aromatic flavours of the grapes. A slight spice on a velvet texture is present, with hints of red fruit and banana offering a smooth, well-rounded and ultimately lingering finish.

A different experience indeed, and one that would of course work well within the categories signature cocktail -

Pisco Sour
Pisco Sour

Portón Pisco Sour

Glass – 


Ingredients -

50 ml Portón Pisco
15 ml Fresh lime juice
15 ml Simple syrup
7.5 ml Egg white
1 dash Angostura bitters for garnish

Method – 

Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice and shake. Strain contents into a chilled glass. Add a dash of bitters for garnish.

So I can safely say I’ve now experienced pisco. An interesting category to explore, and one that I never realised could be strict with the production when it comes to grapes and water. It will be interesting to see how Pisco Portón compares to others within the category, but the bar is high. Try it for yourself, it’s one to tick off the list 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.



“The inspiration creating Rhuby comes from a childhood in Sweden, at my grandparent’s house, squinting into the early spring sun while punching a juicy Rhubarb stalk into a cup of sugar biting off its frayed end”

It’s amazing what can inspire you to create a product, one that does so much for the bartending community and ultimately one of the most used liqueur expressions around. The above words were uttered by Ylva Binder, founder of the Rhuby liqueur based out from Sweden.  Her love of all things sweet can be traced back to her early years alongside her father who had an avid interest in herbs and spices for the traditional SNAPS. Since then, and up to the launch of the liqueur on December 1st 2011, she had worked with such stellar names as Grey Goose, Berkeley Square, BLOOM and Absolut in a career that spanned some 25 years. But it was coming back to her roots in Åker Styckebruk, Sweden, a small village situated in the countryside by lake Visnaren, that really boosted her profile as a Master Distiller.

Using her experiences and her childhood traits and memories, she opted for local, natural rhubarb from within the vicinity of her distillery (although soon she will be harvesting from her own distillery). She uses a wheat vodka base which comes from one of the first organic distilleries based in Södermanland, Sweden. Together, with a low sugar content, it creates the base of many a drink.

To go into a bit more detail of the production, Solveig Sommarström (the master blender of Rhuby) juices the rhubarbs after having been frozen, which ultimately releases more of the flavours. This is preserved with vodka and added at the blending point with water from the natural source of Storskogens Källa. Sugar and a small amount of bourbon bean vanilla are also added. before being rested and left to marry together. Once 24 hours passes, it can be bottled.

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

Rhuby – 20%

Slight vanilla on the nose rounds off the dominant rhubarb. Fresh, sweet and incredibly inviting. Thin on the palate, with the natural flavour of rhubarb coming through, followed by a velvet sweetness. Slightly thick viscosity on the finish, but a slightly dry hit of the rhubarb creates a long experience.

A stunning liquid on its own, and incredibly fresh to enjoy. However, It’s not a crime with this spirit to enjoy within a cocktail -

Rhuby Caipirinha
Rhuby Caipirinha

Rhuby Caipirinha

Glass – 


Ingredients – 

50 ml Rhuby
25 ml Cachaca
2 wedges of fresh lemon

Method – 

Muddle lemon (rather than the traditional lime and sugar). Add plenty of crushed ice and pour a generous serving of Rhuby. To top it off add a splash of cachaca. Garnish with a pink edible flower.

Delightful, and fits well with the Brazilian nature we’ve all picked up on with the FIFA World Cup and Olympics.

Something Ylva prides herself in is raising awareness for charity. The annual ‘Pink Your Drink’ campaign has gone from strength to strength since its inception back in 2012. Rhuby and the ‘Pink Your Drink ‘foundation commits to a loyal and long-term alignment to raise funds and increase the awareness of the Pink Ribbon and support female entrepreneurs.
The major activity of the year takes place in October, Breast Cancer Awareness, when the finals for the all-female bartender competition takes place, with this year (2014) hitting USA, Britain and Sweden. The all-female bartender competition supports women in what frequently is seen as a male dominated industry, as well as donating to charity during the events.

If you are a female bartender and wish to enter, please click here. For more information on the cause, please click here.

It’s great to hear how working in the industry can create a journey that culminates in making your own spirit, and one that reminds you vividly of your childhood. Fair play to Ylva, I think she’s got this brand spot on. One to enjoy. 

© 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.




There’s a couple of brands that I’ve seen plenty of, yet just never got around to tasting and experiencing. One such brand that eluded my taste buds had a rather prominent display for a year or two in retailers, then seemed to drop off the radar a little. Now though, It has been re-launched, securing a new UK distribution with Love Drinks (the guys behind El Dorado, Hayman’s and Gosling’s) and kicking off back in July. U’Luvka is hopefully here to stay.

So a little about the vodka.

U’Luvka hails from Poland and its history can be traced back to the 16th century, wherein the Polish Royal Court of Sigismund III, it is said that a famous alchemist was commissioned to develop ‘a vodka of the finest purity and the most exceptional quality to be enjoyed by the Royal Court’. Said alchemist, named Sendivogius, created U’Luvka in response. Over time, the recipe was deemed to be lost, until re-discovered within ancient records and ultimately, like all inquisitive master distillers, re-created. Elzbieta Goldyka uses a base of northern Polish rye (50%) and wheat (25%) and barley (25%) to create the liquid we can enjoy today.

The distillery itself is one of the oldest in Poland, based just outside Wroclaw. Combining the base cereals, the fermentation, distillation and rectification all happen on site, with the distillation through column stills. Polish water is added, and then the liquid is filtered twice. Once that batch is complete, it is blind tasted against three other batches and the master blend by a panel of experts including Elzbieta herself. One the right batch is approved, it is then sent for bottling.

It’s not just the liquid that grabs the attention though. The bottle is a stand-out compared to most, and was inspired by the ancient alchemical distillation vessels. The bottle is said to be a physical representation of the balance between male and female, with the rounded base representing ‘female’ and the elegant neck ‘male’. The logo which adorns each bottle is an alchemical sign that combines the glyphs for spirit, soul, man and woman. When added together, you find friendship.

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

U’Luvka – 40%

Fresh on the nose with hints of soft nuts and rye. A rich palate with a developing subtle spice. Creamy texture with hints of butter and a lively, fresh cereal flavour. Long finish with a bitter spice finish.

A real cracker on its own, and goes well with one of these -

Purnelle Martini
Purnelle Martini

U’Luvka Pernelle Martini

Glass – 


Ingredients -

45 ml U’Luvka Vodka
15 ml Pear Eau De Vie
30 ml The Bitter Truth Elderflower Liqueur
15 ml Fresh lemon juice
10 ml Gomme syrup
2 sprigs of rosemary

Method – 

Bruise one sprig of rosemary gently in a mixing glass. Add all the other ingredients into the mixing glass and shake with cubed ice. Strain into a chilled Martini glass and garnish with the other rosemary sprig.

A rather stunning vodka, and comes with a flavour profile that surprises me. A good dose of a well-rounded experience shows that not all vodkas are ‘neutral’ when it comes to taste, and it’s not just the flashy bottle that sells. U’Luvka is different, and a welcome change to the vodka market. One for your drinks cabinet for sure, and the versatility it offers in how to serve makes this a must stock item for bars and restaurants too.



A World Class House

Diageo World Class House

From today until Sunday 3rd August, the industry’s most prestigious and respected mixology competition World Class, will open its doors to consumers for the very first time. For the whole week the World Class House will host a series of immersive, engaging and inspiring brand experiences in each room of the five story Georgian townhouse everyday from 5.30pm – 11.00pm.

Located at 33 Fitzroy Square the World Class House will act as the Central London hub, as the 49 most talented bartenders in the world compete to win the much-coveted accolade of World Class Global Champion.

This one-week luxury pop-up will delight and surprise guests with a host of bespoke drinking experiences, World Class cocktails and a selection of very special guests. It is available for £20 to those who register at http://www.definitivedrinkingguide.com/worldclassevents and includes you two tokens that can either be redeemed for two welcome cocktails or put towards one of the experiences – each experience will have a token value. Additional tokens can be bought
at the Hub in £5 denominations.

Comprising of five floors and a stunning rooftop terrace, the World Class House will have something for everyone, from the cocktail beginner to the most discerning drinker and will include the following experiences:

• The World Class Hub – a stylish bar and lounge at the heart of the World Class House, hosting lively seminars and the world’s best mixologists

• Alexander & James – discover the perfect mixologist-at-home package whilst learning about food and drink pairings with La Fromagerie and Allens of Mayfair. Join a cocktail master class and learn how to host the perfect party and pick up a bottle personally engraved with a message of your choice

Don Julio Visit Jalisco and La Cantina – discover a taste of Jalisco, Mexico via this underground secret bar fronting as a Latin American traditional travel agency. Can you find the vintage telephone that allows visitors access to the backroom?

• Johnnie Walker Blue Label Screening Room – exclusive screenings of Johnnie Walker Blue Label’s new short film staring Jude Law, called The Gentleman’s Wager

• Tanqueray No.TEN Martini Cocktail Bar – the glamour, style and
sophistication of the Art Deco movement is brought to life in the Tanqueray No.TEN martini cocktail bar, where ten unique martini cocktails have been created to pay homage to the ultimate classic cocktail

• Zacapa experience – fully immersive journey where guests will experience the story of Zacapa through all five senses followed by a tasting created by a renowned guest chef.

• Ketel One Sonic Tastings – Ketel One has worked closely with sensory experts to create a selection of scientifically-proven soundscapes and lighting effects that bring the liquid to life in a revolutionary way. What’s more also discover how to make the perfect Bloody Mary

As well as cocktail master-classes from some of the world’s most famous bartenders, debates featuring Michelin starred chefs and intimate tastings of premium whiskies such as, Johnnie Walker, Bulleit and Mortlach, the World Class House is not to be missed. Explore the World Class House this summer to discover incredible cocktails and a new world of spirits.

Follow the competition on Facebook at the World Class Facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/worldclass

Danny Whelan Of Kelvingrove Café Wins ‘Sprint to the Finish’ Cocktail Competition

Chairmans Reserve

Danny Whelan, a rising star of Glasgow bartending, working at the Kelvingrove Café is the winner of the “Sprint to the Finish” cocktail competition and will receive tickets to a private box at the Commonwealth Games today when the 100m finals take place. In a closely contested competition Danny’s cocktail “Comerette Cooler” attracted the most ‘Likes’ on the Chairman’s Reserve Rum Facebook page possibly because his recipe was very well conceived, given the unusually hot and dry weather over the last few days.

A delicious long drink made with Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Rum, served long with a side of ice cream, “Comerette Cooler”, attracted plenty of attention from the start and managed to hold onto the lead throughout the week.

‘Comerette Cooler’ by Danny Whelan at Kelvingrove Café (Glasgow) – Named after the white-sand St Lucia beach ‘Anse Comerette’

45 ml Chairman’s Reserve Spiced
25 ml Orange Sherbet
20 ml Coconut Syrup
dash Chocolate Bitters
Topped with a float of Root Beer

Add all ingredients except Root Beer to a mixing tin, shake and pour into a hi-ball glass over cracked ice. Float root beer over the top. Garnish with an Orange Twist, with Vanilla ice cream and Coconut Chocolate on the side.

Runners up in the ‘Sprint to the Finish’ competition were Mike McGinty (Treacle, Edinburgh) and Matt Ronald (Blue Dog, Glasgow) crossing the line in what was almost a photo finish taking Silver and Bronze respectively. Mike McGinty having learnt his trade in Aberdeen moved to join the Edinburgh bar scene a couple of years ago and is now managing Treacle on Broughton Street in Edinburgh . Mike’s drink ‘Chairman’s Re-Served’ had a nice balance of simplicity and theatre, revisiting a classic rum serve.

‘Chairman’s Re-Served’ by Mike McGinty at Treacle (Edinburgh)

50 ml Chairman’s Reserve
20 ml Homemade Falernum
5 Dashes of Angostura Bitters
2 Dash Chocolate Bitters

All put into a metal cup, with a lime cut into a square, covered in Demerara sugar, coffee, chocolate and cinnamon. A light on fire which caramelises the lime and it drips into the drink. Then extinguish the flame with 60 ml water.

This is a twist on the perfect rum serve; coffee, lime and sugar, hence the name.

Bronze medal winner, Matt Ronald, another Glasgow bartender, has been the manager at Blue Dog for a number of years and a fan of Chairman’s Reserve ever since he visited the distillery in St Lucia on a trip organised by Emporia Brands a few years ago. Also electing to make a drink based on Chairman’s Spiced, his cocktail was about balancing the different sweet, sour and spicy elements to make a refreshing summer serve.

‘Bolt from the Blue’ by Matt Ronald at Blue Dog (Glasgow)

25 ml Chairman’s Spiced
12.5 ml Domine de Canton
12.5 ml Gabriel Boudier Blueberry
Fresh Blueberries
25 ml Lemon juice
Lemon syrup
37.5 ml apple juice

Ten contestants made it to the Chairman’s Reserve ‘Sprint to the Finish’ finals, all of whom are established UK bartenders or are rising stars in Scotland .
The final finishing order was as follows; -
– Danny Whelan – Kelvingrove Café ( Glasgow ) GOLD
– Mike McGinty – Treacle ( Edinburgh ) SILVER
– Matthew Ronald – Blue Dog ( Glasgow ) BRONZE

- Lewis Thomson – Clouds & Soil (Edinburgh)
– Alex Muir – Amicus Apple ( Aberdeen )
– Rosie Paterson – The Voodoo Rooms ( Edinburgh )
– Panda & Sons – Phil Jones ( Edinburgh )
– Jon Hughes – Bramble Bar ( Edinburgh )
– James Grant – Bond 9 ( Edinburgh )
– Adrian Gomes – The Tippling House ( Aberdeen )

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

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