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.
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.
Add some summer spirit to your Halloween by mixing up some Mali-BOO cocktails for your parties.
Malibu have pulled together a Malibu Monster Mash of spooky serves including some twists on some classics and new cocktails that could raise the dead.
From Pina Ghoulada, to the signature #MaliBOO (made with the new Malibu and Mango cans) and everything in between including the Monster Layer shot – they’ve got something to raise a fright on your Halloween night.
The Malibu & Mango can is available in ASDA, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, RRP £1.99
I’ve been a bit lax lately in posting up the last few Manchester Whisky Club meetings, but after finding a spare evening, I’ve decided to consolidate the missing drams into one, all found with tasting notes below -
March saw the theme of Photo Finish, a look at the prospect of different cask finish and maturation styles within whisky.
Deanston Virgin Oak – 46.3%
Light on the nose with a slight spice, fresh corn and plenty of wood elements. A developing spice on the palate, quite mouth-watering that produces a smooth, long finish that has a slight cherry and pepper finish.
Cadenhead’s Royal Lochnagar 17yr Rum Cask Matured – 57.4%
Light with green apples flesh pineapple and plenty of dry pot still elements on the nose. A nice developing warmth on the palate, rather potent with a lingering dry spice on the tongue and finish.
BenRiach 16yr- 46%
Sauterne finish. Soft, sweet aromas of dried fruits on the nose, with bold hits of sultanas and pine coming through. A dry palate with a slow spice lingering. Fresh nuts and pine counteract for a short finish.
Tomintoul 12yr Portwood- 46%
Smooth with plenty of creamy port nose with a dry finish. Very smooth on the palate with a slight kick of port dividing the experience. Short.
Edradour 11yr ‘Straight From the Cask’ Chateauneuf Du Pape Finish – 58.5%
Soft plums on the nose with red apple with a stewed sweetness coming through. Short, rich grape and plums with a dry finish on the palate. Simple yet fantastic.
Both the Tomintoul and Edradour were stand out highlights for the Photo Finish session.
After unfortunately missing out on April and May’s meetings, June rolled around with a The United States of Dramerica evening.
A sweet, aromatic aroma on the nose, with a good blend of vanilla and rye. Sweet yet a sharp dose of vanilla on the palate, causing it to linger slightly. It creates a dry, spice finish. Incredible.
Willett Single Pot Still Reserve – 47%
Very smooth on the nose with a slight dry aroma of raisin and brown sugar. Plenty of rich pepper on the palate, producing a long, fresh hit of dark chocolate on a dry, wood based finish.
Noah’s Mill- 57.1%
Soft, light notes of raisins and vanilla on the nose, leading to a sharp hit of herb mixed with plenty of wood notes on the palate. Slightly burnt with the lips enjoying a tingle sensation on the finish.
Corsair Ryemageddon- 46%
A rich nose of chocolate malt with plenty of sweetness coming through. The cocoa carries onto the palate, producing a rich, mellow and well-balanced dram. A long, soft and slightly dry finish with hints of vanilla.
Balcones Brimstone – 53.1%
A hickory smoke aroma dominates the nose, reminding me of rich ribs. The richness carries onto the palate, developing quickly into a mouth-watering, savoury experience. Short though, with whispers of the hickory smoke on occasion.
The Balcones stood out as unique on the flavour palate, with the Corsair Ryemageddon and Tincup worthy of praise too.
July saw a line up of whiskies from across the commonwealth in conjunction with the Commonwealth Games.
Sullivan’s Cove Double Cask – 40%
Velvet aroma of chocolate and rich Cognac on the nose, with vanilla, slight spice and a warming toffee flavour producing a short finish.
Milford 15yr- 43%
A very dry nose of banana and burnt sugar. Light pear and gingerbread notes on the palate with a dry oat finish.
Pike Creek – 40%
Plenty of pear, blackberry and cranberry flavours mixing well on the nose, with a slight spice coming through near the finish. Lots of dry grain on the palate, but a smoothness of vanilla and honey bring a velvet, yet short finish with plenty of oak whispers.
Glengoyne 15yr – 43%
Plenty of heather and cream with pushes of black berry near the finish. Rather thick on the palate, with toffee, honey and nut flavours mixing in an oily mouth-feel. Lingering on the finish.
Amrut Kadhambam – 50%
Fresh spice on the nose with aromas of aniseed and cinnamon present. A good mix on the palate including raisins, orange, dark chocolate, plum and slight spice. Flavoursome finish with a long effect with plenty of oak.
It’s Scotland and Canada that are winners for me, with the Glengoyne and Pike Creek respectively.
Just before the summer holidays began, we held a Travel Retail evening, looking at exclusive bottlings only available airside!
Old Pulteney Noss Head – 46%
Very light with citrus elements creating a smooth, creamy and rich finish on the nose. Slight cherry bakewell aroma coming through too. Rich coconut milk flavours on the palate with a smooth, long finish and a slight kick of citrus to boot.
Jameson Select Reserve – 43%
Produced using a small batch of grain collected once a week per year from a field that is never touched thereafter. Around 10 years matured. Slightly sharp nose at the beginning but softens out with a wisp of smoke. Sweet offering on the palate with very smooth texture of toffee and lingering smoke.
Balblair 2004- 46%
Bourbon matured. Light nose with no distinctive aromas coming through. Slight malt honey on the odd occasion. Dry orange with light, sweet hints available. A short and very dry finish.
Old Pulteney Duncansby Head – 46%
Light sherry notes on the nose with plenty of shortbread blending well. Lots of sherry characteristics on the palate too, with rich vanilla creating a toasty finish.
Balblair 1991 – 43%
Bold and fresh notes of honey and butter, with subtle cherry finding its way through. Soft green fruits on the palate creating a very dry, almost ash driven finish.
Bruichladdich Bere Barley 2006 – 50%
Bold citrus aromas on the nose with an oily butter note that follows to the palate. Rather thin and sharp, creating a dry spice in time for a big barley finish.
Highland Park Svein – 40%
Soft citrus on the nose with notes of green apple coming through. A light sweetness begins the palate, with hints of cherry and smoke before a strong finish.
Highland Park Harald – 40%
Sharp hit of citrus on the nose before malt and biscuit notes come through. Soft with a thick treacle palate creating long finish with an eventual citrus dicing at the end.
Bruichladdich is the best of a diverse bunch. Some surprising drams though, and confirms to myself at least that some brands will put anything out in travel retail, losing that ‘specialness’ so-to-speak.
I’ve not been down to London to attend a launch for a while, but I gained the opportunity to fit in a day to be a part of a bartenders favourite, yet rather unexplored category. Reál, a brand of cocktail ingredient, has had an upgrade and expanded from the well-known Coco Reál to an additional seven flavours. To mark this, the venue of Ramusake hosted Isolde Aubuchon, Technical Director at American Beverage Marketers, and a host of bartenders including Ian Burrell, Andy Pearson, Daniele Dalla Pola and Georgi Radev, to show off the new flavours to a room of inquisitive journalists and bartenders alike.
First though, we could do with taking a look into Reál and how we get to the point of expansion.
The family owned business American Beverage Marketers base themselves out of New Albany, USA and create America’s number one brand of cocktail mixes named Master of Mixes, a position it has held for most of its existence. To the UK market, the more familiar Finest Call will be recognisable to you in most bars and clubs, a range that has been available since 1995. However it was the appointment of Isolde Aubuchon 10 years ago that heralded a new dawn of cocktail ingredients. Using her knowledge and passion from her graduate studies in the beverage industry, more specifically in the juice industry, she was the perfect match to the American Beverage Marketers ethos of belief in fresh fruit from the premier growing regions. It’s here that she was tasked to create a solution to the Piña Colada and allow bartenders to quickly and easily create with no hassle or waste.
Coco Reál was born, and became the first cocktail ingredient to be housed within a squeeze bottle. Using hand-picked tropical coconut, it’s not just the coconut milk that is used like most other coconut products, but the coconut meat as well. This makes it perfect to be used within many classic cocktails, food recipes and the fact that the liquid dissolves easily – a common problem in rival brands. The use of the squeeze bottle means that the freshness also extends to around one month after opening.
So how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes -
Coco Reál- 0%
A bold, rich aroma of coconut on the nose. Fresh, thick and inviting. Flavours on the palate of coconut shavings that offer a rich mouth-feel on a long finish, albeit a little dry.
It’s with this success of the Coco Reál that Isolde started to look into the fruits that were popular around the 70 countries that Reál is available within. From here, she developed the seven new flavours through a Gentle Processing method (effectively slow maturation) that are now readily available to be used within bars and restaurants and help enhance your cocktail experience. With this, I give to you my tasting notes on the new range -
Reál Strawberry – 0%
Infused with hand-picked Camorosa, Ventana and Albion strawberries from southern California during the first week of June. A rich, fresh and natural aroma of strawberry on the nose, followed by a thin textured, albeit it rich flavour on the palate. Again natural with fine bits of the strawberry present.
Reál Mango – 0%
Infused with Alfonso mangoes from India where each bottle has within 1 1/2 cups of mango within each. Fresh, light mango on the nose, with the delicate scent following onto the palate. Slightly sharp development that goes into a lingering finish with a slight sweetness.
Reál Peach – 0%
Infused with Elegant, Summer and Rich Lady peaches from California where you can find two peaches within one bottle. Freshm natural peach aromas on the nose, with a very light flavour present on the palate. Slightly sweet with citrus elements presenting a dry, lingering finish.
Reál Raspberry – 0%
Infused with Willamette and Glen Clova raspberries from the Pacific northwest. A lovely rich, bold aroma of raspberry on the nose, followed by a sweet, heavy hit on the palate. Deep raspberry that gives a dry finish.
Reál Blueberry – 0%
Infused with Goldtraube blueberries from the Pacific northwest. Incredibly fresh on the nose with lots of light hits of blueberry on the palate too. Very sweet developer, thick with a sharp, long finish.
Reál Ginger – 0%
Infused with Laiwu ginger puree from Hawaii. Bold, sweet notes on the nose with plenty of fresh ginger coming through. Thin on the palate with a slight spice that develops heavily on the lingering finish.
Reál Pumpkin – 0%
Infused with pureed pumpkin with hints of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg and ginger. Plenty of allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon combining on the nose. Thick, fresh and natural flavours on the palate, with a lovely dry spice creating a dry finish.
Reál Blue Agave Nectar – 0%
Infused with 100% organic blue agave from the Jalisco region of Mexico. A rich, fresh nose of sweet agave that flows onto the palate. Light though, with a thick, long and fresh finish that’s a little sharp.
A great range, with some interesting choices with the pumpkin and blue agave nectar. But when you see recipes like the below, they seem a perfect fit -
Blue Moon – created by Ian Burrell
35 ml White rum
15 ml London Dry gin
12.5 ml Blueberry Reál puree
25 ml lemon juice
5 ml sugar
Shake all the ingredients together over ice and strain into a crushed ice filled rocks glass. Garnish with a lemon peel & blueberries* (*if in season).
Mangoes into a Bar – created by Andy Pearson
50 ml Mango Reál
50 ml Pusser’s Navy Strength
25 ml Apricot Liqueur
25 ml fresh Lime Juice
½ fresh Passion Fruit
1 bar spoon Demerara Sugar
Shake all the ingredients together over ice and strain into an ice filled Tiki Skull with a flaming passion fruit cup.
The above are elaborate, but they syrups can be used easily with Bellini’s, frozen Daiquiri’s and non-alcoholic recipes too. It’s a range of flavours to look out for sure as they make there way into bars over the coming months. Or if you can’t wait and want to make your own at home, pick some up, play around and enjoy the freshness of real fruit. Highly recommend fellow Drink Enthusiasts.
As the festive season fast approaches, Hendrick’s Gin presents a plethora of unusual gifts for Christmas. We employ you to enchant comrades and family with these delightful curiosities, sure to offer discerning drinkers a delightfully unique introduction to the curious world of Hendrick’s Gin…
Colder winter months needn’t hold green-fingered companions back, so why not surprise and delight them with the Hendrick’s Cucumber Hothouse, featuring two miniature bottles of delightful Hendrick’s Gin? The humble Cucumis Sativus (cucumber for those not in the know) is one of the two charming infusions that gives Hendrick’s Gin its unusual taste. Offering a glimpse into the secret life of this inimitable ingredient, this pack perfect for those who shun the humdrum. (RRP £15.00, available at selected supermarkets).
It’s a well known fact that good things come in small packages and Hendrick’s Minisculinity Pack is the perfect example. This charming pack, featuring a new 35cl bottle of Hendrick’s and a cocktail book of diminutive dimensions is the perfect thing to enjoy the minute moments of peculiarity found in everyday life. (RRP £18.49, available from selected supermarkets and Selfridges).
If decorative fancies are what your loved one desires, then why not treat them to the delightful Hendrick’s Gin Teapot – a coveted curiosity which will be perfect for serving up warm beverages this festive season. Whether for cocktails, tea or decoration, this charming decanter offers a a more refined and unusual sipping experience. (£30.00, available from uk.hendricksgin.com/teashop).
The Midleton Distillery has unveiled Midleton Very Rare 30th Anniversary Pearl Edition; an exclusive, limited edition created to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the expression heralded by many whisk(e)y experts as the pinnacle of Irish whiskey.
A true Irish masterpiece and a perfectly balanced exemplar of the Midleton Very Rare style, Pearl Edition is the result of a collaboration between Master Distiller, Brian Nation, and Barry Crockett, Master Distiller Emeritus, who share between them more than 60 years’ distilling experience at the Midleton Distillery in County Cork.
Barry and Brian personally selected a 1984 Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey and a 1981 grain whiskey respectively to blend into a whiskey of exceptional quality. As is tradition, both whiskeys have been matured in American oak barrels, which after 30 years have imparted luscious vanilla and delicate honey flavours.
Local artisans have collaborated to provide exceptional and authentic packaging for the expression, befitting its outstanding quality and rarity. Each presentation pack is bespoke; the Leadbetter family of glassblowers from Jerpoint Glass Studio, Co. Kilkenny, has shaped each bottle individually, which sits in a grand box fashioned from the mightiest Irish oak by some of Ireland’s most-skilled, wood craftspeople from Co. Wexford. The case houses a limited edition, celebratory booklet and a hand-blown miniature of Midleton Very Rare Pearl Edition to allow whiskey lovers to taste and share the whiskey without opening the full bottle.
Midleton Very Rare Pearl Edition continues the tradition of featuring the signature of the creator on the label. As Master Distiller Emeritus, Barry Crockett returned to craft the expression with Master Distiller Brian Nation, the bottle features both names in recognition of their joint creation. Nation comments:
“Midleton Very Rare Pearl Edition has been 30 years in the making; 30 years of craft, 30 years of tradition and 30 years of patience. The liquid, its bottle and the presentation box are examples of the finest Irish craftsmanship, and offer whiskey aficionados the ultimate Irish whiskey experience by perfectly capturing our Irish heritage as we look to the future. Pearl Edition sets a new benchmark for Midleton Very Rare and the distillery’s Prestige Collection, as we continue to craft innovative whiskeys to further enhance the Irish whiskey renaissance.”
Barry Crockett, Master Distiller Emeritus, added: “Few things are worth coming out of retirement for, but the opportunity to be a part of the creation of Midleton Very Rare Pearl Edition is certainly one of them. The whiskey is Midleton’s most prized possession and represents the greatest milestone since I crafted the first ever edition of Midleton Very Rare back in 1984. It is an honour to be a part of this release and Ireland’s rich distilling heritage, and I hope discerning drinkers and whiskey enthusiasts cherish every drop.”
With only 117 bottles in existence, Midleton Very Rare Pearl Edition will be available in Ireland, UK, France, Germany and China, priced at €6,000 or equivalent, from November 2014.
Renowned London bartender, Myles Davies, of the recently opened Hixter Bankside has collaborated with Jameson Irish Whiskey, creating a cocktail over the last few months by ageing his creation in a Jameson-seasoned barrel.
The cocktail, Autumn Leaves is available for £9.50 and will be on sale at Hixter Bankside until the barrel runs dry.
The cocktail is created by mixing Jameson Irish Whiskey, sweet Vermouth and an apple aperitif from Somerset, and then ageing the mix for several weeks within a Jameson barrel from the distillery in Midleton, Cork. The maturation process in the barrels imparts additional vanilla and wood flavours into the drink, as well as creating a more rounded flavour profile.
Born in New York in the early 1900s, the practice of barrel-ageing cocktails has enjoyed a renaissance over the last few years, and has been led by renowned bartenders including Tony Conigliaro. These cocktails are typically aged in the barrel for six to eight weeks to allow the extraction of wood compounds, the evaporation of volatile compounds and the oxidation of cocktail components, which results in a softer, more rounded drink.
The barrel itself was originally a 200-litre Jameson barrel, which was dismantled and then painstakingly re-assembled by 5th generation Jameson Master Cooper, Ger Buckley, into a 15-litre barrel for Myles’ aged cocktail creation. The barrel will be on display in the bar at Hixter Bankside.
3 parts Jameson Irish Whiskey
2 parts sweet vermouth
1 part Kingston Black (apple aperitif)
Mix through with ice, add a few drops of liquorice bittersand strain into coupe glass or similar.
Autumn Leaves is available now at Hixter Bankside, priced at £9.50.
A new partnership between Robinsons Brewery and Bodegas Forcada will see 5 exclusive wines imported to the UK market for the very first time.
The range of wines, produced by David Forcada and his family in the Baja region of Rioja, have been produced from vineyards that are between 60 to 100 years old and grown at up to 800 metres above sea level; both factors give the wines great depth of flavour and complexity.
Noel Reid, Wine Buyer for Robinsons Brewery, said: “It was incredible to discover such a unique boutique winery with such tremendous wines still hidden within Rioja.”
The brewery’s wine division will welcome Bodegas Forcada Joven, Vendimia Seleccionada, Crianza, Reserva and Alma Da Forcada Cepas Viejas Garnacha to its extensive wine portfolio of over 150 different handpicked wines from around the world.
“With only 200,000 bottles produced each year, this will be the first time the wines will become available in the UK” explained Noel. “David and his family have protected their site within the beautiful and dramatic landscape of the Biosphere Reserve in Rincon De Olivedo for generations and it is a pleasure to begin our work with this tremendous family and their hand crafted wines.”
As autumn is upon us, indulge in all your thick woolly sock pleasures with the Muddy Boots cocktail from Heartsease
When creating this country cocktail, your senses will be aroused by the floral star anise, spicy tones of Jamaican
ginger, the deep warmth from the spiced rum and the slight tingle that is left on your tongue.
Indulge in the perfect accompaniment to autumn, you don’t even have to get muddy.
150 ml Heartsease Farm Fiery Ginger Beer
50 ml Spiced Rum
Wedge of lime
Artistically pour the chilled ginger beer followed by the rum into an old fashioned champagne glass. Perch a perfectly
cut lime wedge on the rim. You could add Star Anise to taste if you wish.