New Caribbean Inspired Bar and Café to Open in South Manchester

Marigot Bay Bar & Cafe Logo#BeInspired

A new Caribbean inspired venue is to open within King’s Court of Altrincham, South Manchester on July 20th, 2018.

Dave Marsland of Drinks Enthusiast Ltd has chosen the attractive leisure and office complex of King’s Court and its secluded courtyard off one of the main streets of the Cheshire town as the home of his first bar and café. Marigot Bay Bar & Café, named after Marigot Bay of St Lucia in the Caribbean, is the creation of several years of inspiration and experiences, finally coming together to offer South Manchester a bar and café that takes you through the many tropical islands via chilled island beers, tropical cocktails and some of the finest Caribbean coffee and cocoa available.

With the walls adorned with memorabilia picked up from Dave’s travels to the Caribbean, including Marigot Bay itself, Marigot Bay Bar & Café re-creates the tranquil, relaxing experience of the bay, located on the western coast of Saint Lucia and surrounded on three sides by steep, forested hills with the inland portion of the bay forming a hurricane hole used to shelter boats from hurricanes. It’s here that it’s famous for its calming waters and palm tree lined beaches that offer a quiet escape from the hustle of city life. It’s this that Dave has re-created, meaning low ambient and traditional Caribbean radio, a focus on traditional drink serves and attentive table service.

Marigot Bay Bar & Café has a capacity of 30 seating, with a first-come-first-serve policy during its hours of operation. Open from Wednesday to Sunday, Marigot Bay Bar & Café focuses on Caribbean origins, including a selection of beers such as Banks of Barbados and Carib of Trinidad and Tobago, coffee sourced from the famous Blue Mountain region of Jamaica and a selection of rum and rhums from across the Caribbean islands, including Chairman’s Reserve of St Lucia, Foursquare of Barbados, Appleton Estate of Jamaica, Havana Club of Cuba and Rhum Clément of Martinique.

Chairman's Reserve

There’s also a focus on the traditional rum serves found on the islands themselves, including the Pusser’s Painkiller, known as the “Official Cocktail of the British Virgin Islands”, Havana Club’s original Cuban Mojito and Gosling’s Black Seal, the tempest in Bermuda’s favourite cocktail the Dark ‘n Stormy. The menu is coupled with a selection of non-rum favourites that can be found on the bars across the Caribbean too, as well as mixers such as fresh coconut water and Ting, the sparkling Jamaican grapefruit juice.

Marigot Bay itself is a historic landmark, having been the site of several battles between the French and British navies, meaning a great opportunity to focus on some of the islands favourite rums that honour the naval history of St Lucia. Expressions from the recent released Admiral Rodney range will be available to experience in special guided tutorials that focus on the aromas and flavour perception of each.

With tribute to Meimi Sanchez, Global Brand Ambassador for Havana Club and her sensory masterclass technique, Marigot Bay Bar & Café has ruled out the usual live music element seen in most venues, instead opting for low-level background music from traditional Caribbean radio stations, producing a calmer experience for all customers and releasing optimum emotions when enjoying a tipple of choice.

Dave himself has over a decade of experience within the drinks industry, creating brand agency Drinks Enthusiast in 2011, Manchester Rum Festival in 2017, Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress in 2017, co-owner of spirits retail business Riddles Emporium in Altrincham and a national social media and publication presence as a drinks journalist.

Opening Hours;
Wednesday-Friday from 5pm to late and from 12noon to late on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.

Address;
Marigot Bay Bar & Café, 6 King’s Court, Railway Street, Altrincham, WA14 2RD

Website;
www.marigotbaybarandcafe.com

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Michel Roux Jr And The Balvenie Whisky Launch Final Series Of The Craftsmen’s Dinner

the balvenie

The Balvenie launches its final installment of The Craftsmen’s Dinner. This year, the series of short films, hosted by renowned Michelin starred chef, Michel Roux Jr., takes place at The Balvenie Distillery in Scotland, where Michel gets sparks of inspiration from the craftspeople behind the whisky.

Spending a week at the distillery, Michel aims to understand the elements of craft which go into The Balvenie, and meets three expert craftspeople who shape the whisky as we know it. Firstly, John Evans, Maltman, whose team is in charge of taking care of the barley, turning it by hand and operating a working floor maltings, one of only a handful left in Scotland. Secondly, George Singer, a coppersmith who maintains the copper stills where the essential process of distillation happens. Finally, Kelsey McKechnie, Whisky Technologist, who monitors the maturation, flavour and blend of the whisky until it’s ready to be bottled.

Throughout his experience, Michel is inspired by the pursuit of excellence by each craftsperson and realises the similarity with his own ethos in the kitchen. Michel doesn’t believe in “cooking by numbers”, he uses his senses, skills and experience to perfect the taste in his dishes, the same way the craftspeople use their classic techniques to create The Balvenie. From tending to the barley, to blending and maturing the whisky, the series highlights that each stage in the process is integral to the taste. Michel’s key take out is that true craft needs a human touch.

Michel Roux Jr. commented: “I have been involved with The Balvenie whisky over the past few years as I want to seek out craftsmanship in new places and bring people’s attention to it. As craftspeople we feed off each other’s passions and by immersing myself in George, Kelsey and John’s crafts I have truly been inspired. We live in an increasingly fast paced world, technology is thriving and amazing innovations result from this, but craft is one thing I believe will never be replaced by machines. A human touch and staying true to your roots is important and once you understand the level of commitment that goes into making The Balvenie, you will begin to understand what makes it so great.”

The series concludes with the three-course ‘Craftsmen’s Dinner’ hosted at The Balvenie House and curated by Michel Roux Jr., with the menu inspired by The Balvenie craftspeople. The delicious dishes show the magic of bringing different crafts together and includes fermented barley miso, roasted venison smoked with woodchips from the casks in the cooperage and passion fruit soufflé with white chocolate ice cream, served in beautiful copper pots lovingly handcrafted by George Singer.

Alwynne Gwilt, The Balvenie UK Brand Ambassador, added: “It’s been a pleasure working with a true craftsman like Michel these past few years. His dedication to cuisine mirrors our dedication to perfection in whisky making. This final series, set at our spiritual home during the beauty of winter, really brings to life the commitment, hard work and dedication of our skilled craftspeople who make The Balvenie the best it can be all the year round. It has been a pleasure to share the different crafts behind the whisky with Michel and now with viewers worldwide.”

The final series of The Craftsmen’s Dinner will be released week commencing 2nd July at https://www.youtube.com/TheCraftsmensDinner and will feature the following episodes:

· Michel Roux Jr. meets John Evans, Maltman at The Balvenie

· Michel Roux Jr. meets George Singer, Coppersmith at The Balvenie

· Michel Roux Jr. meets Kelsey McKechnie, Whisky Technologist at The Balvenie

· The Craftsmen’s Dinner at The Balvenie House

#TheBalvenieCraft

Website: https://uk.thebalvenie.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheBalvenie

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BalvenieUK

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thebalvenie/

Grant’s Brings In An Exciting New Era With Triple Wood

Grants Triple Wood OOH Landscape

Grant’s, the world’s number three Scotch whisky, today announces a global brand refresh, which includes striking new packaging with a renaming of its signature blend, a refined core range and a new direction for its communications campaign. Launching from July 2018 Grant’s Triple Wood is a new way of communicating the superiority of the liquid through its whisky making process for a smooth, rich and mellow taste.

“While other blended whiskies are declining, Grant’s continues to go from strength to strength, leapfrogging others to become the world’s number three Scotch whisky. As the whisky that holds the family name, we have big ambitions to be the most distinctive player in Scotch whisky and are proud to celebrate our Triple Wood maturation, the key to our exceptional taste, with a new global brand refresh.” – Philip Gladman, Grant’s Chief Marketing Officer

About Grant’s Triple Wood and Triple Wood Smoky

The use of wood plays an important role in the creation of Grant’s. Using the same formula for the last 130 years, 60% of its flavour is drawn from cask influence, rather than being aged in just one type of cask. Grant’s Triple Wood liquid is rested in three types of cask – Virgin Oak which provides spicy robustness, American Oak lending subtle vanilla smoothness and Refill Bourbon bringing brown sugar sweetness – for a truly rich, smooth and mellow taste.

Also using the Triple Wood process, new expressions, Grant’s Triple Wood Smoky, is matured in three types of casks. Master Blender, Brian Kinsman increases the addition of peated whiskies within the blend, resulting in a smooth, rich and subtly smoky taste.

A Simplified Range: Rum Cask and 8 year old Sherry Cask Editions

Grant’s Master Blender, Brian Kinsman and his team have spent decades experimenting by pairing Grant’s traditional whisky blends with unusual flavour profiles. The result was Grant’s Cask Editions –blended Scotch whiskies finished in a carefully selected final cask for greater depth of flavour. Combining the traditional whisky blend with exotic flavours from the Caribbean, Grant’s Rum Cask Edition is matured in oak barrels before ageing further in barrels that previously held rum. Vibrant and sweet with tropical fruits and a hint of banana reveal rich vanilla oak and a touch of sweet spice. Grant’s 8 Year Old Sherry Cask Finish spends eight years ageing in oak barrels before it matures further in Oloroso Sherry casks handpicked from Spain by Brian Kinsman. An immediate oaky vanilla sweetness is counterbalanced with rich malty notes. A few drops of water bring out deep, dried fruits and subtle woody spices.

“The Triple Wood process is at the very heart of what we create here at Grant’s. As a result of ageing our whiskies in three different casks our Triple Wood is distinctive to taste, with a balance of qualities drawn from the character of the wood. I love the complexity of spice, smooth vanilla and the sweet edge gathered from that combination of three casks.” – Brian Kinsman, Master Blender

Grant’s believes that great things happen when working together and it is through this power of collaboration and shared passion that Triple Wood is made. It takes 198 pairs of hands to make Grant’s whisky from grain to glass, with a totally shared commitment to the process. With five generations of the Grant family making whisky since 1887, Grant’s remains the only blended whisky producer to have its own Stillman (‘The Maker’), Cooper (‘The Muscle’) and Master Blender (‘The Master’) working together in one place, which is celebrated in a new global communications campaign. Having craftsmen’s expertise under one roof means the collaborative process is seamless. Specialist expertise is passed from one generation to the next, meaning that the whisky created is of a consistently high quality with the same Grant’s taste and aroma.

Grant’s Triple Wood 70cl and 1L will be available from August onwards in all major retailers, replacing Grant’s Family Reserve. RSP £15.00 and £19.50

Old Fashioned Cocktail Week Is All The Fashion Worldwide

Old Fashioned Week-065-28, Lo1

Always a classic but never old fashioned – that is what Old Fashioned Week is all about. For 2018, innovation is the flavour, and sporting some positive controversy too: Anyone for a Cognac Old Fashioned perhaps? All set to celebrate the father of all cocktails, the Old Fashioned, bartenders around the world will reach for their mixing spoons and show off their old fashioned and new fashioned creativity for ten days in November. Old Fashioned Week (OFW) is the annual global celebration of cocktailing. It boldly increases its impact from its third year in 2017, and for 2018, it now launches with ambassadors in 13 international zones, to embrace many of the highest profile cocktail cities in the world. This embassy of top spirits experts and writers will help inspire bars to serve up
the most classic, innovative, original, premium or daringly different Old Fashioned cocktails. They aim to extend the legend that makes it the most enduring and popular cocktail in quality bars (in the World’s 50 Best Bars). Bars are invited to participate by registering on the OFW website by 20 October; all set for Old Fashioned Week
1-10 November 2018. So expect to hear that bar call ‘Mix me an Old Fashioned’, from discerning cocktail drinkers in their favourite bars. http://www.old-fashioned-week.com [New website will be live from 3 September.]

Old Fashioned Week will target over 1,000 bars in 2018 (increasing from 800 participating bars in 2018). It has flourished from its modest concept to a worldwide diary date – thanks to its creators Michael Landart of popular neighbourhood bar Maria Loca in Paris, and rum enthusiast Cyrille Hugon who founded Paris Rum Fest and
Rumporter Magazine. It partners internationally with six renowned brands: Angostura Bitters, Havana Club rum, Rhum J.M from Martinique, Monkey Shoulder blended Scotch malt whisky, and new for 2018 – Cognac Pierre Ferrand and Woodford Reserve bourbon. Participating bars will serve Old Fashioneds using at least two of these brands. Beyond that, they can freely use their other regular listed spirits. Consumers can enjoy individually conceived events, promotions, and generally good old fashioned drinking fun. Bars, and also shops, can announce their activities on the Old Fashioned Week website and show off their creations via OFW social media.

Cyrille Hugon, co-founder and director of Old Fashioned Week, comments: “The world adores a properly made Old Fashioned cocktail. This year we are expanding our network of enthusiastic ambassadors and keen to involve even more high quality bars, bartenders, and even shops and off licences. Old Fashioned Week is a celebration of
cocktail heritage and bartenders’ skills, and also encourages innovation, and great cocktail banter amongst drinkers. “Our desire is also to support the bars to attract customers and increase their cocktail sales. Every major city has bars offering quality rum and whisky at the top of their menus. Sophisticated drinkers will remain loyal to their Old Fashioneds, and a new generation of drinkers seeking to immerse themselves in stylish classics, will head to these destination bars.”

The King of Soho Is In The Pink With New Gin launch

The King of Soho Variorium and OriginalThe King of Soho is adding a new addition to its colourful line-up with the introduction of the King of Soho Variorum Gin, a berry edition of the original London Dry.

The King of Soho Variorum Gin adds a hint of pink and notes of strawberry to complement the essential juniper and citrus flavours of the classic recipe, making it ideal to be enjoyed over ice, in cocktails and mixed drinks; served with a strawberry garnish. The creativity and literary works of Soho are the inspiration behind the name – in literature, a variorum edition is an original work with notes.

With the original King of Soho London Dry celebrating its fifth anniversary in October 2018, the King of Soho Variorum is a new twist on the classic, with a lower ABV of 37.5%. It has been created to appeal to a broader audience and reflects the brand’s modernity. In its vivid red bottle, Variorum Gin is a vivacious and fun companion to the King of Soho London Dry; the perfect pair to stand out on the shelf or bar – day and night

Like the original, Variorum is distributed in the UK & Ireland on-trade and off-trade by Hi-Spirits. The King of Soho brand is the creation of West End Drinks, owned by entrepreneurs Alex Robson and Howard Raymond, and styled after Howard’s father, the legendary Soho theatre impresario and businessman Paul Raymond.

Alex Robson, managing director of West End Drinks, said: “The King of Soho Variorum Gin is a celebration of the colour and style of Soho; a pink berry spirit inspired by the creativity and literature of London’s iconic district, to join our smooth and premium drinks line-up.

“We launched the original King of Soho classic London Dry almost five years ago, and the King of Soho Variorum Gin builds on that success with an appeal to a gin consumer who is looking for a slightly lower ABV and berry notes in their drinks and cocktails. Crafted in London , it reflects the modernity and innovation of our brand and the ever-changing spirit that is Soho.”

The signature serve for The King of Soho Variorum is the Variorum Cooler:

50ml King of Soho Variorum Gin
120ml Cranberry Juice
120ml Pink Grapefruit Juice
Build in a tall glass filled with cubed ice, and garnish with a grapefruit twist and a strawberry.

The King of Soho Variorum launches in late July, with a RSP of £33.50.

Fernet-Branca Challenges Bar Trade’s Bravest At The Barback Games

Photos by © Menbar Photos

Britain’s bravest and boldest bar workers will be put through their paces when the Fernet-Branca Barback Games come to London this September, with a trip to San Francisco up for grabs for the winner.

The games will test the skills and endurance of competitors with a series of physical challenges, as well as their knowledge and passion for classic Italian digestif Fernet-Branca.

Originally held in San Francisco in 2007, the Barback Games are now one of the biggest touring bar industry events. With the games being held in the UK for the first time this year, Fernet-Branca and UK distributor Hi-Spirits are offering the winner a trip to San Francisco as their prize.

Bars can enter a team made up of one competitor and one coach, with anyone who works in a pub, bar, restaurant or club whose role has included barback duties eligible to compete. The final will see four knockout rounds put competitors through their paces, with the final battle between two teams deciding the winner of the San Francisco trip.

The teams won’t find out what’s involved until the day of the Games, but competitors are being warned that they need to be fit and able to compete in some very physical challenges.

Dan Bolton, managing director of Hi-Spirits, said: “We’re delighted to be bringing the Fernet-Branca Barback Games to the UK this year. Barbacks are all too often the unsung heroes of great bars and the Games are an opportunity for them to step into the spotlight – if they’re up for the challenge!”

The Fernet-Branca Barback Games will be held at Village Underground, London on Sunday 9 September, with an invited audience from the bar trade cheering on the teams and a global judging panel of bar professionals overseeing the proceedings.

Entries are now open at http://www.fernet-branca.co.uk/barbackgames and close on 10 August. Entrants need to explain why they should be selected, with the finalists announced on 17 August, 2018. Full terms and conditions are also online.

The Irishman’s Bounty from Saint Lucia – Founder’s Reserve with a Hint of Rum!

launch of the Irishman Founders Reserve Caribbean Cask Finish

Walsh Whiskey Distillery has released the second expression in The Irishman Founder’s Reserve Cask Series, a limited edition finished in rum casks from the tiny tropical Caribbean island of Saint Lucia. The Irishman Founder’s Reserve – Caribbean Cask Finish, a super-premium whiskey, is a rare vatting of Single Pot Still and Single Malt whiskeys finished for 6 months in Chairman’s Reserve Rum casks.

In recent years, as part of his research into new cask finishes for his portfolio of whiskeys, Walsh Whiskey founder, Bernard Walsh, has sourced casks from a range of countries including Spain, France, China, Kentucky and Italy. This limited edition, of just 12 casks, began in 2014 when he made the trip to the island of Saint Lucia in the West Indies in search of rare casks to give a special expression to his original whiskey.

The Irishman Founder’s Reserve, is distilled entirely in copper pot stills and Bernard’s journey took him to visit the famous St. Lucia Distillers (established 1932) where they also use copper pot stills to distil their rum. While there, Bernard handpicked 12 oak casks and he chose to age them in St. Lucia Distillers’ iconic Chairman’s Reserve Rum for a minimum of 2 years from 2015. The casks were subsequently brought to Ireland in the autumn of 2017 and used to finish a batch of The Irishman Founder’s Reserve for 6 months.

John Kelly, Commercial Director, Walsh Whiskey Distillery, said: “St. Lucia Distillers, who produce Chairman’s Reserve Rum, are renowned as a prestigious operation first established and run by the Barnard family for almost 90 years. Bernard was confident that he would be able to select from a high quality stock of well cared for casks imbued with a classical rum flavour. This Caribbean Cask Finish release will complement our highly successful ‘The Irishman Founder’s Reserve – Marsala Cask’ finishes of 2017. We hope the lucky few who secure bottles will enjoy this unique whiskey which is characterised by tropical fruits and spices.”

The release is limited to just 12 casks with 380 bottles per cask. Each bottle is individually numbered and signed by Bernard Walsh. This premium whiskey is now for sale across just 7 selected international markets namely; Ireland (including Dublin Airport), the USA, Canada, Russia, Germany, France and Holland. Of course bottles can also be purchased by visitors to Walsh Whiskey Distillery at Royal Oak in Ireland.

The Irishman Founder’s Reserve – Caribbean Cask Finish is triple distilled entirely in copper pot stills, natural non-chill filtered, aged in American oak bourbon barrels before being finished for 6 months in the Chairman’s Reserve Rum Casks and, finally, bottled at 46% ABV.

Emily Says . . . . ‘Flat White’

Flat White

In her ninth feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering looks at ABC for breakfast;

I’m experiencing a small beer hype at the moment, and I simply can’t get enough of certain numbers that I have recently discovered. Therefore, I introduce my next feature which is about one of my newly discovered favourites. Alphabet Brewing Company have unveiled this quirky little number: Flat White Breakfast Stout. But firstly, what even is a stout? Never mind a breakfast one!

A stout is a dark beer that contains roasted malt or roasted barley, hops, water and yeast. Irish dry stout Guinness has become the face of stouts, and has generally become the go-to out of all stouts.

Manchester based Alphabet Brewing have pushed the boat out with its 7.4% Flat White as it doesn’t fit the criteria of your usual stout. Despite being described as a ‘white breakfast stout’, the colour is this beer is in fact a reddish brown. Paler than the standard stout, yes, but not white! It is the combination of oats, milk and coffee that have allowed Flat White to achieve this unique colour, and most importantly, it’s unique taste.

A dark and spicy tasting experience overall, Flat White delivers the perfect coffee kick to start off anyone’s day… or night! It has been slightly sweetened, which is the only issue to arise in the sense that not everyone has their coffee sweet. But it worked beautifully for myself, as it has seemed to do also with everyone else I know who have given it a try.
From my first sip of this stout, I was instantly reminded of the aromas that an Espresso Martini delivers. Of course, neither are the same at all, it doesn’t take an expert to know that; but the strong kick of coffee alongside the punchy flavour of the alcohol made me reminisce on my last Espresso Martini… which wasn’t that long ago!

The delicate roasting of this beer is made apparent in not only the main body, but the after taste also. The hops and oat aromas are left tantalising the taste buds, with that undeniable punchy taste of coffee lingering on the back of your tongue.

It is a hipster’s dream breakfast, as it is mine! Flat White is the perfect start to them few beers in the day, or a little ‘pick me up’ at the end of a long day in the office. Bravo, Alphabet Brewing Company!

Winner Announced At 1800 Visionaries Cocktail Competition

1800 Tequila Visionaries_Callum Baines 2[7]

Callum Baines from Treacle Bar & Kitchen, Edinburgh has been crowned the winner of 1800 Tequila’s Visionaries Competition. Bartenders across the UK were tasked with creating a cocktail that demonstrates what we will be drinking in 20 years’ time. The five other finalists included; Amy Swanton from The Aviator Hotel, Farnborough, Jonathan Shaw from One Goose Entry, Belfast, Peter Konkoly from Coya Mayfair, London, Radslaw Rozycki from The Cocktail Trading Co., London, Sofiane Barthelemy – from the Library Bar at The Lanesborough, London.

Callum Baines impressed judges with his cocktail, “Make Tequila Great Again”, which combined 1800 Reposado, oak wood smoke, cactus and aloe syrup, lemon juice and Boston Bittahs served in a mug. Baines’s inspiration came from the notion of global warming, impacting resources of natural water and fresh ingredients causing sustainability to become the main focus of cocktails of the future. Winner, Callum Baines will receive a once in a lifetime trip to Mexico and trip to 1800 distillery.

 

Distinguished Father’s Day Whisky For A Dignified Dad

Father's Day For a Dignfied Dad

If your dad is a dignified chap, then The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) has the perfect gift for him this Father’s Day (Sunday 17th June 2018), with a special offer of membership to the SMWS including a limited edition single malt ‘For a dignified dad’ for only £130.

This 20-year-old Speyside whisky has matured in a refill ex-bourbon barrel to produce a single cask whisky that has been described as “characteristically waxy, oily, herbal and delicately tropical.”

Like the father in your life, ‘For a dignified dad’ carries an air of authority and experience that coveys that with “age brings distinction and the opportunity to wax lyrical, and deserves a respectful audience.”

With a stimulating nose and aroma of “hours spent in the garden or in the shed, emerging with the smell of soil from potting plants”, this whisky was bottled from a single cask that produced only 190 bottles, making it a limited edition single malt.

FATHER’S DAY OFFER

‘For a dignified dad’ and a membership to the Society costs only £130 which is a saving of £25. The whisky is from the Old & Dignified flavour category, which is one of the SMWS 12 flavour profiles.

Membership unlocks the doors to the Society’s unparalleled single cask whiskies, tasting events, the award-winning ‘Unfiltered’ magazine and Members Rooms and partners bars around the world.

New whiskies are released each month, providing an ever-changing choice of malts to discover.

Included in the offer:

· Full SMWS Membership (costing £65)

· 70cl bottle of: 36.142 ‘For a dignified dad’ (£90)

For more information, visit https://goo.gl/o2N2HV