Altos Tequila Launches The Tahona Society Cocktail Competition 2017

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Altos Tequila is inviting bartenders across the world to increase their understanding of Tequila, perfect their mixology skills and gain international exposure by entering the Tahona Society Cocktail Competition 2017. Considered the world’s leading Tequila education programme, national heats are set to begin this month ahead of the global finale in Mexico in September.

Founded in 2010 by leading bartenders Dré Masso and the late Henry Besant, the Tahona Society welcomes mixologists to ‘Join the Mexican Evolution’ in its 2017 edition in response to the cultural movement in Mexico towards a renewed focus on craft, mastery and sustainability. These values are at the core of the creation of Altos Tequila and are reflected in the Tahona Society programme, as entrants must craft a cocktail that represents sustainable values, celebrates the flavour of agave and can be paired with a variety of authentic Mexican street food.

Local heats are set to take place from this month until September in a record 28 markets, such as USA (Texas, LA and NYC), London, and Paris. Designed to educate bartenders about the quality and provenance of Tequila, the importance of sustainability in bartending, and feature a comparative Tequila tasting, the heats will culminate with the national Tahona Society Cocktail Competition.

The winner from each country will be invited to Mexico for the week-long global Tahona Society Cocktail Competition in September. During the festivities, competitors will take part in a series of masterclasses – led by global bartending legends such as Dré Masso and Mexican agave spirits expert, Alberto Navarro – receive a tour of the Altos distillery and have the opportunity to explore the Los Altos region in the highlands of Mexico, where Altos Tequila is crafted using traditional production methods.

The second and third place winners will also travel to Mexico for the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in the country’s ancient tradition of agave spirit production, as well as to guest bartend in one of Mexico City’s leading bars.

The final contest will be judged by a jury including Dré Masso, a worldwide famous surprise guest bartender and the Tahona Society’s 2016 winner, Kelsey Ramage; and will challenge the finalists to create their cocktails with an added local-flavour twist, sustainable values and lead a short presentation and Q&A explaining the rationale behind their serve. The overall winner of the Tahona Society 2017 is set to become the Tahona Society Global Ambassador for one year and will have the opportunity to choose four countries to deliver a Tahona Society event next year.

Dré Masso, co-creator of Altos Tequila, says: “Our mission with the Tahona Society Cocktail Competition is to spread the love and knowledge of authentic Tequila around the world. It is important that we continue to provide support and education for future bartending generations by encouraging sustainability, which is at the heart of our business and at the future of the industry. We are proud of Altos’ sustainability credentials – in fact the total waste from our distillery would fit into a car boot – and we’re hoping this will inspire our 2017 entrants. Previous winners have completely blown us away with their innovation and skill, and I cannot wait to see what this year’s competition holds!”

The 2016 Tahona Society crown was given to Kelsey Ramage from renowned London bar, Dandelyan. Ramage overcame fierce competition from 20 of the world’s most talented bartenders with her winning creation, Never Die. Chosen by the expert panel of judges for its exceptional taste and ingenious use of local ingredients.

Bartenders from around the world can follow the competition and register their interest on the Tahona Society Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/TahonaSociety and are invited to contact Altos Tequila representatives in their markets for more details.

Dandelyan At Mondrian London Wins UK’s Best Bar At The Return Of The CLASS Bar Awards

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On Tuesday February 21st, CLASS magazine announced its highly anticipated CLASS Bar Awards 2017.

The awards, which debuted in 2003 have returned under new owners Agile Media – founders of The World’s 50 Best Bars – reassuming their place as the premiere UK bar industry celebration.

Representatives from the UK’s leading bars attended the Awards yesterday (February 21st) at One Marylebone in London, along with internationally renowned personalities. Judged by industry experts from across the country, the CLASS Bar Awards recognises the talent, achievements and diversity of the UK bar scene.

Dandelyan at Mondrian London, by Iain Griffiths and Ryan Chetiyawardana, was the overwhelming choice of the CLASS collective (the 85 expert judges that voted), with the bar picking up gongs for Best Bar in the UK, Best Hotel Bar and Best Drinks Menu.

Offering innovative drinks centred on the theme of Modern Botany, immaculate service and views of the Thames, Dandelyan won four of the five categories it was shortlisted for.
Aidan Bowie, Head Bartender at Dandelyan and a past winner of Diageo World Class, topped the Bartender of the Year vote, ahead of James Bowker of The Edgbaston in Birmingham and Marcis Dzelzainis of Sager + Wilde, Bethnal Green, London.

Edmund Weil and Rosie Stimpson, owners of London music and cocktail venues Nightjar and Oriole, also saw a number of their team win supporting awards. Oriole’s Ivana Popovic was named Front of House Star of the Year and the bar’s Ivano Filippi took Bar Back Star. A third award for Oriole came in the form of Bar Food Menu of the Year, with its South American-Asian inspired menu edging ahead of that of Liverpool’s Filter + Fox and Oskar’s Bar of London. While Nightjar won Best Social Media Initiative.

Weil and Stimpson also celebrated with their partners at Swift, Bobby Hiddleston and Mia Johansson, after the venue took New Bar of the Year, ahead of Bath’s The Dark Horse and London’s Black Rock. Bobby Hiddleston too won an individual award, taking home Bar Manager of the Year for his work with Callooh Callay in 2016 and latterly as a co-creator of Swift.

The Emerging Bartender of the Year category was won by Dominic Whisson of the American Bar, London, ahead of Joe Wild from El Bandito in Liverpool and Daniele Bresciani of The Churchill Bar & Terrace, London.

Cocktail of the Year, also contended by Dandelyan’s Concrete Sazerac, was won by Robusto Negroni at Bar Termini. Devised by Tony Conligiaro’s Drink Factory for the Soho bar, the Robusto Negroni uses the sous-vide technique to achieve a mellow and elegant Negroni.
Specialist Bar of the Year went to whisky venue Black Rock, owned by Tom Aske and Tristan Stephenson, taking the gong ahead of Manchester’s tequila and pizza venue Crazy Pedro’s and, Italian station-themed coffee and cocktail spot, Bar Termini.
Restaurant Bar of the Year was awarded to London’s Hawksmoor Spitalfields, beating off capital competition in the form of The Blind Pig and Edinburgh’s Bon Vivant.

Ending the night was the Lifetime Achievement award, which went to Jake Burger from bars The Distillery and Portobello Road. With venues in Leeds and London, a gin museum and gin brand, Jake Burger has spent 20 years at the forefront of the drinks business.

CLASS Bar Awards 2017 shortlists and winners

Awards voted for by the CLASS Collective (85 nationwide industry experts): 

Bartender of the Year 
– Aidan Bowie, Dandelyan, London
– James Bowker, The Edgbaston, Birmingham
– Marcis Dzelzainis, Sager + Wilde, Bethnal Green, London

………………………… ………………………… ………………………… …………..

Bar of the Year 
– Dandelyan, London
– Bramble, Edinburgh
– Satan’s Whiskers, London

………………………… ………………………… ………………………… …………..

New Bar of the Year

– Swift, London
– Black Rock, London
– The Dark Horse, Bath
………………………… ………………………… ………………………… …………..

Hotel Bar of the Year 

– Dandelyan at Mondrian London
– Connaught Bar at The Connaught, London
– American Bar at The Savoy Hotel, London
………………………… ………………………… ………………………… …………..

Drinks Menu of the Year
– Dandelyan, Modern Botany 3rd Edition London
– Callooh Callay, Street Art Tour, London
– American Bar, London Menu, London
………………………… ………………………… ………………………… …………..

Specialist Bar of the Year

– Black Rock, London
– Crazy Pedro’s, Manchester
– Bar Termini, London
………………………… ………………………… ………………………… …………..
Bar Food Menu of the Year 

– Oriole, London
– Filter + Fox, Liverpool
– Oskar’s Bar, London.

……………………………. ………………………… ………………………… ……..
Restaurant Bar of the Year
– Hawksmoor Spitalfields, London
– Bon Vivant, Edinburgh
– The Blind Pig at the Social Eating House, London
………………………… ………………………… ………………………… …………..
Cocktail of the Year 

– Negroni Robusto, Bar Termini, London
– Pickering Place, American Bar, London
– Concrete Sazerac, Dandelyan, London
………………………… ………………………… ………………………… …………..

Lifetime Achievement
Jake Burger


Special Recognition Awards (entered on application and judged by a panel of 10 industry experts):

Bar Manager of the Year 

– Bobby Hiddleston, Callooh Callay / Swift, London
– Declan McGurk, American Bar, London
– Eve Vasileiadou, The Churchill Bar & Terrace, London
………………………… ………………………… ………………………… …………..
Emerging Bartender of the Year

– Dominic Whisson, American Bar, London
– Joe Wild, El Bandito, Liverpool
– Daniele Bresciani, The Churchill Bar & Terrace, London
………………………… ………………………… ………………………… …………..
Bar Back Star of the Year 

– Ivano Filippi, Oriole, London
– Habtom Temesgem, The Churchill Bar & Terrace, London
– Timoteo Martao, Oblix, London
………………………… ………………………… ………………………… …………..
Front of House Star of the Year

– Ivana Popovic, Oriole, London
– Harry Kladis, The Churchill Bar & Terrace, London
– Emily Shuttleworth, London Cocktail Club, Bethnal Green, London
………………………… ………………………… ………………………… …………..
Social Media Initiative of the Year
– Nightjar, London

– Bar Termini, London
– Aqua Shard, London
………………………… ………………………… ………………………… …………..

Glen Moray Celebrates Their 120th Anniversary Year

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120 years of single malt whisky making history at the Glen Moray distillery, at the heart of Scotland’s Speyside region, is celebrated throughout 2017.

The first drops of spirit ran from the copper pot stills at Glen Moray on the 13th September 1897. Over the last 120 years, just five men have had the honour of being “Master Distiller”. The men who have made Glen Moray great.

The current Glen Moray distillery was originally developed as the Elgin West Brewery in 1830 and produced several local ales before redevelopment into a fully functional single malt distillery sixty-seven years later when The Glen Moray Glenlivet Distillery Company Limited was formed on the 27th January, 1897. Handwritten ledgers show the first spirit run being made on the 13th September, 1897 using all local barley.

The early 1900’s were turbulent times for malt whisky across Scotland, followed by the onset of World War One, enforced constriction of the production of malt whisky by the Pot Still Malt Distillery Association of Scotland in the early 1930’s and World War Two.

Expansion continued during the 1950’s and Glen Moray Single Malt Distillery has recently undertaken expansion works so that the production capacity has grown to 6.5mla. Additional maturation warehouses have been built increasing the storage capacity from 90,000 barrels to 250,000 barrels.

Graham Coull, current Glen Moray Master Distiller, took over the helm in 2005 and continues the tenacious, innovative stewardship, which has remained very much at the heart of the distillery since spirit first flowed from its stills.

To celebrate the 120th Anniversary, Glen Moray are introducing “Mastery” special release crafted by the fifth Master Distiller, Graham Coull, using whisky from five distinctive vintages, matured in a variety of fortified wine casks across the different decades.

Tullamore D.E.W. Reignites Irish Tradition With New Signature Serve – ‘D.E.W. & A Brew’

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Tullamore D.E.W. – the original triple distilled, triple blend Irish Whiskey – is reinvigorating the Irish custom of sipping a beer and whiskey, side by side, to unlock the complementary flavours in each with new serve, ‘D.E.W. & A Brew’.

Tullamore D.E.W. is a triple distilled, triple blend of all three types of Irish whiskey – Single Malt, Grain and Pot Still whiskey. This blend of all three types of triple distilled whiskey, in particular the Single Malt, gives Tullamore D.E.W. complexity and a unique sweet smoothness that is perfectly paired with beer’s bitter bite. John Quinn, Tullamore D.E.W. Global Brand Ambassador, commented: “Beer and whiskey are malt cousins, because malted barley is a raw ingredient in both; so, sipping whiskey alongside a beer is the best way to unlock new flavours for an evening full of true character.” He continued: “The recent growth in popularity of craft beer makes this the perfect time to introduce D.E.W. & A Brew. Tullamore D.E.W. unlocks different flavour combinations depending on the type of beer it’s served with. There are a lot of great beers on the market right now and great beer loves Tullamore D.E.W.”

In London, Tullamore D.E.W. has partnered with ETM Group where Tullamore D.E.W. will be served with Longarm ‘Birdie Flipper’ Irish Red Ale. Consumers can enjoy the combination in bars such as Greenwood, Jugged Hare and Botanist Broadgate Circle for a chance to win a VIP ‘D.E.W & A Brew’ masterclass. Available from 1st March, full list of venues can be found at http://www.etmgroup.co.uk.

Whiskey and beer have been made side by side in Ireland since monks started to distil their ‘table beer’ to make whiskey. Also, the Daly family, who first employed Daniel E. Williams at Tullamore, brewed local beers alongside their whiskey. Over time, it was noticed that these ‘malt cousins’ were not only convenient to make together, but they formed a fine partnership on the palate. The sweetness of a “ball of malt” (whiskey) complemented the bitterness of their regular “pint of plain” (beer). To enjoy the two side-by-side became a common practice in bars across Ireland. Tullamore D.E.W. has worked with beer experts to create a guide to the complementary flavours unlocked by D.E.W. & A Brew. It reveals, for example, that Irish stout highlights ‘the spiciness and complexity of Tullamore D.E.W.’, while Tullamore D.E.W. ‘highlights the zesty dry tones’ of India Pale Ale.

The launch of D.E.W. & A Brew follows several recent award-winning new additions to the Tullamore D.E.W. range: Tullamore D.E.W. 14 Year Old Single Malt, Tullamore D.E.W. 18 Year Old Single Malt, Tullamore D.E.W. Cider Cask Finish and Tullamore D.E.W. TRILOGY. The new signature serve is Tullamore D.E.W.’s next step in providing a whiskey experience of true character suitable for every occasion and every whiskey drinker.

The signature serve launch will focus mainly on Bristol with outlets such as Tobacco Factory, Steam and Butcombe Brewery Pubs stocking the serve from March onwards.

Luxardo Launches Bitter Bianco For White Negroni And Aperitifs

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Luxardo Bitter Bianco launches in the UK this Spring. The distilled infusion of bitter herbs, aromatic plants and citrus fruits is made to a recipe created by the Luxardo family who have re-imagined the classic Italian aperitivo. At 30 percent abv. it has a transparent ivory colour, which makes it ideal for mixing in a White Negroni. Luxardo global brand ambassador Gareth Franklin will be creating further adventurous new serves, with an individual take on Margarita and Daiquiri styles. Luxardo Bitter Bianco has the fruity aromas of sweet and bitter oranges, balanced by hints of spices and botanicals. Its smooth taste combines fresh citrus with a gentle bitter finish.

Similar to the creation of Luxardo Maraschino, the Luxardo Bitter Bianco also stands out as a liqueur which is unusually produced by distillation. This creates a new dimension of flavours and its signature colour, whilst still staying true to its bitter-sweet heritage.

Distinctly different with a smoother taste profile, it makes for an alternative 21st century style of Negroni, when it is mixed with gin and white vermouth. To enjoy its taste in the freshest way, drink it over ice with a splash of soda or on the rocks, garnished with a wedge of orange or lemon. Luxardo global brand ambassador Gareth Franklin adds, “Luxardo Bitter Bianco is a very modern style of distilled liqueur and works perfectly as an aperitif. It has classic Italian bitter notes and is blended to be soft, floral and aromatic; a very intriguing creation. I will be hosting a roadshow to trial new mixes with bartenders in key cities, and look forward to new taste adventures.”

Marketing manager Craig Chapman adds, “The Luxardo classic liqueurs & specialities have established themselves very successfully in top bars. This year, Cellar Trends will be backing Luxardo Bitter Bianco to join the line-up of Maraschino, Amaretto and Limoncello, and the Sambuca range. They are authentic, full strength choices which bartenders can rely on to really deliver on taste.”

Luxardo White Negroni

1 shot (25ml) Luxardo Bitter Bianco
1 shot (25ml) gin
1 shot (25ml) white vermouth

Stir over ice and garnish with a wedge of fresh orange.

Luxardo Bitter Bianco gin & tonic

1.5 shots (35ml) gin
1 shot (25ml) Luxardo Bitter Bianco

Mix over ice and top up with tonic water. Add a squeeze of fresh lime and stir.

Valentine’s Day cocktails From Black Cow Vodka

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A LUXURY BLACK COW VODKA GIFT BOX FOR VALENTINE’S DAY

The Black Cow Vodka Gift Box with bespoke gold-plated Black Cow branded
Yukiwa Cocktail Shaker (considered by mixologists as the best in the world)
and a bottle of super premium Black Cow Vodka.

black-cow-vodka-cocktail-shaker-gift-box-low-resAvailable from Harvey Nichols stores and online at http://www.harveynichols.com, price £99.00.

Black Cow is the world’s first Pure Milk VodkaTM, made in Dorset, England, from the milk of grass grazed cows. It is a super-premium vodka, distilled from the whey of milk and treated to a secret blending process created by dairy farmer Jason Barber. His inspiration came from a desire to diversify the produce from his 250 strong dairy herd and his personal interest in vodka.  Black Cow was launched by Jason and Creative, Paul Archard in 2012.

Black Cow Vodka, from £28.00, is available from Sainsbury’s, Marks & Spencer, Majestic, Fortnum & Mason, Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Berry Bros. & Rudd and quality independent retailers. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @blackcowvodka

Beefeater 24 To Launch A Stylish New Look

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Beefeater, the world’s most awarded gin*, has unveiled a sophisticated new bottle design for Beefeater 24. The new red glass bottle reflects the product’s super-premium quality and will increase its visibility on shelf.

The super premium gin category has seen a continued period of growth and the new bottle has been developed in response to evolving consumer demand. The sleek design will make the product stand out against competitors while reinforcing the differences between Beefeater 24 and Beefeater Dry. It will also help Beefeater to attract new consumers looking to explore the super premium gin category. Inspired by the Arts and Crafts movement of the 20th Century, the decoration mirrors the super premium gin’s 12 botanicals, which were carefully selected by Master Distiller Desmond Payne following two years of experimentation. The filigree on the bottle is unique to the Royal Dalton factory that was located next to the original Beefeater distillery.

The bottle’s eye-catching red colour pays homage to one of the UK’s oldest crown jewels, the 170-carat Black Prince’s Ruby centrepiece in the Imperial State Crown. Similarly to Beefeater, the history of the precious stone is intertwined with the Tower of London and the Yeoman Warders who guard it. The figure of a Beefeater has been introduced alongside the authentic signature from Beefeater founder, James Burrough. The Tower of London raven, which is historically said to protect the crown, is clearly visible on both the front and reverse of the bottle.

Global Brand Director for Beefeater, Eric Sampers, comments: “Our new Beefeater 24 design will capture the consumer’s attention, with a striking red colour which makes it clearly stand out from its competitors. Beefeater 24 is a very special gin – created by the world’s most experienced Gin Master Distiller, Desmond Payne – and we want people to know just from looking at the bottle that there is a high-quality liquid inside. The updated look will appeal to consumers who are keen to explore the growing super-premium gin category as well as existing Beefeater 24 fans.”

The new bottle design for Beefeater 24 has been available in Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Sweden, Netherlands and France since October, with a revised RRP at 39USD. It was then rolled out to Andorra, Portugal, Germany, Thailand and USA in November and Morocco, New Zealand, Norway, UK and South Africa in time for Christmas in December.

A Romantic Cocktail To Warm Up Valentine’s Day

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After a romantic meal with your loved one, why not end the evening sipping a delicious Feeney’s Irish Coffee in front of a roaring fire.

Feeney’s Irish Coffee is easy to make too. Heat gently 100 ml Feeney’s Irish Cream Liqueur with 1 cup of freshly brewed coffee and serve in a toddy glass topped with 1 teaspoon of whipped cream and grated chocolate.

Feeney’s Irish Cream is marketed as the world’s most luxurious Irish Cream Liqueur and contains 100% Irish whiskey. Feeney’s is masterfully distilled in the heart of Ireland and matured for at least three years and is available from:

Tesco’s which stocks 1 litre bottles RRP: £15.00 and 31Dover.com which stocks 70cl bottles RRP: £12.50 and 1 litre RRP: £15.00 and Amazon. ABV: 17%

North East Distillery Launch First Gin of Limited Edition Range

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Poetic License Independent Small Batch Distillery kick off range of one-off spirit products ‘The Rarities’ with an Orange Blossom Gin.

As you would expect from the name, this gin offers a strong aroma of orange and is zesty, refreshing yet floral on the palate. It’s slightly sweeter than a typical gin with its hints of vanilla and a lingering citrus finish.

The Rarities are set to be a one batch distillation of whatever the creative chaps at Poetic License fancy making. There will only be a few hundred bottles of each and when they’re gone, they really are gone!

“We like to indulge in our creative side and wanted drinkers to be able to enjoy more of our experimental concoctions with us. Hence, The Rarities was born” explains Luke Smith, Poetic License’s distiller.

“Orange Blossom is a beautiful flavour that we knew we wanted to use. We experimented with it in vodka but actually felt the flavour sat very well in with the juniper of gin. It’s an uplifting drink that stirs up the vibes of the lighter, warmer months. It drinks really well with Mediterranean tonic and an orange peel and rosemary garnish.”

Located in the North East, Poetic License Independent Small Batch Distillery launched in 2015. They make their award-winning spirits on 500L still, Gracie, which is based in a bar of the same name. They have 3 core products (Northern Dry Gin at 43.2%, Old Tom Gin at 41.6% and Graceful Vodka at 40.4%) and well as always having a seasonal offering available; at the moment, this is their Fireside Gin with flavours of mulled winter fruits.

Future products for The Rarities are still under-wraps but Luke did say “We have lots of ideas, so keep your eyes on our social media for more information and, if you see them, make sure you grab them while you can!”

Orange Blossom Gin Rarity will be available to from the start of February with pre-orders now being taken.

Buy online now at http://www.poeticlicensedistillery.co.uk or for trade sales enquiries please contact Beth Race on 0191 5103564 or beth@poeticlicensedistillery.co.uk

Glenfiddich IPA Experiment Launches In UK On-Trade With Young’s Exclusive

glenfiddich-ipa-and-serveGlenfiddich, the world’s most awarded single malt whisky, officially launches the Glenfiddich IPA Experiment in the UK on-trade starting with 85 Young’s pubs across London.

The Glenfiddich IPA Experiment is the world’s first single malt Scotch whisky finished in IPA craft beer casks. A collaboration between Glenfiddich Malt Master, Brian Kinsman, and Speyside craft brewer, Seb Jones, they worked together to pioneer a new single malt Scotch whisky imbued with zesty citrus and tangy hops from the oak casks that had previously held a bold Speyside IPA.

According to Glenfiddich Senior Brand Manager, Sarah Harding, “Since the Glenfiddich IPA Experiment launched in September 2016 in the off-trade, we have been overwhelmed by the interest from consumers and whisky connoisseurs nationwide due to the unique qualities of this experimental liquid. We are so pleased to be officially launching the Glenfiddich IPA in the UK on-trade with Young’s so more consumers can experience this collaboration between brewer, Seb Jones, and Glenfiddich Malt Master, Brian Kinsman.”

Gillian McLaren, Director of Marketing said “At Young’s we aim to go above and beyond when offering our consumers a range of unique drinks and experiences. We are seeing a growing demand for whisky and as Glenfiddich is one of the most innovative whisky brands in the world, we’re thrilled to be the first managed outlet to stock Glenfiddich IPA across 85 of our pubs. We hope it will appeal to our current whisky drinkers and look forward to educating more consumers on the wonderful world of whisky through our variety of consumer tasting events.”

Young’s will be hosting a number of Glenfiddich IPA Experiment whisky tasting events for customers which will run from 17th January until 17th March 2017. These include:
– January 18th (7pm-9pm): GLENFIDDICH IPA MASTERCLASS @ WHITE BEAR, KENNINGTON
– February 23rd (7pm-9pm): GLENFIDDICH DECONSTRUCTED @ DOG & FOX, WIMBLEDON

To find more information about the events and Young’s Whisky Tide campaign, visit http://www.youngs.co.uk/.

Glenfiddich IPA is part of Glenfiddich’s innovative Experimental Series, a new range that combines the brand’s passion for pushing Scotch whisky boundaries and its collaborations with trailblazers from the whisky world and beyond.

Freelance Bar and Brand Advisor/Consultant, Events Curator/Collaborator & Journalist to the World of Drinks.

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