Thai Square Islington Launches Destination Bar

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Renowned for their top notch authentic Thai cuisine, Thai Square is now out to impress with the launch of their beautiful first floor bar in the newly refurbished Islington branch, officially opening on the 24th November.

With live music from pop/jazz singers Sarah Goodwin & Irene Serra, a happy hour promotion at the bar throughout opening weekend– it’s the place to be for a night out with friends or after work drinks!

Following its closure in December 2016 due to severe flooding after a public water main burst, the restaurant is now almost unrecognisable thanks to the work of managing director Haim Danous. Set over two floors, the bar overlooks the main restaurant – perfect for an after work drink or night out with friends!

Make your way up the sweeping staircase and a statement alabaster bar dominates the room. Dressing room-style mirrors surrounded by exposed lightbulbs cover the back of the bar, adding a touch of art deco glamour with high stool seating, perfect for a pre-dinner or after work drink. Designed specifically to accommodate a live band, four large booths at one end of the bar are positioned to chat with friends while enjoying the performance.

The new bar menu, designed by chef Mannuthat Tanpradit, focusses on small plates, such as crispy fried Duck Spring Rolls or tender Thai grilled pork, Kor Moo Yang. These flavour packed morsels are a great accompaniment to the new drinks menu designed by mixologist Chertchai Banjongrak. Classic cocktails have been given a Thai twist with highlights including the Golden – gin or vodka mixed with St Germain liquer, fresh yuzu juice, rose syrup, champagne and a pinch of gold dust, Bangkok Dangerous – lemongrass & ginger infused vodka, lychee liqueur, fresh lemongrass, ginger & lychee, topped with lychee juice.

On the official opening night (24th Nov), Sarah Goodwin will be singing from 8.30pm-11pm with Irene Serra taking to the stage the following night. Work your way through the delicious cocktail menu with Thai Square’s Happy Hour offer – buy one get one half price on all drinks from 6pm-8pm!

Whether you want a quick drink after work or late-night dinner and drinks, the bar at Thai Square Islington has been designed to ensure the setting is just as luxurious as the drinks.

Address: 347-349 Upper St, London N1 0PD
Phone Number: 020 77042000
Opening Times:
Monday-Thursday 12–3pm, 5pm–11pm (last order 10.30pm)
Tuesday 12–3pm, 5pm–11pm (last order 10.30pm)
Wednesday 12–3pm, 5pm–11pm (last order 10.30pm)
Friday 12–3pm, 5pm–11pm (last order 10.30pm) Bar opens until 3am
Saturday 12pm–11pm (last order 10.30pm) Bar opens until 3am
Sunday 12–11pm (last order 10.30pm)


A Sparkling Line-Up As Fizz Festival Returns To Altrincham In 2017

Altrincham Town Hall will once more host the Fizz Festival and Fizz Festival People’s Choice Awards, now in its third year. Last year’s event was another sell-out success with around 400 people attending.

Where: Altrincham Town Hall, Market Street, Altrincham WA14 1PG
Dates & timings: 18th Nov, 12noon-3pm & 4pm-7pm, 19th Nov 12noon-3pm, 4pm-6pm + Awards.
Tickets are normally £25 with a reduced rate of £15.00 on the later Sunday session. Early bird deals are available for a limited period.

There will be over 100 wines available to try and buy, from Cava and Prosecco through to award-winning English sparkling wine and of course, Champagne. The ticket price includes a free tasting of ALL wines with no need to buy additional tokens. Quite a challenge!

Exciting new producers and suppliers!

This year the festival organisers have attracted some amazing new suppliers to keep the line-up exciting and interesting. They include some of the most passionate and knowledgeable industry experts you’ll ever meet! New for this year are:
· Wines of Brazil: Brazil makes lots of great sparkling wine and you can try them here
· Skyfall: A brand new premium ‘naturally blue’ Gran Reserva from Spain
· Fox & Fox: East Sussex based award-winning winery
We will, of course, welcome back our Award winners from last year as well as local suppliers:
· Veeno: Italian Wine café in Manchester
· Oddbins: A fantastic choice of fizz from their Chorlton based store
· Booze & Burn: Manchester based maker of candles in recycled champagne bottles
Fizz Festival People’s Choice Awards
The Awards attract a huge amount of excitement and each visitor will have the chance to vote for their favourite wines, with the Awards presented at the end of the festival. Categories are:
Best Champagne: Sponsored by Slater & Gordon, Manchester
Best Sparkling Wine UK: Sponsored by Altrincham based Lund Bennett
Best Sparkling Wine Rest of World: Sponsored by The Real Algarve in Hale Barnes
Music Food and Fizz

There will be a pop-up food area, live music and a range of informal masterclasses.

The festival has a modern feel with no snobbery and a fun and relaxed atmosphere. It really does attract those who want to know more about their favourite sparklers and what better way to do that and stock up for Christmas at the same time?

Swedish Victory In The Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai Challenge 2017


The last two weeks has seen me embrace my favourite rum brand more than ever with a trip to St Lucia for the Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai season. Hosted at Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina, the 5* venue became the hub for a host of international and island based bartenders for several days, welcoming with a Chairman’s Reserve Spiced Ice Tea upon arrival and offering the relaxed and chilled vibes St Lucia is famous for.

The aim of the Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai season is to culminate in a combined final of winning efforts from across the world from the last year, paired with St Lucian counterparts to crown the ultimate Mai Tai team and recipe. Representatives include the United Kingdom, USA, Spain, France, Portugal and Sweden, who each won their respective national heats to earn their way to the final.

After being inspired by a tour of St Lucia Distillers within the Roseau Valley, spiced rum talks from local producers, and an insightful chat on all things tiki by the renowned bartender and owner of Spirit of Tiki, Georgi Radev, culminating in the paired teams having the opportunity to experience the Castries Market in the capital city and pick up some local and home-produced ingredients and vessels, ready for the evenings finale.

Mai Tai

With 5 judges, including myself and Alva Preville (Taste of the Caribbean winning bartender in 2010 amongst his host of accolades), each paired team had to create a twist on the Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai, using their inspiration from their trip so far, whilst also showing off teamwork and producing to us all a display that would be worthy of the top prize!

With magic tricks and crowd chants for showmanship, it all accompanied serves such as the ‘Sop It To Me Baby’ by 3rd place winners Anthony Guaetta (Twin River Casino, USA) and Daniel Francois (Capella, St Lucia) that saw Chairman’s Reserve Spiced mixed with the 6th edition of 1931 rum, a homemade spiced liqueur and Key Lime juice. Second place had the ‘Chairman’s Spiced Intellect’ presented by Andrew Turner (Milk Bar, UK) and Ron Hillar (Capella, St Lucia). They shook up a blend of their homemade spiced syrup, Chairman’s Reserve Forgotten Cask, lime juice, pineapple juice, Angostura bitters and a dash of Chairman’s Reserve Spiced, complete with a pineapple, ginger and rosemary garnish.


The winning drink though? It was the ‘Culture Paradise’ by Sharam Mohebbi of OGBG Bar & Restaurant in Sweden and his St Lucian counterpart Stephen Peter. Mixing Chairman’s Reserve Original and Chairman’s Reserve Spiced with Caribbean sherbet, ginger spice and passion fruit plus freshly squeezed lime, it won the judges plaudits! Earning them a cash prize, trophies and a trip for Sharam back to St Lucia, and Stephen to Sweden, plus local television coverage, it’s meant a truly well-deserved effort from both the winning team and all participants in placing them on the map when it comes to the Mai Tai cocktail!

Look out for the 2018 Chairman’s Reserve Mai Tai season as more countries become involved with the challenge, as well as plenty of opportunities to experience a variety of Mai Tai twists, or indeed you can create Sharam’s and Stephen’s today!

Winning Cocktail
‘Culture Paradise’

40ml Chairman’s Reserve Original

30ml Chairman’s Reserve Spiced
30ml Caribbean Sherbet
20ml Ginger spice & passionfruit
20ml Freshly squeezed lime

Shaken over ice and served within a bowl or goblet. 

For more information on St Lucia, visit here.
Learn more about Chairman’s Reserve by visiting here.
To experience Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina, visit here.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. 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 Glenlivet Launches Campaign To Celebrate Life’s Definitive Moments

The Glenlivet 18 years old

The Glenlivet is launching its most ambitious campaign to date to celebrate its role as the definitive Speyside Single Malt in the Scotch Whisky category. Aptly named The Whisky, The Glenlivet, the global integrated campaign will give the brand a modern and contemporary feel. The Whisky, The Glenlivet is an evolution from the brand’s heritage as “The original single malt brand that set the standard” and is set to reinforce its role as a visionary within the single malts category.

Launching on 22nd September globally, the campaign will run across TV, digital, print and out of home advertising, The Whisky, The Glenlivet campaign celebrates the unwavering pursuit of its founder, George Smith, to create the definitive Speyside Single Malt.

Never settling for anything less than excellence, George Smith carefully selected the local spring water from the valley to make, what he believed was, The Whisky. Seeing his continued success, many of Smith’s neighbouring distilleries started to add Glenlivet to their name in an effort to appeal to the whisky drinker. Determined to act as the guardian for the outstanding quality and craftsmanship for which his whisky had become known, George Smith took legal action to preserve his distillery’s reputation, laying in place the foundations for the whisky we know today as The Glenlivet. This triumph has established The Glenlivet as a benchmark of excellence from the Livet Valley and is the driving force behind the new campaign – while other whiskies could have used Glenlivet in their name, none could claim to be The Glenlivet.

The campaign will launch with two films – ‘The Night Sky’ and ‘The Fire’ – both demonstrating the beauty of the unspoilt world and encouraging consumers to seek out definitive moments with the definitive whisky. The artistic representations help to show consumers that by looking beyond the ordinary they can unlock something special, which is what George Smith did by accomplishing his quest to create the definitive Speyside Single Malt.

Miriam Eceolaza, Global Marketing Director, comments: “Our new campaign is designed to celebrate the most natural and humbling experiences which allow us to lead richer and more fulfilling lives. The Whisky, The Glenlivet showcases the beauty in the unspoilt world and encourages consumers to search for those definitive moments with the definitive whisky.”

Sean Condon, Creative Director at Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam comments: “This work is like nothing ever seen before in the category, exploring pleasure and singular experiences in a startlingly original way. It’s bold and beautiful and a little bit brash. It’s work that, like the product itself, should be savoured.”

Bring The Bar Home With Revolution’s All-New Online Store

Revolution Handrafted Flavours - Online store group (low res)

Vodka lovers rejoice! Revolution is bringing the party straight to your doorstep today with the Vodka lovers rejoice! Revolution is bringing the party straight to your doorstep today with the launch of the Revolution Online Store, selling the renowned Handcrafted Flavours range alongside Revolution cards, cocktail masterclasses vouchers and gift cards.

The store will initially offer three exclusive Handcrafted Flavours to start with — pear drop, The store will initially offer three exclusive Handcrafted Flavours to start with — pear drop, bubblegum and cherry — which will be the ideal gift for vodka aficionados, a uniquea ccompaniment to an adventurous dinner, or a great way to recreate memories after one of the bar’s famous cocktail masterclasses. Priced at £20 per bottle (70cl) plus shipping, orders can be made through Revolution’s website at Alternatively, bottles can be ordered via Deliveroo for £25 all in.

Using only the best ingredients, Revolution is well-known for its line of 30 delicious Handcrafted Using only the best ingredients, Revolution is well-known for its line of 30 delicious Handcrafted Flavours (20% ABV), each created using high quality seven-times distilled grain vodka in their very own Flavour Factory. The bar group has sold nearly three million bottles since launching the range and plan to add more varieties to the online store as the demand grows.

Europe’s Leading Bartenders Descend On Manchester For The Second Instalment Of Bombay Sapphire’s The Glasshouse Project

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE®, the world’s number one premium gin, hosted some of Europe’s leading bartenders at the second instalment of The Glasshouse Project with a three-day workshop in Manchester. Exploring topics ranging from sustainability and trend forecasting, to design and flavour, the global initiative has been conceived with world’s top tier bartenders in mind. Consisting of a series of seminars and workshops from people outside of the drinks industry, the programme aims to inspire and push the boundaries of cocktail creativity and drive trade advocacy. The session follows the successful pilot of the platform in London in September 2016 and first 2017 workshop in Mallorca last month.

Taking place over three days, the session was attended by some of Europe’s most influential bartenders including Martina Breznanova (The Gibson), Sian Buchan (Panda & Sons, Edinburgh) and Cederic Millet (Casbar, Sint-Truiden, Belgium), as well as Raj Nagra, Global Brand Ambassador for BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, Sean Ware, Northern Europe Brand Ambassador, and Renaud de Bosredon, UK Brand Ambassador.

Over the course of the programme, attendees were involved in a series of creative workshops, interactive exercises and seminars led by a team of world-leading experts from outside the drinks industry. Guests were carefully selected in order to engage, inspire and inform attendees, giving them the tools to rethink mixology in the gin category and to create their own bespoke serves to list in their respective bars.

Speakers were: Trends, Insights and Strategy consultant Sean Pillot de Chenecey; Mark Shayler, Director of This is Ape – a sustainable innovation consultancy; renowned Food Scientist and Flavour Expert, Dr Rachel Edwards-Stuart and Chris Hines MBE, founder of UK-based surfers against sewage and former Sustainability Director of the Eden Project.

Sessions were hosted in venues designed to mirror elements discussed by guest speakers and included the People’s History Museum, which prides itself on showing its audiences that ‘there have always been ideas worth fighting for’, as well as Plant Noma, a neighbourhood design studio.

The event culminated in a presentation by each of the bartenders, highlighting what they found most inspiring in the workshop, what they had learnt, and how they would work differently in their bars moving forwards.

Julian Davies, Global Marketing Manager at BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, states: “Following a successful pilot last autumn, our ambition was always to take The Glasshouse Project to a broader audience across our key markets. As the world’s number one premium gin brand, we feel it is our responsibility to nurture the creativity of leading mixologists and push the boundaries of cocktail mixology, within the gin category as a whole. The Glasshouse Project assembles groups of like-minded people, sharing inspiring new ideas that are shaping our world right now, and fostering creative opportunities to impact our future. It’s an incredibly exciting experience.”

Further The Glasshouse Project workshops are confirmed to take place in Germany in August, Australia in September and in the AMEA region in November, with the potential for even more.

They’re Back . . . . . Again

The Liverpool Sessions

After an 8 month hiatus, The London Sessions are back. This time they’re taking to the streets (and bars) of Liverpool for what they’re pretty sure is their 28th session… It’s hard to keep track. From 12pm – 4pm on October 26th, you’ll be treated to three sessions in one day alongside BBQ and cocktails courtesy of Jack Daniel’s, with a not-so-little announcement at the end. Sound familiar? Think Glasgow 2016. Following in the footsteps of such luminaries as Gary Regan, Ivy Mix, and Dale DeGroff, they’re proud to introduce their speakers – Erik Lorincz, JJ Goodman & Cam Dawson, speaking on Creativity, Entrepreneurialism, Consistency and Quality.

No stranger to the sessions, this will be Erik’s third session with them and you know what they say about third time lucky. As well as being one of the most charming and charismatic people, Erik is the current (11th) Head Bartender at The American Bar at The Savoy and has picked up two coveted Spirited Awards for Best International Bartender 2011 and Best International Bar Team 2016, and was shortlisted for Best International Bartender 2017 (he was robbed). Erik recently flexed his creative muscles to launch his own line of cocktail shakers with Tetsuya Yokoyam ‘Birdy by Erik Lorincz’ and when he’s not behind the bar he can be found presenting on Jamie Oliver’s Drinks Tube, or traveling the world. Honestly, we can’t keep track. Accordingly, Erik’s session will be centered around Creativity.

Next up, as seen on TV…. JJ Goodman opened his first bar at the age of 24 in 2008 and has since opened seven cocktail bars under the London Cocktail Club umbrella, so who better to conduct our talk on entrepreneurialism? A seasoned professional, JJ won Best Bartender at the 42 Below Cocktail World Cup in 2008, is one of London Lifestyle Award’s 50 Most Influential People and was named as one of Zagat’s 30 under 30 in 2009. JJ won the BBC TV show The Restaurant which secured him a business partnership with BBC Dragon Sarah Willingham and Chef Raymond Blanc OBE. When he’s not busy running his empire, JJ works alongside The Prince’s Trust, Springboard UK and the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), aiming to develop a community resource within the hospitality industry. Smart and Charitable, what more could you want?

Last but not least, Cam Dawson’s ten year career in the drinks industry has seen him work in a variety of Pubs, Clubs and Cocktail Bars around the world. Although originally from Stirling in Scotland, Cam learned his trade in Perth, Australia before returning to his adoptive home of Brighton, where he works as the Jack Daniel’s UK Brand Ambassador. In short, there’s nothing he doesn’t know about JD and the half a billion bottles maturing in Lynchburg as we speak. Have a burning question? This is your opportunity to ask it. Cam’s session will focus on consistency and quality.

As always, sessions are free to attend but are strictly RSVP only. RSVP’s open on Monday September 11th from midday. Email to secure your space. Remember, sessions book up quick, so set your alarms, pull an all nighter, or be smart and schedule an email. Whatever you need to do.

Manchester Gin

Manchester Overboard
Manchester, until a few years ago, had no gin history at all. Never a distillery mentioned, yet within the North West a hive of gin production with G&J Distillers only a few miles away in Warrington. Since the launch of Thomas Dakin and its plans of being the first Manchester gin to be produced within the city, numerous others have taken its mantle, including Manchester Three Rivers and Manchester Gin. It’s the latter that receives a focus, as they launch their latest gin expression to the city.

“It all began at 1.30am on a wet and cold February evening in Manchester. Whilst she sat alone minding the coats, he was a spare wheel to his two friends. From across the room he spotted her and offered to buy her a drink. Her response was sweet and simple, “a G&T”. Over the next hour they sat discussing everything from travelling the world to their favourite foods. Oh and not to forget, their love of gin.

Two years quickly passed and to anyone who knew us, we became known as ‘The Poppets,’ so much so that when you look at the back of our bottle, you will see the distillers as ‘P&P’ which means we made the bottle together, with love.”

A story of true dedication, not one for the money so-to-speak, it comes across as genuine affection for the category, with Manchester the forefront to its production, adopting the symbol of the city, the working Bee, that was adopted itself during the Industrial Revolution as it embodied the work-ethic of Mancunians’.

Months passed before Seb and Jenny settled upon ‘Wendy’, a bespoke-made copper column still that creates their take on a London Dry Gin, using twelve botanicals overall that include Dandelion and Burdock Root, seasonal orange and lemon, ground almonds, coriander and juniper.

However, this time around, it’s their newly released (as of July 2017), Overboard expression, their take on the Navy Strength at 57% abv after their success in their Raspberry Infused bottle. How does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Manchester Overboard – 57%

Wax-styled lemon and pomelo aromas upon the nose, with hints of dandelion coming through. A growing profile of lemons and coriander, followed by the earthy tones of juniper that follows into a long, fresh and slightly dry finish of cinnamon and almond.

It’s that new that a signature serve hasn’t been created yet, although I’ve personally had it within a gin and tonic, using light tonic instead of Indian, which offered a refreshing finish and retained the strength well. It’s also not available yet, but keep an eye out on their website shop so you can order a bottle for your cabinet once it’s released!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. 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.

Haig Club

Haig Club was released with much fanfare after the collaboration with footballer David Beckham and British entrepreneur Simon Fuller, with many taking it as a swipe to ‘outsiders’ who attach their name to a brand to make quick cash, whilst others looked at it as a great opportunity to shed light on a brand and category that has some elements that need a 21st Century update to its customer audience.

It’s with this that I take a closer look and see if the hype is worth its name.

The House of Haig itself is built on nearly 400 years of distilling heritage and can trace its whisky producing roots back to the seventeenth century in Scotland. In 1824, John Haig established Scotland’s oldest grain distillery, Cameronbridge, and is said to have perfected the art of producing Grain Whisky in continuous Coffey and Stein stills.

Haig Whisky quickly rose to become one of the most successful and popular Scotch whiskies in the world before falling into decline some 30 years ago as it left the Haig family ownership and was passed through a series of multinational drinks companies. In 2014, Diageo launched a new Haig whisky to add to the existing old guard whisky stable of Haig Gold Label, Haig Dimple and Haig Pinch blended scotch whiskies; Haig Club, an expression utilising a unique process that combines grain whisky from three different cask types.

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

Haig Club – 40%

Light butterscotch and fudge on the nose, with a slight hint of tropical flesh fruits coming through. Subtle notes of vanilla, butter and toasted oak on the palate, with a hint of coconut and tropical fruit provide a long, slightly dry finish.

A great flavour profile to enjoy on its own, or indeed within its signature serve;

Haig CLub - New Old FashionedNew Old-Fashioned

Glass – 


Ingredients – 

60 ml Haig Club
10 ml Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes orange bitters

Method – 

Build by adding cubed or hand cracked ice in an Old Fashioned glass or tumbler. Add Haig Club and pour in 10 ml of sweet Vermouth. Drop in 2 dashes of orange bitters and garnish with a lemon twist and cherry and serve with a glass stirrer for the drinker to dilute.

The inspiration for the name Haig Club can be found in archive materials dating back to the 1920’s, in which Haig Whisky was advertised as “The Clubman’s Whisky”. Last year also saw the release of the Haig Club Clubman, the different in it being matured exclusively in American ex-bourbon casks. Either one a good call for your drinks cabinet, and its versatility means you can create a decent drink, whether cocktail or mixer. To be fair, I’d enjoy it on its own, it works!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. 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.


German gins are seen as some of the best around, with Monkey 47 leading the way in how we can approach the category. With this, Skin gin has made a splash here in the UK since its launch by Martin Birk Jensen in March 2015, and its striking packaging and different ‘skins’ that can be produced have caused many a stir in the right direction. But what about the liquid itself?

Produced in the ‘Altes Land’ (which translates as ‘Old Country’), just outside the German city of Hamburg, seven botanicals are chosen to enhance Skin gin; unique Moroccan Mint, citrus peels of orange, pink grapefruit, lime and lemon, juniper and Vietnamese coriander. Each botanical is individually distilled on a wheat based neutral spirit in a ‘Anisateur’ within an old copper still, in order to obtain close to 100% of the essential oils they contain. The essences are then blended by hand and bottled.

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

Skin – 42%

Bold, fresh mint bursts through, followed by the pink grapefruit and the wax of lemons on the nose. Incredibly soft on the palate, with a slight menthol note flowing gently. Lime, the subtle hint of coriander, and the orange peels blend well for a long, fresh finish.

An incredibly fresh gin to enjoy, and one that would stand up well within a classic gin and tonic;

Skin Gin and tonicSkin Gin and Tonic

Glass – 

Wine / Goblet

Ingredients – 

40 ml Skin Gin
1 bottle Thomas Henry Tonic Water

Method – 

Stir over ice and garnish with orange peel.

A great gin to enjoy over summer, and with the different skins available, as well as their navy strength option, it’s a fantastic addition to any drinks cabinet.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. 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.