Nardini Raises The Bar For Grappa

Selezione Bortoli Nardini

Nardini, Italy’s oldest distillery, is launching an ultra-premium grappa range aimed at setting a new quality threshold for the country’s national spirit. Called ‘Selezione Bortolo Nardini’ in honour of the distiller who founded the family-owned brand in 1779, the new line includes an elegant ‘Bianca Extrafina’ and ‘Le Ramate’ – three extraordinary barrel-aged Riserva products.

All four drinks are blended from Merlot, Cabernet and Pinot Grigio grape pomaces selected from local DOC winemakers and distilled using Nardini’s distinct combination of pot still and column still techniques. Conceived to rank alongside the best spirits in the high-end digestive market sector, they are presented in stunning 70cl cut-glass bottle designs, inspired by Nardini’s futuristic Fuksas-designed ‘BOLLE’ building in Bassano del Grappa, Veneto.

The ‘Selezione Bortolo Nardini’ is the splendid result of a 20-year labour-of-love led by the Nardini Family alongside Master Blender Renato Mazzeracca and Andrea Manzoli, who directs operations the two Nardini distilleries in Bassano and Monastier. Consequently, as the international spirits authority David Broom observed in his pre-launch evaluation, all four grappas are ‘unmistakably Nardini’, showing clear family resemblances with the firm’s legendary Bianca and Riserva staples. However, they display ‘a wider, fresher, more tantalising aromatic spectrum’.

Rested in steel tanks for six months before blending and then rested for another six months before undergoing a further selection process, the 42% abv ‘Extrafina’ is floral and very fruity, with herbal elements and a nuanced complexity amplified with notes of banana, maraschino and ‘proving bread’. As Dave Broom confirms, ‘there is something both ancient in its aromatics and something entirely new’. The three ‘Le Ramate’ products are equally remarkable. Following the initial one year resting in steel, all three are aged in barrels sourced from the same oak forest in Slavonia (Croatia) that has been used by Nardini since it became the first-ever distiller to market aged grappa some 70 years ago. However, only the smoothest and sweetest batches from these barrels are ear-marked for the Le Ramate range.

The 42% abv Three-Year-Old Riserva is coherent, complex and refined, showing a clear sweetness as well as the ‘cooked fruit’ characteristics that have made Nardini’s core 40% and 50% Riserva products so popular, especially in export markets. At 45% abv, the Seven-Year-Old Riserva is more extravagant and spicy, but equally complex and Dave Broom has noted similarities with Cognac and even aged Genever. Not surprisingly, the 15-Year-Old Riserva is more wooded, but it’s also drier, with hints of creamy vanilla, chocolate, nuts and wild fruits – a superbly balanced drink. As Dave Broom concludes, ‘like the rest of the range, it does, I believe, offer a new dimension for grappa, one which stays true to its roots, but aligns it more closely with top-end wood-aged spirits – and as a result opens up the possibilities of new serves and occasions.’

Antonio Nardini, Managing Director of the seventh-generation family owned company believes the new ‘Selezione Bortolo Nardini’ is a major milestone for grappa and not just for Nardini. “As Italy’s oldest distiller and the country’s leading premium grappa brand, we are obliged to innovate rather than stand still. Since we only produce for ourselves and never for third parties, we apply much stricter criteria to the quality of the raw materials we use and the production techniques we employ.” Adds Nardini: “With the new range we have demonstrated our ability to produce elegant, exquisite distillates – and I am confident that we have set a new standard for grappa that will not only astonish many people, but lead to a greater appreciation for Italy’s national spirit amongst the most discerning drinkers in the world.”

UK Availability
In the UK, ‘Selezione Bortolo Nardini’ will be available initially to the on-trade from Speciality Drinks with on-line availability from The Whisky Exchange, The Drink Shop and Master of Malt. Hedonism Wines in Mayfair is the range’s opening retail outlet in London, while in the North-West, it is being showcased at the award-winning Riddles Emporium in Altrincham, South Manchester. UK Distributor is Emporia Brands. The agent for the UK and Ireland is Nick Hopewell-Smith Associates Ltd. Products in the range are likely to retail at between £55 and £125. Nardini’s 50% ABV Grappa Bianca is by some way Italy’s best-selling premium grappa. In the UK, the more accessible Bianca 40 and Riserva 40 are listed as house pours in many leading outlets, including the Polpo chain and across the Soho House estate. In 2017, sales of Nardini products in the UK grew by 40% compared to the previous twelve months.

Background Note: The Best Grappa Demands Pomace Excellence
The quality of any grappa is largely dictated by the quality of the raw material used to make it – the pomace (the skins, seeds and pulp that remains after grapes are pressed for winemaking). In the ‘Selezione Bortolo’ range, the pomace is derived from a balanced selection of grape types rather than from a single variety, which assists Nardini to achieve an optimum condition for the pomace mix prior to distillation. Red wine grapes provide much of the flavour, but the more lightly-pressed white wine grapes add vital moisture to the final blend. Quality is further guaranteed by ensuring that winemakers only supply pomace derived from de-stemmed grapes. For Nardini, fresh pomaces and a fully-controlled initial fermentation immediately prior to the distillation process – whether by pot or column still – are considered critical elements of the production process. At Nardini’s distilleries, some 22 kilos of pomace are needed to produce a single litre of grappa. Importantly, prior to distillation, unlike the custom with many other grappa producers, no sugar or yeast are deployed to boost fermentation, nor is any water used to moisten the pomaces. Demineralised water is only added after distillation to achieve the desired alcohol level. In the case of ‘Le Ramate’ products, this takes place prior to their final blending.

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Caorunn Updates Its Look With New Bottle And Serves

Caouroon

Approaching ten years at the pinnacle of the premium gin market, Caorunn has released a brand new, British made bottle marrying the fine spirit’s artisan roots with seriously sleek aesthetics.

The bottle represents the five natural Scottish botanicals which surround the Speyside distillery and are hand harvested by Carounn’s Gin Master, Simon Buley. The decanter’s signature pentagonal shape and five-pointed asterisk base, a nod to the Caorunn’s locally foraged botanicals, have been redefined, providing added presence to the eye-catching gin whether it is encountered in a bar or the home of a discerning drinker.
Crafted from extra white Flint glass, the desirable bottle will help assure a new generation of gin aficionados to reach for the clean and crisp, invigorating and distinctly aromatic spirit of Scotland.

Caorunn’s journey of flavour, which sees coul blush apple, heather, dandelion, bog myrtle and rowan berry act in harmony with six traditional gin ingredients and crystal clear Scottish water, adheres to the same, richly acclaimed recipe as when the spirit came to market in 2009. The distinctive taste has helped the gin grow year-on-year to become one of the top five super premium gin brands within the UK (as reported by Nielsen*) which is celebrated daily by judicious drinkers in more than 35 countries.
With an emphasis on Caorunn’s character and modernity, the bottle’s re-design was accomplished by the creative minds at design agency, JDO.

Group Creative Director at JDO, Ben Oates was tasked with evolving the iconic five pointed shape to encapsulate the Scottish Highland heritage with a contemporary edge and elegant design. Graphics Specialist, Ray Smith focused on enhancing Caorunn’s exquisite craftsmanship through embossed details. Production Director, James Davies embraced contemporary labelling techniques with traditional craftsmanship by adding tactility through raised gloss varnishing, profiling the red asterix and placing it proudly at the top of the new 3D structure.

Rachael Engley, Glass Producer at Allied Glass, in Knottingley, West Yorkshire says she is very pleased with the thought provoking production, particularly ‘its exquisite colour’.
Acclaimed drinks culture writer, mixologist and long term supporter of Caorunn, Tristan Stephenson believes the enhanced bottle shape is both ‘beautiful and functional, allowing bartenders to keep the clean and crisp gin close to hand.’ Tristan admires the superb shelf presence and user friendly features ‘which now match the handcrafted, versatile taste, creating an enjoyable drink experience for all involved.’
Meanwhile, drinks columnist and gastronomy consultant, Douglas Blyde rates the ‘natural cork and sense of paired down luxe’ noting, ‘no wonder Carounn feel at home as supporters of London Art Fair.’

The signature for Simon Buley, Caorunn Gin Master, is printed on each bottle of Caorunn to reflect that he alone oversees the entire craftsmanship process for each vessel.
Simon comments: “I am proud to see Caorunn showcased within such an exquisite bottle. The design has taken into consideration the Celtic botanicals foraged on the hills around Balmenach Distillery and how Caorunn is infused in the world’s only working Copper Berry Chamber. The care and attention of the spirit and bottle sets Caorunn apart.”

Below are a selection of new Caorunn cocktails made by renowned mixologist Tristan Stephenson – both his serves are the perfect tipple to have with friends on a cold winter’s night!

Caorunn Cooler by Tristan Stephenson
Caorunn Cooler by Tristan Stephenson

Ingredients
50ml Caorunn gin
150ml Herbal apple soda*
*1 part lemon juice
7 parts apple juice
7 parts green tea
Hot brew the green tea to extract the flavour and tannins, and allow to cool.
Mix ingredients well and chill in a fridge.
Carbonate using a sodastream
Method
Build in a glass
Garnish
Sage leaf
Glass
Highball
Fireside by Tristan Stephenson
Fireside by Tristan Stephenson
Ingredients
50ml Caorunn
10ml Lemon juice
10ml Ginger juice
80ml Apple juice
Method
Build in a glass
Garnish
Honey roasted walnuts
Glass
Serve in a highball glass

Marian Beke & The Gibson Bar Launch Copperhead Gin The Gibson Edition

Copperhead Gin The Gibson Edition2018 is the year of spirits innovation for Marian Beke & The Gibson Bar London. Creating brand new spirits based on radically different concepts, Marian launched his first initiative at his bar The Gibson on 12 February. He partners with Copperhead, the ultra-premium gin from Belgium, to create a whole new style of savoury gin. With a hint of spice and umami intensity, it complements the classic Gibson martini and its garnish of pickled onion. The gleaming, dark green bottle is inspired by the original green tiling of the heritage-listed Edwardian façade of The Gibson bar. At 40 percent abv, it is available to the trade via distributor 10 Degrees C. The guide retail price is £35 to £40 for a 50cl bottle.

The new gin uses five original Copperhead botanicals of juniper, coriander seed, cardamom, angelica, and orange peel, and adds 14 pickling spices. These include mace, pepper, cassia, bay leaf, ginger, allspice, fennel and dill seeds. It is finished with a flourish of eight year old genever.

The worldwide launch (12 February) was naturally hosted at The Gibson bar London. For two consecutive years since its launch, The Gibson bar has featured in The World’s 50 Best Bars, attracting fans of classic martinis and experimental serves.

Bartenders and buyers are welcome to visit The Gibson for a taste of the new gin: 44 Old Street, London EC1V 9AQ. http://www.thegibsonbar.london.

New cocktails using Copperhead Gin The Gibson Edition will feature on the new menu and as specials. It will also be launched in other markets worldwide, and production will be on-going.

London, Edinburgh And Bristol Craft Beer Festivals ‘Raise The Bar’ For 2018

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Bringing together 17,000 visitors and attracting over 125 world class brewers from the UK, Europe and US, this year’s London, Edinburgh and Bristol Craft Beer Festivals are back and aiming to be the biggest series of Craft Beer Festivals in the UK.

Up 60% on last year, organisers and founders of We Are Beer, Greg Wells and Dan Sylvester, will once again bring the world’s finest craft beer, headline music acts and incredible food under one festival roof.

New for 2018 and a first for the industry, We Are Beer is launching ‘Raise the Bar’ – which seeks to find new, up-coming brewers and shine a light on creativity and innovation. In a bid to champion new talent, an expert panel will independently blind taste all submissions. They will then select the top four brewers to attend all three festivals providing them with a platform to showcase their beer to 17,000 people across the UK festivals.

The Raise the Bar panel includes: Jenn Merrick, former Beavertown head brewer and founder of a new community based brewery, Earth Station, Ben Freeman, co-founder and brewer at Pressure Drop, Jonny Garrett from Craft Beer Channel, and alongside Greg and Dan from We Are Beer.

Potential brewers (under 2 years in commercial production) are asked to enter online at https://raisethebar.wearebe er.com/ before submitting some samples of their beer for panel review. Entry deadline for Raise the Bar is Monday 12th March.

Among the first hand-picked brewers to be invited to the London festival are: Mikkeller from Copenhagen, Denmark, Cloudwater from Manchester, England, and Stillwater Artisanal from Baltimore, US. For Edinburgh, the line-up includes: Lervig Aktiebryggeri from Norway, Beavertown Brewery, from London and Tempest Brew Co. from The Borders, Scotland. The full line up of brewers for each location will be announced in the coming months.

Commenting on the festivals Greg Wells, co-founder of We Are Beer, said: “The festivals are an opportunity to celebrate modern beer and brewing culture from across the globe and give beer fans and those discovering craft beer the opportunity to sample a range of beers they wouldn’t normally get the chance to try.

In our quest to champion the incredible upcoming talent we are really excited about the potential for our ‘Raise the Bar’ competition to give young, new brewer’s a platform to showcase their beer on a UK stage,” he added.

Jenn Merrick, founder of community-based brewery, Earth Station and former head brewer of Beavertown and Meantime, said: “I am delighted to be asked by Dan and Greg to be a judge for Raise the Bar. I am a great believer in opening up the industry to a more diverse group of people – so it’s great to see an initiative like this which will support new talent.”

The Craft Beer Festivals will be returning for the sixth time in London, the third time in Bristol and second time in Edinburgh. Dates and locations for the Festivals are listed below:

· Edinburgh – 25th to 27th May 2018, Biscuit Factory, Leith

· London – 3rd to 5th August 2018, Tobacco Dock, Docklands

· Bristol – to be announced

Tickets for the London and Edinburgh Craft Beer Festivals are on sale now: londoncraftbeerfestival.co.uk and edinburghcraftbeerfestival.co.uk with Bristol going on sale from March (bristolcraftbeerfestival.co.uk).

Horatio Street Social Club To Launch In East London

HORATIO STREET SOCIAL CLUB
This February Horatio Street Social Club will launch in the basement of The Nelson’s Head, bringing a new cocktail bar to East London with neighbourhood vibes. The first venue from Simon Thompson and Jake O’Brien Murphy, who previously worked together at award-winning cocktail bar Callooh Callay, they’ll be bringing their unique blend of warm, relaxed hospitality and innovative cocktails to provide a new drinking den for cocktail lovers and locals. Horatio Street Social Club is the first ‘Social Club’ bar to launch, with plans for further venues throughout the UK later this year.

Hidden beneath The Nelson’s Head, Horatio Street Social Club will be an intimate space where guests can perch on stools at the bar or sit at one of the low-slung tables. Low  lighting, artwork on the walls and a playlist of eclectic, upbeat tunes will create a relaxed and informal atmosphere for a good night out.

The ethos of Horatio Street Social Club is underpinned by Simon and Jake’s belief that a night out is an important part of anyone’s social life. This means an emphasis on hospitality and making people feel welcome, as well as a cocktail menu which is innovative with world class drinks that are still accessible in flavour and price.

A menu of House Cocktails will showcase the team’s creativity, with regular changes and additions. Alongside this will be a list of Classic Cocktails, beer and a wine list by War on Terroir with something for all occasions – from easy drinking lager through to fizz for toasting a special occasion. The look of the physical menu will change monthly with new artwork inspired by a randomly picked theme.

Examples of House Cocktails priced at around £9 will include:

Naïve Melody – Campari, White Wine, Kola Nut Cordial
Inspired by the Bicicletta, an Italian café cocktail which takes its name from the idea that after one drink a bicycle could still be safely cycled home – the HSSC take on it is the perfect substitute for a Negroni or spritz. Exploring two of the world’s favourite drinks – Coca Cola and the Americano serve – the result is a cocktail with the aromatic notes of Bergamot and Kola, along with a moreish bitterness.

Garfield’s Funeral – Lot 40, Angel Share Syrup, Black Trumpet Mushroom Tincture
This cocktail is a celebration of the Old Fashioned. Angels Share Syrup takes its name from the evaporation of alcohol into the air during the whisky maturation process, and has been designed to be reminiscent of the dark, woody, musty smell of a barrel house – providing a strong backbone to the drink. The Black Trumpet Mushroom Tincture adds a note of umami. The drink takes its name from the first ever recorded reference to
the Old Fashioned cocktail at President Garfield’s funeral where whisky cocktails were reportedly served at a party that lasted five days.

Dirty Faces – Beeswax, Calvados, Gin, Apricot, Verjus
A modern take on the forgotten classic, Angel Face, by Harry Craddock for the Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930. Setting out to make the best possible version of the cocktail, the result is a deeply honeyed drink with stone fruit complexity – perfect sipped in place of a Martini or Manhattan.

Kill the Cook – Tequila, Red Pepper, Urfa, Red Iron, Lime
A drink that looks at tequila and agave, and the identity that comes with being a truly Mexican spirit. Traditional Mexican cooking methods are used alongside a look at the terroir of the Agave growing in Mexico. The Red Iron Solution is a nod to the mineralogy of Mexican red sand, whilst the red pepper and Urfa unite to create a sweet, smoky vegetal drink which is reminiscent of a Tommy’s Margarita.

Horatio Street Social Club is in soft launch from the beginning of February, and officially open from 15th February

Horatio Street Social Club
The Nelson’s Head
32 Horatio Street
London
E2 7SB

http://www.ClubsAreSocial.com
Instagram: @HoratioStreetSocialClub
Facebook: HoratioStreetSocialClub
Reservations: bookings@clubsaresocial.com

Open: 6pm – Midnight, Tuesday – Sunday

Maria Vieira Named Gabriel Boudier Wizard 2018

Maria_s recipes
The final of the 2018 Gabriel Boudier Wizard competition has been won by Maria Vieira, of East London Liquor Company

The second national Gabriel Boudier Wizard final was held in Vertigo cocktail bar in Dijon, France on Monday 15th January. The top four finalists were each selected from the regional heats held throughout the UK in 2017.

The competition was setup in 2015 by spirits importers, Emporia Brands. The Gabriel Boudier Wizard competition challenges bartenders to come up with an original liqueur or crème that is not already commercially available. The winning recipe will be put into production by Gabriel Boudier and released internationally later in the year.

Established in 1874, Gabriel Boudier is the only independent producer of liqueurs in Dijon still in family ownership. Their award-winning range is based on fresh ingredients, without the use of artificial flavours, and this philosophy was part of the brief to contestants.

Finalists were judged not only on their liqueur but also on their marketing plan to launch, along with a demonstration of how the liqueur could be used both in a simple serve and in a signature serve.

The four finalists were;
Jake Mellish – Boilermaker, Nottingham – Tonka bean liqueur
James Bowker – Wilderness, Birmingham – Meadowsweet liqueur
Caitlin Tulloch – Panda & Sons, Edinburgh – Chamomile liqueur
Maria Vieira – East London Liquor Company, London – Dijon Mustard liqueur

The finalists were judged by Samuel Boulton, winner of the 2016 Gabriel Boudier Wizard Award and Yves Battault, General Manager of Gabriel Boudier.

Maria impressed the judges with a polished presentation, demonstrating a good technical understanding to produce her liqueur with the unique mustard flavour being perfectly balanced in both cocktail recipes.

Drawing her inspiration from the other well know product of Dijon, Maria’s recipe uses both black and brown mustard. Increasingly ‘foodie’ ingredients are finding their way into cocktails and this trend looks to continue in 2018.

Maria took home £1,000 on the night and will now work with Gabriel Boudier over the next six months to finalize the recipe of Mustard Liqueur that will be launched in the UK at Imbibe Live on the 2nd and 3rd July, stand B110.

The next Gabriel Boudier Wizard competition will run in 2019, to find an original liqueur or crème to launch in 2020.

Maria’s recipes

BLOODY MUSTARD:
– 20ml Mustard Liqueur
– 20ml Saffron Gin
– 15ml Lemon juice
– 80ml Tomato mix
– 10ml Bloody Mary mix

EYE OF NEWT
– 40ml Dry Marsala
– 10ml Mustard Liqueur
– top with champagne
– 3 dashes of smoked malic acid solution.

Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition Goes On Sale Worldwide

Jameson IPA Caskmates - size
Irish Distillers, producer of the world’s most well-known and successful Irish whiskeys, today announced a new, global extension to the innovative Jameson Caskmates range with Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition, following a successful trial run in Ireland in September 2017.

Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition is a triple distilled Irish whiskey finished in craft IPA-seasoned barrels. The result is a whiskey that features the signature smoothness of Jameson alongside hints of light hops, fresh citrus and floral notes, and can be served neat, on the rocks, or paired with a beer.

Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition is the next chapter of a story that began in 2013, when Brian Nation, Master Distiller in Midleton Distillery, and Dave Quinn, Master of Whiskey Science in Midleton Distillery, met Franciscan Well Founder and Head Brewer, Shane Long, in a local Cork bar. The Midleton masters agreed to loan some Jameson casks to the brewery to discover their influence on Irish stout and when the stout-seasoned barrels were returned to Midleton Distillery, Dave Quinn re-filled them with Jameson Irish whiskey – a finishing process that created Jameson Caskmates Stout Edition. Having previously hit it off with stout, the team in Midleton were curious to try a new beer mate, and after much exploration discovered that a zesty IPA was the perfect partner.

Commenting on the announcement Jean-Christophe Coutures, Chairman and CEO of Irish Distillers, said: “Irish Distillers has a long history of innovation within the Irish whiskey category and we are incredibly proud of the latest chapter in this story of creative experimentation. This new addition to the Jameson Caskmates family was trialed in the Irish market exclusively since September 2017 and the response has been fantastic. We have no doubt that Jameson Caskmates IPA will be as popular throughout the world as it has been in its homeland of Ireland.”

Dave Quinn, Master of Whiskey Science in Midleton Distillery, added: “Without the curiosity and collaboration that took place that night in Cork and the expertise, passion and dedication that followed, we may have missed out on what has become a staple innovation within the Jameson family. It’s great to see the range growing so that more craft beer and whiskey fans alike can experience Jameson Caskmates. I recommend that you try the new release on the rocks or paired with a craft IPA but always with good friends over great conversations.”

Since launching in 2015, Jameson Caskmates has satisfied the appetite for new, innovative and authentic tastes among whiskey enthusiasts, Jameson drinkers and craft beer fans in over 40 markets worldwide.

Bottled at 40% ABV, Jameson Caskmates IPA Edition is available from December 2017 in the USA and January 2018 in Ireland. RRP is €38.

Newly Launched Mezcal Steals the Agave Crown

Corte Vetusto
While spirit connoisseurs have been excited in recent times by the tequila revolution, something far more exquisite has been sweeping the awards at the recent International Wine and Spirit Competition (IWSC).

Arguably the biggest news to emerge from the IWSC was that a mezcal, not a tequila, had taken top honours in the agave category – a competition first. And a new-comer at that. Translated as ‘ancient cut’, Corte Vetusto is a range of single-origin, artisanal mezcals, respectfully hand-crafted in small batches from mature agave. By deliberately emphasising the agave flavours and ensuring the light mesquite smoke enhances the taste rather than dominating, the range is set to challenge consumer perceptions of mezcal and position the brand as a genuine sipping alternative to some of the world’s great spirits.

Making such an impact at launch has not gone unnoticed by some of the UK’s most discerning buyers. The premium Corte Vetusto mezcals now grace the shelves of Harvey Nichols and Selfridges, along with high-end establishments such as Nobu and Milk & Honey as well as on-trend Mexican venues – Breddos Tacos and Santo Remedio.

About the range:

Espadin
– Created from cultivated agave with a hint of wild agave to give it a distinct aroma and taste
– Double distilled in a 250L copper pot still
– Crisp, bright, agave-forward mezcal
– IWSC 2017 Gold Outstanding & Mezcal Trophy winner
– £59

Tobala
– Created from wild agave
– First distillation in a 250L copper pot still
– Second distillation in a 70L ancestral clay pot still
– The unique combination of copper and clay distillation delivers a mezcal of unrivalled sophistication and complexity
– £99

Ensamble
– Created from a blend of wild agave.
– Limited-edition, each batch will comprise a different blend
– First distillation in a 250L copper pot still
– Second distillation in a 70L ancestral clay pot still
– The unique combination of copper and clay distillation delivers a mezcal of unrivalled sophistication and complexity
– £99

With a premium artisanal product comes a dedicated handmade production process. With no scientific process to rely on, Corte Vetusto is created in Oaxaca, Mexico, according to time-honoured traditions by 4th generation ‘Master Mezcalero’, Juan Carlos Gonzalez Diaz. A watchful eye is required to create a cut of mezcal that passes his strict criteria. From harvesting, cooking and milling the agave to fermenting and distilling the liquid, this authentically craft spirit takes over a month to make each batch and is a real labour of love.

Corte Vetusto is the first brand created by passionate marketer David Shepherd. David’s vision is to develop a portfolio of spirits made by true artisans, who have dedicated themselves to respectfully upholding the traditions and values associated with these spirits.

Born in Singapore to British parents, David’s childhood saw him grow up in Mexico City and Cape Town before venturing off to Scotland for University and then settling in London in 2005. With such a passion for Mexico and its heritage, David was captivated by mezcal’s breadth of flavour, cultural significance and devotion to traditional production methods. Taking just 20 months to bring to market, with no previous drinks industry experience, the launch of Corte Vetusto is already an incredible achievement, watch this space – mezcal is officially on the map.

For more information visit:
https://www.cortevetusto.com/
https://www.facebook.com/VetustoMezcal/
@VetustoMezcal

Stockists:
Off-trade
– Harvey Nichols
– Selfridges
– Master of Malt
– The Whisky Exchange
– The Grocery
– The Bottle Apostle

On-trade
– Nobu Berkley Street and Park Lane
– Hutong
– Breddos Tacos
– Cartel
– Santo Remedio
– Milk & Honey
– Trailer Made Cocktails
– Tredwells
– Pitt Cue
– Hawksmoor

Edinburgh’s Leon Black Announced UK Winner Of Bacardi Legacy 2018

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28 participants from 10 countries competed in the Northern European finals of the BACARDÍ Legacy Cocktail Competition in Amsterdam. Leon Back from Edinburgh’s Panda & Sons was announced the UK winner with his drink ‘The Queen Street’, and will go to the world finals in Mexico for the chance to be crowned global winner of one of the most prestigious cocktail competitions in the world.

BACARDÍ, the world’s most celebrated rum, invited bartenders from all over the world to participate in the competition. Every year BACARDÍ takes this opportunity to seek out cocktails that stand a chance of becoming genuine classics, like the legendary Daiquiri or Mojito.

28 participants from 10 countries took part in the Northern European finals for a place in the grand finals. One bartender was selected from each of the participating countries to go to the world finals in Mexico, to be held in the spring of 2018. In other words, the participants in these ‘national’ finals only competed against bartenders from their own country, but they did so in an inspiring international context, rubbing shoulders with counterparts from nine other countries.

It was not entirely coincidental that Amsterdam was chosen as the host city of the Northern European finals; the city is well on its way to becoming one of the world’s most important cocktail hubs.

The ten bartenders who secured their ticket to the finals in Mexico yesterday are:

Leon Back / Panda & Sons (UNITED KINGDOM)
Erik van beek / Bar27 (NETHERLANDS)
Didier van den Broeck / Dogma (BELGIUM / LUXEMBOURG)
Harald Gröbl / Mark’s New York Bar (AUSTRIA)
Kacper Dylak / Cinchona (SWITZERLAND)
Carl Wiman / Himkok (NORWAY)
Henri Halonen / Liberty or Dead (FINLAND)
Carl Marcus Erlandsson / Hay Market (SWEDEN)
Anthony Barry / Cask (IRELAND)
Damien Guichard / Velvet (GERMANY)

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Since it was created in 2008, the list of honour for the BACARDÍ Legacy Cocktail Competition has done more than simply put a series of cocktails by some of the world’s best bartenders into the spotlight. It has also become a genuine network of talented people, all connected by a unique contest in which camaraderie always counts for more than the will to compete.

Leon’s winning recipe for ‘The Queen Street’ cocktail can be found below:

50ml Bacardi Carta Blanca
25ml Fresh Lemon Juice
20ml 1-1 Sugar syrup
20ml Martini Ambrato
2 dashes Celery Bitters
Spritz Islay Whisky

Shake all ingredients with ice, double strain and serve straight up in a Nick & Nora Glass. Spray with a spritz of Islay whisky on the side of and top of glass

The Islay Boys to Launch UK Distribution with Emporia Brands

antighseinnseRVB

Spirits innovator Emporia Brands and award-winning The Islay Boys of Scotland, are proud to announce that they are joining forces to launch the brand into the UK, starting with the upcoming Spirits Show in London on 1st and 2nd December.

Donald MacKenzie and Mackay Smith, hailing from the Rhinns peninsula of Scotland’s most famous whisky isle, are the gentleman behind The Islay Boys brand and their three distinctive expressions; Flatnöse Blended Scotch Whisky, Flatnöse Blended Malt Scotch Whisky and Bårelegs Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

Donald and Mackay, like Ketill Flatnose, Magnus Barelegs and their Viking and Celtic forefathers, are born adventurers and have travelled the four corners of the globe – from New York and Paris to the spice fields of Zanzibar. With this, they have taken their experiences and blended them with the tradition of home, creating whiskies that they enjoy drinking together with friends and family.

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Launching the new partnership at the Spirit Show in London, both trade and consumers can experience the 2017 IWSC awarded expressions of whisky over both available days. Donald and Mackay said: ‘We are delighted to be working with the dedicated and professional team at Emporia to help grow our brands in our home market – we love the fact that the Chairman of Emporia Brands, James Rackham, was married on Islay, making us all Islay Boys together!’.

James Rackham goes on to state “It’s a rare privilege to be invited to be given the opportunity to sell one of your personal favourite spirits, and Emporia Brands are very happy to be sharing our love for this Islay range with our friends in the UK bars and merchants.”

For more information on the Spirit Show and available tickets, visit http://thespiritshow.co.uk/exhibiting/exhibitors-list/the-islay-boys-limited/