On the 5th day of Christmas, the traditional christmas tipple makes an appearance, Baileys.
Day 5 – Baileys Spiced Nog – Baileys
50ml Baileys Original Irish Cream
2.5ml Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum
1 dash St. Elizabeth® Allspice Dram
1 whole egg
1 dash Angostura bitters
Shake all the ingredients together and pour into a snifter glass.
Garnish with grated nutmeg.
Each day for the next 20 days their will be a different christmas cocktail added to the site, so sign yourself up to be the first to find out! Make sure you follow me on Twitter (and the hash tag #24daysofchristmascocktails) or Facebook for instant updates.
For the Baileys site, click here to be directed to the links page
4 days in and it’s time for a twist on the classic Daiquiri using Havana 7yr.
Day 4 – Rome Daiquiri – Havana
50 ml of Havana Club Añejo 7 Años
2 spoons of sugar
5 ml of lime juice
2 drops of Marrasquino
3 spoons of Nutella
1 slice of banana
Pour all the ingredients into a blender. Add crushed ice. Blend for 3 seconds. Pour into a daiquiri glass.
Each day for the next 21 days their will be a different christmas cocktail added to the site, so sign yourself up to be the first to find out! Make sure you follow me on Twitter (and the hash tag #24daysofchristmascocktails) or Facebook for instant updates.
For the Havana site, click here to be directed to the links page
Day 3 is here! With vodka and gin based cocktails starting us off, it’s the turn of the liqueurs and Amarula.
Day 3 – Amarula Dusky Decadence – Amarula
160 ml Amarula Cream
2 Tbs crushed brownie or (Chocolate biscuits)
2 Tsp Hazelnut liqueur
2 Tsp Orange liqueur
30 ml Peppermint Liqueur
Pinch of cinnamon
Shake all ingredients and pour over ice cubes into a highball and add crushed ice as a top layer.
Garnish with chocolate shavings and fresh ginger.
Each day for the next 22 days their will be a different christmas cocktail added to the site, so sign yourself up to be the first to find out! Make sure you follow me on Twitter (and the hash tag #24daysofchristmascocktails) or Facebook for instant updates.
For the Amarula site, click here to be directed to the links page
Day 2 has arrived! With Belvedere’s Mulled Cosmopolitan yesterday to start us off, day 2 brings us a rather simple, yet classic creation from Martin Miller’s Gin.
Day 2 – Alexander – Martin Miller’s
40ml Martin Miller’s Gin
20ml Creme de Cacao blanc
Shake and strain into a Martini glass
Garnish with grated nutmeg
Each day for the next 23 days their will be a different christmas cocktail added to the site, so sign yourself up to be the first to find out! Make sure you follow me on Twitter or Facebook for instant updates.
For the Martin Miller’s site, click here to be directed to the links page
So December is upon us and to celebrate, Drinks Enthusiast is offering the best of the best christmas cocktails out there, sourced from some exciting brands as well as throwing in some home-own creations.
Day 1 – Mulled Cosmopolitan – Belvedere
A typical Belvedere twist. Baking spices and citrus oils add layers of warm notes onto this classic summer drink.
50ml Belvedere Citrus or Orange
25ml mulled cranberry juice*
15ml lemon juice
Dash premium triple sec
Shake all ingredients with cubed ice and garnish with a 3 clove studded orange twist.
*To Mull Cranberry Juice: simply warm 1 litre of Ocean Spray Cranberry juice with 5 drops of grapefruit bitters, 3 cinnamon sticks, 2 cloves and 4 orange twists. Allow to cool and serve. Will keep for 2-3 days if refrigerated.
Each day for the next 24 days their will be a different christmas cocktail added to the site, so sign yourself up to be the first to find out! Make sure you follow me on Twitter or Facebook for instant updates.
For the Belvedere site, click here to be directed to the links page
I’ve recently been sent a rather unique Scottish whisky going by the name of Glengoyne. Why is it unique? Glengoyne produces Highland single malt whisky matured in the Lowlands. Located upon the Highland Line (the division between the Highlands and Lowlands of Scotland), Glengoyne’s stills are located in the Highlands while maturing the casks of whisky rest across the road in the Lowlands. Also, unlike many malt whisky distilleries, Glengoyne does not use peat smoke to dry their barley, but instead uses warm air. This gives a more subtle, complex whisky in which all of the delicate flavours are freely allowed to express themselves.
So with Glengoyne earning themselves the tag of unique, the history of this Highland Single Malt is a rather interesting affair too. (1)
The Glengoyne Distillery is situated in a wooded valley in the southern Highlands of Scotland close to a small river that flows into the famous Loch Lomond. The distillery, which takes its name from “Glen Guin” or Glen of the Wild Geese, has been producing single malt scotch whisky for nearly 200 years.
Glengoyne is one of the few distilleries producing whisky in this part of Scotland today. However at the beginning of the nineteenth century it is recorded that at least eighteen whisky stills were in operation in this area. But these, like many others at that time, were illegal. Whisky producers were forced to produce whisky illicitly as they were unable to pay the heavy taxes imposed by the government on spirit production to fund wars against France. Smuggling became rife and the hills and glens around Glengoyne formed a perfect cover for this lawless activity.
It was not until the 1820’s that an Act of Parliament was passed reducing the duty on spirit and the cost of a licence to distil which put an end to illegal production. This gave rise to a rush of stills being legalised including those at Glengoyne in 1833. It is reputed that Glengoyne was one of only a few stills to be licensed in the southern Highlands due to the high quality of whisky it produced.
Glengoyne, working continually since it was founded, was first-owned by George Connell who erected a distillery and took a lease on the surrounding land; he also built a warehouse which is still in use today. In 1876, the Lang Brothers from Glasgow bought the distillery and ownership still remains in Scottish hands with the Edrington Group taking over the distillery in the 1960’s and the Independent, Scottish, family owned business, Ian Macleod Distillers Ltd. acquiring the distillery in 2003.
The changes in ownership have done little to affect production of this unique malt as the traditional working methods have been passed from generation to generation.
A claim to fame happened in 1984 as the Lang Brothers became suppliers of whiskies to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother’s household. The Royal Warrant has since been assigned to Ian Macleod Distillers Limited and still takes pride of place on all Glengoyne packaging.
Glengoyne 10yr – 40%
A sweetness on the nose, with soft nuts and toffee mixing subtly near the end. The palate enjoys a light, fresh hit of apples with almonds and malt blending well to create a long, warm balance with slight spice to finish off. Winner of a gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Awards 2007.
Glengoyne 17yr – 43%
The most awarded whisky in the Glengoyne range including three golds at the San Francisco World Spirits Awards (2003, 2005 and 2007) as well as two gold in the International Spirits Challenge (1999 and 2005).
On the nose you receive small hints of sherry, but a dominant hit of fruits with raisin and pear contributing well. A sweet taste of malt, with orange, slight notes of honey and treacle, and a late showing of vanilla produces a long-lasting after-taste, with a small hint of spice to finish the dram off.
Glengoyne 21yr – 43%
Awarded gold in the 2005 San Francisco World Spirit Awards, a deep sherry and toffee mix on the nose, with lots of apple, pear and red berry flavours making an appearance. The palate has a more mature and complex taste of oak and honey, with a smooth hint of cinnamon and vanilla finishing off the warmth of the dram.
Three rather exceptional whiskies, and if you ever have the chance to try these yourselves, there’s no disguising why they have all won gold medals at some of the worlds most prestigious competitions. A personal favourite would be the 17yr with the sweetness of the malt, orange and treacle creating such a warm lasting feeling on the palate, enough to savor and enjoy.
Glengoyne also have many others in their range including a 12yr and some special additions from 1972, 2008, 2007, 2006 and 2005. All are available to purchase here.
(1) History of Glengoyne is created using extracts from the Glengoyne website. Click the links page to direct yourself to the Glengoyne site.
Hendrick’s gin have recently created a rather unusual take on the classic christmas carol by James Halliwell, ‘The 12 days of Christmas’, as part of their Hendrick’s Most Unusual Christmas Shop Window. They’ve partnered with the Most Unusual Minds from the worlds of art, jewellery and taxidermy to create this delightfully peculiar interpretation. From ten sleazy ‘Lords a Leaping’, twelve ‘Wild haggis drumming’ to, three ‘Giant snails’ pretending to be French hens to a lone partridge in a cucumber plant, the striking display will come forth this Winter as the UK’s Most Unusual Christmas Shop window.
ON THE 13TH DAY OF XMAS MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME…
12 Drummers Drumming (Wild Haggis, by the Little Theatre of Dolls)
11 Pipers Piping (merry jazz bagpipe dancers, by Matthew Killick).
10 Lords-a-leaping, discoveredon a carousel of sleaze! (by Magnus Irvin)
9 Ladies Dancing (Painted Lady butterflies – transforming into sexy showgirls by the Little Theatre of Dolls)
4 Colly Birds (a pair of crows and their curious babies, by Matthew Killick)
3 French Hens (that other famous French delicacy – snails! Live Giant African Snails, by Matthew Killick)
2 Turtledoves (representing the 2 lovers, exactly half turtle, half dove, by Matthew Killick)
And a Partridge in a Cucumber Bush (by Sophie Turner)The 12 Drummers Drumming are WILD HAGGIS, bashing on their bongo drums as they march through the wilderness. (By the Little Theatre of Dolls)
The Hendrick’s Most Unusual Christmas Shop Window will be displayed at Jeroboams, Belgravia London (from w/c 21st November) and Peckham’s, Edinburgh Scotland (from w/c 5th December).
Whilst you’re checking the display out, Marian Beke, from the award-winning bar Nightjar, has created a cocktail to accompany the window display named the 13th Day of Christmas. The drink uses some traditional Christmas ingredients, but brings them together in a suitably unusual fashion to compliment the Hendrick’s Gin window display.
The Thirteenth Day of Christmas
By Marian Beke, Nightjar.
40ml Hendrick’s Gin
40 ml Christmas Wine Mix *
3 dashes roasted cocoa and Mauritia pine nuts bitters
1 bar spoon Italian marzipan paste
2 whole quil eggs
Combine all ingredients in shaker over ice. Shake extremely hard and strain ingredients into a glass that has been dusted with Luwak Powder and Chocolate. Garnished with edible Chocolate Spoon.
This drinks’ aroma and appearance instantly conjure up images of Christmas, with the flavours of marzipan and pine leading the nose, before the flavours of port and cocoa dominating the finish on the palate. The dusted glass provides the perfect setting for this festive gift.
Hendrick’s Gin, with Matthew Killick, have assembled a diverse team of artists to bring this dream to life…
Matthew Killick is a painter who makes hyper-detailed scenes from his own imagination, inspired by his undersea explorations as a diver, with work in the collections of Bryan Adams and Roland Mouret amongst others. http://viktorwyndfineart.co.uk/mattbiog.html
Magnus Irvin – artist, performer, pataphysics agitator and publisher of The Daily Twit. www.magnusirvin.com
Little Theatre of Dolls are a pair of Scandinavian artist/puppetmakers, whose daydreaming magical imaginations result in surreal shows for children and adults… http://thelittletheatreofdolls.com/
Natty Bo is a singer with huge touring roots band Ska Cubano, and The Top Cats, a surrealist performer and painter – www.skacubano.com
Samantha Sweeting is an artist working in performance, video, and photography, who has shown at major institutions worldwide, including most recently Tate Liverpool. http://www.samanthasweeting.com
Hannah Martin is a young fine jeweller, whose exciting designs, inspired by ‘the incredibly ancient and incredibly modern,’ have seen her catapulted into worldwide renown. http://www.hannahmartinlondon.com
On Wednesday night, I had the chance to try the relatively unknown champagne house Henriot at the Epernay champagne bar in Manchester. Three bottles were on offer to sample, with hosts Cyriaque and Joelle giving a speech on the history of Henriot and what to expect from their Rose Brut, Brut Souverain and Blanc De Blancs.
A little history first,
Native to Lorraine, the Henriot family relocated to Champagne around 1640. In Reims, the Henriots slowly acquired vineyards as well as the acquisition of the Hôtel des Douanes and the Fermes Royales. Nicolas Henriot married Apolline Godinot. Together, they developed a fascination for the culture of the vine and production of wines of quality.
After the death of Nicolas Henriot, Apolline Henriot decided to continue to develop the vineyards and refine the style of the wines. The 33 year-old set forth her name and founded Veuve Henriot Ainé in 1808. Apolline sold her wines both in France and abroad and became a huge success with royalty, concluding with Henriot being declared Official Supplier to the Imperial and Royal Court of Austria.
The vineyards grew bigger when Paul Henriot, nephew of Ernest Henriot, married Marie Marguet, who owned vines in the Côtes des Blancs.
Once Apolline passed away, the family legacy continued with her grandson Ernest, where in 1875, Ernest enlarged the company’s holdings and developed the House. Etienne Henriot, son of Paul, who had trained as an agronomist, took over the management of the House. With great vision, he expanded the house’s viticultural domain, which then covered nearly 110 hectares (275 acres).
1957 saw the death of Etienne Henriot, and his son, Joseph Henriot, who was also a trained agronomist, gradually taking over the reins of the family company from 1962.
So with a little history explained to us, our first champagne of the night was poured, Rose Brut (all prices are straight from the Epernay champagne menu).
Henriot Rose Brut – £58
Made up of 58% Pinot Noir grapes and 42% Chardonnay grapes, a fruit nose dominates the senses with citrus and floral scents making their way through slowly. The palate enjoys a light, salivating fruityness, with floral and hints of spice mixing well to create a long-lasting flavour.
Brut Souverain – £46
Created with a balance of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes, the nose has a hit of boldness, moving quickly into a refreshing citrus and floral flavour mix. Fresh bread was also detected. A taste of apricot and oranges lay well on the palate, with vanilla and cherry subtly making an appearance near the end.
Blanc De Blancs – £58
The sole use of Chardonnay grapes creates a sophisticated blend of fruit, floral and spice on the nose. The honey, vanilla and almond attack the palate to lay down a soft and smooth finish with lingering vanilla scents.
My personal favourite? Blanc De Blancs. And for £58, I’ve found a champagne worth splashing out for! For the same price, the Rose Brut is also a good shout, while the Brut Souverain, albeit not my personal favourite out of the three, is still a great champagne to drink.
The Henriot range is not readily available in supermarkets, however you can purchase the three above champagnes here. Or better still, get yourself down to Epernay in Manchester where you can enjoy the range in comfort and style. Give me a shout, I’ll see you there!
Last Friday there was a more local affair happening in the town of Sale as the Fancy a Beer Mate company came to Sale’s Masonic Hall for a two-day festival of all things ale. Promising local breweries in both ale, cider and perry, along with entertainment on both days, it would be rude not to go along and give it a go!
Now I will admit, a fair few ales were consumed on this night, so I’ve had to refer to the tasting notes from the programme to jog my memory on the odd occasion.
Costing only £5 to enter (including the customary festival glass), the four strong group trawled through the list of breweries available to us to see which one would get the night rolling. First up for me was a tipple from the Dunham Massey Brewing Company named ‘Winter Warmer’ (6.6%). A rather strong offering, although not immediately noticeable, with a rich malt flavour being present with hints of spice. Ginger and nutmeg were also present as it went down rather quickly. So in not time at all, I went in search for the recommended ‘Ape Ale’ (5.4%) by the Blue Monkey Brewing Company from Nottingham. A strong pale ale, a good mix of pine, citrus and orange are immediate flavours, which culminated into a dry finish. An after-taste of slight bitterness eventually came around but the end result was rather moorish.
Next up was ‘HedgeHopper’ (3.8%) by Mobberley Fine Ales. A golden ale, light on the palate with hopps and a mild flavour lingering on the after-taste. The lady who served me warned that I’d be back for more, but i noticed instead the Quantum Brewing Company from Stockport, and their offering of Summit IPA (5.5%). Their description boasts that it’s produced using a single hop to showcase the characteristics of the hop variety. With this in mind, the ‘stripped down’ IPA was heavy on the berries and citrus fruits, with hints of malt thrown in near the end.
5th of the night was the simply named ‘Jack’ (4.2%) by the Falstaff Brewery in Derby. A fruity golden ale with heavy hints of butterscotch. Citrus replaces as the dominant flavour as it moved to a more gentle after-taste of hops. The Leatherbritches Brewery from Ashbourne were up next with their ale named ‘Owd Codger’ (4.9%). A hint of strawberry on the palate joins with slight pepper notes that results in a long hoppy finish. Nearing the end of the night, and after enjoying the local entertainment on the stage next to us, ‘Kingdom’ (4.5%) by The Tap House Brewery in Smisby, Derbyshire was next in line, offering huge amounts of malt on the palate with caramel flavours mixing in to give a sweet, long after-taste.
The last ale of the night went to a name that all three of my fellow ale drinkers had tried before, with raving reviews – ‘Pegasus’ (4.2%). By the Milton Brewery down in Milton, Cambridgeshire, a well-balanced mix of fruit and malt was enjoyed on the palate to produce a very moorish offering!
After 8 ales, it was time to hit the hay and stumble home. A cracking night had by all with congratulations to the boys and girls of Fancy a Beer Mate!
Click here to be taken to the links page where you can find all the links to the breweries websites as well as Fancy a Beer Mate.
The boys at Fancy a Beer Mate are back with a two-day festival at the Sale Masonic Hall on Friday 18th and Saturday 19th November.
Commencing at 5pm till 11pm on the Friday, and noon till 11pm on the Saturday, Fancy a Beer Mate will be showcasing the likes of Dunham Massey Brewing Company, Mobberley Fine Ales, The Tap House Brewery and the Leatherbritches Brewery as well as a selection of ciders and perrys from both the Broadoak Cider Company and Saxon Cider Company. Wine and soft drinks are also available.
Tickets are £5 on the night (receive 20% off if you click here and purchase online) which includes £1 refundable deposit on the festival glass. Tokens are then available to purchase once inside. Free entry for parental supervised children on Saturday afternoon till 7pm and their drinks are free.
The venue is located approximately 150 metres from the Sale Metrolink station, behind the Town Hall.
And there’s entertainment too! Local girl and singer / songwriter Sophie Roberts will be covering a list of well-known hits as well as her own songs.
So come on down!
For further information about Fancy a Beer Mate, click here