Day 16 uses the Italian spirit Campari to create a rather simple, yet dazzling in colour, cocktail to hand out to your party guests.
Day 16 – Campari Spritz – Campari
Build all ingredients and pour into a wine glass full of ice.
Garnish with fresh pineapple.
Each day for the next 8 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.
Last night was the final installment of the year in The Liquorists busy calendar, the seasonal spirits trail! Following the same concept of their Vodka trail last month, we were to be enjoying 5 different spirits, 5 different cocktails in 5 different bars accompanied by 5 different light bite appetizers. Sound daunting? Challenge accepted!
Starting the night in the 5* Lowry Hotel and The River Bar & Restaurant in Manchester’s Chapel Wharf, we gathered in the bar’s Library, a quietly tucked away part of the bar which is perfect for events like this. Barry, of Epernay fame, would be our host for the evening, and after a brief introduction, explained to us why we had a shot of Bacardi in front of us. Whilst guiding us through the history of this well know rum, Pear and Cinnamon Martini’s were handed out along with soft vanilla cheesecake. No sooner had we finished the lychee in the bottom of the glass, we were hopping into a taxi to our next venue, Apotheca.
Southern Comfort was the choice of spirit and one of my personal favourites dating back to my teenage years! Making our way to their basement bar with some fantastic canvases of the Manchester skyline, we enjoyed a shot of Southern Comfort with pieces of 80% dark cocoa that blended well, but became truly amazing with the cocktail ‘Southern Jam’, made with apricot jam, lemon juice, Chinese five-spice, cranberry juice and a double helping of Southern Comfort.
24 Bar & Grill was the next port of call, with this stunning conversion of the previous namesake Obsidian, offering us the Dutch Ketel One Citron vodka to sip while their Christmas offering ‘Long Winters Night’ were being hand crafted for our pleasure. Lemon, cinnamon sugar syrup, cherry Cognac, Amaretto, sweet Vermouth and a dash of Bitters created a rather long and refreshing cocktail, all whilst munching on mince pies. From Barry’s homeland of Holland, to Cuba, Havana and their Barrell Proof was next to showcase themselves at Sandinista, with a Christmas classic Eggnog cocktail being served (mixed spice, cream, Havana Barrell Proof, sugar) while we munched on roasted chestnuts. All that was missing was a roaring fire!
Our last bar for the night was in one of Manchester’s pop-up bars and venue to the winter ice-rink, The Moose Bar. The French orange liqueur Grand Marnier was sipped, while Grand Tommy cocktails were brought over to us amid pea and ham soup, ham hock terrine, pheasant and beef stew and sausage, crouton and cheese fondue.
A great night was had, with a round of applause given to Barry by all in attendance. And it truly was. My friend came with me last night as a fan from the last trail, and he’s now raring to go back to all 5 bars again, with The Moose Bar and Sandinista his highlights. As for me, I’m already looking forward to January as The Liquorists announced their rum trails, with bars including Keko Moku, Hula, MOJO Rhum Room, The Liars Club and Sandinista on offer!
Check out The Liquorist’s website and Facebook page for more information and tickets.
Click on my Links page for links to all the bars and brands mentioned in this article
Nearly on the home stretch now, and we have Patrón tequila leading the way!
Day 15 – The Bell Tolls – Patrón
60ml Patrón Añejo
25ml herbal liqueur
50ml white grapefruit juice
15ml cane syrup
Combine all ingredients into an ice-filled shaker, shake and strain into a rocks glass filled with ice.
Garnish with a sprig of Thai basil.
Each day for the next 9 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.
Into Day 14 now and another well-known Christmas liqueur is on hand to create a rather classic looking cocktail.
Day 14 – Vanilla Spice – Drambuie
50ml Vanilla Vodka
75ml Cranberry Juice
Shake Drambuie, vanilla vodka and cranberry juice together. Then pour into a pre-chilled martini glass to enjoy.
Garnished with orange peel.
Each day for the next 10 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.
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.
Each day for the next 11 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.
Corks Out in Timperley held their monthly tasting session last Thursday and with the run up to Christmas in full swing, store manager Karim Ghazanfar introduced to us all 10 sparkling wines to sample and enjoy.
So without delay, let’s crack on with the tasting notes from each wine!
Primo Prosecco – Italy
A nose of peach and apricot with floral hints lingering softly afterwards. The palate enjoys an elegant yet lively sensation to create a crisp, smooth finish. A slight dryness on the after-taste.
Hailing from the Veneto region in Northern Italy, the producer of Primo Prosecco, Cavit, has been named ‘European Producer of the Year’ twice in its history so far.
Recommended to go with smoked salmon and is a great starting Prosecco.
Prosecco Sergio – Italy
Honey and fresh apple notes mix well on the nose, both being emphasised once hitting the palate with citrus and green apples being the dominant flavours. A long finish, although slightly dry. More delicate on the taste buds due to the wine being matured more slowly.
Produced by the biggest Prosecco company, Mionetto.
Morton Mimi Sparkling Wine – New Zealand
Consisting of Hawkes Bay grapes (Pinot Noir 49%, Chardonnay 48%, Pinot Meunier 3%), a heavy sweetness on the nose with a rich yeast flavour of fresh bread being particularly dominant. It’s smooth and sweet on the palate, with the sugar masking the flavour of acidity well.
Recommended as more a celebratory sparkling wine.
Steenberg Brut – South Africa
Using 100% Chardonnay grapes, a fresh green apple aroma is dominant on the nose, with limes and soft biscuit following slowly. Flavours of rich yeast and a light, creamy yet dry rest easy on the palate.
Morton Blanc de Blanc 2000 – New Zealand
Morton’s top sparkling wine in their range and produced with 100% Chardonnay grapes), instant strawberry notes are detected on the nose whilst raisins, caramel, and toffee blend well lightly on the palate. Virtually no bubbles are present.
Laurent Perrier Ultra Brut – France
Produced using 70% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Noir and 15% Pinot Meunier grapes, a rich tone of citrus and cake hit the nose in an instant, but the palate enjoys a delicate mix of green apple and fresh fruits that slowly turn into vanilla flavours. Light, fresh and crisp.
Bollinger Ayala Brut Majeur – France
Pinot Noir dominated (48% Pinot Noir, 34% Chardonnay, 18% Pinot Meunier), with rich, fresh stewed strawberries on the nose and a slight vanilla flavour giving the palate a short, clean after-taste.
Cattier Rose Red Kiss – France
Red grape dominated (only 4% Chardonnay), peach and raspberry notes mix well with scents of biscuits to create a slightly dry, yet delicate finish on the palate with strawberry, plum and cherry flavours.
Recommended with strawberry cheesecake.
Billecart-Salmon Rose – France
Subtle fresh bread aromas combine well with ripe strawberries and raspberries on the nose, in turn creating a light, fresh palate ending with a long, dry finish.
Billecart-Salmon 2004 – France
Very fresh on the nose with a great combination of citrus and lime with a small hint of dried fruits. A light, soft and savoury mix of fruits and apple creates a long finish for a Champagne that can only get better with age.
A fantastic night resulting in a good mix of both Prosecco and Champagne, with great stories and facts from our host and a bottle of Primo Prosecco is now safely chilling in my fridge. It’s amazing what a simple tasting will do to your palate and wallet!
All 10 sparkling wines are available on the Corks Out website here.
It’s been that time of month again at Kro 2 with their monthly whisky tasting and this time Moet and Hennessy were the guests, bringing with them Glenmorangie and Ardbeg.
Again for those of you who don’t know what Kro Bar is, they’re a Danish family business who specialise in Danish food and beer. A popular idea in the Manchester area, they’ve expanded from 1 outlet to 5 in the space of 10 years.
Our host for the evening was Alex, and he took us through a thorough history of Moet and Hennessy itself and the whiskies they have under their portfolio.
Now I’ve personally never tried any of the Glenmorangie range, but i had the chance to sample Ardbeg at this years Manchester Whisky Festival a few months back. So with a rough idea of what my taste-buds would be expecting, below are my tasting notes on each whisky offered to us:-
Glenmorangie Nectar D’or – 46%
A multi-award winning Single Malt, sweet, rich vanilla notes dominate the nose with slight hints of toffee wandering soon after. The palate enjoys a slow build-up of spice, ginger and red berry that creates a warmth that lingers playfully long after.
Glenmorangie Lasanta – 46%
Another award-winning Single Malt, the Lasanta spends ten years maturing in American white oak ex-bourbon casks before being extra-matured for a further two years in Oloroso Sherry casks from Jerez in Spain.
Wild spice with lots of dry oak flavours mix well on the nose, with a smooth yet heavier flavour of sherry and nuts on the palate. Subtle orange hints on the after-taste.
Glenmorangie Quinta Ruban – 46%
Again award-winning, the Quinta Ruban spends 10 years maturing in American white oak casks, before being transferred into specially selected ruby port pipes from the Quintas or wine estates of Portugal.
The nose is light with a sharp mint flavour hitting the senses. with a slight spice nearing the end. The palate has a combination of dark chocolate and fresh mint, that mellows out to become a lot smoother after a few sips. Hints of orange are also detected throughout.
Ardbeg 10yr – 46%
On the nose, a subtle hint of peat mixes with light hits of smoke. Lemon and limes are also swirling slowly. The palate enjoys light, fresh combinations of cinnamon, lemons and limes with a hint of iodine. It’s not as strong hitting as you may expect.
Ardbeg Uigeadail – 54.2%
A smooth, mellow hint of peat with honey and sugar mixing well on the nose. However the palate has a sharp peat hit mixing with winter spices that mellows quickly to produce a rather short after-taste.
Ardbeg Corryvreckan – 57%
Light, peat iodine notes with lots of herbs and blackcurrant combining well on the nose. A soft blend of cream and spices start well initially, but develops into a rather harsh dance of salt and iodine for a short after-taste.
To compliment the whisky selection, the Head Chef at Kro 2 created a traditional Scottish fish pie involving haddock, cod and pollock, mixed with peas in a white wine sauce, topped with cheese and mash potato.
Another thoroughly enjoyable event in which we were able to sample a good range of two award-winning whiskies. Personal highlights were the Glenmorangie Nectar D’or and the Ardbeg 10yr.
Next month’s Kro 2 whisky tasting is yet to be announced, but expect to see advertising for it here as soon as details are released.
The countdown is at its half way stage! Today I’ve gone for a simple classic involving Beefeater 24 with only three ingredients.
Day 12 – Gin and Cherry Sling – Beefeater 24
50ml Beefeater 24
25ml De Kuyper Cherry Brandy
Top with soda
Put some crushed ice in the glass. Pour on the Beefeater 24, followed by the De Kuyper Cherry Brandy. Top up with soda as desired.
Garnish with a cherry.
Each day for the next 13 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.
Only two weeks till Christmas Day and nearly half way through the Drinks Enthusiast advent calendar of Christmas cocktails! Day 11 involves the classic American Jack Daniels.
Day 11 – Vanilla Jack – Jack Daniels
25ml Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
75ml ginger ale
Splash of triple sec
In a mixing glass filled with ice, add ingredients. Roll contents, but do not shake. Pour into a highball glass.
Garnish with a cherry.
Each day for the next 14 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.
Day 10 has arrived in the form of the American craft beer Blue Moon.
Day 10 – Blue Moon Winter Punch – Blue Moon
Heat proof Highball glass
6 bottles Blue Moon
1 litre Orange Juice
75ml Sugar syrup
75ml Gingerbread syrup
Handful of cloves
Handful of broken cinnamon sticks
Combine and stir all the ingredients in a saucepan on a low heat until simmering.
Garnish with orange slice.
Each day for the next 15 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.