Muyu Pop-Up Boutique; Combining Sustainability, Ethics & Flavour

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This February, the Muyu Pop-Up Boutique will introduce drinks lovers to Muyu, a brand new range of luxury liqueurs created by three of the world’s most renowned and awarded bartenders – Alex Kratena, Monica Berg & Simone Caporale. At the pop-up guests will be able to experience a tasting with Alex, Monica or Simone, as well as having a unique opportunity to purchase the liqueurs before they officially become available this spring.

Combining a boutique perfume attitude with the trio’s unique cocktail philosophy, Muyu is created in an entirely unique way offering a clean, fresh flavour profile. Inspired by a trip to the Amazon, Muyu will actively promote biodiversity through responsible sourcing, with a share of profits from each bottle also going towards NGOs doing meaningful work in the Amazon.

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Muyu has been designed to enjoyed in highball style cocktails, as well as on the rocks, and will be available in three flavours, each designed by one of the bartenders:

Muyu Jasmine Verte – Monica Berg
Floral, blooming, fresh, sensual and luminous
Jasmine with accents of neroli, patchouli, yuzu and iris

Muyu Chinotto Nero – Simone Caporale
Citrusy, opulent, zesty, lush and mystical
Chinotto with accents of cinchona, oak moss, curacao orange and cacao

Muyu Vetiver – Alex Kratena
Earthy, woody, mystical, intriguing, endless
Vetiver with accents of timur, patchouli, petit grains and cedarwood

Created in a similar way to perfume, the main ingredient is extracted before the second layer of accent ingredients are added. The result is completely developed and complex liquids.

Alex and Simone met whilst working at the Artesian, London, where they led the team to unrivalled success winning World’s Best Bar four years in a row until their departure in 2015. Monica is one of the leading bartenders coming out of Scandinavia. The brand is not only the first from the three bartenders, but also a first for the world of liqueurs which looks set to redefine the category.

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Shake Up Your Shop and Check Out A Cocktail With Kitchen Cocktail’s Supermarket Sweep Pop-Up

In the words of the late, great national treasure, Dale Winton “the next time you’re at the checkout and you hear the beep, think of the fun you could be having on Supermarket Sweep!”. This month London Cocktail Club’s world renowned bartender, JJ Goodman, will be stepping out from behind the bar to the check-out to celebrate his new step-by-step cocktail book Kitchen Cocktails, showcasing how delicious cocktails can be made using simple, supermarket ingredients.

Located on the ground floor of London Cocktail Club Shoreditch, the pop-up supermarket aisles, packed with classic everyday items from Coco Pops to bacon, will see ticket-goers race against the clock to gather the ingredients and inflatables to create their cocktail of choice and score one of the ‘cocktail-hack’ prizes. Tickets will be available from Design My Night for £30.00 per person, which includes three cocktails and an enormous amount of fun; you can book for groups of up to 20 between 12pm – 9pm daily, from Saturday 1 December 2018 – Saturday 23 February 2019.

SHOP & SWEEP
Guests will walk through the doors of the Cocktail Kitchen pop-up and meet JJ and the team with a cocktail on arrival. Once divided into teams, competitors will don their 90s-style primary colour jumpers before selecting their preferred cocktail from the Kitchen Cocktails book.

Raring to go,shopping basket in hand, they will then set off to the sound of an airhorn on a timed spin around the aisles of the Cocktail Kitchen supermarket to collect the ingredients needed for their drink of choice, battling it out to take the win. Combining elements from two of the UK’s most beloved tv shows, guests will be able to secure bonus prizes by spinning a Cocktail Wheel of Fortune and stuffing their baskets with the corresponding novelty inflatables.

CHECK OUT A COCKTAIL
Upon check out, challengers will take their shopping bags to the set-up kitchen area where LCC’s team of bartenders will be on-hand to guide budding mixologists on how to create incredible cocktails using the very simple ingredients gathered in the aisles.

Available from kitchen-cocktails.com for RRP £29.99, Kitchen Cocktails is the essential Christmas gift for cocktail lovers across the country looking to shake up winter warmers at home. As the festive party season (and supermarket shop) approaches, the time is ripe to join the revolution.

 

Emily Says . . . . ‘Elephant’

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In her thirteenth feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering looks at the Elephant in Ginuary;

With “Ginuary” in full swing, it’s natural for one to be on the hunt for a ‘one of a kind’ type of gin; something new and exciting for the New Year perhaps. The start of 2019 has already brought a range of current and intriguing gins to my attention, and I’m here to share them with you all, my fellow gin lovers!

Elephant Gin is a London Dry truly one of a kind. Whilst its story started in South Africa, it is currently distilled one hour east of Hamburg, Germany and is designed in order to capture the flavours and spirit of Africa. By doing that firstly, 15% of profits from the sale of each bottle go towards African elephant conservations, and each batch is named after an elephant supported by that charity at some time. If that doesn’t warm your heart, I don’t know what will.

The name of this gin truly gives one what is expecting: elephant strength. With its London Dry having an ABV of 45%, and its ‘Elephant Strength’ batch with an ABV of 57%, this gin stands out magnificently on the back bar.

On the nose, the initial hit of ginger is apparent alongside hints of delicate fruity notes. The use of fourteen botanicals combined with rare African ingredients and fresh apples give this gin its unique and distinctive taste, all whilst remaining on the ‘juniper heavy’ side.

In similarity to what is received on the nose, the palate immediately delivers subtle notes of ginger; not too strong but enough there to get that fiery kick that ginger is well known for. A slight sweetness is apparent, with gentle tones of elderflower and other floral components such as lavender. To finish, the dry tones of the classic London Dry round up the drinking experience nicely with slightly spiced peppery notes.

An overall fantastic little tipple for those experienced gin drinkers, Elephant Gin delivers something that ticks all the boxes. With it being a London Dry, Elephant sticks to the traditional components that one would expect, but with some delightful floral and spicy notes that create an exciting and different gin to enjoy.

Elephant Gin is best served as a 50ml double over ice with an Indian tonic water, or for those with a taste for something spicier, Fever Tree’s premium aromatic tonic water. The go-to garnish is a handful of dried juniper berries and a delicate slice of fresh ginger. Sorted.

Photo Cred: Elephant Gin

Maison Bache-Gabrielsen Reconnects With Its Roots And Launches The First Aquavit Produced In Cognac!

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With the DistillationS by Bache-Gabrielsen range, the cognac house seeks to reveal different spirits from varied origins with a touch of their own savoir-faire. After the American Oak Whisky released in 2017, Bache-Gabrielsen unveils the second opus in the range, in collaboration with Audemus Spirits : an Aquavit.

Aquavit is a traditional Scandinavian product par excellence. Born from Scandinavian roots with a savoir-faire of over 100 years, Bache-Gabrielsen launches the first Aquavit created in Cognac. This project is the fruit of a collaboration between Bache-Gabrielsen (the cognac house founded in 1905) and the micro-distillery Audemus Spirits (founded in 2013, in Cognac); a subtle alliance between the traditional and the modern.

As the ‘artistic director’, Jean-Philippe Bergier who has been Cellar Master at Bache Gabrielsen for almost 30 years coordinated the project; connecting it to the brand’s universe. Miko Abouaf, the founder of Audemus Spirits interpreted this desire and created the spirit accordingly.

This Aquavit is the assemblage of two spirits. The first is distilled in a traditional cognac still, where several botanicals were blended; the core, caraway as well as green anis and coriander amongst others. The second was distilled under vacuum in a glass still, allowing us to extract the delicate and fresh aromas of angelica.

Miko Abouaf describes the subtleties of his recipe : “the caraway and the coriander form the core of the spirit – bringing structure and body. Fennel and the anis add sweetness, softening the aquavit. Finally, the angelica, conserving its freshness through the vacuum distillation, gives the signature finesse to the assemblage’.

For Jean-Philippe Bergier, the objective was to combine freshness and roundness to obtain a delicately floral and expressive aquavit without burn.

The originality of this aquavit comes from its Scandinavian origins, it’s style and its soul born in Cognac.

 

Emily Says . . . . ‘Flor De Sevilla’

tanquerayIn her twelfth feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering looks at Ginuary over Dry January;

The New Year is well and truly upon us, and a new year usually means one thing: Dry January. But I’m not here to talk about that nonsense! I’m here to talk about “Ginuary”, and what gins have appeared under my radar so far this month.

With Tanqueray being one of the most popular London Dry Gins known, the arrival of Tanqueray Flor De Sevilla has caught not only my attention, but the attention of the bartending community. But firstly, what exactly is Tanqueray all about?

Founded by Charles Tanqueray in 1830 in Bloomsbury, London, Tanqueray still holds the original recipe that has stood the test of almost one hundred and eighty years. The distillery, however, was severely damaged during World War Two in 1941. The only surviving piece of equipment was one of the stills that was nicknamed “Old Tom”, and made the move with them to the new and current distillery in Cameron Bridge, Scotland.

The story of Tanqueray Flor De Sevilla begins in Spain’s sun-drenched Seville, a place brimming with fresh and beautiful flavours; including its vastly growing gin market. Traditionally, the recipe follows the original that is used for Tanqueray London Dry, but involves a beautiful blend of sevilla orange essences and other fine botanicals, including classics such as juniper and angelica root, all of which are distilled four times over.

On the nose, the zesty aromas of the sevilla oranges dominate the first initial smell. A sweet and fragrant aroma that connotes a warm summers evening; something that we all need in this frosty month!

With an ABV of 41.3%, Flor De Sevilla delivers the perfect zesty balance of classic Tanqueray on the palate, with the delightfully predictable notes of sevilla orange. Whilst this gin remains citrus heavy, fresh and floral notes are present, creating a long and fruity finish.

This citrusy little number is perfect served as a 50ml double over ice with an Indian tonic water. In terms of garnish, there’s no need to go over-board for this one. A simple wedge of orange will do just nicely… not forgetting to squeeze over the finishing product! A personal favourite at the moment, Tanq’s Flor De Sevilla is a ‘must try’ in 2019.

Photo Cred: Tanqueray

Denomination Gives Adult Soda Brand Somersault Extra ‘Pop’

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New Instagram-worthy drinks brand Somersault launches in a bid to tap into the burgeoning adult soft-drinks market, with a stand-out identity by drinks design specialist Denomination.

The adult soft-drinks category is a huge growth area globally, as more consumers seek out no- and low-alcohol options with grown-up flavour profiles. Slow-brew soda start-up Somersault spotted a need for a healthy option to appeal to style-conscious people who want to drink less alcohol yet don’t want to increase their sugar consumption.

Denomination was asked by Somersault to create a brand and packaging design that would be aesthetically distinctive, aspirational and memorable, and that café and bar owners would be happy to display ‘like art on a shelf’.

Crafty graphic solutions

The design team at Denomination came up with a strong graphic approach that creates great stand-out on shelf, is worthy of above-counter display in cafés and bars and provides clear varietal differentiation. The identity also stays well away from clichéd ‘natural’ and ‘organic’ design cues, looking instead to the premium-craft-drinks market to appeal to a discerning target consumer who appreciates hip, healthy options.

Contemporary pastel colours were selected to reflect the brand’s organic ingredients and good-for-you credentials. The designs are also echoed on the bottle necks to further boost stand-out and allow for a more minimalist approach on the main labels.

With so many ‘healthy’ sodas on the market in fact packing a super-sweet punch, it was also felt important to hero the key ‘low sugar’, ‘organic’ and ‘slow-brewed’ brand assets on the wrap-around label, with supporting content and tasting notes.

Finally, a strong bespoke logotype, uncoated paper stock and embellishments were used to reinforce the premium positioning of the brand.

Head over heels

Rowena Curlewis, Denomination CEO, says: “One of our key challenges was to create an identity that would overcome consumer scepticism that ‘healthy’ fizzy drinks lack flavour or contain artificial sweeteners. To do this we created a distinctive packaging design that sets Somersault apart from other brands, reassuring customers that they are drinking a high-quality product that tastes good and looks gorgeous.”

Neil Barker, Somersault Director, says: “Denomination exceeded the brief to create pieces of art that the coolest of cafés and bars are happy to display next to premium drinks and gourmet coffee brands. The designs provide a contemporary expression of craft soda, and the patterns provide a generous canvas that is highly disruptive, engaging and refreshing, while being understated, confident and stylish.

“Just a few weeks after launch, and with no PR or advertising support, the design has been pivotal in generating interest and excitement with the drinks trade. Retail uptake has exceeded all our expectations and we have secured listings in more than 100 of the trendiest cafés and bars in the country. Some mixologists are even using the sodas as mixers – a brand extension that we had not envisaged.”

Double Dutch Opens ‘Speakeasy’ Pop Up Bar

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Double Dutch has created a ‘speakeasy’ bar, tucked away behind a craft-gin shop, in Westfield Stratford City. Heroing the brand’s extensive range of premium mixers, showcased in a selection of delicious mocktails and cocktails, the secret bar offers shoppers a chance to escape the busy shopping crowds and try something different this January.

As leaders in the premium mixers scene and millennials themselves, Double Dutch is at the forefront of current Gen-Z trends, which see a third of under 25’s now embracing non-alcoholic drinks. With this in mind, Double Dutch has collaborated with top bartenders Chris Dennis and Jo St Clair-Ford – formerly of Disrepute, Callooh Callay & Zettertownhouse – to create a bespoke menu of mocktails & cocktails. The drinks are infused with superfoods such as turmeric & ginger, as well as the botanical flavours of lavender, coriander and earl grey, guests can sip away completely guilt-free.

Known for their unique flavoured mixers such as Cucumber and Watermelon, Pomegranate and Basil, and Cranberry Tonic Water, Double Dutch has used flavour profiling within the premium mixers scene since 2015, regularly launching limited edition soft drinks. Making a return at the pop-up bar is Double Dutch Spices & Oakwood, a delicious blend of cinnamon, cloves, star anise and nutmeg, balanced by sweet vanilla notes, for perfect for those who prefer something a little more warming during the colder months.

On entering the craft gin shop, guests must find the secret black door and reveal the password to experience it all, ‘Show me the Hi-vag-ide A-vag-wa-vag-ay’ – ‘hideaway’ in Double Dutch.

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During the day, the main shop area at the front will be open to the public, with Chris Dennis and Jo St Clair-Ford, on hand to help guests explore the different flavour profiles of each of the gins available and partner them with their chosen Double Dutch mixer.

“We are very excited to welcome the Double Dutch pop-up shop to Westfield Stratford City,” says Paul Buttigieg, Commercial Director Europe, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. “The next few months are a very busy time for us; it’s great to have a secret bar for everyone to relax in and unwind.”

Open from the 8th December to February 2019, Double Dutch will also be holding a host of events in the speakeasy bar, including ‘Drinks at Home Masterclasses’. From Tom Collins to Martinis, attendees will be taught everything they need to know about making cocktails at home, by an award winning bartender. More details will be found on the Double Dutch website. http://www.doubledutchdrinks.com

Westfield Stratford City, ground floor
Open Now

Double Dutch shop opening times:
10am – 10pm (Monday – Saturday)
10am – 6pm (Sunday)

Speakeasy bar opening times:
5pm – 10pm (Monday – Friday)
12pm – 10pm (Saturday)
12pm – 6pm (Sunday)

doubledutchdrinks.com

Oxley Gin Unveils New Bottle Inspired By Sub Zero Distillation

Oxley_750ml_HiRes6417x8411Oxley Gin, the very first gin to be cold distilled, has launched its new bottle design inspired by the inventive production process behind its unmistakably bright and intense spirit. Available from selected retailers, the new bottle brings to life the story of this inventive spirit, from eight years of experimentation to its unbelievably cold distillation. The incredible meld of science and nature in every bottle of OXLEY gin guarantees a fresh take on traditional botanicals for a sip-worthy smoothness.

UNMISTAKABLY OXLEY
From the bespoke ice bucket mould resembling a vacuum as a nod to the scientific methods used by OXLEY, to the soft white, botanical green and pale matt silver colour palate, the new bottle is intended as a visual representation of the obsession of OXLEY gin to keeping its botanicals true to nature to give a crisp and distinct freshness.

A new neck label notes the invention date of the super-premium gin while the individual bottle number demonstrates the genuine small-batch production methods of the brand, which ensures that not even a single drop is wasted.

AN INVENTIVE SPIRIT
Florent Demars, UK Brand Manager – OXLEY gin comments “Since the invention of OXLEY, the very first cold distilled gin, we have strived to be completely faithful to nature by using the pioneering scientific techniques of sub-zero temperatures. On a quest for flavour, we have succeeded in what we set out to do and we’re proud to now have a bottle that tells this inspiring story.”

 

Glen Moray Launch Fired Oak Cask 10-year-old Single Malt

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The team at Glen Moray Single Malt Whisky is excited to be launching Glen Moray Fired Oak 10- Year-Old Single Malt Whisky this November as they continue to develop their ‘Gateway to Flavour’ by adding a bold new expression which is intensely sweet and smooth.

Master Distiller, Graham Coull was inspired to create Glen Moray Fired Oak Single Malt Whisky by the increase in popularity of American Bourbon and the success of the sweeter flavour within the drinks market. One of the key elements for producing American Bourbon is that the spirit has to be aged in a new charred (virgin) oak cask which imparts intense flavour to the spirit.

Glen Moray Fired Oak is a Single Malt Whisky matured for 10 years in ex-Bourbon casks and finished in heavily charred virgin American Oak casks, resulting in a whisky which is sublimely smooth with intense spice and toasted vanilla flavour.

The attention to detail is imperative. Graham Coull has worked closely with the distillery’s cooperage to source the finest new American Oak barrels for finishing, as the consistency and security of the supply of casks is very important.

Graham then selects the precise firing regime to achieve exactly the right level of char to impart intense flavour and colour to the whisky. As Glen Moray’s wood finished expressions are growing in popularity, Graham is working at least two years ahead to ensure that the distillery can satisfy the growth in demand.

Graham says: “Fired Oak is all about enhancing flavours rather than adding different character. The Virgin Oak intensifies the existing vanilla and spice flavours which have come from the ex-Bourbon barrels. Two elements are key – quality of cask and timing, both are crucial to obtaining just the right flavour infusion. To create a balance I have selected Virgin Oak casks with differing lengths of finish to ensure that the final whisky is consistent.”

Over the final maturation period, the spirit slowly changes, the colour deepens and the taste profile takes on intense notes of vanilla sweetness and smokiness from the oak. Only when it reaches its peak, after 10 months, is it ready to be bottled and enjoyed.

“Developing this whisky was akin to blowing gently on the embers of a bonfire to bring the flames back to life” enthuses Graham.

The ‘Tahona Society Collective Spirit’ Crowns Winners Of First-Ever Sustainable Competition

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A mental health network for the hospitality industry in Canada, created by Alex Black and Makenzie Chilton from Vancouver, Canada, has been announced as the winning concept at the first ever The Tahona Society Collective Spirit hosted by Altos Tequila in Mexico this week. The start-up competition challenged 15 bartender finalists to present new project ideas that benefit their bar staff, customers, the community or the environment in a bid to win a $50,000 grant to bring the concept to life.

Black and Chilton’s winning project, Mind the Bar, aims to improve mental health in the bartending industry by providing resources, information and support to people dealing with thoughts of suicide, depression, anxiety, and workplace harassment. The grant will be immediately used to hire counselling staff who will be able to help and give advice to people suffering, and to scale up and expand the platform http://mindthebar.com/ to other cities across Canada.

Black and Chilton impressed the judging line-up for their strong focus on bartender welfare, one of the five different Collective Spirit categories evaluated in the contest along with; social engagement, upcycling and recycling, waste reduction and sustaining the environment. Makenzie Chilton commented: “I am thrilled to have won the first ever The Tahona Society Collective Spirit competition – I can’t wait to return home to work on this amazing project, and to ensure that anybody who needs help, gets help – it’s going to be transformational for the bartending community in Canada.”

Alex Black added: “We are going to help so many people thanks to the prize fund by The Tahona Society, we can’t wait to put into practice all the inspirational ideas and sustainability practices we have learnt during this week’s accelerated training in Mexico. I couldn’t be prouder of the bartending industry and I am sure all the finalists at the Tahona Society Collective Spirit finale are going to do great things in their homeland.”

The competition began with two days of immersive training for bartenders led by Altos Tequila in 22 countries around the world, including the UK, USA and Mexico. Attendees at each event then submitted their sustainable bar ideas to The Tahona Society Collective Spirit jury, made up of leading global Tequila experts, who selected 15 projects to compete in Mexico.

To assist their preparation for the final round of presentations, finalists received specialised Tequila training as well as hands-on workshops from business, marketing and start-up experts such as; Christophe Prat, Vice President of House of Tequila; Kirén Miret, Executive Producer of Mexico and Colombia´s Shark Tank reality television series; Dré Masso, co-founder of Altos Tequila and spirits consultant, Valerie Kramis, co-founder of design studio Agenda 28 and social entrepreneurship expert, amongst others.

In addition to the $50,000 grant, House of Tequila and the businesses of Miret, Kramis and Masso will sponsor a fundraising event for US finalist’s Support the Staff initiative in Chicago, to help them raise funds to kickstart their project – a platform for professionals that aims to create dialogue and raise awareness of the issues surrounding mental health in the hospitality industry.

As part of the awards ceremony, Adrián Lopez from Hanky Panky bar in Mexico City, was awarded the first ever Henry Besant Scholarship, named after the late Altos Tequila co-founder and valued at $10,000, to fund an international exchange to London where he will take English lessons and bartending at the cocktail capital of the world for his career advancement.

Dré Masso, Altos Tequila and The Tahona Society co-founder, said: “There is a growing movement around the world towards sustainability, with consumers actively seeking out cleaner and greener bar practices and leading bartenders are creating new and innovative ways of giving back to their communities. So for the first time in its history, we have reimagined The Tahona Society to ensure it continues to lead the way in cocktail trends and reinforces Altos Tequila’s core values of family, integrity and authenticity and its ongoing care for the environment and the community. We are incredibly excited by Black and Chilton’s Mind The Bar project as it resonates with Altos’ care for people – and we look forward to seeing it being brought to life in Canada.”

Carlos Andrés Ramírez, Global Advocacy Manager at Pernod Ricard House of Tequila, added: “At Altos Tequila, we have long demonstrated the importance of being at the forefront of bartender education through The Tahona Society and promoting sustainable practices in the bar industry. We are proud of the level of high quality entries we have received from all over the world, and while there can only be one winner we do hope that many of them become realities over the next few years. We hope many more bartenders will join our familia of tequileros who want to get serious about protecting the environment and improving the lives in their local communities – so look out for The Tahona Society Collective Spirit 2019 competition launching in the New Year!”