Please Do Tell: Banks Rums And Jim Meehan Share Discoveries With Bars Across Europe

BanksBerlin_Hirschfeld_RP_5509-1

This October, world-renowned bartender and co-founder of Banks Rums, Jim Meehan, embarked on a European tour to share discoveries and experiences from his time in the industry. Joining Banks Rums, Jim visited key on-trade accounts to recount stories from his newly launched, award winning book, Meehan’s Bartender Manual.

Starting in Amsterdam before visiting Copenhagen and Düsseldorf, the tour ended at Berlin’s one-room, saloon bar Windhorst, during the prestigious Bar Convent Berlin trade show. Each bar created a bespoke, limited edition menu inspired by the rich and complex flavours of Banks Rums.

A VOYAGE OF DISCOVERY
Just as Joseph Banks embarked upon a journey that would allow him to discover and share his findings in botany with the world, Meehan’s Bartender Manual provides a rich and layered insight into the bar industry. As an acclaimed mixologist and bar owner who has unparalleled experience in the on-trade, the tour was an opportunity to discuss some interesting stories and discoveries from the tome. Jim covered a range of topics from the history of cocktails and bartending, to drinks mixing, menu development and of course spirit innovation through his own experience creating Banks Rums.

THE CURIOUS, SPIRITED & BRAVE
A true innovator in the bartending world and the embodiment of a modern-day explorer, Jim harnessed his pioneering spirit to open cult New York speakeasy PDT in 2007 before co-founding Banks Rums the following year with the aim of creating a white rum of unparalleled depth and flavour. Mirroring Joseph Banks’ pacesetting voyages of discovery in the 18th Century, Banks Rums has transcended perceptions by using some of the world’s finest rums from the East and West Indies to create its unique blends.

Demonstrating his commitment to pushing the boundaries, Jim was one of the founding partners of nonprofit organisation (P)our; an initiative dedicated to sharing, educating and supporting the global on-trade community. Meehan’s curiosity and passion for cocktails and spirits was recognised at the 2009 TOTC Spirited Awards for “World’s Best Cocktail Bar” soon followed by the “Outstanding Bar Program Award” from the James Beard Foundation in 2012 before being awarded “Best New Cocktail or Bartending Book” at the 2018 TOTC Spirited Awards for Meehan’s Bartender Manual.

DEPTH OF FLAVOUR
Throughout the tour, the selected venues served one-time-only menus that reflected the spirit of Jim Meehan and Banks Rums. From Jim’s Five Island Flamingo creation at Grand Pu Bar, Düsseldorf, to the House Punch made with Banks 5 Island Blend, fino sherry, Napoleon Manderine, rooibos and lemon at House Bar, Amsterdam, each serve showcases the unparalleled depth of flavour that shines through any drink, lending
texture and body.

The tour itinerary was as follows:

1. 3 October: House Bar, Amsterdam
2. 4 October: Lidkoeb, Copenhagen
3. 5 October: Grand Pu Bar, Düsseldorf
4. 8 October: Windhorst, Berlin

Follow Banks Rums on Instagram @BanksRums #BanksRums

Birds

BIRDS-Adventure-Travel-Spirit
“WE ARE JULIAN, LUPO & BASTI – THREE GERMAN GLOBETROTTERS CREATING EXTRA TASTY WINES AND A UNIQUE WINE-BASED CRAFT SPIRIT, INSPIRED BY OUR ADVENTURES AROUND THE WORLD.”

Doesn’t that just intrigue you? Three gentleman, travelling the world and becoming inspired to create wine and spirits? Where do we sign up!

I’ve recently come across their latest spirit expression, so it only seems right to dive in and explore the reasoning behind the three guys and their brand ‘Birds’. Julian, Lupo and Basti set out to counteract what they see as a over saturated gin industry, and create something never before seen. Combining their love of travelling, they set to create BIRDS, ‘a craft brand dedicated to unite the traveller lifestyle with a spirit that brings together German craftsmanship and exotic flavours from all continents.’

In a different route from gin, BIRDS is distilled from German Riesling wine and flavored with a variety of different botanicals, including;

EUROPE;

Orange peel, apple and blackcurrant. 

AFRICA

Clove and jungle pepper. 

ASIA

Star anise and liquorice.

AMERICA

Angelica root, cocoa shell and pink pepper berries. 

AUSTRALIA

Mace and eucalyptus.

BIRDS is produced within an independent micro distillery located between Berlin and Hamburg, itself surrounded by 450 hektars of apple trees. Here they distill their spirit within a copper pot still by Arnold Holstein in small batches of only 700 bottles. To boot, their 7th generation winery is located at the famous Moselle in the south-west of Germany, producer of the Riesling base.

Their Adventure Edition has been tried and tested, so below, I give you my thoughts –

BIRDS Adventure Edition – 42.2%

Rich aromas of soft mint, eucalyptus, liquorice and blackcurrant upon the nose, flowing nicely onto the palate, with the added kick of the Riesling. Pepper dominates alongside cloves and star anise, but soft cocoa makes an appearance near the end.

A fantastic gin, full of flavour! One that will shine within one of these –

Birds-Spirit-Adventure-Ginger-Birds-Illustration-Drink-Kopie-300x300Ginger Birds

Glass – 

Wine

Ingredients – 

40 ml BIRDS Adventure Spirit
20 ml lime juice
150 ml Ginger beer

Method – 

Build all the ingredients over cubed ice and within a wine glass. Garnish with fresh raspberries.

One to have within your drinks cabinet for sure, especially with the spring days coming full force. A delightful tipple that will surprise many!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Bar Convent Berlin (BCB), One of the World’s Premier Bar Shows, Announces Its Ninth Edition

BCB

Bar Convent Berlin (BCB), one of the world’s premier trade fairs for the bar and beverage industry, today announces its ninth edition that will take place on October 6-7, 2015. An estimated 200 exhibitors will showcase about 500 brands to 10,000 attendees that are expected from 35 countries, including the U.S. BCB is held at Station Berlin, the iconic landmarked railway station. It provides an ideal backdrop for meetings between key industry players and newcomers, ranging from bar owners and bartenders to international manufacturers and distributors of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, equipment and bar accessories. This year, a nighttime Mixology Market event will kick off the show on October 5.

More Attendees, More Exhibitors and More Floor Space

BCB is growing and is adding new companies and an additional demonstration bar. Some 200 exhibitors and numerous brands representing the spirits, non-alcoholic beverages, beer, and bar accessories sectors have already booked their spaces several months ahead of the show.

“We’re very confident that this year’s trade fair will once again grow by leaps and bounds,” says Jens Hasenbein, Managing Director, BCB. “As in the past, we’re focused on two aspects: matching up the right companies with the right target groups and offering a top-notch program of tastings, lectures and seminars. Our selection of exhibiting companies provides our show with a distinctive profile within the premium segment.”

In order to meet growing demand, the BCB team is implementing an expansion into a new hall. Hall 8 will feature two tasting forums and a “Made in GSA” area. Presented in cooperation with the magazine Mixology, the space will be dedicated to products from Germany, Switzerland and Austria and offer samples of more than 60 spirits, liqueurs, bitters and soft drinks. The cocktail creation that wins the “Made in GSA” competition will also be featured here. In addition, the expansion into Hall 8 will give Brew Berlin room to spread out. BCB’s beer area will get its own space in Hall 3 this year.

Europe’s Trade Fair for the Bar Business

About 10,000 trade visitors are expected to attend BCB, including top international bartenders. Last year, 26 percent of trade fair visitors were bartenders, 16 percent bar owners and 9 percent bar operators and managers. The beverage and spirits industry also made a strong showing with 20 percent. Nearly half of visitors said they were focused primarily on new products, while another 21 percent were looking for new business contacts and 16 percent were most interested in onsite seminars and workshops. For a quarter of the visitors, the most important reason to come to the event, which brings together all the key industry players, was to network.

Global Industry Gathering Place; A Focus on Brazil in 2015

After Mexico, Poland, Peru and the U.S., the ninth BCB will be devoted to yet another major beverage nation. This year’s guest country will be Brazil. For visitors, this means an up-close look at the enormously varied uses of the popular spirit, Cachaça, as well as additional beverages from the rising, resource-rich country. In addition, former guest countries, Peru and the U.S., will return.

“Internationality begets quality. That’s why we care so deeply about bringing even more nations to BCB,” says Petra Lassahn, Event Director, Reed Exhibitions, who now works alongside Hasenbein to manage BCB. “Exhibitors get an opportunity here to present their products to international markets and visitors get to discover new products from around the world.”

More than half of the approximately 9,400 trade visitors last year traveled to BCB from outside Germany, including the U.S., the U.K., Poland, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Austria, Finland, the Czech Republic and Denmark.

About Bar Convent Berlin (BCB)

Since its founding in 2007, Bar Convent Berlin (BCB) has emerged as one of the leading international trade fairs for the bar and beverage industry. Every year, a who’s who of the German and European bar and beverage industry meet in Berlin for two days to establish new contacts, catch up on the latest product innovations and attend educational seminars. Launched in 2013, Brew Berlin adds a beer-in-bars platform to BCB. BCB was created by bar and beverage experts Jens Hasenbein, Bastian Heuser and Helmut Adam. Reed Exhibitions, a leading international trade fair organizer, came on board in 2015. The trade fair will take place at Station Berlin on October 6-7, 2015. About 10,000 trade visitors are expected to attend. For more information, please visit http://www.barcovent.com.

Thomas Henry

Thomas Henry

Mixers, and premium ones at that, are becoming a force within the drinks industry as more and more spirits tie themselves to unique brands to show off a signature serve. The mixers alone are seen as more fashionable to order too, with Fentimans complimenting their mixer range with their soft drink expressions, and Fever Tree showing that tonic is not the only flavour to enjoy. Enter then Thomas Henry, a new range to hit the wider UK, with a German influence.

2010 saw Thomas Henry, the brand inspired by a company from Berlin, Germany, hit the market shelves with its classic bar sodas. Using their expertise in bitter lemonade, they came up with their own tonic water, bitter lemon, ginger ale and soda water expressions, before then branching out into elderflower tonic, cherry blossom tonic and ginger beer as the brand started to gain recognition.
Thomas Henry himself? The name may ring a bell if you are a chemistry lover as the chemist became the first person to ever enrich water with carbon dioxide back in Manchester, England in 1773, inventing what was the worlds first soda water. It’s with this that the Thomas Henry brand inspires the best ingredients no matter how it is to be used. Utilising natural mineral water from the Bad Meinberg springs in North Rhine-Westphalia that is then demineralized, it is said to give a natural yet high-end feel to each expression.

So how do they fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Thomas Henry Tonic Water – 0%

Light aromas of the quinine come through, with subtle floral nips of the citrus following to give a fresh nose. Fine and refined with the bitterness from the quinine, with a very soft texture on the palate that offers a refreshing yet subtle aroma of citrus on the lingering finish.

Thomas Henry Elderflower Tonic – 0%

Arriving in 2011, this combines the flavour of elderflower and herbs with the base of the tonic water. Soft, sweet elderflower on the nose, with a slight bitterness catching the end. A little sharp to start, with the elderflower naturally dominating. Plenty of sweet flavours come through, with the bitterness underlining the long finish.

Thomas Henry Bitter Lemon – 0%

Soft notes of lime come through on the nose, with a balance of natural sweetness and fresh acidity following. Subtle lime notes on the palate, growing its aroma over time. An edge of the acidity draws a drier finish and hints of spice.

Thomas Henry Ginger Beer – 0%

Said to be the first ginger lemonade made and bottled in Germany based on the model of English “Ginger Beer”. Soft ginger on the nose, with lively sweetness following. Clean, fresh with a subtle kick of spice on the palate. Short, naturally sweet and a heavy texture.

Thomas Henry Ginger Ale – 0%

Light ginger notes on the nose with a lively spice kick following. Very light on the palate with subtle flavours of the ginger coming through. A thin texture shows off a fresh yet dry finish.

A great range of mixers here to be drunk chilled, or indeed as part of these –

Parma Negroni
Parma Negroni

Parma Negroni

Glass – 

Rocks

Ingredients – 

20 ml Gin
20 ml Campari
20 ml Pink grapefruit juice
1 Bar Spoon sugar syrup
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
Thomas Henry Tonic Water

Method – 

Pour all ingredients, except for the tonic water, over ice cubes into the glass and stir well. Add Thomas Henry Tonic Water and stir again. Garnish with an orange slice.

or perhaps

Lemon Rose
Lemon Rose

Lemon Rose

Glass – 

Wine

Ingredients –

50 ml Lillet Rosé
Thomas Henry Bitter Lemon

Method – 

Pour Lillet Rosé over ice cubes into glass and add Thomas Henry Bitter Lemon. Garnish with a pink grapefruit zest.

There are a couple of expressions I am yet to try, including the soda water and two from their ‘all day range’ named Mystic Mango and Ultimate Grapefruit, but if you are looking to throw together a couple of easy drinks, think about using a different kind of mixer to your usual brand, it may be the right call when you produce a more refreshing style of drink with your favourite spirit!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.