Emily Says . . . . “Liqueur de Coquelicot”

Poppy & Pomegranate Martini 2
New to Drinks Enthusiast, a voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering, a bartender by heart who looks at the ever growing love of spirits, cocktails and beer. Her first post under ‘Emily Says . . .’ for the site looks at Liqueur de Coquelicot;

The French family firm that is Maison Briottet has been producing its world famous liqueurs since 1836, and has truly left its mark upon the liquor industry today. Initially beginning as a wine establishment, Briottet became famous for their creation of Crème De Cassis; the universal go-to blackcurrant liqueur. As the years went by and their business expanded, Briottet began the production of flavoured liqueurs and fine spirits.

Now, in 2018, Briottet sells its fine products across 26 different countries and holds a range of over 61 liqueurs, 8 eux de vie and 4 fine spirits. It has become the bartenders ‘go-to’ in flavoured liqueurs, particularly in mixology.

Briottet have truly pushed the boat out with their exclusive Liqueur de Coquelicot; a poppy seed infused liqueur. The wild poppy flower comes from the subfamily Papaveroidease, of the family Papaveracease. Putting aside the technical talk, the poppy liqueur offers a crisp yet subtly sweet taste, initially created as a pre-dinner drink to be mixed with a sparkling wine.

In fact, the poppy flavour originates and is inspired from a French confectionery from 1872, back when the master confectioner Desserey started making poppy flavoured pastilles. They very quickly became a speciality of Northern France, which heightened the popularity of the poppy flower in the world of food and drink.

A fresh and tantalising mixture of the poppy flower, Liqueur de Coquelicot offers the perfect balance between subtle dry notes, alongside a kick of sweetness; making it the perfect counterpart in the art of mixology.

Poppy & Pomegranate Martini
Liqueur de Coquelicot features beautifully in the Poppy & Pomegranate Martini; an exquisite creation from The Botanist.

Glass – Martini

Ingredients –
25ml Egg White
15ml Lemon Juice
7.5ml Basil Sugar Syrup
25ml Pomegranate Juice
15ml Absolut Raspberry Vodka
15ml Briottet Framboise
15ml Briottet Coquelicot
Garnish – Viola Flower

Method – Pour all ingredients into a Boston glass, hard shake, then go on to double strain into a chilled martini glass.

The Poppy & Pomegranate Martini delivers a beautifully crisp drink, with complimentary notes of the sweetness of raspberry and the bitter-sweet aromas of pomegranate. Egg white is the key ingredient in achieving the silky texture, which truly makes this cocktail such a delight. The presence of Liqueur de Coquelicot makes this number the perfect pre-dinner cocktail.

A truly beautiful concoction from the Briottet family, and one that will surely be seen much more in the world of mixology.

Pick up a bottle of Liqueur de Coquelicot for your drinks cabinet.

Image Copyright: Nick Whitby at The Botanist, New World Trading Company 2017

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Australasia Review

Australasia - Smokey Old Fashioned

If you’ve ever ventured into the Spinningfield’s area of Manchester you’ll notice many a bar and restaurant serving businessmen, ladies who lunch or myself propping the bar up as I dive through the drinks menu. One such time happened last week, at a rather well-known yet unknown venue named Australasia. I say unknown due to its rather unique entrance – a triangle shard of glass sticking out of the ground with a door leading to a staircase. I remember I use to pass without realising it was there, and bewildered when it first opened of where this place was. Now I’m familiar, and after a chance meeting with the venues new BDM Gill Andrews and Bar Manager Jenny (of the Hilton’s Cloud 23 fame), I can report back to you all with wonderful memories.

As mentioned, I’ve been here before and have always kicked myself for not coming back many a time since, but with whispers of their new cocktail menu arriving shortly, coupled with food and wine menu revamp too, Australasia is breathing new life into their underground den. The drinks menu itself is simple, no descriptions, just names only. Daring but it works because the bartenders have to work to sell you a drink. You feel looked after knowing that the gentleman or lady behind the bar actually knows their stuff, the ingredients within and why you will love each and every one of them.

Oh, and also how to make them consistent.

Round The Twist
Round The Twist

For example, the Smokey Old Fashioned. A base of Woodford Reserve coupled with maple syrup and bitters over an ice ball. Smoke, courtesy of oak chips via a chemical flask, adds the sense of magic to the drink, as well as aromas which linger even when the smoke has cleared. Fantastic, and I’ve only ever had them from their fellow Alchemist. Consistency really is the key for these kind of places.

A couple of other new delights to wet your appetite over the next few months include Bushfire and Alice Spring Punch. Bushfire has the combination of Grey Goose Citroen, Benedictine, fresh grapefruit, lemon juice and sugar syrup with a good sprig of thyme soaked in Sunset Very Strong Rum and lit. Slightly sour for my liking as I’m a man with a sweet tooth, but the freshness made this a winner for me. The herbal Benedictine and grapefruit mix well with the citrus flavours, and the hint of the Sunset rum gives it a slight kick if sipped. Alice Spring Punch blended Russian Standard vodka with lychee purée Briottet lychee liqueur, Monin Hibiscus, fresh lemon and topped with Australian ‘Champagne’. A lovely tangy hit from the Australasian ‘Champagne’, with the hibiscus and lemon punching well against the double dose of lychee and vodka. Fantastic lingering sweetness too.

The highlight of my visit for me personally came in the form of a short drink named Round The Twist. Using Russian Standard vodka, stem ginger purée  fresh lychee, lime juice and velvet falernum, it created a well-balanced, mouth-watering drink that offered freshness with a lingering velvet and lychee flavour.

So the above gives a good idea of what to expect from the Australasia team, but of course some of the staples have been kept including the Pineapple and Jasmin Daiquiri, Ladyboy Martini and The Australian Porn Star (£7.95 each). Coupled with a menu that includes wine, both Champagne and sparkling wines from Australia, New Zealand and England and a good offering of seven Sake to go with your oysters, sushi and tempura delights, Australasia really does cover all the basis that you expect.

As mentioned, new menus are coming out, I’d book yourself in before you miss them.

Check out more photos via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. 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.

Corks Out Champagne and Canapé Tasting

The annual Corks Out Champagne and Canapé night made its way to the prestige 3 rosette Alderley Edge Hotel & Restaurant last week accompanied by a host of well-known and famous Champagne houses to tantalize the taste buds of a bustling, and aptly named, Lauren Perrier suite.

I’m going to dive straight into the tasting notes of each Champagne I tried, with hopefully some interesting side notes on each.

Canard Duchene Cuvee Leonie NV – 12%

More than ten million bottles are ageing in the chalk cellars of Canard-Duchêne, which were dug by hand in the 19th century.
A good mix of tropical fruits and dried flowers on the nose that opens up beautifully once it hits the palate. Very fresh.

Thienot Rose – 12.5%

A favourite of Raymond Blancs restaurant – lively cherry and blackcurrant aromas swirl on the nose that develops into some fantastic flavours of red berries on the palate.

Cattier White Label Brut NV – 12.5%

Served best with white meat – fresh white fruit of apples and pears subtly surround the nose, with a lively, fresh dose of tropical and floral flavours on the palate.

Cattier Premier Cru Antique Rose NV

Perfect with fruit desserts – fresh and well-rounded with crisp red berries dominating both the nose and palate.

Armand de Brignac Ace of Spades

Armand de Brignac Ace of Spades NV – 12.5%

Found in many a Champagne bar, including The Circle 360 – very light floral notes on the nose with hints of fruit nearing the end. Creamy on the palate with a distinctive brioche flavour coming through with a long finish.

Taittinger Vintage Millésimé 2005

Floral on the nose to begin, but moves onto ripe fruit and raisin. A fresh palate dominated with caramalised fruits produces a long finish.

Ruinart Rose NV – 12.5%

Ripe cherry and red berries on the nose with a little spice at the end. Silky as it hits the palate, with fresh mint and grapefruit flavours.

Moet & Chandon Grande Vintage 2002

Toasted notes of almonds on the nose with ripe fruits following and maturing onto the palate. A complimenting mix of rhubarb, citrus and pink grapefruit go well together for a long finish.

Dom Perignon Vintage 2003 – 12.5%

Incredibly soft, sweet floral notes on the nose with a hint of spice near the end. Delicate on the palate to begin with, but develops well with a creamy texture and a slight tang finish.

Krug Grande Cuvee NV – 12%

A blend of around 120 wines from 10 or more different vintages – a mix of floral, ginger bread and citrus blend well on the nose, whilst flavours of hazelnuts, almonds and honey dominate the palate.

Bollinger Special Cuvee NV – 12.5%

A good marriage of cream and fruit on the nose, with rich peach and a subtle butter flavour on the palate that produces a long finish.

Bollinger Rose NV – 12%

A soft aroma of red fruit on the nose becomes more dominant as it reaches the palate as strawberries and raspberries stand out. Long, creamy finish.

Bollinger Grande Annee Vintage 2002 – 12%

Pears, toffee and spice are present on the nose, with a rich balance of citrus and apple on the palate.

Louis Roederer Brut Premier – 12%

Toasted almonds dominate the nose, moving to become lively yet creamy on the palate.

Louis Roederer Carte Blanche – 12%

Intense honey and ripe, sweet notes on the nose, with rich, creamy texture on the palate with apricots coming through. Long finish.

Louis Roederer Rose Vintage – 12.5%

Pairing well with a variety of food – lots of fruits on the nose, with blackberries and blueberries coming through noticeably. Rich fruit and cream blend well on the palate.

Louis Roederer Cristal Vintage 2004 – 12%

Intense white fruit and citrus hits the nose well, with a hint of sweetness nearing the end. Peach and apricot burst on the palate into a soft, silky and creamy end.

Laurent Perrier Brut – 12%

Delicate aroma of citrus on the nose, fruity and crisp on the palate with a long finish.

Laurent Perrier Vintage 2002 – 12%

Dried fruits and citrus bounce off each other on the nose, with a lively palate of lemon and dark fruit combining for a long finish.

Laurent Perrier Brut Rose – 12%

Crisp aroma of red fruits on the nose that follows onto the palate and intensifies. Lots of strawberries and blackcurrant mixing well for a rounded finish.

After having a tipple or two of the Champagne, Bob of Corks Out in Stockton Heath was on hand with some Champagne cocktails including a Bellini using Briottet Creme de Peche, a Rhubarb Royale involving Briottet Rhubarb, a French 75 with -ish Gin and the surprisingly good mixture of Martin Millers gin, Kwai Feh lychee liqueur and Champagne to create a Shanghai Fizz.

With discounts on all the Champagnes available, and even the chance to own a bottle of Perrier Jouet Belle Epoque Jeroboam 1995 presented in a stunning gift box, that had a price tag of £2200 for the night (a saving of £1000), there were orders flying left right and centre as I left Alderley Edge with a fair few favourites stuck in my mind (personal highlights include Dom Perignon, Cattier Glamour Rose, Laurent Perrier Vintage 2002 and Bollinger Special Cuvee).

All the above are available via the Corks Out website, with stores also across the North West.

Check out the rest of the photos via my Facebook page.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2012. 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.