Tag Archives: cocktails

Chelsie Bailey Takes The UK Crown In Monkey Shoulder’s Ultimate Bartender Championship

Monkey Shoulder - Ultimate Bartender Championship

Monkey Shoulder’s Ultimate Bartender Championship’s (UBC) UK winner has been crowned, with Chelsie Bailey from Red Light bar in Bristol taking this year’s title. Bartenders up and down the country had their skills put to the test – with the 2017 competition seeing entrants quizzed on everything from pouring and nosing, to stock take and tray service.

Chelsie fought off tough competition from over 100 entrants who battled their way through heats in six cities – with the last heat taking place in London on Sunday 14th May. Despite the outstanding efforts of entrants from all areas of the country over three months, it was Chelsie that proved she indeed has the “skills to pay the bills”.

The Ultimate Bartender Championship will now bring together all the global winners at this year’s Tales of the Cocktail – the world’s premiere cocktail festival. Chelsie, along with other winners from around the world will enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to New Orleans, where they will have the opportunity to network with the industry’s most influential personalities and other UBC winners from across the world.

“There is no doubt that it was a hard-fought battle – but it is amazing to see Chelsie win for the UK and head off to Tales of the Cocktail this Summer – it’s going to be epic! UBC is intended to challenge the best bartenders across the UK, and the stiff competition this year proves that it is doing just that” commented Grant Neave, Monkey Shoulder brand amBADASSador.

The UK leader board can be viewed here: http://ultimatebartenderchampionship.com/local-leaderboard

Full details of each round can also be found at: http://ultimatebartenderchampionship.com/challenges.

Luxury Tea Company Newby Teas Presents The Ultimate Summer Iced Teas

NewbyTeas_Teabags_25Count_ICED_TEA_GreenLemon_Portrait_w_Pashmina_RGB
From Newby’s popular Classic Tea Bag Collection comes a healthy, delicious and refreshing alternative for the discerning customer who wishes to avoid artificially-sugared summer drinks: Iced Summer Berries and Iced Green Lemon.

Summer Berries combines a rich berry taste with notes of hibiscus and vanilla. Green Lemon is light yellow-green, with a delicate citrus taste and a tangy finish.
Each luxury tea and tisane is presented in a Newby sachet, sealed the Newby way, a proprietary system which preserves the freshness and aroma of the tea, keeping it safe from adulterates.

Gwen Hustwit, General Manager Creative & Marketing at Newby Teas said:
“All you need to do to make our summer iced teas is brew, cool and add ice. Use one teabag per person, add boiling water, then brew for 3-5 minutes. Alternatively, for green tea, you can use our specially-developed recipe.”

“At Newby Teas, we are dedicated to reintroducing quality and uncompromising flavour to every one of our products. Our teas are fresh and full of flavour and character, and our tisanes retain the fruits’ natural sugars, offering the perfect sweet indulgence, which can be served sugar free without calories, making it the perfect summer refreshment.
“From weekend garden parties to warm summer nights, this year’s Newby iced teas are the ultimate luxury treat.”

Newby Teas Classic Tea Bag Collection was relaunched earlier this year with a series of unique designs created to celebrate craftsmanship. Newby Teas, is substantially owned by the N Sethia Foundation, which supports, among other good causes, the Chitra Sethia Centre for Robotics and Minimal Access Surgery at UCH, the Chitra Sethia Autism Centre in Cambridge.

Green Lemon and Summer Berries cost £5.50 per 25 bag packet and are available online at (www.newbyteas.co.uk).

Newby’s ‘Green Mojitea’ iced-tea recipe

Serves 4-6

4-6 Newby Green Lemon Tea Bags
3 Tablespoons of Sugar
600ml Sparkling Water
3 Unwaxed Lemons

In a large heat proof jug, brew 4-6 Newby Green Lemon tea bags using 400ml of water just below boiling (80°C). Steep for 3-5 minutes then remove tea bags. Stir in 3 tablespoons of sugar (adjust to taste) and allow the tea to cool before adding the juice of 2 lemons and 600ml of sparkling water. Serve with ice, and fresh lemon (fresh mint optional).

Come On In, The Shade’s Delicious With Kraken Rum

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Hear the words ‘summer cocktail’, and an image of brightly hued drinks with jolly umbrellas probably pops into your head. However this summer, The Kraken® Black Spiced Rum is taking on the traditional warm weather line-up with its own dark twist on the hot favourites, with the ‘Summer Eclipse’ serves… and it’s casting some serious shade on the old standards.

The range of limited edition summer cocktails has been designed for fans of The Kraken who appreciate the darker things in life. The line-up has been developed with the hottest cocktail trends in mind, using ingredients such as avocado, black tea and cider.

Devilishly dark and terrifyingly tempting, the six classic cocktails to be eclipsed this summer are:

The Daiquiri BECOMES The Dark & Eerie
Forget everything you knew about the cheerful poolside favourite, and dip your toes into tumultuous waters instead. Made with avocado and Cholula® Hot Sauce, and featuring a chili salt rim, it promises heat whether the sun is still up or not.

Milkshake BECOMES Freak of the Deep
Beware black ice! Give in to sweet temptation with the ultimate freakshake – another huge drinks trend, featuring cookies and ice cream for a full-on inky attack.

The Cider BECOMES The Poison Apple
Another hot trend, the cider cocktail gets the Brothers Grimm treatment, with fiery ginger and lemon.

The Spritz BECOMES Ink Spritz
Not for the faint-hearted, this twist in the tale features rhubarb and lillet.

Punch BECOMES Octo-Punch
No BBQ will be the same again, as night falls on the house party staple. Wwirling with black tea and served in a hurricane glass – even the classic umbrella garnish on this one has seen the eye of the storm.

The Mojito BECOMES The Black Mojito
The ubiquitous minty marvel reveals its blackened soul with the use of The Kraken Black Spiced Rum.

The Summer Eclipse cocktails have been created to work across both home and bar settings, offering a stand-out alternative to the usual summer line-up for bars, and an easy transition from the day-to-night drinking occasion.

However they are also accessible enough to be prepared at home. The Kraken Rum website and social channels will feature step-by-step mixology videos and recipes to help adventurous hosts recreate each one.

SUMMER ECLIPSE PERFECT SERVES RECIPES:

For videos of how to create, visit here.

Daiquiri: Dark & Eerie
STEP 1 – Rim the glass with lime and chili salt
STEP 2 – Blend with a 1/4 avocado
STEP 3 – Add 25ml lime juice
STEP 4 – Add 25ml vanilla syrup
STEP 5 – Pour in 10ml single cream
STEP 6 – Cholula to taste
STEP 7 – Add 50ml of Kraken
STEP 8 – Blend with crushed ice and pour into glass

Shake: Freak of the Deep (Made for two)
STEP 1 – Drizzle chocolate sauce all around inside of glass
STEP 2 – Add 100ml of Kraken into blender
STEP 3 – Add 1 large scoop of chocolate ice cream, 2 large scoops of vanilla ice cream, 2 to 3 cookies and ½ litre milk into blender
STEP 7 – Pour into extra large glass
STEP 8 – Add a scoop of vanilla and a scoop of chocolate ice cream to the top
STEP 9 – Top with whipped cream
STEP 8 – Garnish with chopped cookies, toasted marshmallows and get freaky with sweet treats

Cider: Poison Apple
STEP 1 – Fill glass with cracked ice
STEP 2 – Add 20ml lemon juice
STEP 3 – Add 20ml ginger syrup
STEP 4 – Pour in 35ml Kraken
STEP 5 – Top with cider
STEP 6 – Add lime wedge

Spritz: Ink Spritz
STEP 1 – Add crushed ice to a large wine glass
STEP 2 – Add rhubarb soda until glass is 2/3 full
STEP 3 – Pour 35ml lillet
STEP 4 – Add 35ml of Kraken
STEP 5 – Add rhubarb stem and stir
STEP 6 – Add orange slice

Punch: Octo-Punch
STEP 1 – Fill hurricane glass with ice
STEP 2 – Add 20ml lemon juice
STEP 3 – Add 20ml orange liqueur
STEP 4 – Add 35ml of Kraken
STEP 5 – Add cold black tea
STEP 5 – Stir
STEP 6 – Top with crushed ice
STEP 7 – Add lemon twist

Mojito: Black Mojito
STEP 1 – Add 6 to 8 mint leaves
STEP 2 – Add 25ml sugar syrup
STEP 3 – Add 25ml lime juice
STEP 4 – Add 50ml of Kraken
STEP 5 – Fill glass halfway with crushed ice and churn
STEP 6 – Add lime wedge and mint sprig

The Science of Staritsky & Levitsky Cocktail Competition Launches

H2O Advert
Staritsky & Levitsky premium vodka and award-winning UK importer Emporia Brands are proud to launch the Science of Staritsky & Levitsky as part of their ongoing campaign of H20 Cocktails, launched in 2016.

Launching in partnership with the UKBG (United Kingdom Bartenders Guild), Brand Manager Matthew Dakers is asking for budding bartenders from across the UK to create a unique serve, with a recipe that contains the elements of solid, liquid and gas. Entries are open now and will continue to be accepted until 12th May. The judging panel will select competitors from the submitted entries and invite them down to the final in London on May 22nd 2017.

To qualify, the venue must stock Staritsky & Levitsky vodka, and the recipe to use a minimum of 25ml Staritsky & Levitsky Reserve vodka as the base ingredient. The winning bartender will win themselves a Rotovap for use within their venue.

Inspiration behind their recipe is also needed. Staritsky & Levitsky was founded by a group of vodka enthusiasts, passionate about reviving the heritage and traditions of authentic, small batch vodka distillation in the historic birthplace of the vodka production, so vital to the Science of Staritsky & Levitsky campaign.

For full rules and how to enter, please see the below or speak to either Matthew Dakers (matthew@emporiabrands.com) or a local Emporia Brands representative found at http://www.emporiabrands.com/contact

#H2OCocktails

RULES:

THE COMPETITION IS OPEN TO ALL BARTENDERS, MEMBERS AND NON MEMBERS OF THE UKBG

Please send you recipes to vicepresident@ukbartendersguild.co.uk

  • Ingredients can be measured using a measuring cup/jigger or free poured.
  • Staritsky & Levitsky Reserve will be provided for the final.
  • All other ingredients to be supplied by competitor.
  • Competitors are expected to use their own bar utensils, and glassware to prepare the cocktails.
  • Garnishes will consist only of edible fruit or vegetable.
  • Each competitor shall be limited to six (6) minutes in mixing.

 

COCKTAIL RULES

  • Each competitor must submit a recipe containing a minimum of 25ml of Staritsky & Levitsky Reserve
  • The recipe shall be an original creation.
  • Each competitor must submit a 50-100 words explaining their drink and what inspired their creation

 

 

Follow Staritsky & Levitsky on Facebook at www.facebook.com/StaritskyLevitskyVodka, Twitter @SL_VodkaUK and Instagram at www.instagram.com/sl_vodkauk

St Patrick’s Day Launch for The Cold Irishman Competition

The-Irishman
This St Patrick’s Day, 17th March 2017, sees Walsh Whiskey and UK Importer Emporia Brands come together for the UK’s first ever cocktail competition involving The Irishman whiskey.

Focusing on The Irishman Founder’s Reserve expression, both companies are on the lookout for the best innovative twist on their signature serve, The Cold Irishman. With the original recipe seeing a blended combination of The Irishman Founder’s Reserve, coffee, half and half and sugar syrup, the competition throws open a variety of options to impress the Walsh family of Bernard and Rosemary.

The award-winning Walsh Whiskey are offering an exclusive trip to their new distillery ‘Royal Oak’, with the chance to experience the range of expressions first hand, as well as the immersive opportunity of a VIP distillery tour located in the heart of barley-growing country, framed by two-hundred-year-old might oaks on the banks of the goodly River Barrow in Ireland’s Ancient East.

With a minimum of 35 ml of The Irishman Founder’s Reserve needed, and a maximum of 5 ingredients (including the base whiskey and excluding garnish) allowed, bartenders also need to explain their inspiration as part of their submission.

To enter, bartenders are asked to submit their details and cocktail recipe to the online registration form located at http://www.emporiabrands.com/coldirishman

Entries will be open from 17th March until 12th May, in which a blind judging will take place of all submissions by some of the top industry figures in whiskey, as well as an Emporia Brands representative visiting the venue to experience the recipe first hand, with the winner announced on 19th May, the day before World Whisky Day. The winner will win the trip to Royal Oak later in 2017 where they will re-create their winning recipe to the Walsh Family, VIP’s and journalists within the distillery itself.

#ColdIrishman

For more information on Walsh Whiskey, please visit http://walshwhiskey.com or follow on Twitter @WalshWhiskey, Facebook at /walshwhiskey and /TheIrishmanWhiskey and Instagram at http://www.Instagram.com/walshwhiskey

Finalists Announced at Northern Restaurant & Bar Cocktail Competition with Whitley Neill Dry Gin

Whitley Neill - Gin and Tonic

Finalists announced for the Northern Restaurant & Bar’s annual cocktail competition, sponsored by Whitley Neill Dry Gin, with the chance to win a once in a lifetime VIP visit to South Africa.

Competitors have been asked to submit one unique drink, containing a minimum of 35 ml of any Whitley Neill Dry Gin expression, and adding inspiration of the gin’s South Africa influence.

Four finalists, chosen by a blind judging panel of gin experts including founder Johnny Neill, have been chosen, and they include;

Thomas Gedney-Higham, Bibi’s Italianissimo, Leeds
Bettina Kovacs, Dishoom, Edinburgh
Jenny Griffiths, Ten Mill Lane, Cardiff
Lükas Alberti, Three Six Six (Battersea), London

Each finalist will be invited to the final of the competition at Northern Restaurant & Bar in Manchester on Wednesday 22nd March 2016 at 3:15pm. The competition is hosted by Dave Marsland aka Drinks Enthusiast and Halewood Wines & Spirits, the distributors for Whitley Neill Dry Gin, and compared by spirit writer Joel Harrison.

The winner will visit South Africa in late 2017 as the guest of Whitley Neill Dry Gin, which has previously beaten off the challenge from the World’s finest gin brands by winning gold at San Francisco World Spirits Competition 2014. The visit will also include a 1 day safari.

Northern Restaurant & Bar is the biggest hospitality show in the North. The show’s Spirit Room is the largest curated selection of spirit brands on show outside London. As well as the Casco Viejo cocktail competition, the Drinks Live theatre features a line-up of tutored tastings and masterclasses from some of the best names in the business. Tickets are free to anyone actively working in the hospitality industry, register now at northernrestaurantandbar.co.uk/webtickets

Bulleit Frontier Whiskey At London Beer Week 2017

Bulleit - Bacchus-19

This year, Bulleit Bourbon will once again be the frontier whiskey of choice for beer enthusiasts as it pops up at bars and locations around the capital throughout London Beer Week 2017.

Over the course of London’s largest celebration of beers, ales, lagers and ciders, a selection of top bars will be serving limited edition Bulleit cocktails, all of which include beer as a key ingredient. At Hopscotch on Brick Lane, a spicy Ginger Bulleit will be on offer, comprised of Bulleit, Hop House 13, ginger, lemon and malt, as well as a shorter, headier concoction of Bulleit Hop House 13 Syrup and Campari in the Beer-vardier at Found. In addition, East London hotspot, Peg + Patriot will be serving up an unusual mixture of Bulleit, Hop House 13, Campari and Wermurtlich, finished off with a clarified banana syrup. These limited edition cocktails with Bulleit and Hop House 13 lager at their centre, showcase the complimentary tasting notes of spicy Bulleit when combined with the flavoursome maltiness of premium beer.

Additionally, Bulleit will continue to champion the iconic Boilermaker serve at the The Beer Edit directly in the epicentre of London Beer Week 2017. Running across three days from the 16th-18th March, The Drink Up Bar will be playing host to a selection of whiskies, giving guests the opportunity to upgrade any of the beers on offer to a Boilermaker serve. Due to its unusually high rye content, Bulleit is the perfect match for the distinctive flavours of the various craft beers on offer, which include Southwark Brewing Co, Cotswold Cider Co, Umbrella Brewing, Canopy Beer Co, Badger Beer, Courage SE1, Renegade Brewery and Gosnells London Mead, all at £3, with a boilermaker upgrade for £2, exclusively to LBW wristband holders.

London Beer Week is a true celebration of beers, ales, lagers and ciders alike, set against the backdrop of the capital. Running from 13th-19th March, the festival provides the perfect backdrop to enjoy Bulleit Frontier Whiskey alongside some of the world’s best beers.

@BulleitUK #BulleitBoiler #bulleitlondon

@DrinkUpLDN @LDNBeerWeek #LBW16

Barceló

Barcelo
Barceló, hailing from the Dominican Republic, has a slightly unique trait in that it’s the only Dominican Rum to be manufactured directly from sugar cane juice.

A good start, but how did all it come to this?

In 1929, Julián Barceló arrived from Spain to Santo Domingo and founded Barceló & Co. where soon after he began producing one of his first rums and selling it throughout the country. After experiencing the local brands on the market, he decided to create and release in 1950 the Ron Barceló brand, and with it the Barceló Blanco and Dorado, (white and gold rums respectively), followed about 20 years later with the Ron Barceló Añejo (a mature rum).

In 1974, Don Julián Barceló handed over the reins of the business to his nephew Miguel Barceló and 6 years later, in 1980 Ron Barceló Imperial was born, becoming the most internationally awarded Dominican rum.

Following this in the 1990’s, Barceló & Co. gave a group of Spanish businessmen, themselves enjoying a long history of producing wines and spirits, the rights to export Ron Barceló. These entrepreneurs founded Ron Barceló SRL. and by 2006, had sold into 25 international markets, resulting in Ron Barceló SRL. taking over Ron Barceló completely, with the third generation Barceló’s, namely the Barceló Díaz and Garcia families, remaining on the Board of Directors and completed with a package redesign on the Ron Barceló Imperial, Gran Añejo and Añejo.

Currently, Barceló is available in over 50 countries worldwide and enjoys being the 4th largest exporter of rum in the world.

Barceló also comply with the ‘Ron Dominicano – Designation of Origin’, meaning rum producers must harvest the sugar cane, ferment, distill and age the alcohol in oak barrels for a minimum of one year, all within the Dominican Republic.

So how is the range produced? Lets take a look –

Once harvested, the sugar cane is unloaded from wagons by crane and then cut into small chunks, resulting in an easier process once it goes through the next stage, the milling. This extracts the juice from the sugar cane itself by compressing the chunks. It then heads to be fermented, which is the chemical process performed by yeast where the sugar cane transforms into predominantly ethanol and carbon dioxide, resulting in wort at around 7-8% proof that is then stored in tanks before heading to distillation.

The wort enters a column still where the vinasse and the low-grade alcohol (phlegm) are separated. The vinasse is used for fertiliser within the cane fields, and the phlegm passes through 3 more column stills where hidroselection, demethylation and rectification occur, finishing with a proof up to 95% alcohol with a balanced congener content. The resulting liquid is then stored within toasted American white oak barrels for at least one year.

All of Barceló’s rums are made by carefully selecting the lots of barrels that have completed the pre-established ageing process. These are emptied and blended in stainless steel tanks by the rum masters, before being bottled and labelled.

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

Barceló Imperial – 38%

Aged for between 8 and 10 years. Heavy hints of toffee on the nose, with some intermittent hits of spice to compliment whilst on the palate, a smooth texture with a slight sweetness of vanilla and caramel. The flavours of dry fruits is also detected, although the caramel and vanilla are the dominant forces. Finishes well with a lingering after-taste of caramel.

Barceló Imperial Premium Blend – 43%

A limited edition bottling of Barceló, created in celebration of 30 years production. Every year since 1980, Miguel Barceló has set aside private reserves of his rum for two extra years of ageing, and has used these to create their Imperial Premium Blend.
Slight dry raisin upon the nose, with an orange and seasoned wood note coming through. A slight kick of butter on the palate, resulting in a ‘side-dry tongue’ that kicks up with walnut, orange rind and fresh stemmed cherry. Very long on the finish with black walnut present.

And the Barceló perfect serve?

Barceló Piña colada
Barceló Piña Colada

Glass – 

Highball

Ingredients – 

75 ml Barceló Platinum
3 tbsp Coconut Milk
3 tbsp Chopped Pineapple

Method –

Place all ingredients into blender add 2 handfuls of crushed ice and mix at high speed for 30 seconds, strain into cocktail glass.

A great choice of rums here from the Dominican Republic, with the sipping styles of the Imperial and Imperial Premium Blend highlights so far. Perfect to have one of two in your drinks cabinet.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2017. 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.

 

 

British Bartender Launches New Book, Bar & Art Gallery In Vietnam

Richie Fawcett, Bartender Artist

Cocktail-artist Richie Fawcett has invented a new dimension of drinking artistry which tantalizes the senses in every respect. As a self-styled ‘bartist’, he has launched his book Cocktail Art of Saigon featuring 41 original recipes. They are accompanied by his own cocktail illustrations, with fine-art street scenes of the capital Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and fascinating stories of the city’s history. He is set to open his own bar and art gallery later this Spring. The Studio Saigon will be located in the heart of downtown Old Saigon on the first floor of a 1930s residential block. Entry is through a hidden entrance that is used as a motorbike parking hall. The adventurous initiatives reflect the fast emerging bar scene in Vietnam, with many talented bartenders and an increasing clientele seeking discerning cocktail experiences with world-class standards.

British bartender Richie Fawcett moved to Vietnam in 2011. He set up numerous bars in the country and progressed to manage the city’s first rooftop destination, Shri Restaurant and Lounge, where he gained a reputation for inventive mixology. As a talented photographer and fine artist, he took inspiration from the exotic corners of old Saigon to create a portfolio of pen drawings. The energy and curiosity of his pen racing across the paper creates exuberantly detailed street scenes. His book Cocktail Art of Saigon draws ideas from the culture and idiosyncrasy of the streets and its characters. It immerses you into the city’s history, and his cocktails are inspired by everyday life, emperors and missionaries, poets and revolutionaries. For the first time, the Cultural Department of Vietnam has officially authorized the interpretation of the country’s history in this way. The lavish book serves as the cocktail menu at Shri Restaurant and Lounge, and will become the central inspiration for his new bar & gallery The Studio Saigon, where a selection of these cocktails will be served.

As a judge in the prestigious Academy for selecting the World’s 50 Best Bars, Richie has an expert’s eye for perfection. Describing his own dual venture, Richie adds, “My book is about how much I enjoy this amazing city, its warmth and its history. Each drawing is equally detailed, and the street scenes and friendly people have inspired me to create these new cocktails. My new bar is for friends and customers who I have enjoyed drinking with. The bar and the book reflects the way in which I discovered the city – hopping on a scooter or walking at random, and discovering a thrilling new experience around every corner.”

Cocktail Art of Saigon, the book / menu – drinks with a view
The hard-back book features 41 original cocktails by Richie Fawcett – to celebrate 41 years of peace after the war. His pen illustrations flow throughout, showing a tour of historic landmarks and lesser known corners of old Saigon, as the eye is drawn to the cocktails. Recipes feature ingredients from local markets, house-made specialities, local liqueurs, and premium spirits brands. Easy enough for fans of fine cocktails to savour and appreciate, they will inspire you to turn your hand to mixing yourself, even if to enjoy the heady aromas of the exotic fruits and spices. Fascinating narratives about the city keep you reading as you sip, and make the book ideal for fans of world-travel and gourmet discoveries. The book is currently available from Shri Restaurant and Lounge for VND500,000. (approx. £17.50 / US $22) and soon via Amazon.

The Studio Saigon, the bar
This curious hybrid bar-gallery is set to open in April 2017. It epitomizes so many aspects of Richie Fawcett’s admiration for the city. Even the balcony overlooking the historic street corner holds a significance – simply watching passers-by in every corner of the city inspired him to create his book and his bar.

Inside, classic white walls create a gallery space for Richie’s black and white sketches. Step in further to be surprised by a floor to ceiling panorama of the city. Walk through an invisible door cut into the picture, as if to enter Old Saigon by stepping through a frame. The bar area, in contrast to the gallery, is an intimate and cosy awakening of sensations. Enter through another door to an area which serves as Richie’s storage for traditional oriental herbals. It is decorated with tones of grey, warm orange and silver. Curios and ornaments which he has sourced from local antique markets are displayed on the many shelves. They include a collection of balance scales, which are also a symbol in his book to indicate the taste balance of the cocktails. The array of local herbs in the drawers are used in cocktails from the book for bespoke omakaze creations by Richie.

Sink into leather sofas and armchairs next to the fire and enjoy one of the cocktails from the menu, inspired by the country. As if you were in a private lounge, the open bar is like a bar in reverse. The open cabinet gives the impression you are sitting amidst the action, in the same way as at a chef’s table in a fascinating, skilled kitchen. With an additional drinks trolley for table side mixing, the mood recalls old Saigon during the height of colonial French rule, when it really was called the Pearl of the Orient.

From there, double doors open onto an intimate balcony. In early evening, as the heat of the day subsides, the sounds of the street echo into the room. The imagination drifts into the night, as calls from streets sellers grow fainter as they move past.

The cocktails
Exotic ingredients, through to simple, humble produce from local street markets, are adventurously prepared in Richie’s cocktails. Aromatic peach and vanilla, lychee and ginger, cucumber and elderflower, almond and cherry – then you are hit with the surprise of smoked barbeque or the refreshing tang of beer. The cocktails in the book follow three categories to reflect Richie’s artistic concepts: area, landmark buildings, and streets. Areas are represented by small batch bottled cocktails, and buildings and streets are individually represented in formats from handmade wooden carved boats, turtles to mini BBQ trays. His collection of six original small batch, bottled cocktails bear labels with illustrations of old Saigon. They are already on sale at the iconic lifestyle shop and bar L’Usine http://lusinespace.com Ho Chi Minh City.

St Lucia Distillers Set to Travel Around the UK

Distillers-Final-LogoThis March and April, UK distributor Emporia Brands have put together a calendar of events involving its award-winning St Lucia Distillers range, after the initial success of last year’s programme.

Brand Ambassador Dave Marsland and the Emporia Brands team will be touring fifteen cities as they bring together the Chairman’s Reserve range, which includes Gold, Spiced, White Label and Forgotten Cask, the Admiral Rodney, and an edition of premium expression 1931, plus a selection of the distillates from which they are blended.

In 1931, the Barnard family founded a distillery at Dennery, St Lucia. Now based on the other side of the island at Roseau, the distillery has been considerably modernized and new technologies and improvements constantly incorporated. The installation of pot stills in 1998 added considerably to the variety of rums being produced in this highly regarded distillery which received the accolade of Individual Distiller of the Year at the International Spirits Challenge, one of six trophies received in six years – a unique achievement.

With the premise of a flavour experience, the tour sees an approach to the range that offers bartenders and key industry figures invited to not only learn about St Lucia, but ideas on how to embrace the versatility of St Lucia Distillers, from the Spiced variety to the rare 1931.

Cities on the tour include Manchester, London, Leeds, Brighton, Liverpool, Birmingham, Nottingham, Leicester, Newcastle, Cardiff, Reading, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Glasgow, with Emporia Brands looking to strengthen their campaign as they look ahead to the next instalment of the ‘Chairman’s XI’ with their ever-expanding sales team seeking out some of the UK’s best and brightest to follow in the footsteps of some of the industries key figures, including Lyndon Higginson of The Liars Club in Manchester, Danny Murphy of Aloha in Liverpool and Adam Binnersley of the MOJO Group.

Places are limited for each session, due to the rarity of gaining the exclusive 1931 and distillates for the tasting’s. To secure your place, please contact Dave Marsland at dave@emporiabrands.com, stating the session you wish to attend from the list below.

Manchester       Mojo’s, 9th March, 1:30pm

London                 Burlock, 15th March, 2pm

Leeds                    Mojo’s, 15th March, 1:30pm

Brighton              Oki Nami, 21st March, 1pm

Liverpool             Maya, 23rd March, 1:30pm

Birmingham       Island Bar, 4th April, 2pm

Nottingham       Brass Monkey, 5th April, 3pm

Leicester             The Queen of Bradgate, 6th April, 2pm

Newcastle          Alvino’s, 11th April, 1pm

Edinburgh           Reekie Tiki, 16th April, 4pm

Cardiff                  The Dead Canary, 21st April, 2pm

Aberdeen           Bos’n, 23rd April, 3pm

Dundee                 Draffens, 24th April, 4pm

Reading                               Milk, 26th April, 2pm

Glasgow              Distill, 26th April, 4pm

 

Follow Chairman’s Reserve on Twitter @ChairmansUK, Facebook at www.facebook.com/ChairmansReserveUK and Instagram at  www.instagram.com/chairmansreserveuk

Follow Emporia Brands on Twitter @EmporiaBrandsUK, Facebook at www.facebook.com/EmporiaBrands and Instagram at www.instagram.com/emporiabrands