Emily Says . . . . ‘Portobello’

Portobello Road

In her fifteenth feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering heads for a walk down Portobello Road;

So it turns out I haven’t exactly stuck to my previous promise of leaning away from the gin; it’s just too bloody difficult! So here’s another quick little blog about another one of my favourite gins: Portobello Road.

Portobello Road has dominated the gin scene for quite some time now, and it was five years ago when it all began at no. 171 Portobello Road; the address of Portobello Star, a cocktail bar in Notting Hill. Conveniently, the bar contained a Ginstitute on the second floor that specialised in all things gin. Taking full advantage of this, bartender Jake Burger and proprietor Ged Feltham spent nine months experimenting with different botanicals and flavours until they whipped up the perfect recipe.

Nine botanicals make Portobello Road what it is, and that includes juniper berries, coriander seeds, angelica root, orris root, lemon and orange peel, liquorice root, cassia bark and nutmeg. With the base being an English wheat neutral spirit, Portobello Road is truly a classic London dry gin, alongside its ABV of 42%.

With it being created by a bartender, one would generally have high hopes for Portobello, and I can guarantee it isn’t one that disappoints. On the nose, an elegant and floral aroma is instantly apparent with delicate notes of citrus; clearly from the orange and lemon peel added in the distillation.

As one would expect from a London dry gin, the first taste is initially very juniper heavy. Subtle spices are also present, as would be predicted from a London dry, but the citrus notes take centre stage in the overall tasting experience. The floral notes are left in the nose, which I personally think is a beautiful little addition without giving the gin too much of an overwhelming drinking experience: little is more, remember!

The perfect serve for Portobello Road London dry gin is simply over ice with an Indian tonic (or London Essence Grapefruit and Rosemary tonic if you fancy) and a twist of grapefruit zest.

Keep your eyes peeled for the Portobello Road Navy Strength gin, with a punchy ABV of 57.1%, this little addition is definitely the one for those stronger gin lovers.

Photo Credit: Portobello Road

Emily Says . . . . ‘Forest’

Forest

In her fourteenth feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering heads to Cheshire and into the Forest;

The gin hype certainly isn’t over (I doubt it ever will), and I’m here this time with a local delight that is Forest Gin.

The story of this little number indeed begun in a Macclesfield forest, founded by husband and wife Karl and Lindsay Bond. The couple shared a passion for their fine alcoholic beverages, and whilst enduring the dull days of the nine to five life, they would spend their evenings away from computer screens and instead with a pint sized pot still and a radio.

With Lindsay being a coeliac, drinking beer was simply out of the question for her (sadly!), so the couple turned to the next best thing: gin! The pair assembled a rather impressive gin collection, which ignited the spark of inspiration. From buying supermarket-branded vodka and distilling it with juniper that was bought online, Karl slowly but surely began to understand the process of making gin – and I mean making gin properly.

What makes a gin truly unique are the botanicals that go into it, and Karl and Lindsay made sure to find ingredients that were one of a kind, and would be difficult to find anywhere else. Living nearby a local Macclesfield forest, the couple put on their walking boots and embarked on a foraging adventure, discovering a whole range of fantastic botanicals to put in their gin.

With the traditional additions of juniper, angelica, cassia and coriander, Forest gin also includes botanicals such as wild grown bilberries, raspberries, blackberries, moss, ferns, pine, tree bark and wild flowers. As one can imagine, the addition of these unusual botanicals give the gin a taste that is truly unique.

On the nose, Forest gin literally smells as it is expected to smell: like a forest in the rain. The fresh and earthy smells from the foraged ingredients are very much apparent, particularly the herbaceous notes from the tree bark and wild flowers. Sweet notes follow from the berries, but are somewhat underwhelmed from the strong dewy forest-like notes.

When it comes to the taste, Forest gin delivers what the title suggests: a fresh and strongly herbaceous gin with hints of sweetness and a bold character. Fresh spring water from the Peak District is used in the distillation, giving the gin a fantastically smooth drinking experience. Subtle hints of spices are present, perhaps from the cassia and even from the addition of cinnamon…? The beauty of drinking a gin such as Forest is the guessing game of what has indeed gone into it to create its unique taste, and as cliché as this may sound, it literally tastes like a forest; the only way in which I can perfectly describe it! Forest gin is paired perfectly with ice, an Indian tonic water with a garnish of a couple of blackberries and a sprig of rosemary.

And for any of my fellow tea lovers, the Forest Earl Grey edition is not one to be missed. The earthy and fruity notes of the original recipe are still apparent, but the fragrant and dry touches of Earl Grey tea beautifully overwhelm the palate. Paired with ice and an Indian tonic water, the drinking experience reminds one strongly of a refreshing and fruity iced tea: perfect.

Photo Credit: Forest Distillery

Emily Says . . . . ‘Martin Millers’

Martin Millers

In her thirteenth feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering looks at what’s next in her journey now Dry Ginuary is over;

So Ginuary may be officially over on the calendar, but that doesn’t mean my obsession with the good stuff is over. At all. Forever being on the look-out for the perfect gin, I have come across this fantastic little number and it is certainly one not to be missed.

Launched in 1999, Martin Miller’s gin was founded by the man himself, Martin Miller. Mr Miller and two friends were regular drinkers in and around the London bar scene, and were generally appalled by the poor quality of gin available in pubs and bars. Wanting to bring something new to the back bar and to encourage a younger group of consumers to gin, Miller and his two friends set out to try and create the best gin possible; and, in my opinion, they did rather well.

Pot distilled in the Langley’s distillery, Martin Millers is distilled here in the UK; but the story doesn’t start in England. It indeed starts in Iceland in which the distillate is diluted with fresh Icelandic water. A pollution free country, and one of the world’s most active volcanic hot spots, Iceland is the perfect geographical location in terms of sourcing only the best fresh produce.

Taking on a ten day journey for Martin Millers from Immingham on the East Coast of England, Borganes is located at the head of Iceland’s remote west coast. From the depths of the beautiful basalt mountains that frame the Icelandic skyline, the water is drawn from Martin Millers very own spring in this remote and exclusive little location.

The botanicals that go into Martin Millers consist of the relatively straight-forward ingredients, such as juniper, coriander, angelica root, cinnamon, cassia, liquorice, nutmeg and Seville orange; straight-forward, perhaps, but timelessly perfect.

In terms of tasting notes, fresh juniper and bitter orange flavours are instantly apparent. Notes of Seville orange gently dominate the overall taste, with the distillation of Icelandic water delivering a beautifully smooth texture. These notes last throughout the entire drink, leaving a fresh and slightly peppery taste on the palate to finish.

In a personal opinion, this is the gin to go to when wanting a simply fresh and smooth drinking experience; Martin Millers have created the most fantastic gin. To be drank alongside an Indian tonic over ice, garnished with a fresh strawberry and a sprinkle of black pepper.

Photo Credit: Martin Millers

Emily Says . . . . ‘Elephant’

elephant

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

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

Emily Says . . . . ‘The Dark Stuff’

Guinness 2

In her eleventh feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering looks at her trip to Dublin and the Guinness Store;

The life of Emily Puckering strongly revolves around all things alcoholic, and despite the gloomy reality that I don’t spend that much of my time actually drinking, I do get the few opportunities to venture out of Manchester and explore some of the finest beverages that the world has to offer.

I spent a weekend in one of Ireland’s most renowned drinking spots, Dublin. And what is it that Dublin is so famous for? The Dark Stuff… or more commonly known as Guinness! Being one of the world’s most recognised stouts, I had high expectations of the quality of Guinness that Dublin had to offer. But firstly, what exactly is this dark stuff?

The story of Guinness dates all the way back to 1759, when a young Arthur Guinness found himself in Dublin and opened a brewery at St. James’s Gate. Rather than doing what every other brewery was focusing on; brewing ale, Guinness focused upon making the perfect porter.

By the time the 1800s came around, Guinness took that extra step forward and began exporting their famous black beer around the world, ranging from Africa to New Zealand. With Guinness being enjoyed all over the world, its popularity grew rapidly and a love for its unique taste was kindled.

With an ABV of 4.2%, Guinness provides the perfect balance of bitter and sweet with its malted and roasted characteristics. But it is the production of the porter that truly makes it one of a kind. Guinness brewers were the first to introduce the combination of nitrogen and carbon dioxide to draught beer. This resulted in Guinness’ velvety smooth texture and its unique settle, something it would very quickly become famous for.
It is water, barley, roasted malt extracts, hops and a unique Irish yeast that go into the production of Guinness. A large portion of the barley is roasted, which is what gives the dark colour and characteristic taste.

Guinness
Many mistake the colour of Guinness for being completely black, when it is in fact a ruby red. The flavour provides a rather unexpected light body, in contrast to what the overall appearance suggests on first impression. The light body alongside the velvet-like texture delivers a beautiful drinking experience. Upon the first taste, strong notes of coffee and chocolate are present with some slightly fruity characteristics. The bitterness of the hops finish the taste with subtly dry notes.

Visiting the St. James’s Gate brewery in Dublin was an experience one doesn’t easily forget. The history of Guinness is told through a timeline that consists of over six floors, ending with the famous Gravity bar overlooking the city; with Guinness being served on draught of course!

Furthermore, if you find yourself in Dublin, a visit to St. James’s Gate is an absolute must, as is getting yourself a pint of the dark stuff on your next visit to a bar, whether that’s in Dublin or down at your local; the dark stuff isn’t as scary as it looks…

Emily Says . . . . ‘MFDF18’

The Gin Lounge

In her tenth feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering looks at the MFDF’s Gin Lounge;

The Manchester Food and Drink Festival 2018 is currently underway, and as always, it has a fantastic range of new foods and drinks to offer. Created back in 1998 by Phil Jones, the original concept was to demonstrate that Manchester has much more to offer than just, I quote, ‘meat pies and gravy’! Over the last twenty years, MFDF has achieved a national status whilst watching the drinking and dining scene of Manchester be transformed into the incredible industry it is today.

Naturally, my attention was immediately stolen by the drinking side to MFDF this year, in particular the Gin Festival put together by the Gin Lounge. For two days only, The Gin Lounge held an exclusive event showcasing some of the UK’s favourite gins. With the number of gin distilleries soaring across the UK, the choice of what gin to drink is becoming endless, so The Gin Lounge put on display some new faces to the world of gin.
For any gin enthusiast, The Gin Lounge put on a spectacular event. Sponsored by Fentimans, a range of flavoured tonics were on hand at all times to mix and match with the different gins tasted, ranging from a standard Indian tonic to a Valencian Orange tonic. An ice and garnish station provided an array of herbs and fruits that were designed to complement perfectly each unique gin available. Gin cocktail stands and a gourmet food van finished off the event beautifully, offering something for every gin lover.

As a representative of the North and in particular, Manchester, I found myself leaning towards the Manchester-based distilleries that made an appearance at this year’s gin festival. Three major Manchester distilleries really caught my eye during my time here at the gin festival, so here are the ones that I would truly recommend in indulging in:

The Gin Lounge 2

Didsbury Gin
https://www.didsburygin.com/

Created in the heart of Manchester’s Didsbury, Liam Manton and Mark Smallwood went out to create a citrusy twist on the classic London dry gin under just two years ago. Inspiration was taken from the botanical gardens of Parsonage and Fletcher Moss that date all the way back to 1919 since been gifted to the people of Didsbury by a quintessential English village.
Using traditional artisan methods and infusing modern botanicals such as hand-peeled fresh citrus and juniper, Didsbury gin offers a zesty and fresh drinking experience, with strong notes of citrus fruits such as lemon and grapefruit. These citrus notes allow the gin to be easily drank neat, and is mixed beautifully with Fentimans Indian tonic water.
The Raspberry and Elderflower edition of Didsbury gin is something truly outstanding. Rather than a standard raspberry gin (or more commonly known as ‘pink gin’), the elderflower balances out the usual sweetness that is associated with raspberry flavours, delivering a fruity yet crisp gin.

The Gin Lounge 3

Thomas Dakin Gin
http://www.thomasdakin.com/

A Manchester gin that dates back centuries, Thomas Dakin is surely the household name for gins in the North West. All the way back in 1761, Thomas Dakin began distilling gin in Warrington at the age of twenty five. With Dakin’s inventive and modern outlook upon the distillation process, he created a high quality English gin, despite the negative attitudes towards the distillation of one’s own gin at the time.
Styled around the classic London dry gin, Thomas Dakin is a juniper-led gin created with the use of eleven botanicals. Those botanicals include juniper, orange zest, angelica, grapefruit and English coriander seeds. Whilst the recipe itself remains a well-hidden secret, the knowledge of the botanicals used backs up perfectly the drinking experience that Thomas Dakin provides.
Sweet and citrusy notes dominate the overall flavour, which are beautifully backed up by the spicy and earthy notes provided by botanicals such as angelica and coriander. Mixed with Fentimans pink grapefruit tonic water.

The Gin Lounge 4

Manchester Three Rivers Gin
http://www.manchesterthreerivers.com/

Manchester Three Rivers gin is exactly what the name says. It is named after the three rivers that ran through the city before Manchester’s famous canals took over: Irwell, Irk and Medlock. It was these rivers that pumped life into the city and allowed for its many industries to develop and thrive.
The distillery was located close to the banks of Irk, which is what inspired the name for this Manchester gin. The area has a rich history of creativity and production, and Three Rivers has certainly paid homage to the area with their fantastic creation.
Produced by hand in small batches only by master distiller Dave Rigby, Three Rivers is a well-balanced gin using eleven botanicals, including vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom and almond. Overall, the gin delivers a smooth drinking experience with a slight sweetness on the tongue. It is finished with a spicy black pepper kick, all thanks to the use of cardamom. Three Rivers was mixed perfectly with Fentimans Connoisseurs tonic water.
Manchester Three Rivers also offers an exclusive Gin Experience, allowing one to distil and bottle their very own unique gin in the Three Rivers distillery.

Emily Says . . . . ‘Flat White’

Flat White

In her ninth feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering looks at ABC for breakfast;

I’m experiencing a small beer hype at the moment, and I simply can’t get enough of certain numbers that I have recently discovered. Therefore, I introduce my next feature which is about one of my newly discovered favourites. Alphabet Brewing Company have unveiled this quirky little number: Flat White Breakfast Stout. But firstly, what even is a stout? Never mind a breakfast one!

A stout is a dark beer that contains roasted malt or roasted barley, hops, water and yeast. Irish dry stout Guinness has become the face of stouts, and has generally become the go-to out of all stouts.

Manchester based Alphabet Brewing have pushed the boat out with its 7.4% Flat White as it doesn’t fit the criteria of your usual stout. Despite being described as a ‘white breakfast stout’, the colour is this beer is in fact a reddish brown. Paler than the standard stout, yes, but not white! It is the combination of oats, milk and coffee that have allowed Flat White to achieve this unique colour, and most importantly, it’s unique taste.

A dark and spicy tasting experience overall, Flat White delivers the perfect coffee kick to start off anyone’s day… or night! It has been slightly sweetened, which is the only issue to arise in the sense that not everyone has their coffee sweet. But it worked beautifully for myself, as it has seemed to do also with everyone else I know who have given it a try.
From my first sip of this stout, I was instantly reminded of the aromas that an Espresso Martini delivers. Of course, neither are the same at all, it doesn’t take an expert to know that; but the strong kick of coffee alongside the punchy flavour of the alcohol made me reminisce on my last Espresso Martini… which wasn’t that long ago!

The delicate roasting of this beer is made apparent in not only the main body, but the after taste also. The hops and oat aromas are left tantalising the taste buds, with that undeniable punchy taste of coffee lingering on the back of your tongue.

It is a hipster’s dream breakfast, as it is mine! Flat White is the perfect start to them few beers in the day, or a little ‘pick me up’ at the end of a long day in the office. Bravo, Alphabet Brewing Company!

Emily Says . . . . ‘Big Shed’

Big Shed

In her eighth feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering looks at her visit to Australia;

For those who haven’t noticed my absence in the last month, I spent eleven days in Adelaide, South Australia fulfilling my duties as a bridesmaid for my childhood best friend. As amazing and as honourable this role and trip was, it was an exhausting journey back to Manchester and jet lag truly took advantage of me. Not to mention being thrown back into the late bartending shifts the minute I stepped foot off the plane from that twenty-three hour flight.

But I’m back! As is my body clock. And it would have felt rude to not bring some of the Australian sunshine back with me, even if I didn’t bring back a tan to prove it…

Being a bridesmaid is no walk in the park, and myself and my twin sister Charlotte found our days packed out with wedding rehearsals, bridal showers and overall preparations for the big day; which, by the way, payed off just beautifully. Luckily, we managed to squeeze in a day off consisting of brunch, beaches and, most importantly, beer!

South Australia homes many breweries, and we payed a visit to one of the most popular: Big Shed Brewing Co. Founded and directed by Craig Basford and Jason Harris, the pair started brewing in Jason’s shed in Barossa of Adelaide back in 2002. The shed was big enough to fit in all the necessary brewing equipment, and so began the love affair of Big Shed Brewing. Experimenting using unique ingredients from the pure curiosity of ‘what happens if…’, Craig and Jason began discussing making their passion into a business.

Finally in September of 2014, Big Shed Brewing Co launched their own tasting bar and kitchen to display and sell their products. Consisting of six taps and food that is specially paired with the different beers, this brewery is perfect for sampling, learning and even taking away their unique beers. I took away three different bottles, and here is a little summary of each of the three.

F Yeah - American Pale Ale
F Yeah – American Pale Ale

ABV: 5.5%
An overall easily drinkable and fantastic beer. Beautifully hopped with a biscuit and aromatic malt, F Yeah provides a full bodied and wonderfully hopped experience. Alongside a citrus-like aroma, there is also a firm bitterness that truly balances this beer; which is what makes APAs so wonderful! A full strength beer that can be enjoyed during any occasion thanks to its steadily balanced ABV.

Californicator – West Cost IPA
Californicator – West Cost IPA

ABV: 7.5%
With the West Coast USA being all about their hops, this number has naturally replicated that. The bitterness from the strong hops in this beer are backed up perfectly by citrus aromas, and even a hint of apricot. The bold flavour of this beer makes it incredibly moreish; a risky game to play with its heavy ABV of 7.5%! Perhaps not the ideal beer for a quiet get together with the family… but overall, a cracking no-nonsense IPA.

Golden Stout Time – Dessert Stout
Golden Stout Time – Dessert Stout

ABV: 5.4%
Something for the sweet tooth! Taking a step back from the hops and focusing on the strong infusions of toffee and honeycomb, this dessert stout is perfect for a post-meal treat. The sweet infusions give this beer a hearty and rich tasting experience, ticking all the boxes for the perfect dessert beer; with an easy going ABV too! For sipping and enjoying, this number is one to be savoured.

Sadly, Big Shed Brewing Co hasn’t appeared its face over here in the UK yet. But if anyone is planning a trip to the South of Australia, a visit to the brewery or even grabbing a bottle of two from the local liquor store shelves is an absolute must! A true taste of the South Australian sunshine, Big Shed is one not to be missed out.

Emily Says . . . . ‘Hot Toddy’

Hot TOddy

In her seventh feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering looks at the pick-me-up she needed this week;

The Hot Toddy. The only alcoholic drink that is warmly welcomed when one is suffering from the typical and unavoidable British head cold. One of which I have found myself plagued with right now…

Lack of appetite, consistent headaches, blowing your nose around a hundred times a day; the common head cold is the ultimate downfall. This traditional Scottish tipple isn’t the miracle cure to this ghastly virus, but it certainly gives that little pick me up we all need when feeling a bit down in the dumps. But how did this little concoction come about?

Often known as Hot Whiskey, the Hot Toddy originates from Scotland and is typically made by mixing hot water, honey and liquor. The liquor used is more than often whiskey, but brandy and rum can also be used in this medicinal concoction. The Hot Toddy is traditionally drank before retiring for the night, and often delivers a peaceful nights sleep; just what we all need, especially us bartenders!

The drink is popular during the colder seasons when people are more prone to falling unwell, with the combination of boiling water and honey being there to sooth, and the alcohol being there to numb. But what is the perfect recipe for the Hot Toddy?

My talented colleague and wonderful friend Jonah Robertshawe has the answer. My Australian companion had a little dabble in creating the perfect Hot Toddy to soothe my sore throat; and mostly, to stop my complaining, and the spec goes a little something like this:

Glass – Mug or Latte Glass

2 slices of fresh ginger
Assorted spices (cinnamon, cardamom, peppercorns)
Star Anise clove
Fresh red chilli (to taste)
25ml honey
25ml lemon juice
35ml Monkey Shoulder Scotch Whiskey
Top with boiling water

Garnish – Lemon wedge and cinnamon stick

You don’t have to be an experienced whiskey drinker to be able to enjoy the Hot Toddy. The sweetness of the honey delivers a beautifully smooth drink, toning down slightly the kick of the Monkey Shoulder; perfect for those who aren’t whiskey lovers. For those whiskey fanatics, however, a measure or two extra is always welcomed.

The combination of spices will guarantee to kick start the taste buds, making this little number the perfect winter warmer… or the perfect cold & flu medicine. When feeling under the weather, a hot drink is always the guaranteed remedy, and Jonah’s Hot Toddy has certainly made its way to the top of my list when I’m sat in bed with a box of tissues feeling sorry for myself.

A big thanks to Jonah for the little pick me up I needed! And yet another wonderful creation from Mr Robertshawe, whiskey truly is a miracle worker.

Credit:
Jonah Robertshawe at The Botanist
Photo – Epicurious