Emily Says . . . . ‘Old Mout Cider’

Old Mout

In her sixth feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering looks at her favourite Summer cider;

Any bartender will be familiar with the famous brands of fruit cider. Fruit cider, whether one likes it or not, is the nation’s favourite summer time drink and certainly will be for a long time. And with summer creeping around the corner, I thought I’d write up a little something about one of the best brands and what wonderful things this company has to offer… and most importantly, how to pronounce it correctly!

Established 65 years ago in Nelson, New Zealand, Old Mout began on a cycling trip in England. Wanda Tait sampled the traditional local ciders and fell in love instantly. Bringing this love back to NZ, she set up her own cidery in a shed and the infamous company was born.

A couple of young pioneers then took over. Justin and Scottie helped give Old Mout the name they are so famous for with their tantalising and unique fruit flavours, rather than sticking to the traditional apple or pear flavours. The pair were inspired by the beautiful island fruits and went on to develop a range of fruit flavours that would later win them awards and, of course, a step up the ladder in the competitive cider industry.

Today in the UK, Old Mout is slowly but surely becoming a household name. With the strong competitors of Kopparberg and Rekorderlig fruit ciders, it was certainly a gradual process getting the word out about this NZ number. And it still is a gradual process on how to pronounce it correctly…

Its spelling causes understandable confusion. Rather than pronounce it as ‘Mout’, as the spelling suggests, it is in fact pronounced as ‘M-oo-oo-t’. Nor is it pronounced as ‘Moat’ either, which I’ve heard a few times over the bar as I’ve struggled to hold back my laughter.

Old Mout features four very unique flavours over here in the UK:

Kiwi & Lime
Strawberry & Pomegranate
Summer Berries
Passionfruit & Apple

Rather than sticking to the generic ‘Strawberry & Lime’ favourite that dominates most fruit ciders here in Britain, Old Mout have put a twist on the classic flavours of traditional cider. Pairing passionfruit with apple delivers bittersweet notes, and the combination of kiwi and lime gives something truly refreshing. Pomegranate has truly made an appearance in the bar over the last year, and it makes a superb flavour for a cider as Old Mout has proved.

So for this summer, make sure you are equipped with sunglasses and a bottle of Old Mout cider when sitting in your favourite beer garden; the sunshine and the exotic fruits of New Zealand have been brought to the UK!

Emily Says . . . . ‘Yorkshire Tea’

Masons Dry Yorkshire Gin

In her fifth feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering looks at the Yorkshire Tea and Gin combination;

Gin has truly taken over the world in the last couple of years. It is what everyone is talking about, and it is what everyone is ordering over the bar. More and more brands and varieties of gin appear day by day, making ones choice of what to drink rather difficult.

A gin that stands out to me is Masons Dry Yorkshire Gin… and I promise this has nothing to do with the fact that I’m from Yorkshire! Masons was created by Karl and Cathy Mason, a pair of gin enthusiasts who initially began blogging and reviewing different types of gin prior to their creation.

What makes their gin truly unique is what the Masons decided to put in it. Using pure Yorkshire water and the classic essence of Juniper, alongside Fennel, Coriander seeds, Cardamom and Szechuan pepper, Masons gin became known for its bold and distinctive dry taste.

But I am not here to talk about Masons original dry gin. Masons Dry Yorkshire gin Tea Edition has taken centre stage. Again, I’m sure this has nothing to do with me being from Yorkshire, but I absolutely love tea… as do many of us Brits. And what could possibly be better than a collaboration of gin and the finest Yorkshire tea?

The distillation process of this 42 percent gin involves 665 Yorkshire teabags (to be precise!) being cut up and mixed with the rest of the classic recipe before being distilled. A pairing of flavours that doesn’t often trend, the combination of tea and gin is truly an unusual one, but one of curiosity and individuality.

On the nose, this gin delivers lovely dark tannin notes, mixing beautifully with the bold juniper and the spices of fennel and cardamom. On first sip, these spices instantly bring out the crisp punch of Yorkshire Tea; something pleasantly different compared to a usual gin and tonic. The risk of collaborating tea with gin is the chance of bringing out the perfumed notes, of which can be way too tangent on the mouth. The presence of citrus fruits such as lemons in Masons, however, prevents the gin from being overpowered by these perfume essences, and instead gives a refreshing and punchy finish.

The perfect serve of Masons Dry Yorkshire gin Tea Edition is recommended to be served with a premium Indian tonic, and a simple twist of lemon peel for a garnish. Perfect!

Credit:
Masons Gin
Buon Vino

Emily Says . . . . ‘John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum’

Velvet Green Martini

In her fourth feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering looks at the Barbadian classic from John D. Taylor;

Coming from a bartenders experience, rum is one of the most frequently ordered drinks, whether drinking it neat, with a mixer, or as many find themselves doing, searching for the perfect rum based cocktail.

But this Caribbean classic has much more to offer than one would expect. The creation of rum all the way back in the 17th century was spurred along by plantation slaves, of whom discovered that a by-product of the sugar refining process could be fermented into alcohol.

Putting aside the technical talk, rum allowed the production of many rum-based liqueurs that were yet to come in the future of alcohol. One of these rum-based products is John D. Taylor’s Velvet Falernum, created in Barbados some time between 1830-1930.

A beautiful blend of lime zest, sugar, ginger, cloves and pure Barbadian white rum, John D. Taylor truly created a true specimen of the 18th-19th century Barbados bar culture. Velvet Falernum offers drinkers a much smoother and sweeter experience, particularly for those who may want to avoid the rich spices of classic rum. Standing at only 11% volume however, Velvet Falernum is perfect in the use of mixology, and has even been considered a syrup rather than a liqueur due to its sweet properties.

Today in the bartending world, Velvet Falernum is well known for its usage in classics such as the Rum Swizzle, Mai Tai, Zombie and the Corn N’ Oil. But for something a bit different, Velvet Falernum plays a key role in one of these exquisite creations:

Velvet Green Martini 2

Velvet Green Martini

Glass – Martini

Ingredients –
25ml egg white
15ml lemon juice
7.5ml kiwi syrup
25ml apple juice
15ml Velvet Falernum
15ml Briottet Apple Liqueur
15ml Tanqueray Export

Method – Pour all ingredients into a boston glass, add ice and hard shake to create a thick head on the finishing result.

Garnish – Mint sprig and a pipette of chlorophyll for an ombre effect.

The Velvet Green Martini delivers a, as the title suggests, a velvety smooth drinking experience. The egg white creates the silky texture which compliments the name of this drink perfectly. Sugar syrup is not as vital as would be usually due to the sweet notes of Velvet Falernum, complementing the sweet and crisp aromas of apple and kiwi that are present in the drink. Velvet Falernum not only works beautifully with rum, but with various different spirits as the Velvet Green proves clearly.

When making this drink, I must say around 9 times out of 10, many will recoil at the thought of chlorophyll being added to their drink. Just to clarify, chlorophyll mustn’t be mistaken for chloroform. Chlorophyll is a tasteless and odourless plant extract that is used purely for appearance. Its dark colour creates an ombre effect, which is truly pleasing for the eyes, as well as the taste buds.

Credit and copyright:
The Botanist

Emily Says . . . . ‘The Espresso Martini’

Espresso Martini

In her third feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering looks at the ever faithful Espresso Martini;

A cocktail that has never gone out of fashion: the Espresso Martini. A simply timeless concoction of vodka paired with espresso, this number is the go-to at the bar for a little ‘pick me up’. But how did this infamous creation come about in the bartending scene?

Rumour has it that the Espresso Martini was created in the early 1980s by London bartender Dick Bradsel whilst working at the Soho Brasserie. According to Dick himself, the story goes that a famous female model visited the bar and asked him to get her a drink that will ‘pick me up then fuck me up’. Not a request a bartender gets every day, that’s for sure! The Espresso Martini was born after Dick put together some vodka and sugar with a shot of espresso from the bars shiny new espresso machine. Revolutionary.

The growing popularity of the espresso machine in the 1980s spurred along the name of the Espresso Martini. Even to this very day, this timeless little number never fails to make an appearance in the life of a bartender. Whether it is being enjoyed as a post-dinner treat or fuelling a late night, there is always a suitable time for the Espresso Martini.

In my four and a half years of bartending, I’ve come across several different recipes in making the perfect Espresso Martini. Here is the recipe I personally have found to truly shake up something beautiful:

Glassware –
Martini

Ingredients –
1 bar spoon of fresh honey
25ml sugar syrup
25ml Café Patron XO
50ml Belvedere Vodka
1 shot of espresso

Method –
Pour all ingredients into a boston glass. Add ice and hard shake to ensure a thick head on the finishing product; the Espresso Martini is all about the foam! Double strain into a chilled martini glass.

Garnish – three single coffee beans.

The addition of fresh honey truly gives a smoother touch to the Espresso Martini, complimenting beautifully the smooth finish of Belvedere vodka.
Usually, the usage of any coffee liqueur is suitable in the creation of this particular drink. I, however, feel that the use of Patron’s own coffee tequila, Café Patron XO gives an exclusive touch, and certainly brings out the caffeine kick that we coffee lovers are looking for. For those true coffee enthusiasts, however, the replacement of Café Patron XO with a double espresso will work just fine.

A cocktail that one can truly not go wrong with, and a cocktail that will never go out of style: The Espresso Martini, here to pick you up… then fuck you up.

Emily Says . . . . ‘Budvar Hoptails’

The Budweis Mule

In her second feature under ‘Emily Says . . .’, the voice to the Manchester bar scene in Emily Puckering looks at Budvar Hoptails: The Budweis Mule;

The beauty of mixology is having the freedom to mix whatever one likes in order to create the perfect drink. And who says one must stick to just spirits in this art?
The art of mixing beer with classic cocktail ingredients is ever growing in the bartending industry today. More and more concoctions are being created, all with the one compound in common; beer. Whether it’s a lager, a pale ale or even a cask, beer is the key ingredient in creating something rather special in the competitive world of mixology.

You don’t have to be a qualified beer guru to have heard of Budweiser Budvar, one of the world’s most famous beer brand. Most commonly known for its infamous pale lager, Budweiser Original, the Budvar brand dates back centuries; all the way back to 1265 to be precise. The town České Budějovice of Czech Republic was founded by Ottokar II, the King of Bohemia, and was granted many important privileges; one of which being able to brew beer. And so the story begins.

The year of 1872 welcomed the export of beer from České Budějovice to the United States, strongly spurred along by millions of Czech locals relocating to the states for a better life; and bringing their thirst for beer with them!
Since then, Budvar has become a global sensation. And it is this global popularity that has introduced Budvar Hoptails; a platform that showcases the greatest beer cocktail creations that bartenders across the world have created.

The Budweis Mule 2

The Budweis Mule: a fiery twist on the classic Moscow Mule.

Glass – Tankard

Ingredients –
2 dashes of Angostura Bitters
Fresh lemon thyme
Fresh ginger
15ml sugar syrup
20ml lemon juice
15ml Cointreau
30ml Tanqueray Export Gin
Bottle of Budweiser Budvar Original

Method –

Firstly, muddle in the lemon thyme and ginger with the sugar syrup and lemon juice in a boston glass – in order to achieve the best flavour! Add the Angostura bitters, Cointreau and Tanqueray and shake hard with plenty of ice.
Single strain over cubed ice, and top with the bottle of Budweiser Budvar Original. Garnish with a lemon thyme sprig and lemon zest.

This exclusive creation was stirred up by Jonah Robertshawe. Coming all the way from Sydney, Australia, Jonah has brought his Australian expertise to Manchester’s bartending scene, where he currently resides at The Botanist. From taking part in the Budvar Hoptails national competition, Jonah’s creation earned himself a name in Budvar and the sales of the Budweis Mule in Botanists across the country, and here is what he has to say about his concoction:

“I’ve always been a big fan of the Moscow Mule style cocktails, but I wanted to work with the flavour of the saarz hops in the Budvar using complimentary spirits, which is the Tanqueray gin, which are then backed up by the citrus notes of Cointreau.”
“However, I didn’t want to stray too far away from the classic Moscow Mule. So rather than ginger beer, I paired together fresh ginger and lemon thyme so the essential flavour of the Mule wasn’t lost”.

The fiery essence of the ginger beautifully complements the bitter-sweet bite that the drink delivers. Rather than sticking to the traditional Mule spec by using vodka, Tanqueray Export gin has been used purely for its floral aroma, which balances the hoppy and fragrant Budweiser Budvar perfectly.
An admirable creation from Jonah Robertshawe, The Budweis Mule offers a tantalising and sensual drinking experience, and certainly something that will be very hard to come by anywhere else.

Credit and copyright:
Budvar Hoptails
Budweiser Budvar Original
The Botanist

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