Hard Rock Cafe Want To Spritz Up Your Summer!

tumblr_ouvof53Yde1ttt0l6o1_540
Hard Rock Cafe have brought out their latest cocktail creations for the Summer season, focusing on the ever-popular Spritz, twisting them with familiar names such as Bombay Sapphire, Jack Daniel’s, Grey Goose and Chambord.

Kick-start with my personal favourite of the ‘Jack and Diane’ that see’s Jack Daniel’s Old No.7 combined with Cointreau, fresh lemon juice, sugar syrup and topped with lemonade for a bold hit of whiskey and orange. A close second for me is the ‘Chambord Supernova’ that see’s Chambord blended with St Germaine elderflower and topped with Prosecco, soda and a lemon twist. Rich, refreshing and offers a long finish!

A fantastic Grey Goose offering in ‘Good Limes, Bad Limes’ is available, showing the flavours of St Germaine elderflower, fresh limes, Prosecco and soda, whilst the ‘Thyme Warp’ offers a highlight of the Bombay Sapphire experience with fresh lemon juice and tonic, with a sprig of thyme to bring out the fresh aromas.

tumblr_ouvofhctu01ttt0l6o1_540
The two other Bombay Sapphire creations include ‘Gin Ginie’ that see’s the bolder profiles of Chambord mixed with the British gin and bitter lemon, topped with a sprig of mint, whilst the ‘My Gineration’ focuses on the gin with orange juice, tonic and plenty of orange peel for garnish.

Six refreshing serves, priced between £9.45 and £9.95, served up, if you wish, within a Hard Rock souvenir mason jar (for £11.80) whilst rocking out in the sunshine (or what’s left of it) on their terrace. And if you’ve ever read my previous features on Hard Rock Cafe’s food offerings, you’ll know you can make an afternoon of it!

Jack & Diane with a Guinness Bacon Cheeseburger for me. I’ll see you at the bar.

© 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.

Advertisements

Bombay Sapphire’s ‘The Glasshouse Project’ Continues World-Wide Multi-Stop Tour In Manchester

Bombay Sapphire logo

BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, the world’s number one premium gin, has announced
Manchester, UK, as the next stop of The Glasshouse Project. Taking place 14-16 August, the vibrant city is the second stop in the global tour of the brand advocacy initiative following the launch of this year’s programme in Mallorca last month. Designed especially for the world’s top-tier bartenders, The Glasshouse Project aims to push the boundaries of creativity within mixology.

Through collaborative, interactive talks and seminars led by leading figures from both inside and outside the drinks industry, The Glasshouse Project looks to identify how cultural, social and economic influences and trends can affect gin consumption and cocktail creativity. The outcome is a series of workshops designed to rethink mixology in the gin category and provide attendees with the information and inspiration to create their own bespoke serves to list in their respective bars.

The session has been put together by Renaud de Bosredon and Sean Ware, U.K. and Northern Europe Brand Ambassadors for BOMBAY SAPPHIRE respectively, and will be attended by Raj Nagra, Global Brand Ambassador for BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, with speakers including Mark Shayler (Director of This is Ape, a sustainable innovation consultancy), Dr. Rachel Edwards-Stuart (Food Scientist and Flavour Expert), Chris Hines MBE (Founder of Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) and former Sustainability Director of the Eden Project) and Sean Pillot de Chenecey (Futurologist and Trends Consultant).

Following the successful pilot in London last year, BOMBAY SAPPHIRE announced the global expansion of the programme. Julian Davies, Global Marketing Manager at BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, says of the initiative:

“BOMBAY SAPPHIRE has been driving the conversation in gin for the last thirty years and The Glasshouse Project is our logical next step in pursuing excellence and innovation for the gin category as a whole.

“Last year’s inaugural workshop was hugely successful in terms of opening up conversations with some of the world’s best bartenders and serves as a platform for this year. The sessions are designed to be a genuinely memorable experience for our attendees and draw in elements of other creative disciplines to add value to the art of mixology – it’s a purposely collaborative and interactive initiative, as these
bartenders are at the top of their game”.

While the initiative has a global reach, each event will have a highly localised feel with the content of each individual workshop cultivated with the specifics of each market in mind. The Glasshouse Project sessions are part of a three-step process with follow-ups taking place in each individual market. Each attendee will lead a tasting session attended by fellow mixologists, designed to showcase how they’ve incorporated learnings from the workshops into their day-to-day work, as well as taking part in various other brand initiatives at local and global levels.

Further sessions are scheduled to follow in Germany (August), Sydney (September) before wrapping up in Asia and Africa (November). The activity will culminate in an exhibition of the results of the workshops at Laverstoke, Hampshire, home of BOMBAY SAPPHIRE, at the end of the year.

Skin

Skin
German gins are seen as some of the best around, with Monkey 47 leading the way in how we can approach the category. With this, Skin gin has made a splash here in the UK since its launch by Martin Birk Jensen in March 2015, and its striking packaging and different ‘skins’ that can be produced have caused many a stir in the right direction. But what about the liquid itself?

Produced in the ‘Altes Land’ (which translates as ‘Old Country’), just outside the German city of Hamburg, seven botanicals are chosen to enhance Skin gin; unique Moroccan Mint, citrus peels of orange, pink grapefruit, lime and lemon, juniper and Vietnamese coriander. Each botanical is individually distilled on a wheat based neutral spirit in a ‘Anisateur’ within an old copper still, in order to obtain close to 100% of the essential oils they contain. The essences are then blended by hand and bottled.

So how does it fare? Well, below I give to you my tasting notes –

Skin – 42%

Bold, fresh mint bursts through, followed by the pink grapefruit and the wax of lemons on the nose. Incredibly soft on the palate, with a slight menthol note flowing gently. Lime, the subtle hint of coriander, and the orange peels blend well for a long, fresh finish.

An incredibly fresh gin to enjoy, and one that would stand up well within a classic gin and tonic;

Skin Gin and tonicSkin Gin and Tonic

Glass – 

Wine / Goblet

Ingredients – 

40 ml Skin Gin
1 bottle Thomas Henry Tonic Water

Method – 

Stir over ice and garnish with orange peel.

A great gin to enjoy over summer, and with the different skins available, as well as their navy strength option, it’s a fantastic addition to any 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.

 

Iconic ‘Rue Bourbon’ Street In New Orleans Temporarily Transformed Into ‘Rue Londres Sec’

Beefeater Gin at Tales of the Cocktail 2017

The iconic ‘Rue Bourbon’ street in the heart of New Orleans was temporarily transformed into ‘Rue Londres Sec’ (London Dry Street). The takeover was carried out by iconic London Dry Gin brand, Beefeater, to launch its global MIXLDN 7 cocktail competition to the world’s best bartenders who have gathered in the city for the Tales of the Cocktail festival. Beefeater’s Master Distiller Desmond Payne, the most experienced gin distiller in the world, and Global Brand Ambassador, Sumaiyah Connolly, pictured in the shot, are asking bartenders around the globe to enter the world’s biggest gin competition via http://www.beefeatermixldn.com.

The Juniper Bar To Add Colour To King George VI Weekend At Ascot

Ascot-King George VI 2

Racegoers can look forward to bringing their own splash of colour to the King George VI Weekend at Ascot Racecourse this year (Friday 28th and Saturday 29th July) with a new selection of colourful customisable cocktails available from The Juniper Garden Gin Bar in the Queen Anne Enclosure at the race meeting.

Using the classic Collins cocktail as inspiration and with the help of bar staff, guests will be able to customise the gin-based long drink with an array of colourful flavours. Choices include a green burst of lemon & lime, the orange zest of Aperol, a purple tone using Chambord’s black raspberry liquor and a pale pink blush created by adding rhubarb syrup.

Juliet Slot, Commercial Director, Ascot Racecourse said, “The King George VI Weekend is a vibrant summer meeting, full of history, style and colour. This year we have extended this to our cocktail menu giving racegoers the opportunity to create their own signature cocktail in a colour that suits their mood.”

Combining world-class Flat racing with a quintessential English garden party experience, the King George VI Weekend is one of the most prestigious race meetings at Ascot outside of the Royal Meeting. It is an unmissable event steeped in history and synonymous with style that celebrates the best of British summer. Saturday 29th July, King George Day itself, is one of the most famous single racedays in Europe. The King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (sponsored by QIPCO) is the feature race, and the European mid-season middle distance championship after which the two-day meeting is named, commemorating Her Majesty The Queen’s late parents. It is regarded as Europe’s premier midseason middle-distance championship race for horses of both sexes and all ages.

Queen Anne Enclosure tickets start from £18 and King Edward VII Enclosure tickets from £23 if booked in advance. Children under 18 are free when accompanied by an adult. Fine Dining starts from £147+VAT. Available upgrades include a private Gazebo in the Old Paddock or entry to the Marquee Club or Furlong Club, both within the Queen Anne Enclosure, with prices starting from just £30, excluding a Queen Anne Enclosure ticket.

Please note that the Winning Post Enclosure, open on Saturday 29th July 2017, is now SOLD OUT. There is remaining availability in the King Edward VII and Queen Anne Enclosures.

For further information and to book visit https://www.ascot.co.uk/horse-races-and-events/king-george/saturday, call 0844 346 3000 or email hospitality@ascot.co.uk.

Beefeater MIXLDN 2017 Bartending Competition Open for Entries!

Beefeater
The seventh annual Beefeater MIXLDN Bartending competition is now open for entries! Beefeater Gin is from London and is of London, and is still made in the capital today. Bartenders love it because of its unparalleled quality and versatility in cocktails. For this year’s MIXLDN, bartenders are being asked to create a new cocktail that best encapsulates the spirit of the city they live in, using Beefeater Dry or Beefeater 24.

With the popularity of gin at an all-time high, the world’s biggest gin cocktail competition is set to be the most hotly contested yet, with entries expected from over 30 countries around the world. The winner will be crowned Beefeater MIXLDN 7 Global Champion and will receive the opportunity to create their very own Beefeater Gin at the distillery in Kennington, London, under the guidance of Master Distiller Desmond Payne.

Sumaiyah Connolly, Beefeater Global Brand Ambassador, comments: “As my first year as Global Brand Ambassador, I’m incredibly excited to announce the return of MIXLDN. It’s a competition in which I’ve been involved in the past when I was working with bartenders in Cape Town, South Africa. Bartenders love it because MIXLDN goes against the grain and has always done things a little differently whilst maintaining its credibility since its beginning. A roll call of the six brilliant, previous champions alone, shows you the calibre of talent involved from around the world. I can’t wait to see what this year has in store from the world of bartending.”

Entrants should submit a cocktail recipe concept and its inspiration to the Beefeater MIXLDN website (www.beefeatermixldn.com) before 31st August, 2017. A selection of bartenders will then be invited to the national final to demonstrate their concept to both local and international gin experts – including Beefeater Global Brand Ambassadors Sebastian Hamilton-Mudge and Sumaiyah Connolly.

Isfjord

Isfjord
Got to love a good back story for a brand. Here’s Isfjord’s;

“It all started a little more than 100 years ago when a few good men made the first expedition to explore the Arctic region of Greenland – probably the roughest, cold and hard-hearted area on Earth. Then men who came back, came back with a wisdom of nature: They had discovered and explored the biggest island in the world, a country of nothing but ice and snow.

Today we still salute the brave men who took great great risks and discovered the wonders of nature – The amazing Ice Cap and the beautiful country of Greenland.”

Has you intrigued doesn’t it? I mean, no one ever really thinks of Greenland other than ice and snow, but someone had to discover it, and with many brands these days looking for a unique position within the category, it seems Isfjord may have found theirs.

In 2007, Isfjord realised that the extremely pure and soft water from the icebergs that naturally break off the Greenland Ice Cap and into the sea in Ilulissat (far north of the Polar Circle), are free from any pollutants and is some of the purest natural water on Earth.

Their gin and vodka expressions begin with the iceberg water, and either combined with Blonde wheat if creating the vodka, or botanicals such as juniper, lemon grass and cardamom if producing the gin, before being carefully distilled in accordance to the special process when distilling with iceberg water.

It’s the gin that will be the focus today though, as twelve different botanicals create the finished product. But how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Isfjord – 44%

Orange peel and subtle lemon grass are present on the nose, with cardamom pods shifting through near the end. Orange water blended with fresh juniper and candied oranges are a bold presence on the palate, leading to a fresh, light and long finish.

Great over ice, but even better within a gin and tonic;

Isfjord and Tonic

50 ml Isfjord Gin
Topped with premium tonic (Double Dutch Indian Tonic recommended)
Garnish with a slice of orange.

A great go-to premium styled gin, perfect for the supposed British summer too, but wouldn’t look out-of-place over the festive season either. One for the drinks cabinet. Now, where’s that vodka they have . . . .

© 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.

 

 

Tappers

Tappers

It’s hard to tell these days what the term ‘small batch’ can entail. What’s the limit of bottles to produce before you’re no longer coined with the term? Does it stop when a brand becomes commercially available to the public? I only ask as it becomes increasingly difficult to differentiate, but in the end, surely it’s down the liquid being created, not the terminology it comes under?

Tappers is a great example. Hailing from West Kirby in the Wirral, they produce their gin on site, creating 40 bottles per batch, with the labels and bottling all done by hand. But they also highlight another creative production method named Compounding, which can also irk some gin purists the wrong way.

Again, surely it’s all about the end product?

Compound gin was associated with bootleggers evading the law during Prohibition times, and was generally seen as poor quality. Tappers have used this idea to better effect, using 8 different botanicals to create a recipe that took over a year to prepare. Their Master Compounder develops the botanical recipes with ingredients inspired by Britain and the local coastal area, including red clover, chickweed, sea beet, pepper and spicy black cardamom seeds, juniper, angelica root and orris root.

Infused into a 100% wheat neutral base, the brand is said to reflect the coastal heritage of West Kirby. But how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Tappers Dark Side – 39.6%

Orris with hints of the red clover come through on the nose subtly, with an intense kick of the cardamom once onto the palate. Fresh herbal notes strike through, with a subtle honey and thin angelica profile, leading to a ling finish.

Intense profile, which would work well within its signature serve;

Darkside G and T
Darkside G&T

50 ml Tappers Darkside Gin
East Imperial Old World Tonic
Sprig of thyme and wedge of orange to garnish.

A unique gin for the drinks cabinet, and with only 40 bottles made per batch, and their branch out into other styles, it could be one to invest in.

© 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.

 

 

Beefeater Launches New Global Marketing Strategy

6fe8e268-2765-44c3-8b87-04f8e2879ecc
Beefeater, the world’s most awarded gin brand, has unveiled a new global marketing strategy to appeal to a new generation of gin drinkers and capture the true essence of London today.

With a long-standing heritage spanning 150 years, Beefeater is from London and is of London, and is still made in the capital today. Under the brand’s new marketing strategy, it will continue to celebrate this legacy, but with a modern twist, capturing the energy and diversity of London city life in the 21st century.

The British gin category has experienced exponential global growth in recent years, with the latest figures showing that exports of British gin grew by 12% in 2016[1]. The strategy will enable Beefeater to continue to tap into this trend, whilst continuing to cement its London roots and distinguishing itself from the rest of the category.

The new direction will be reflected across the brand’s entire marketing programme, both above and below the line – from its advertising campaigns to bottle and merchandise design.

Eric Sampers, Beefeater’s Global Brand Director, comments: “With the global popularity of gin continuing to soar, we want to continue to stand out from the crowd and truly embody the lifestyles and values of our consumers.

“London is the heart and soul of Beefeater and our new marketing strategy takes this to the next level, offering a contemporary twist which we believe will really resonate with the latest generation of gin drinkers. London is one of the greatest cities on earth and we want to bring a little bit of the capital to consumers every time they enjoy our gin – whether that’s here in London, Lisbon or Lima. Our ultimate ambition is to be an icon of London today, and the undisputed number one in premium gin worldwide.”

The Bassano Bar and PizzaExpress To Partner Up in Manchester This Summer

Spiced Nigroni 1_Low Res

The nation’s favourite restaurant chain PizzaExpress and pop-up innovators Bassano Events have joined together to bring ‘The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress’ to Manchester. Opening June 21st at PizzaExpress’s First Street restaurant, the modern Italian cocktail bar concept will be a first for the North of England after it follows last summer’s successful debut for The Bassano Bar and its winning Italian drinks formula within the busy ‘Magic Roundabout’ venue in London’s Shoreditch.

Offering a selected menu that combines a focus on classic Italian cocktails such as the Negroni with Campari, Aperol Spritz, Nardini Mezzoemezzo and Frizzante Frutta with San Pellegrino, the bar is also including innovative home-grown recipes, with the ‘The Haçienda Sour’ and ‘The Manchester Negroni’ featuring local gin producer, Three Rivers.

Augmenting the much-loved and increasingly broad PizzaExpress menu, The Bassano Bar is keen to promote a range of traditional Italian drinks, including grappa, Italy’s much under-rated national spirit. Originating from Bassano del Grappa in the Veneto region, Nardini is Italy’s most prestigious grappa brand, with the distiller’s home town providing the inspiration for the name of the bar.

Working alongside PizzaExpress, owners of Bassano Events Dave Marsland and Nick Hopewell-Smith have taken the opportunity to bring a flavour of Italian serves to the terrace of First Street, Pizza Express’ newest restaurant in the city, located in one of Manchester’s most dynamic leisure areas.

Dave is a well-known drinks expert and trainer, creating brand agency ‘Drinks Enthusiast’ in 2011, with his own spirits retail business in Altrincham and a national social media and publication presence as a drinks journalist.  A marketing professional with over 35 years experience, Nick is the initiator and creative driver behind The Bassano Bar in London and a specialist importer of Italian spirits and liqueurs from The Nardini Distillery.

With an al-fresco feel to the venue, making use of its natural light and, hopeful, Summer months, The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress will be a welcome addition to the Manchester bar scene.

Opening Hours;

Wednesday-Friday from 5pm – 11pm and from 12noon to 11pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays. 

Address;

The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress, First Street North, Manchester, M15 4FN

Image by Georgie Glass / www.georgieglass.co.uk / @georgieglass_