Double Dutch Opens ‘Speakeasy’ Pop Up Bar

double dutch

Double Dutch has created a ‘speakeasy’ bar, tucked away behind a craft-gin shop, in Westfield Stratford City. Heroing the brand’s extensive range of premium mixers, showcased in a selection of delicious mocktails and cocktails, the secret bar offers shoppers a chance to escape the busy shopping crowds and try something different this January.

As leaders in the premium mixers scene and millennials themselves, Double Dutch is at the forefront of current Gen-Z trends, which see a third of under 25’s now embracing non-alcoholic drinks. With this in mind, Double Dutch has collaborated with top bartenders Chris Dennis and Jo St Clair-Ford – formerly of Disrepute, Callooh Callay & Zettertownhouse – to create a bespoke menu of mocktails & cocktails. The drinks are infused with superfoods such as turmeric & ginger, as well as the botanical flavours of lavender, coriander and earl grey, guests can sip away completely guilt-free.

Known for their unique flavoured mixers such as Cucumber and Watermelon, Pomegranate and Basil, and Cranberry Tonic Water, Double Dutch has used flavour profiling within the premium mixers scene since 2015, regularly launching limited edition soft drinks. Making a return at the pop-up bar is Double Dutch Spices & Oakwood, a delicious blend of cinnamon, cloves, star anise and nutmeg, balanced by sweet vanilla notes, for perfect for those who prefer something a little more warming during the colder months.

On entering the craft gin shop, guests must find the secret black door and reveal the password to experience it all, ‘Show me the Hi-vag-ide A-vag-wa-vag-ay’ – ‘hideaway’ in Double Dutch.

double dutch 2
During the day, the main shop area at the front will be open to the public, with Chris Dennis and Jo St Clair-Ford, on hand to help guests explore the different flavour profiles of each of the gins available and partner them with their chosen Double Dutch mixer.

“We are very excited to welcome the Double Dutch pop-up shop to Westfield Stratford City,” says Paul Buttigieg, Commercial Director Europe, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. “The next few months are a very busy time for us; it’s great to have a secret bar for everyone to relax in and unwind.”

Open from the 8th December to February 2019, Double Dutch will also be holding a host of events in the speakeasy bar, including ‘Drinks at Home Masterclasses’. From Tom Collins to Martinis, attendees will be taught everything they need to know about making cocktails at home, by an award winning bartender. More details will be found on the Double Dutch website. http://www.doubledutchdrinks.com

Westfield Stratford City, ground floor
Open Now

Double Dutch shop opening times:
10am – 10pm (Monday – Saturday)
10am – 6pm (Sunday)

Speakeasy bar opening times:
5pm – 10pm (Monday – Friday)
12pm – 10pm (Saturday)
12pm – 6pm (Sunday)

doubledutchdrinks.com

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Luscombe Drinks

Luscombe
I’ve noticed lately that you can’t beat a good, refreshing drink. Easy to say, and I suppose everyone will have had the experience at some point in their lives, but if you’re like me, branching out and trying something different just seems to make it all a little sweeter.

It’s with this statement that I would like to introduce Luscombe to the table. An organic soft drink range from Devon, England with history stretching back to 1975, Luscombe offer an extensive range of flavoured drinks, with an ethos that owner Gabriel David says is “It’s all about the taste”.

Going direct to source, Luscombe pride themselves on working with the fruit producers over purchasing through fruit companies, meaning that they receive what they believe is the very best at the right times of year. Examples include UK growers (usually their own Devon orchards) for the apples and elderflowers, lemons from Sicily, ginger from Peru, Williams pears from France and apricots from Spain. Oranges from Sicily or Mexico and limes from Sri Lanka.

With the use of fresh ingredients, it means that it lacks a full consistency due to the seasons and weather conditions, but a tiny amount of variation, for me, really hammers home their idea of creating a true form of flavoured soft drinks.

So with this, below I give to you my tasting notes on my experiences so far –

Soft Drinks:

Luscombe Sparkling Apple Crush – 0%

Soft baked apple on the nose, with hints of naturally sweetened apple pulp. Slightly sharp on the palate, with the fresh apple juice coming through. Bold red apple skin flavour on the lingering finish.

Luscombe Damascene Rose Bubbly – 0%

Lightly scented rose petal on the nose, with a soft citrus following. Very soft on the palate, with hints of the rose coming through, blended with freshly cut lemons and clementines.

Luscombe Madagascan Vanilla Soda – 0%

Soft vanilla notes on the nose, with the flavour thinning off once onto the palate. Light, scented and lingering on the finish.

Luscombe Lime Crush – 0%

Ripe lime on the nose, with a sharp hit of zest. Softer than expected, but a back-of-the-throat catch of lime creates a long finish.

Luscombe Sicilian Lemonade – 0%

Very light on the nose, with only hints of the lemon coming through. Subtle once again, with the dry lemon profile offering a scented finish.

Luscombe Wild Elderflower Bubbly – 0%

Fresh elderflower on the nose, with slight sharp hits of the flavour following. Sweet start, with a softer ending, seeing the elderflower linger with bursts of freshness.

Luscombe St. Clements – 0%

Bold, dry notes of the orange and lemon combining on the nose. Slight sharpness to be gin with on the palate, following to a smoother finish with hints of the rind and zest of each.

Luscombe Strawberry Crush – 0%

Fresh, soft strawberry aromas on the nose, with a smooth offering onto the palate. Short, but a bold finish.

Luscombe Raspberry Crush – 0%

Bold raspberry notes on the nose, with a tart follow-up on the palate. A lively, long finish of vibrant, fresh raspberry.

Luscombe Cranberry Crush – 0%

Subtle notes of stone cherry, with hints of ripe vanilla coming through. Very soft, a little dry, with the cherry flavour coming through slowly. Short on the finish.

Luscombe Cool Ginger Beer – 0%

Created with less ginger.
Soft, fresh ginger comes though on the nose. Very soft on the palate too, with more of the root ginger present, followed by dry earth notes leaving a lingering finish.

Luscombe Passionate Ginger Beer – 0%

Fresh, sparkling ginger on the nose, with lighter notes than its Cool expression. Ripe ginger, with a bolder profile, seeing a lingering, dry, passionfruit etched finish.

Luscombe Hot Ginger Beer – 0%

Bold notes of stemmed ginger comes through on the nose. Light start, but the ginger profile hits, bringing a warmth to the long, slightly spiced finish.

Juices:

Luscombe Orange – 0%

Ripe orange rind on the nose, with a sun-kissed flavour on the palate which see’s the orange come though smoothly to a long finish.

Luscombe Apple and Pear – 0%

Pear notes dominate the nose, with the red apple flesh underlining. A more balanced profile on the palate, with the apple notes offering a rich, fresh experience, and the pear creating a long finish.

Luscombe Apple Juice with Ginger – 0%

Subtle apple on the nose, with only a dash of ginger coming through. The ginger hits a little more on the palate, offering a slight kick as it follows the bold, fresh apple.

Luscombe Apple and Apricot – 0%

Very dry notes of the apricot come through on the nose, with the apple scents following slowly. Slightly stewed combination on the palate, seeing the apricot dominate as it heads to a lingering finish.

Luscombe Carrot and Orange – 0%

Very subtle orange and carrot aromas on the nose, followed onto the palate with a smooth offering. Thin, with a short finish.

Cider:

Luscombe Devon Cider – 4.9%

Made with Devon apples including Tail Sweet, Sugar Bush, Devon Crimson, Slack-Ma-Girdle. Subtle notes of rich apple, followed by a sweet vanilla profile. A good hit of fresh vanilla once again, with the apple scents opening a bold, rich finish that lingers.

A great range of soft drinks, with the flavours of each really offering that fresher profile that many of us ask for in our beverage. Serve chilled, the expressions cater i think for all, and could be one’s to impress with when pulling out of your fridge.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2016. 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.

 

 

Hawkes

Hawkes Cocktails Lauriston-89

Lately I’ve been commissioned by a new mixer brand based in London to create a range of cocktails ready for their official launch. Duly obliging, I came up with a variety, all with different base spirits to capture a variety of moods the drink could capture. The chance to create cocktails for a brand is always an honour, but what made Hawkes stand out to me was the vision and reasoning behind Simon Wright’s creation.

Back in Victorian London, ginger beer was sold in the street by the now aptly named vendors the Hawkers. Not only were they opening the palates of Londoners everywhere, but they strived to create a ‘new and better way for themselves and those around them’. Simon wished to re-create this bold reasoning from over 100 years ago, and it all started with the life of a green bottle on his own kitchen table. Creating a ginger beer using natural ginger, kiwi and mandarin that was to be enjoyed initially by friends and family quickly escalated into something to be shared with Londoner’s, just like the Hawkers before him.

Hawkes Alcoholic Ginger Beer
Hawkes Alcoholic Ginger Beer

It’s not just himself he’s helping to command a presence within the traditionally small market of ginger beer, but Simon is committed to give back to local communities and not for profit organisations, again tipping the hat to the original peddlers of ginger goodness.

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

Hawkes Alcoholic Ginger Beer – 4%

Light, fresh ginger on the nose with followings of kiwi juice. Incredibly light carbonation, with subtle ginger on the palate. Well-rounded with the ginger and citrus tones of the fruit. A lack of sugar expected raises hopes of an all natural recipe. A little dry to finish, with stemmed ginger lingering.

Very different to other’s within the alcoholic ginger beer category, and one that you would find hard pressed to feel the effects from after a couple. It just seems natural enough to enjoy all day!
Of course, Hawkes is seen as a versatile mixer, so here are two of my creations for you all to enjoy –

A Port In The Shrub
A Port In The Shrub

A Port in the Shrub, created by Dave Marsland, Drinks Enthusiast

Glass –

Highball

Ingredients –

60 ml Bacardi Superior
30 ml Ruby port
90 ml Rigg’s Shrub
Hawkes Ginger Beer

Method –

Combine within an ice filled highball glass. Garnish with stemmed raspberries.

or perhaps

Ginger Apple
Ginger Apple

Ginger Apple, created by Dave Marsland, Drinks Enthusiast

Glass –

Rocks

Ingredients –

75 ml Apple Cider
50 ml Hawkes Ginger Beer
25 ml Grey Goose Vodka

Method –

Combine within an ice filled rocks glass and garnish with a cinnamon stick.

Hopefully they capture Hawkes perfectly, and don’t lose that all important natural flavour profile. The brand is slowly making its way around the UK, and can be purchased for your own collection, and could very well be surpassing other well-known beers of the ginger variety in the coming months.

A simple yet great story, inspiration and a believer in a cause. There’s a lot more to Hawkes and Simon than meets this very scrutinised world we live in.

For more photos and recipes for my cocktail creations, please visit my Facebook page. Thanks to Joe & Charlotte Photography for the photos.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2014. 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.

Captain Morgan

Captain Morgan
Now here’s a brand that many of  you will have seen, and probably ordered at some point in your young lives; Captain Morgan’s rum. A stalwart to many, and one of the brands and expressions within that i’m sure many of you start your rum journey with. But how did it get to become so widely acknowledged around the world?

Lets dive into some reasoning and rum.

When Sam Bronfman, President and CEO of Seagram’s drinks company, arrived in the Caribbean in the 1940’s, he was surprised by the opportunities presented by spiced rum. He quickly set about becoming the ‘Rum King of the World’ and established a network of trading relationships with distillers across the region, founding the Captain Morgan Rum Company in 1943. Named after a gentleman named Henry Morgan, born in Wales but left to sail for the West Indies in 1654, he quickly became captain, garnering attention as a legal pirate who defended the British interests. With his exploits, he was knighted and by 1680, Sir Henry Morgan was a plantation owner and Governor of Jamaica. There he lived out his final days until his death in 1688. In 2011 Captain Morgan’s flagship The Satisfaction was discovered by archaeologists off the coast of Panama.

When the company subsequently purchased the Long Pond Distillery in Jamaica, Sam bought an age-old family recipe for spiced rum from the Levy Brothers, two Jamaican pharmacists from Kingston.

Using charred American white oak bourbon barrels, and filled with triple continuous distilled rum, they are rested and matured until ready to be bottled.

So once it hits our glass, how does it fare? Well below I give to you my tasting notes on its two major expressions, plus some flavoured styles recently released –

Captain Morgan Black Label – 40%

Strong vanilla on the nose with a slight spice ending. Both become more dominant on the palate, despite a smooth beginning. Rather harsh on the throat but a long sweet after-taste develops.

Captain Morgan Spiced – 35%

Launched in 1982, a light vanilla nose that carries onto the palate. A slow start but brings a slight raw vanilla flavour with hints of toffee and cassia spice. A rather harsh finish but soon mellows.

Captain Morgan Jack-O Blast – 30%

Limited edition pumpkin spiced rum, essentially pumpkin flavours blended with Captain Morgan Spiced. Light pumpkin aromas on the nose, with subtle spices following. Thick viscosity to begin on the palate, with plenty of ripe pumpkin and cinnamon that creates a warm finish.

Captain Morgan Watermelon Smash – 25%

Limited edition watermelon rum that blends Caribbean rum with watermelon flavours. Ripe watermelon instantly hits the nose, with a very soft note of the rum coming through. Once onto the palate, the rum note comes through a little more, followed by waves of watermelon leading to a sweet yet fresh finish.

All of the above expressions are perfect for mixing simple drinks with too –

Dark & Spicy

Rum and Ginger

Glass –

Highball

Ingredients –

35 ml Captain Morgan Black Label
Ginger Beer

Method – 

Simply add your favourite ginger beer to Captain Morgan and garnish with a slice of lime.

or perhaps;

Captain Morgan - Apple Jack O
Apple Jack-O

Glass – 

Highball

Ingredients – 

50 ml Captain Morgan Jack-O’Blast
115 ml chilled apple cider

Method – 

Combine all ingredients in a glass filled with ice, stir and serve.

Plus you have;

Captain Morgan - Watermelon MojitoWatermelon Mojito

Glass –

Highball

Ingredients –

50 ml Captain Morgan Watermelon Smash
35 ml Captain Morgan White Rum
25ml lime juice
25 ml Simple Syrup
Club soda
Mint leaves

Method –

Middle mint leaves, simple syrup, and lime juice in a highball glass. Add ice, top with club soda and garnish with watermelon and mint leaves.

A great rum for mixing and simple serves, although i know that most rum purists will wish the fact that the spiced expression would hit the required abv mark of 37.5%. One for an easy weekend with friends. The two flavoured expressions are currently only available in the US.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2018. 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.

Gosling’s Tasting Notes

Gosling's

On a recent rum master class I hosted here in Manchester, I showcased Gosling’s Black Seal as an example of Bermuda. It was only then that I realised that despite knowing of the brand since my early days as a bartender, I have never covered it here on my site. So without further hesitation, lets take a look at why I don’t seem to be the only man giving such high praise to Bermuda.

The year is 1806 and James Gosling set out on a voyage to America from England, carrying £10,000 worth of merchandise. After 91 days at sea, his ship’s charter had expired, forcing him to set into the nearest port – St George’s in the north of Bermuda. Instead of finding alternative travel routes to America, he decided to stay in Bermuda, establishing a shop in December on King’s Parade in St George’s. 18 years later in 1824, James Gosling returned to England whilst his brother Ambrose rented a shop on Front Street in the new Capitol of Hamilton for £25 a year, a location for the next 127 years.
In 1857, the firm was renamed Gosling Brothers by Ambrose’s sons, and three years later the first oak barrels of rum distillate arrived in Bermuda. 1863 saw the now distinctive Bermuda black rum formulated and offered for sale from the barrel by customers bringing their own bottles to ‘fill up’. This carried on until the First World War where the name Black Seal came into practice. The black rum was sold in champagne bottles, reclaimed from the British Officer’s Mess, and the corks sealed with black sealing wax. The icon is born.

The name ‘Black Seal’ became the rum of choice between many, with the popularity probably explaining the idea of the little barrel juggling ‘Black Seal’ which adorns every bottle.

The production of Gosling’s is a family recipe (made after many trials and errors) from over two centuries ago, consisting of independently aged distillates aged for at least three years in once-used, charred, American oak bourbon casks, resulting in a blend of aged pot and continuous still distillates.

But how do they fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Gosling’s Black Seal – 40%

Sweet on the nose with hints of herbal aromas and spice coming through very slowly. Rather well-balanced on the palate, with sweet notes of molasses combined with dry liquorice and cinnamon. Stewed apple and dry wood flavours makes a presence near the long, lingering and slightly dry finish.

Gosling’s Family Reserve – 40%

Dried fruit and oak notes on the nose with a rich flavour of prunes and dark fruits on the palate with a hint of smokiness that creates a mellow finish.

Both great tot’s on their own, but it did contribute to two signature cocktails, with the Dark ‘n Stormy® name owned by Gosling’s –

Dark ‘n Stormy
Dark ‘n Stormy

Dark ‘n Stormy®

Glass –

Highball

Ingredients –

50 ml Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
75 ml Gosling’s Stormy Ginger Beer

Method – 

Build in the glass over cubed ice and serve with a lime wedge.

or

Bermuda Rum Swizzle

Glass – 

Martini

Ingredients – 

(Makes 6)
120 ml Gosling’s Black Seal Rum
120 ml Gosling’s Gold Rum
150 ml Pineapple Juice
150 ml Orange Juice
25 ml Grenadine or 60 ml Bermuda Falernum
6 Dashes of Angostura Bitters

Method – 

Into a pitcher, fill ⅓ of crushed ice and add Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, Gosling’s Gold Rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, Grenadine or Bermuda Falernum and Angostura bitters. Churn vigorously until a frothing appears or mix in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a Martini glass.

Two incredible classics that everyone should have at least once in their lives. Gosling’s also goes well with food, from appetisers to desserts including Bermuda fish chowder and Bermuda onion soup.

Today, Gosling’s is the only company that blends and bottles in Bermuda, and is the largest exporter of a Bermuda made product. In the UK, their range include the two above and also the 151 proof Black Seal Rum, the Gold Bermuda Rum, Stormy Ginger Beer and the ready-to-drink Dark ‘n Stormy®. A collection worthy of any rum lover, and indeed even to novices.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog/sites author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.