Lanique

Lanique

Let me tell you a story*.

“Over 200 years ago across the Kingdom of Prussia, the Two Sicilies and the Austrian Empire, a drink was cherished and imbibed by the wealthy and titled elite at their celebrations and grand balls. The drink had a unique flavour and colour and was completely natural. It’s ingredients were sourced from exotic locations and included the coveted Attar of Rose from the East that gave it its unique nose and taste. The drink remained a firm favourite all the way through to the roaring 1920s, but disappeared with the Second World War and the rise of Communism.

Following the fall of Communism and the reopening of Eastern Europe, curators began to unravel the fascinating history of this exclusive drink. After years of work by dedicated artisans the long lost recipe was reborn and Lanique was relaunched.”

I’m feeling quite grand, rather regal after reading this! And with the look of the brand, the stirring violet red, it can intrigue even the most butch of personnel. But the story doesn’t end there. The latest chapter of how we see the brand today involves the purchase by a Jersey entrepreneur named Lawrence Huggler. With him re-packaging and making this spirit a worldwide brand, he now aims for iconic status.

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

Lanique – 39%

Ripe rose and raspberry on the nose, with soft hints of lime coming through. Thick texture upon the palate, with sweet pastilles of rose present, ripe raspberry and cherry flavours, plus subtle rind of orange as it hits a lingering fresh finish.

Signature serve? Why the Laniquetini of course!

Laniquetini

Glass – 

Martini

Ingredients –

60 ml Lanique
30 ml Gin

Method – 

Shake over ice and serve into a chilled Martini glass.

A very different liqueur, with elegance yet richness that can work well for a variety of cocktails and serves. One to look ahead for the spring perhaps, or if you’re generally intrigued, make up a Laniqutini today.

*Story taken from http://www.lanique.co.uk

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. 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.

Giffard

Egg White

Giffard is a name that you may be familiar with if you’ve ever scanned the products of your favourite bar. A brand of liqueurs and syrups, Giffard have had a main-stay presence for over 100 years, and are still to this day consistently evolving their expressions to fit with the modern times. But how did such a company come about?

1885, the year that a gentleman named Emile Giffard was named as a dispensing pharmacist in Angers (Val de Loire) in France. His mind didn’t stop there though, as he undertook research on the digestive and refreshing properties of mint, and came up with a refined white mint liqueur. His test market happened to be the Grand Hotel’s customers, in order to relieve them from heat, and immediate success ensued. With this, Emile changed his pharmacy into a distillery and called his liqueur Menthe Pastille, referring to the mint sweets which were very famous at that time.

Four generations later, and here we are into the 21st Century, and still Giffard is under the Giffard family name.

1895 « La Dame et l’angelot » - 1st Menthe Pastille advertising poster created by Mitsi
1895 « La Dame et l’angelot » – 1st Menthe Pastille advertising poster created by Mitsi

Of course, the range of expressions have expanded, using fruits and plants that are bought in priority (for example, 100 % of the blackcurrant berries come from the Pays de Loire) either local to Giffard or further afield depending on the variety chosen.
A great example is the mint harvest every year. Edith Giffard enters the fields on the first day of harvest, with herself and Courivaud Olivier overseeing the crop and deciding when it is exactly the right moment to harvest. The Mitcham Peppermint plant that goes into Menthe Pastille production, and has been since Emile created the first run, needs to be harvested just before it flowers, meaning that the mint has reached its maturity and that the quality of its essential oil is at its maximum.

But how do we get from fruit and plants to liqueurs?

To extract the flavours and aromas from the fruits chosen, they are macerated into alcohol from 48 hours to 3 months depending on the necessary time to obtain that perfect blend between fruit and alcohol. After blending, it is filtered, quality controlled and then bottled.

An expression I’d like to draw attention to though is the new Giffard Egg White. Created for those egg white based cocktails such as Sours, this is a syrup that mixes egg white with sugar cane. Released in 2015, it shows Giffard and their innovative ideas to combat many a bartenders nightmare of running low on eggs for a round of Amaretto Sours. But how does it fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

Giffard Egg White – 0%

A clean nose, with soft hints of the sweet sugar and fresh egg notes. A thin texture, light egg white rounded off with natural sweetness. Doesn’t stick too much and offers a cleaner finish than expected.

As expected, it works great in some of these –

Pisco Sour

Glass – 

Coupette

Ingredients – 

30 ml Giffard Egg White
20 ml Fresh lemon juice
60 ml Pisco

Method – 

Put a single ice-cube and all the ingredients in a shaker and shake vigorously until you don’t hear the ice-cube on the shaker walls. Pour into a coupette.

or perhaps,

Amaretto Sour

Glass – 

Coupette

Ingredients –

20 ml Giffard Egg White
30 ml Fresh Lemon Juice
60 ml Amaretto

Method –

Put a single ice-cube and all the ingredients in a shaker and shake vigorously until you don’t hear the ice-cube on the shaker walls. Pour into a coupette.

Of course, as mentioned above, Giffard create numerous fruit flavoured liqueurs and syrups, including a range of 15 Crèmes de fruits and classic flavours such as blue curaçao, triple sec or apricot, as well as specific ones such as rhubarb, violet or pineapple. These will be added as and when experienced, but in the meantime, take a great way to create some classic cocktails at home with the Egg White variation and impress your friends and family with a round of Sours!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. 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.

Disaronno Partners with Famed Roberto Cavalli to Outfit Limited Edition Bottles

Disaronno

DISARONNO, the world’s favourite Italian liqueur, will be back this holiday season with a unique new look designed by Roberto Cavalli. The luxury brand has dressed the iconic bottle in the bold, vibrant and colourful style, for which it is famous throughout the world.

The DISARONNO wears Cavalli design draws inspiration from the Roberto Cavalli SS 2015 Pre Collection. Influenced by the enchanting undersea world and the most exotic safari locations, the bottle will be draped in a new graphic animal print making DISARONNO the perfect gift for fashion lovers this winter. 

Augusto Reina, CEO of ILLVA Saronno, declared: “We are delighted to announce our partnership with Roberto Cavalli for our third Disaronno limited edition. To include Cavalli in the list of our collaborations is a real honour and a truly special moment in the history of our brand.”

“We are excited to join ILLVA Saronno in this initiative. Two of the most well-known brands of the Made in Italy getting together is always worth celebrating”, said Renato Semerari, CEO of Roberto Cavalli.

The DISARONNO ICON project is in its 3rd iteration this year, after the past partnerships with Italian fashion brands Moschino and Versace. The ICON project will continue its longtime support of the charity ‘Fashion 4 Development,’ sponsored by the United Nations. DISARONNO will once again donate part of the proceeds to the development of this unique project in Africa. The exclusive limited edition will be available from the beginning of October in all major stores across the UK. The suggested retail price is £15 for the 500ml bottle.

To toast this delightful collaboration Disaronno US Director of Brand Ambassadors, Paul Sevigny, and Disaronno UK Brand Ambassador, Rod Eslamieh, have joined forces to craft the Disaronno WEARS Cavalli Sour, a unique twist on the famed Disaronno Sour. The duo have applied the most popular trends in mixology to develop this signature sip, blending the sweet flavour of DISARONNO with sharp lemon juice, sugar syrup, topped off with prosecco and a few dashes of angostura bitters.

DISARONNO Wears Cavalli Sour
DISARONNO Wears Cavalli Sour

The ‘DISARONNO wears Cavalli Sour’ cocktail, created for the occasion blends the sweet flavour of DISARONNO, with sharp lemon juice, sugar syrup, topped off with prosecco and a few dashes of angostura bitters – full recipe below.

  • 1 ½ oz Disaronno
  • 1 oz Lemon Juice
  • ½ oz Sugar syrup
  • 1 ½ oz Prosecco
  • 10 dashes angostura

Disaronno Riserva; A New Luxury Limited Edition

DisaronnoRiserva_White_2_OK

Disaronno, the world’s favourite Italian liqueur, presents a very exclusive addition to its portfolio, Disaronno Riserva; a unique blend of Scottish whisky and Disaronno – aged in Marsala barrels from the Cantine Florio in Marsala, Sicily.

Produced by Augusto Reina, CEO of Illva Saronno, Disaronno Riserva is the result of an innovative and exciting idea created from a very unique combination; blended scotch whisky made from a select mix of different malts, and the aromatic notes of Disaronno; almond, toasted hazelnut and burnt honey.

The journey began in Speyside in the Scottish Highlands, known for producing Scotland’s lightest, sweetest single malts, where Mr Reina hand selected the perfect blend of whiskys to complement the exquisite flavours of Disaronno. On route back to Italy, the liqueur passes through Saronno, where the historical headquarters of Illva Saronno lie and Disaronno is produced. The final destination is the Cantine Florio winery; Sicily’s oldest and most beautiful winery, where the Riserva is then aged in old wooden Marsala casks dating back to 1938.

The result is an initially sweet touch of spice softened by light hints of vanilla-almond, with luscious fruity overtones and a finish that is peppery, recalling dried fruit with a touch of intriguing Madeira. It is perfect served neat, or on the rocks.

The Disaronno Riserva packaging takes inspiration from the iconic Disaronno bottle, but with a cleaner and more refined outline, and comes packaged in a beautiful sleek black wooden case. Only 10,000 bottles will be produced worldwide, and will be available from a selection of handpicked luxury retailers across the globe at an RRP of £250; definitely one for the connoisseurs.

Augusto Reina, CEO of Illva comments “I am honoured to present Disaronno Riserva It’s a product that is deeply rooted in the company’s ethos; research and innovation have always been the guiding principles in managing the family business, and it is these exact values that have made this new product truly unique. To make the product distinctive I decided to focus on how, and where it was created; being aged in the oak barrels Cantine Florio, brings it all back to the long standing history of the company. It has all come full circle.”

Disaronno Set To Raise Rooftops Again This Summer

Disaronno

Disaronno, the UK’s number one non-cream liqueur, has announced the return of its Disaronno Terrace series. Following a hugely successful launch in the UK last year, the 2015 campaign will kick off at London’s rooftop bar, Golden Bee, on Wednesday 24th June. The music based events launch in the capital before touring the cultural hotspots of Bristol, Manchester and Edinburgh.

The parties will be sound-tracked by live performances from some of the hottest new talent around, including Italian sing-songwriter Jack Savoretti and British vocalist Ghostpoet, who will both be taking to the decks in London on 24th June. Other headline acts at the Terrace parties include Dry The River and Mystery Jets. More artists will be announced shortly.

Last year’s Disaronno Terrace series was a great success, attracting thousands of cocktail lovers across the country. The events will showcase the brand and engage drinkers during the key summer sales period. The Terrace parties will focus on the brand’s signature serve, the Disaronno Sour, which is hugely popular with its loyal consumers but will also be demonstrating the versatility of the liquid by introducing some new cocktails.

The Terraces will kick start an exciting summer for the brand. Illva (brand owner for Disaronno) is heavily investing in Disaronno in the UK this year and will be revealing more impactful and new brand activations in the coming weeks.

Over the past five years, the Disaronno Terrace has made an international name for itself touring the likes of New York, Milan, Rome, Tokyo, Madrid, Amsterdam and Los Angeles.

London:

24th June – Golden Bee

30th June – Golden Bee

 

Bristol:

8th July – Square Club

15th July – Square Club

 

Manchester:

29th July – The Oast House

5th August – The Oast House

 

Edinburgh:

19th August – Loft Bar

26th August – Loft Bar

Disaronno Announces Elite Lineup For Mixing Star Final

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Disaronno has announced its finalists for the 2015 Mixing Star competition. This year’s top ten line up of bartenders have created some exceptionally impressive recipes which will be served up at the London final at Nightjar on 1st June. The finalists are confirmed as:

  • Simone Rossi – Aqua (London)
  • Giacomo Di Matteo – The Groucho Club (London)
  • Federico Pavan – Salvatore at Playboy (London)
  • Federico Gisbert Johnson – Hawksmoor Guildhall (London)
  • James Bowker – The Edgbaston Boutique Hotel and Cocktail Lounge (Birmingham)
  • William Wilson – Palm Sugar Lounge (Leeds)
  • Joe Macbeth – Rub Smokehouse & Bar (Nottingham)
  • Joe Nelson – Amicus Apple (Aberdeen)
  • Stephen Rutherford – Orchid (Aberdeen)
  • Ehren Khoo-Steel – The Blind Pig (Jersey)

The 10 finalists will battle it out for the Mixing Star title and the top prize – an all-expenses paid trip to the world’s premier drinks festival, Tales of the Cocktail. The competition will be a two-part process, involving peer judging as well as bartenders taking the stage one-by-one to showcase their serve.

The 2015 finalists were selected by Disaronno Mixing Star judging panel; UK brand ambassador Rod Eslamieh, The Artesian’s Simone Caporale, Gary Sharpen of The Cocktail Lovers and 2014 Mixing Star finalist, Adrian Gomes.

Disaronno Raises The Bar With 2015 Mixing Star

Disaronno

Italian liqueur, Disaronno has launched the search for the UK’s next Mixing Star and introduced an exciting new prize to attract more bartenders than ever to the UK leg of its global cocktail competition.

Talented bartenders who create inspired recipes using Disaronno will compete to win an all-expenses paid trip to New Orleans for the world’s premier cocktail festival and legendary industry event, Tales of the Cocktail. The runner up will win a night at The Langham hotel, London, including dinner and cocktails for two at ‘The World’s Best Bar’, the Artesian.

To enter, bartenders will need to submit an original Disaronno cocktail recipe via The Mixing Star website. An esteemed panel of judges, including Gary Sharpen of The Cocktail Lovers magazine and Disaronno’s UK brand ambassador, Rod Eslamieh will then select the best recipes and the successful contestants will compete at the live challenges in Manchester and London this June.

The bartender who receives the highest score from both the judging panel and the guests who attend the live challenges will win the coveted prize and fly to the USA to join the Mixing Star winners from across the globe.

Disaronno’s Mixing Star will be supported via the new website, a digital media campaign, PR and targeted advertising. The competition is open now and bartenders can enter here – http://www.themixingstar.com

The Dubliner

The Dubliner

“When I die, Dublin will be written in my heart” – James Joyce 1882-1941

This quote is written at the top of each label of a new liqueur to hit the shores of England this year, the deluxe blend of The Irishman. Originally launched only a few years ago, from what I can tell, it has finally come to the other side of the Irish sea to offer us all a blend of honeycomb, caramel and whiskey flavours within this liqueur.

The label itself offers tradition, combining images of grain with the capital of the Republic of Ireland, but how does it all fare? Well below, I give to you my tasting notes –

The Dubliner – 30%

Plenty of rich honeycomb on the nose, with the thin veil of whiskey and biscuit following smoothly. Lighter than expected, with the vanilla more prominent, before a good dose of honeycomb hits on the palate. The higher abv gives a sharp kick on the long, thin sweet finish.

One for the sweet-tooth whiskey lovers, although I think even the traditional fans could go for one of these –

The Dubliner Appletini
The Dubliner Appletini

The Dubliner Appletini

Glass – 

Highball

Ingredients – 

30 ml The Dubliner
30 ml Peach Liqueur
7.5 ml Apple Liqueur
100 ml of Apple Juice

Method – 

Shake all ingredients together and serve over crushed ice in a tall glass. Garnish with a twist of lime.

There might not be much history and background on this, but do we really need it sometimes? Surely the liquid does the talking, and The Dubliner is one to grab a bottle of this year for an intriguing try!

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. 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.

Stellacello

Stellacello

in·spi·ra·tion noun \ˌin(t)-spə-ˈrā-shən, -(ˌ)spi-\
: something that makes someone want to do something or that gives someone an idea about what to do or create : a force or influence that inspires someone

: a person, place, experience, etc., that makes someone want to do or create something

: a good idea

Defined by Merriam-Webster, inspiration gives birth to many of the brands that we love and enjoy today. An idea is the originator, with inspiration defining such an answer to the point of mass enjoyment, whether on a local, national or international scale. Usually, the inspired creator has had history and lineage within the family, or sees a chance to fulfil where no one else has succeeded. Lately though, a lot of traditional expressions are tipping the hat at a time or place, with the founder essentially inspired by the story. One of the latest brands to go down this particular route is Stellacello liqueurs, who are said to have been ‘inspired by traditional family recipes that originated in Italy over three generations ago’. 

Lets dive a little deeper and see how Stellacello fits into the vast word of liqueurs.

Stellacello is a British based artisan company, located in Bethnal Green, East London, and headed up by Joe Stella. Starting back in 2012, Joe combines a variety of ingredients of unique spices, herbs and fruits, initially creating a ‘Pompelmo’ liqueur. Essentially a grapefruit liqueur, it garnered praise when the Stella Spritz (essentially Pompelmo topped with Prosecco and soda) featured on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch back in May of last year.

Recently though, Joe has worked on what he has called ‘Amaro London’, a bitter liqueur, again gaining inspiration by combining unique herbs, spices and fruits, garnered from those family recipes. I’ve been lucky enough to experience both of his creations so far, so without delay, here’s my notes –

StellacelloStellacello Pompelmo – 29%

Light on the nose with an underlining sweetness of soft grapefruit. Thick, with light tones of the grapefruit on the palate. Fragrant on the back senses with an ever so slight tang of bitterness. Sweet, offering a long finish.

Stellacello Amaro London – 23%

A rich nose with sweet notes, slowly turning the aromas of red fruits and honey to a rather delicate and aromatic experience. On the palate it’s rather light, with soft flavours of walnut, honey and citrus. A deep kick near the finish of bitter lavender, Long, with a refreshing end complimenting.

Two interesting liqueurs indeed, and the Amaro is different to many similar Amaro’s I’ve come across on my travels. Lighter, more delicate, and I can see why it is perfect for the following serves –

Stella Spritz

Glass –

Wine glass

Ingredients – 

25 ml Stellacello ‘Pompelmo’ liqueur
75 ml Prosecco

Method – 

Combine and serve over ice. Add a dash of soda and garnish with a slice of orange and a green Sicilian olive.

or for the ‘Amaro London’,

The Stellaroni
The Stellaroni

The Stellaroni

Glass – 

Tumbler

Ingredients – 

35 ml Stellacello ‘Amaro London’ liqueur
35 ml Sweet Vermouth
35 ml Gin

Method – 

Combine all three ingredients within an ice filled tumbler and stir. Garnish with zest of orange peel.

To be fair, these are seen as classic Italian expressions, so the original way of enjoying neat as a digestif is not seen as a crime. I think Joe has done a grand job here, creating expressions that can be enjoyed by experts, whilst introducing novices to the world of liqueurs and digestif’s. Grab yourself a bottle and enjoy something a little different this year.

© David Marsland and Drinks Enthusiast 2015. 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.