Hard Rock Cafe Want To Spritz Up Your Summer!

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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.

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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.

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.

The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress Launches ‘Bassano Aperitivo Season’

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Pop-up innovators Bassano Events and their Manchester venue, The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress located on First Street, are launching a tasting calendar of Italian aperitivo over the next two months.

Focusing on Distilleria Nardini, the namesake of the bar name Bassano with its origins from Bassano del Grappa in Northern Italy, guests will enjoy one of the famous serves originating from the iconic Ponte Vecchio bridge distillery, the Mezzoemezzo, itself combined with soda and a twist of lemon. A closer look at the flavour profiles of Nardini Grappa Bianca 40 and a selection of their liqueurs, including the citrus peels of Acqua di Cedro, juniper led Ginepro and the almond profiles of Mandorla.

Each session looks to finish with a refreshing Nardini Ginepro and Tonic, as well as a classic offering of Italian Antipasto courtesy of PizzaExpress.

Each hosted by Dave Marsland, co-owner of Bassano Events and brand agency Drinks Enthusiast, the Bassano Aperitivo Season is said to demystify the Italian spirit category, showing off the tradition of grappa and aperitivo and its versatile use within simple mixers and flavours.

All sessions will be held within The Bassano Bar @ PizzaExpress, itself opening in June 2017 to bring the modern Italian cocktail bar concept to 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.

Dates of the Bassano Aperitivo Season;

18th August
25th August
31st August
7th September
21st September
28th September

Price;
£15 pp – tickets can be purchased in venue or via http://www.thebassanobar.com

General 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

#BassanoMcr

ALL DRINK IMAGERY BY GEORGIE GLASS/ WWW.GEORGIEGLASS.CO.UK / @GEORGIEGLASS_

Patrón Perfectionists Come Out To Play In Bristol

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The team at Patrón came around to Bristol last week to host the next round of the current programme, the Patrón Perfectionist!

Hosted at Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the competitors found their way to the South West heat by offering a unique Patrón serve, worthy of impressing the judging panel and ultimately winning a place in the final, held in London later in the year.

Hailing from the likes of Dirty Martini in Cardiff, Be At One in Bournemouth and Salt Room in Brighton, the competitors were joined by UK Brand Ambassador Karine Tillard as they re-created their serve to the panel of myself, Karine and last-years South West winner Steven Young of Academy Espresso Bar in Barry.

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The top three will be showcased here today, so in third place saw Brighton represent with Jake Goldstein of Plotting Parlour. His ‘Commin Mathca’ saw him combine Patrón Silver, sustainable sherbet, pretzel syrup, matcha green tea and aquafaba together, complete with a garnish of a tiny pretzel and matcha.

Ben Alcock of host venue HMSS earned second place with his creation, ‘Beez-Ness Thyme’. A sour styled drink that saw Patrón Reposado, bee mix (honey, Aquavit, burgamot, fig, salt and absinthe), lemon juice, aquafaber and chickpea water, it came garnished with a simple twist of a lemon peel.

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The winning serve though came from Chelsie Bailey of Red Light in Bristol. Named ‘El Camienzo Perfecto’, it saw Patrón Reposado, pineapple sherbet, cream, lime juice and egg white, topped with Mexican lager, dehydrated chilli and pineapple leaves.

So congratulations to Chelsie, who wins herself a trip to London to compete in the final against the other finalists from around the UK!

© 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.

Italian Brand, ITALICUS®, To Launch In Mid-July With Cellar Trends

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Leading branded alcohol distributor, Cellar Trends, is building on its success of 2017 with the addition of ITALICUS® Rosolio di Bergamotto to its ever-expanding portfolio. From mid-July, Cellar Trends will be handling all sales, distribution and marketing for the brand in the UK.

Capitalising on the worldwide trend of aperitivo, Giuseppe Gallo launched his brand-new spirit, ITALICUS® in September 2016, in a bid to lead the global revival of Rosolio and in doing so, has honoured the historic origin and recipe of this forgotten category.

Produced at a family distillery, the spirit is made by infusing Bergamot and Cedro in cold water to release the essential oils, before blending with Italian grain spirit to produce a lightly citrus nose with hints of rose and lavender. In order to make the most of the delicate flavours of the botanicals, ITALICUS® is best enjoyed with Prosecco, served over ice and garnished with three olives to balance the floral overtones.

Director of Sales and Marketing at Cellar Trends, Terry Barker says: “It is always an exciting time for us when we bring a new product to the market and one such as ITALICUS® offers not only a great taste, but also the opportunity for Cellar Trends to work within a unique category. Since its launch to the UK market, ITALICUS® has already gained listings in a variety of premium bars throughout London, gaining some remarkable feedback from renowned mixologists and we are looking forward to building this brand’s reputation and reach.”

Founder of ITALICUS® Giuseppe Gallo comments: “As a young brand we are very honoured to be working with Cellar Trends, and feel that their expertise and experience will help build on the brand’s success as we continue to establish it amongst the on-trade.”

For more information visit: http://www.rosolioitalicus.com

Chivas Regal Raises A Toast To Atsushi Suzuki

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Chivas Regal, the world’s first luxury whisky, has crowned Atsushi Suzuki from the Sober
Company in Shanghai, China, the 2017 Chivas Masters Global Champion. Over a challenging five-day finale in Tokyo, Japan, Atsushi overcame strong competition from 14 of the world’s most skilled bartenders and led the winning Chivas Masters Collective team to victory, before being declared the overall champion.

The fourth Chivas Masters Global Final required the 15 national winners to showcase the
Chivas Regal values of brotherhood, collaboration and generosity. Atsushi impressed the expert panel of judges by expressing these core principles as he proved the outstanding contestant in what was a highly captivating and memorable final, culminating in the awards ceremony at the MIXX Bar & Lounge at the ANA InterContinental Tokyo.

A Japanese native himself, Atsushi fully embraced the traditions of Japanese bartending culture throughout a week of individual and team challenges, which included four individual drinks-making rounds. Atsushi’s winning team drinks ritual was The Double Talk, which was made using Chivas Regal 12, and presented with a focus on Japanese craftsmanship, kind service and attention to detail. Inspired by the way in which great drinks can bring people together and cross language barriers, he collaborated with his Mexican and Hong Kong team-mates, and was mentored by hospitality industry pioneer and team sensei Iain Griffiths, to devise a ritual which ensured the drink was designed to be shared, and allowed the drink to be adapted and personalised for different countries around the world.

As the newly crowned 2017 Chivas Masters Global Champion, Atsushi has won an all-access, all-expenses-paid trip to Tales of The Cocktail 2017 in New Orleans. The winning Chivas Masters Collective team led by Atsushi – comprising Mexico’s Haydée Barron Flores and Ryan Nightingale from Hong Kong – walked away with the pinnacle of the range, Chivas Regal The Icon, presented in a bespoke decanter with customised Japanese glassware.

Upon being crowned champion, Atsushi commented: “Wow. It is such an honour to receive this – and in my home town too. I feel like it’s a win for Japan as well as for China. And of course it’s not just for me, but for my awesome team of Haydée and Ryan, and my sensei, Iain. I’ve found friends for the rest of my life through the Chivas Masters – and I’ve learnt how to be a better bartender too.”

Max Warner, Global Brand Ambassador for Chivas Regal, commented from Tokyo: “The Chivas Masters Global Final has again shown the world the wonderful values and principles that great bartending can harness. Atsushi fully took the Chivas Regal spirit of generosity and collaboration with him into the final, which was the eventual point of difference in a very tough field – alongside, of course, some spectacular bartending skills.

“Beyond the serve itself, teamwork and collaboration are just as crucial to the craft of drinks-making, and we have witnessed that here today, and throughout the entire contest. That is why we are also delighted to honour the entire winning Chivas Masters Collective, who helped lead our champion to victory and demonstrated that success really does taste better shared.”

The 2017 Chivas Masters Global Final was host to a distinguished panel of internationally
acclaimed judges: Iain Griffiths, hospitality industry pioneer and co-founder of Mr Lyan Ltd;
Micah Melton, beverage director at the Alinea Group and renowned ‘ice chef’; Chris Lowder, ‘New York’s Rising Star Bartender’ in 2015; Dré Masso, ex-director of bars for the Potato Head Group in Bali, Jakarta, Singapore and Hong Kong; and Rogerio Igarashi Vaz, owner of Tokyo’s Tram & Trench. Each not only scored the finalists, but also shared their insights and expertise through a series of inspirational masterclasses over the course of the week.

The evening also saw the first ever Chivas Masters Global Champion, Masa Urushido,
honoured as a Grand Master, in his native Japan.

THE DOUBLE TALK

40ml Chivas Regal 12
20ml Campari
20ml Bianco Vermouth

Garnished with Matcha Tea Salt – or customised to your country

Stirred and served over block ice in a rocks glass, with a side serve for sharing

 

The Chivas Masters Collective teams:

Team leader: Atsushi Suzuki, China

Team member: Haydée Barron Flores, Mexico

Team member: Ryan Nightingale, Hong Kong

 

Team leader: Hyacinthe Lescoët, France

Team member: Daniel Huggins, Germany

Team member: Patryk Biadacz, Poland

 

Team leader: Masato Sakurai, Japan

Team member: Sandra Šalatová, Czech Republic

Team member: Aloisek Rodríguez Martínez, Cuba

 

Team leader: Roger Grüter, Switzerland

Team member: Abner Barrientos, Puerto Rico

Team member: Wouter Bosch, The Netherlands

 

Team leader: Adam Schmidt, USA

Team member: Benjamin Boyce, United Arab Emirates

Team member: Rhys Wilson, United Kingdom

Iron Maiden and Robinsons Brewery Reveal New ‘Hallowed’ Beer

Bruce Dickinson unveils new HALLOWED beer in Antwerp, Belgium. Photo credit John McMurtrie.
British rock legends IRON MAIDEN and independent family brewers ROBINSONS have revealed a brand new Belgian style beer: HALLOWED.

This new ale follows on from the success of the original TROOPER, which has sold over 15 million pints since its launch in 2013, and previous limited edition beers TROOPER 666 and RED ‘N’ BLACK.

Once again, the dynamic duo of ROBINSONS’ Master Brewer Martyn Weeks and IRON MAIDEN’s lead vocalist and ale aficionado BRUCE DICKINSON have teamed up to create something very special for beer and music fans alike.

BRUCE DICKINSON explains: “What makes this brew pretty special is that we’re adopting a Belgian yeast for the first time. I’m a big fan of Belgian beers, so I jumped at the chance to brew my own. While I get very excited about experimenting with new formulas and ingredients, the thing about Belgian beer is that it’s as much a way of life as it is a drink. We’ve tried to bottle that philosophy in HALLOWED, albeit with a British twist.”

At 6.0% ABV in a 330ml bottle, HALLOWED is a Belgian inspired beer that’s brewed in England. It is also one of the first beers to be brewed by ROBINSONS Brewery that uses Belgian yeast. ROBINSONS haven’t changed the yeast used in their beers since 1942, which makes HALLOWED even more special.

Martyn Weeks, Head Brewer at ROBINSONS Brewery, continues: “It’s all in the yeast. Belgian yeast yields a very distinct taste and presentation. You can sniff out a Belgian beer simply from its aromas: fruity, spicy and earthy. Belgian yeasts withstand higher alcohol levels, they attenuate well and create an array of phenolics and esters… put simply, this means more flavour and I think Hallowed drinkers are in for a treat.”

HALLOWED’s innovative bottle label pays tribute to Belgian beer, presenting IRON MAIDEN’s iconic mascot EDDIE, robed in traditional monk’s clothing: a nod to the Trappist monastic brewing tradition in Belgium.

HALLOWED will be available from October 2017 for a limited period of four months. Information on exactly where the beer will be available will be released on Iron Maiden Beer’s and Robinsons Brewery’s social media accounts in due course.

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.

Special Release Launched For Glen Moray’s 120th Anniversary

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Recognising the work of his predecessors, Graham Coull, Glen Moray’s Master Distiller, selected five different vintages of Glen Moray to create MASTERY, the ultimate ‘blend’.

The result is a whisky of incredible depth and character that encapsulates the very essence of Glen Moray, steeped in the proud traditions of Speyside, released on 1st July 2017.

Three of the five vintages used were laid down by Graham’s Glen Moray forefathers, Robert Brown (manager from 1959-1987) and Edwin Dodson (manager from 1987-2005). Two of Graham’s own vintages are in there too, as well as evidence of techniques first employed by Glen Moray’s original pioneers, James Haddow (manager from 1913-1927) and his son, Alexander Haddow (manager from 1927 -1959).

With great skill and finesse, Graham experimented to find the ultimate composition, using whisky matured in different fortified wine casks (sherry, madeira and port) to form the backbone of the 120th Anniversary release.

By using the sweetness of port to bring out the best in the heavier flavours emanating from the sherry and Madeira, Graham has added his own ‘twist’ to the Glen Moray classic taste profile, bringing sublime smoothness and balance to the masterpiece.

‘The 120th Anniversary Release celebrates the traditional craftsmanship of Glen Moray while raising a glass to the innovation of maturing in wine casks. Mastery is smooth, sleek and sophisticated.’

Graham Coull says: ‘The Madeira casks that we’ve chosen to form the heart of the whisky relate back to the genuine traditions of Glen Moray experimenting with different, innovative techniques in maturation. It’s me putting a twist on the spirit that was made by previous generations of master distillers.’

‘I wanted to bring in something from 1978, some of the oldest whisky in the warehouses, that represented whisky made by Robert Brown, the 3rd generation of Master Distiller, who was at the helm of Glen Moray from 1959 until 1987 as well as casks filled in the 80’s and 90’s by my predecessor, Ed Dodson. We’ve intertwined these with whisky that has spent its full term in first-fill sherry casks and also a proportion that has been finished in port, to develop the layers of complexity in the overall bottling. The port finished whisky brings a little lightness, which we felt perfectly balances the more robust flavours of the sherry and madeira casks in the blend.’