Tag Archives: spirits

Riddles Emporium Opens First Shop in Altrincham

A new specialist spirit shop, from the owners of Riddles cocktail bar on Greenwood Street and spirit specialist Dave Marsland, owner of Drinks Enthusiast, is set to open its doors on 1st April 2017.

Riddles Emporium, with the tagline ‘Liquor and Sundries’, will sell a wide range of spirits, high-end products, cocktail equipment, books, bitters, homemade tinctures and syrups – pretty much everything you’ll need to make fine quality drinks at home. The shop will be the first of its kind in Altrincham and will also host regular small tasting events on Friday and Saturday evenings as well as the occasional classic cocktail masterclass.

Located at the former Ivy House site on Regent Road, Riddles Emporium hopes to contribute towards the regeneration of the Altrincham Market area, and to offer a unique retail experience for Altrincham residents. The shop will have a definite synergy with Riddles bar, adopting a similar vintage look and feel with a focus on classic cocktails and timeless flavor profiles. The new shop will house a wealth of bottles that are not widely available, perfect for special gifts, investment, or simply to vastly improve your own home bar.

“The most important thing for us is to share our passion for quality drinks, to enthuse others to be more adventurous with their choices and to introduce or take them further into the wonderful world of spirits and cocktails,” says Dave Marsland (28). “We are so excited about not only giving people the absolute best drinks in our bar but extending that into their homes too – and we know the people of Altrincham will love this. This town is definitely a knowledgeable and passionate place when it comes to fine drinking,” adds Del Lowe (33).

To accompany the launch of the shop, Riddles bar is releasing a series of cocktail instruction videos entitled ‘Making Drinks At Home’. Emma Rostaing (34) explains: “The intention behind these short videos is to inspire people to be more adventurous with drinks at their own social gatherings and to bring what we know into peoples homes. Obviously we love making drinks in the bar and nothing can beat the atmosphere of going out for a drink, but on those nights when you can’t get out or just need some peace and quiet, Riddles Emporium and these videos will give you the tools to create the perfect serve yourself.”

The shop will open to the public on Saturday 1st April and will be offering a series of five exclusive tasting events, free of charge. There will be a variety of different tastings covering the worlds of gin, rum, tequila, whisky and vodka. Only ten free tickets are available for each time-slot, so be sure to book yours as soon as possible. Tickets for these small tasting events can be obtained from Eventbrite, via a link on the Riddles Bar website: http://www.riddlesbar.com.

The website for the Emporium will launch in the next two weeks at http://www.riddlesemporium.com and products will be available to buy online.

For anyone passionate about fine drinking and drinks preparation this will be a fine addition to Altrincham’s growing independent retail offering.

Tales of the Cocktail® Announces Seminars for Edinburgh Tour

After successful stops in Vancouver, Buenos Aires and Mexico City, Tales of the Cocktail® on Tour is on the move again. This year to Edinburgh, Scotland for four days of seminars, tastings and networking events from April 1-4. In addition to nightly events that allow attendees to explore the unique cocktail culture of Edinburgh, Tales of the Cocktail® on Tour will feature a line-up of 12 seminars, presented by some of the world’s most renowned cocktail experts including Ryan Chetiyawardana, Charlotte Voisey, Claire Smith Warner, Jack McGarry, Jacob Briars and many more.

“I’m excited to announce our most extensive line-up of seminars for a Tales on Tour ever! As well as featuring more than one of the top-five seminars from Tales New Orleans 2016 such as “Talking Rot,” “Going Back To Your Roots To Find Success” and “Nutmeg,” we are proud to be curating brand-new seminars from some of the cocktail world’s most revered presenters. The city won’t know what’s hit it!” Philip Duff, Director of Education.

Just like the annual Tales of the Cocktail® in New Orleans, the seminars in Edinburgh will dive deep into the techniques, history and business of making drinks. These 12 original seminars were selected by a panel led by Philip Duff to offer a wide breadth of cocktail knowledge – everything from the history of New Orleans drinking and cocktail photography, to Rancio and the psychology of drink preferences. Attendees will be able to choose six seminars (three per day) to attend during Tales of the Cocktail® on Tour.

Tales of the Cocktail® on Tour 2017 Seminars

Going Back to Your Roots to Find Success
Ian McLaren with Ryan Chetiyawardana, Jim Meehan and Craig Harper
Sponsored by Bacardi

New Orleans: The Cradle of Civilized Drinking
Phil Greene with Chris Hannah and Chris McMillian
Sponsored by Sazerac Rye Whiskey

#instadram – The Benefits of Drinking Shots
Max Warner and Addie Chinn with Alex Kratena, Agostino Perrone, Alastair Burgess and Tara Garnell
Sponsored by Pernod Ricard UK

Nutmeg: The Seed That Spiced 1000 Sips
Charlotte Voisey with Jack McGarry, Peter Vestinos and Davide Segat
Sponsored by William Grant & Sons

Drambusters: Why Scotch Belongs in Cocktails
Georgie Bell, Ryan Chetiyawardana, Mike Aikman and Tom Walker
Sponsored John Dewar and Sons

Guilty Pleasure
Claire Smith Warner with Zoey Cormier, Iain Griffiths and Jeffrey Kluger
Sponsored by Belvedere Vodka

Talking Rot: Rancio, Scotch and MADness
Dave Broom with Ryan Chetiyawardana and Arielle Johnson
Sponsored by Johnnie Walker

Liquid Intelligence
Don Lee and Dave Arnold
Sponsored by Monkey Shoulder Scotch Whisky

Small Fish in a Big Pond
Ally Martin with Andy Gemmell, Craig Harper, Stuart McCluskey and Mike Aikman
Sponsored by Drambuie, Hendrick’s Gin and Monkey Shoulder Whisky

Slap it! Pour it! Crush it! Swizzle it!
Daniyel Jones with Summer-Jane Bell and Martin Cate
Sponsored by Angostura

Make your Mark: How to Create a Modern Classic
Jacob Briars with Robert Simonson, Tom Walker and Naren Young
Sponsored by Bacardi Rum

Tristan Stephenson with Jake Burger and Jeffrey Kluger
Sponsored by Belvedere Vodka

“This is our biggest offering of seminars we’ve had in our seven years of putting on Tales on Tour. Philip and his team did an incredible job of selecting seminars that will challenge and enlighten everyone who joins us,” said Ann Tuennerman. “April can’t come fast enough.”

The festival will also partner with brands such as The Cocktail Lovers and The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) to present a series of evening events, known as Dynamic Duos, in bars throughout the city centre, which are open to the public. The SMWS event will focus on flavour in single cask whisky and takes place at Kaleidoscope Bar on Saturday 1 April.

Ticket packages to Tales of the Cocktail® on Tour Edinburgh go on sale January 9 for Tales 365 members and January 11 for the general public. Ticket packages, priced at $329, are all-inclusive and will give each attendee access to seminars and nightly events during the festival’s four days. For the full descriptions of all seminars and events, information on accommodations and to get your tickets to Tales of the Cocktail® on Tour Edinburgh, visit https://talesofthecocktail.com/events/tales-on-tour/

Cellar Trends Expands Portfolio

Family run distributor, Cellar Trends, is set to continue its successes in 2016 with the addition of two brands to its ever-expanding portfolio. From the 11th April, Cellar Trends will handle all sales, distribution and marketing for Underberg® and Grasovka Vodka, joining the wider Underberg portfolio of Asbach, XuXu and Pitu which CT have distributed since 2013.


Made from aromatic herbs and spices from 43 different countries, Underberg is an all-natural, sugar-free digestif, best known for its unique 2cl bottles, wrapped in brown paper. Typically served following a meal, Underberg’s balance between herbal ingredients and alcohol gives the spirit its soothing properties. The unique recipe was developed in 1846 by Hubert Underberg under the motto ‘Semper Idem’, meaning ‘always the same’, which is testament to its long-lasting consistency.

GrasovkaGrasovka Vodka

Following the introduction of Beluga Vodka to its range, Cellar Trends will be broadening its vodka collection with the addition of Grasovka Vodka. Comprising of Polish grain vodka infused with bison grass, the spirit is strained through a bed of dried grass several times, resulting in a naturally flavoured vodka which requires no additional colour or additives. To recognise its unique flavour, every bottle of Grasovka contains a blade of the grass reflecting the spirit’s origins.

Sales and Marketing Director at Cellar Trends, Terry Barker say: “We’re delighted to announce the addition of these brands to our portfolio and we look forward to helping Underberg and Grasovka strengthen their footholds in the UK market. Both brands offer such a unique taste and with their exceptional heritages, we are sure they will add a new dynamic to our portfolio.”

Chicago’s Premier Distillery to Distribute in the United Kingdom with Emporia Brands

500ml Gin White

KOVAL, one of America’s premiere craft distilleries, will expand distribution to the United Kingdom with international luxury spirits importer and exporter Emporia Brands.

Founded in 2008 as Chicago’s first distillery since the mid-1800s, KOVAL’s innovative distilling technologies and cutting-edge design practices have led them to become an award-winning, internationally renowned craft spirits manufacturer. Founders Robert and Sonat Birnecker chose to leave their academic careers to bring the distilling traditions of Robert’s Austrian family to America. In making this decision, they vowed to make spirits from scratch and to change the way people understand whiskey by creating a new, signature style—using only the “heart cut” of the distillate—affording a brighter, cleaner take on whiskey.

“We’re thrilled to be expanding our international distribution efforts to the United Kingdom and look forward to working with Emporia’s innovative team,” said Robert Birnecker.

Emporia Brands is taking on a range of KOVAL’s unique whiskeys, including KOVAL Bourbon, Rye, and Millet. Each a rare expression, KOVAL Bourbon is a naturally gluten-free spirit comprised of 51% corn and 49% millet bottled at 47% ABV, while KOVAL Rye (2013’s Best International Whisky by InterWhisky) and Millet are single grain whiskeys distilled with 100% rye and 100% millet from the Midwest, bottled at 40% ABV. All whiskeys are certified kosher, single barrel expressions aged up to 4 years in new American Oak barrels.

Emporia Brands will also take on KOVAL Dry Gin, one of 2015’s most highly awarded gins in the categories of both spirit and package design. A Double Gold recipient from the 2015 San Francisco World Spirits Competition, KOVAL Dry Gin is a balanced, crisp gin with notes of citrus, pepper, and a round floral body. In the coming months, Emporia Brands plans to add KOVAL Four Grain whiskey to their portfolio as well.

KOVAL CEO and Master Distiller Robert Birnecker will travel to the UK this April to launch a series of master classes in London, Manchester, and Edinburgh. As the co-founder of Kothe Distilling Technologies, Robert has become one of America’s top distilling experts and internationally renowned consultants, educating over 2,500 aspiring distillers in the last six years alone.

“Emporia Brands is delighted to announce our partnership with a true craft champion, KOVAL. Robert and Sonat’s huge passion is reflected in our team, and we look forward to hosting Robert’s nationwide master classes throughout April,” said Jack Rackham, Commercial Director of Emporia Brands.

KOVAL will be available from retailers across the United Kingdom, including Harvey Nichols, Masters of Malt, The Whisky Exchange, Royal Mile Whiskies, and online at thedrinkshop.com.

Stuck For Christmas Cocktail Ideas?


Fireside Flip

From Ryan Chetiyawardana’s new book Good Things to Drink: by Mr Lyan and Friends, published by Frances Lincoln, £20

1 Coin of ginger
1 Tablespoon honey
Just over 1 shot (30ml/ 1.2oz) sloe gin
1 shot (25ml/ 1oz) honeyed-style malt whisky (such as Highland Park 12 year old, or Aberfeldy 12 year old)
1 whole egg
Dash Angostura bitters
Cubed ice
Nutmeg, to finish
Chilled sherry glass

Crush the ginger and honey in the shaker. Add the other ingredients and shake without ice, then shake with ice and double strain into your glass.
Garnish with fresh nutmeg

Mr Lyan Magic
Using a ginger jam or marmalade in place of the fresh ginger tempers some of its mild heat and draws forth a slightly more “golden” taste. You could try gently cooking down the ginger in the honey to tame some of its citric spice: this also adds an appealing new dimension to the drink.

Spiked Hot Chocolate

From Ryan Chetiyawardana’s new book Good Things to Drink: by Mr Lyan and Friends, published by Frances Lincoln, £20

1 Tablespoon charteuse
1 Tablespoon poire william
1 Teaspoon unrefined sugar
4 shots (100ml/ 4oz) whole milk
Pinch vanilla salt (a vanilla pod split and infused into sea salt for at least a day)
30g/ 1oz good dark chocolate
Nutmeg or cinnamon to finish
Pre warmed mug

Pour the charteuse and poire williams into a pre-warmed mug.
Add the sugar, milk, vanilla salt and chocolate to a pot and heat. Whisk constantly but don’t allow to boil. When gently steaming, pour over the liqueurs in your mug and top with some freshly grated nutmeg or cinamon

Mr Lyan Magic
You can make this very condensed by using cream (as well as milk) with extra chocolate and serving much shorter. You can also layer in extra flavours by warming spices in the milk then straining them off- anise, basil, chilli and fruits all can be incorporated successfully into chocolate- and changing the liqueurs to match your tastes is a fine idea too.

Grand French Coffee
Grand French Coffee

Grand French Coffee, from Grand Marnier

This gourmet coffee combines GRAND MARNIER® liqueur’s round notes of hazelnut and toffee with the intensity of coffee for added smoothness. The delicate flavour of orange gives this flavourful combination all of its uniqueness.

Warmed GRAND MARNIER® liqueur 40 ml
Hot coffee 100 ml
Whipped cream
Glass: Mug

Combine GRAND MARNIER® liqueur and coffee. Top lightly with whipped cream.
For a richer, more aromatic combination Pour in the heated liqueur first so that it becomes infused with the flavours of the coffee.

Tiny 10 Martini, from Tanqueray No. TEN

50ml Tanqueray No.TEN
35ml Pink Grapefruit Juice
10ml Sugar Syrup

Add all ingredients to a shaker with cubed ice, shake and double strain in a highball glass and garnish with a grapefruit zest.
Hot Ginger Punch from Fever Tree

Ingredients (4 serves)
150ml Havana 7 Year Old (or suitable alternative)
600ml Fever-Tree Ginger Beer
200ml Fever-Tree Ginger Ale
15-20 cloves
6-10 Star Anise
1 vanilla pod
Orange peel

Gently heat the rum, ginger beer and ginger ale in a suitable pot for 5-10mins. Do not bring to the boil.
Meanwhile, slice vanilla pod from top to bottom and add to the pot along with the rest of the spices and stir. Keep pot on a low heat.
Add a few twists of orange peel and gently stir to taste. Heat for further 5 minutes gently ensuring liquid does not come to boil.
Ladle punch into a small glass tankard along with spices and peel.

Festive RumButter Punch from Ron Zacapa

Ingredients (Per serve)
50ml Ron Zacapa
Small fingernail of butter
Pinch of any spice including cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, clove, cardamom
10ml honey or Agave nectar
30ml hot water

Add all ingredients to a Punch bowl, stir and serve

Christmas Cocktail
Christmas Cocktail

Christmas Cocktail
From aqua nueva, 5th Floor, 240 Regent Street (Entrance 30 Argyll Street), London W1B 3BR

Nico Peratinos, bar manager at aqua London: “During the festive season people treat themselves to rich foods and with this in mind I have created a unique Christmas cocktail using my favourite ingredients, chocolate and cheese. The cocktail combines the richness of cacao with warming notes of cherry liqueur and rum, mixed with egg white and double cream; finished with Parmesan cheese shavings to create an indulgent yet perfectly balanced cocktail.”

2 teaspoons of cacao
35ml rum
15ml cherry liqueur
20ml egg white
10ml double cream
10ml milk

Blend all together and serve over ice in a tulip cup and garnish with parmesan cheese

From Worship Street Whistling Shop, 63 Worship Street, London, EC2A 2DU

35ml Goatka (Ketel One Vodka and Goats Cheese)
25ml Spiced raspberry shrub
15ml Mead Grand Marnier Reduction
25ml Egg White
15ml Lemon Juice
Peychaud bitter

Mix all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker and double shake. Fine strain the mixture into a large coupe, and finish with 4 drops of peychaud bitter on the creamy foam topping.


Milk & Silk
Milk and Silk

Milk & Silk
From Worship Street Whistling Shop, 63 Worship Street, London, EC2A 2DU

700 ml Bourbon
525 ml Lemon juice
350 gr Oleo saccharum (Caster sugar and lemon peel mixed)
125 gr Roasted spelt
350 gr Barley malt extract
175 ml Gosling 151
175 ml Wray & Nephew
25 gr Cassia

Mix the overproof rum and roasted spelt then blend. Add all the other ingredients, before adding boiling water to the mix to macerate. Let the mixture sit overnight at room temperature. The next day, strain the mixture using a large fine strainer, then add boiled milk in equal measure to the rest of the mixture. Let the mixture sit another day in the fridge then strain with a cheese cloth the next day. Serve chilled over ice.


White mulled wine
Mulled White Wine

Mulled White Wine
From Aubaine

Ingredients (serves 6)
1 lemon
1 orange
25g honey
175g sugar
3 star anise
6 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
150ml water
1 bottle white wine

Cut the lemons and oranges into this quarter slices and add to a pan, before adding in the honey, sugar and star anise. Next, cut the cinnamon sticks lengthways in half again, and add to the pan. Heat all the ingredients on the stove until they begin to lightly caramelise, then add the water. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes, add the wine to the pan, and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.
Decant into a large soup dish and keep warm. Serve in a latte glass with a star anise and a quarter slice of orange to garnish.


The Yuletide
The Yuletide

The Yuletide
From: NOLA, 68 Rivngton Street, Shoreditch, London EC2A 3AY

Noix St Jean
Amontillado Sherry
Bulleit Rye
Galliano L’Autenico
Abbots Bitters
Orange Oil

Stir ingredients together and serve


Or maybe the Tanqueray 10 gift pack might just be the present you need? Available at all good retails stores!

T No10 Bottle and Box

The De Kuyper And The UKBG End The Year On A High


A few weeks back saw myself invited down to judge once again a cocktail competition with a difference. Hosted within Bar So in Bournemouth, De Kuyper were supporting the UKBG and their Bournemouth Bartenders Grand Prix 2015 final, which saw 10 bartenders from across the south coast of England battle it out, yet having no idea what their recipe would be.

Essentially, each bartender had 15 minutes before the competition started to walk around the Nectar Tradeshow where numerous stands were located with spirit brands and mixers. After choosing their desired ingredients, and making sure they utilized one of the De Kuyper expressions, including Lemongrass and Lapsang Souchong, they were given the stage to present their idea to the judging panel (myself, Peter Holland from the Floating Rum Shack, James Fowler Diageo UK World Class Champion 2014 and Eve Vasileiadou representing UKBG and the Churchill Bar @ the Hyatt Regency Hotel).


With some interesting ideas presented, the winning recipe saw Evan Williams Extra Old, Amaro, De Kuyper Triple Sec, Salize Amaretto,  Peat Monster Whisky and Angostura Bitters combined for a ‘River of Fire’. The creator? Gemma Terry from Smoking Aces in Bournemouth, winning £250 in cash, the De Kuyper bar kit donated by Paul Curry from William Grant & Sons and the title of the Bournemouth Bartenders Grand Prix Champion!

Fancy giving her cocktail a go?

‘River of Fire’

40 ml Evan Williams Extra Old
20 ml Amaro
15 ml De Kuyper Triple Sec
15 ml Salize Amaretto
5 ml Peat Monster Whisky
Dash of Angostura Bitters

Also competing in the final were;

Niall Percival competing for Remy Martin 1738
Tommo Quy competing for Jinzu Gin
Cameron Moncaster competing for Conker Dorset Dry Gin
Andy Hardwick competing for Evan Williams extra aged
Dave Hall competing for Flor de Cana 4yo
Luke Sheppard competing for 3 Barrels Brandy
Joe Prout competing for Tarquin Gin
Johnny Brissenden competing for Casamigo Tequila Blanco
Sarah Owens competing for Cinzano 1757

© 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.

La Cava Tequila Release Their Festive Cocktail Creation

Mexican Navidad

Don Agustin tequilas are Single Estate 100% agave premium tequilas for connoisseurs, all bottled on the Camarena family premises and widely available in the best tequila bars in the UK, including the famous Café Pacifico in London.

Its unique character in part derives from the unusual fermentation process which is rounded off with a malolactic fermentation, creating an altogether smoother taste profile.

La Cava 100% Agave Blanco is ideal for mixing in superior cocktails, such as this festive offering –

Try our simple ‘Mexican Navidad’:

Glass: Rocks


50 ml La Cava Blanco
15 ml Ginger liqueur
4 fresh Blackberries (muddle)
1 small sprig of mint (press)
30 ml lime juice,
25 ml Agave

Salt is optional


Shake all the ingredients and strain into an ice-filled rocks glass.


La Cava is available from all leading retailers including Whisky Exchange, Latitude, Gerry’s and Wine Rack.

For more information on La Cava and Emporia Brands, please visit http://www.emporiabrands.com

Follow La Cava on Twitter @EmporiaBrandsUK or Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/EmporiaBrands

Havana Club Cocktail Grand Prix Hits Manchester


The Havana Club Cocktail Grand Prix rolled into Manchester this afternoon as The Liars Club played host to eleven of north England’s best bartenders as they competed to impress and earn a place to the UK final.

Yours truly was sat on the judging panel, alongside Havana Club Global Brand Ambassador Meimi Sanchez, UK Brand Ambassador Mike Foster, and bar consultant Jamie Jones.

With a brief that all bartenders must utilize at least 35 ml of Havana Club 3 year as the base, as well as serving it within a recycled vessel (essentially an item not normally associated with a drinking vessel), the competition threw up some interesting ideas. Lets take a look at some of the highlights from each competitor!

Lee Jones from Smokestack, Leeds was the first to enter the bar, with his serve named Cuban Cradle, as he showed off a blend of Havana Club, Amaro Montenegro and a grapefruit syrup with a touch of sea salt, garnished with an absinthe spray and served within a melted down bottle. Selina Raggett of Hawksmoor, Manchester looked to impress with Havana Club, grapefruit and sherbet syrup, Manzanilla sherry, lime juice and rhubarb bitters; a recipe she named Buena Vista Cocktail Club and served within a shell that sat atop of a Cuban music box.

James of Dandy Longlegs in Sunderland offered the judges El Independiente, a mix of Havana Club, Monin Jasmin, fresh mango and Coco Real, served within a hollowed out mango secured to a drumstick, coming complete with the drum too! Roberto of Bottega in Manchester showed some of his Italian side as he utilized Martini Extra Dry alongside Havana Club, St Germaine and fresh orange juice, all served within a hollowed out, frozen orange that he named the European Daiquiri.

HC3YO-thumb2Georgia Thresh of Tariff and Dale in Manchester was up next, showcasing her idea she called Rhubarb . . . . . and of course Custard. This saw a combination of Havana Club, a rhubarb, fresh and stemmed ginger infusion, egg, vanilla extract and rhubarb bitters within an old candle holder, served with sweets for her garnish. James Cooper of Dusk til Pawn, also in Manchester, came up with an idea that included Havana Club, mango and chilli jam, Bittermens Hellfire Habanero Shrub Cocktail Bitters, lime juice and mint leaves. Naming it Compeñero, he served it within a sandwich container, complete with a Cuban sandwich to match.

Tiger Hornsby of Newcastle were also represented by Steve, who showed off Havana Club, Cazcabel Honey, apricot infused Lillet Blanc, Bob’s Bitters and fresh lemon, served within the bottle neck of a cut Havana 3yr bottle and naming it Primera Dama, or First Lady. Dan from Banyan, one of Manchester’s newest venues, brought to the bar a recipe he named The Old and the New. This saw Havana Club, grapefruit juice, lime, apricot brandy and pineapple and passion-fruit syrup come together within a cut Havana 7yr bottle.

Dan Edwards from No.28 Bar and Bistro in Newcastle showed off his idea named Ambos Mundos, seeing Havana Club, lime, pink grapefruit juice, agave syrup and maraschino come together and served within a Cuban cigar holder. Steve Levanis of Mojo Bar, Manchester went for La Fortunada, a recipe consisting of Havana Club, honey water and citric acid, Lillet and egg white, served from a huge hollowed out lighter with a grapefruit zest.

Amir Javaid of Harvey Nichols 2nd Floor Bar in Manchester was the last to impress the judging panel, utilizing Havana Club, a hay smoked pineapple syrup, lemon, Velvet Falernum and Angostura Bitters. Calling it All Along the Watchtower, he served it within a milk carton and sprayed over a rhubarb, black tea and almond liqueur.

Of course though, despite all eleven impressing in their own way, there was to only be one winner, earning a place in the UK final and going up against the cream of the crop from cities around the UK. Congratulations to Selina Raggett of Hawksmoor, Manchester! With her inspiration of Cuban culture, specifically music, and tying it in with her unique serving vessel, her Buena Vista Cocktail Club will hopefully impress further as she looks to bring the title of Havana Club Grand Prix 2015 home to Manchester!

Buena Vista Cocktail Club, by Selina Raggett, Hawksmoor, Manchester

60 ml Havana Club 3yr
20 ml Grapefruit sherbet syrup
20 ml Lime juice
10 ml Manzanilla sherry
2 dash Fee Brothers Rhubarb Bitters

Shaken over ice and served within a sea shell.

© 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.


Beluga Reinforces Its Position In The UK With A New Distributor, Cellar Trends


With the super-premium vodka category in a current growth of 250%[1], family run distributor, Cellar Trends, and Beluga Vodka will be working together in a bid to build the brand within the UK. From 1st October, the company will take over all sales, distribution and marketing.

Vodka and caviar is a traditional Russian combination. Beluga fish itself is the symbol of luxury and prosperity. A species of the sturgeon family, beluga lives in deep crystal clear waters and represents purity of nature. Unlike any other vodka, Beluga Vodka undergoes an additional process of “resting” which helps to smoothen the vodka, improving the taste to give a soft, clean and well-balanced spirit. The portfolio is made up of four products including Beluga Vodka, Beluga Transatlantic Racing, Beluga Allure and Beluga Gold Line.

Part of the Synergy Group, Beluga Vodka was first distilled in 2002 and now takes its position as the flagship brand within the portfolio. Both the heritage of the brand and the unrivalled taste have seen Beluga Vodka establish itself as a symbol of luxury and success. Currently retailed through Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason’s and via a variety of on trade establishments, Cellar Trends will aim to capitalise upon this strong foundation. Beluga is delicious neat, with food or for bringing velvety softness to cocktails. Above all, it is best consumed with caviar.

Beluga Noble is the best-selling super-premium vodka in Russia, famed for its smooth and subtle taste.
Director of Sales and Marketing, Terry Barker, says, “Cellar Trends is proud to be appointed for this exciting and iconic range of super-premium vodkas, which is the brand leader of this category in Russia. As one of the leaders within this category, we believe that Beluga Vodka has a great future with us within the UK market.
2015 has been a busy year for us, with many new additions to our portfolio. This is a strategic move into the vodka category for Cellar Trends that will put us in good stead for our continued growth plans. We look forward to helping the brand achieve its potential in the UK.”

Beluga. Made with Pride

Bar Convent Berlin (BCB), One of the World’s Premier Bar Shows, Announces Its Ninth Edition


Bar Convent Berlin (BCB), one of the world’s premier trade fairs for the bar and beverage industry, today announces its ninth edition that will take place on October 6-7, 2015. An estimated 200 exhibitors will showcase about 500 brands to 10,000 attendees that are expected from 35 countries, including the U.S. BCB is held at Station Berlin, the iconic landmarked railway station. It provides an ideal backdrop for meetings between key industry players and newcomers, ranging from bar owners and bartenders to international manufacturers and distributors of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, equipment and bar accessories. This year, a nighttime Mixology Market event will kick off the show on October 5.

More Attendees, More Exhibitors and More Floor Space

BCB is growing and is adding new companies and an additional demonstration bar. Some 200 exhibitors and numerous brands representing the spirits, non-alcoholic beverages, beer, and bar accessories sectors have already booked their spaces several months ahead of the show.

“We’re very confident that this year’s trade fair will once again grow by leaps and bounds,” says Jens Hasenbein, Managing Director, BCB. “As in the past, we’re focused on two aspects: matching up the right companies with the right target groups and offering a top-notch program of tastings, lectures and seminars. Our selection of exhibiting companies provides our show with a distinctive profile within the premium segment.”

In order to meet growing demand, the BCB team is implementing an expansion into a new hall. Hall 8 will feature two tasting forums and a “Made in GSA” area. Presented in cooperation with the magazine Mixology, the space will be dedicated to products from Germany, Switzerland and Austria and offer samples of more than 60 spirits, liqueurs, bitters and soft drinks. The cocktail creation that wins the “Made in GSA” competition will also be featured here. In addition, the expansion into Hall 8 will give Brew Berlin room to spread out. BCB’s beer area will get its own space in Hall 3 this year.

Europe’s Trade Fair for the Bar Business

About 10,000 trade visitors are expected to attend BCB, including top international bartenders. Last year, 26 percent of trade fair visitors were bartenders, 16 percent bar owners and 9 percent bar operators and managers. The beverage and spirits industry also made a strong showing with 20 percent. Nearly half of visitors said they were focused primarily on new products, while another 21 percent were looking for new business contacts and 16 percent were most interested in onsite seminars and workshops. For a quarter of the visitors, the most important reason to come to the event, which brings together all the key industry players, was to network.

Global Industry Gathering Place; A Focus on Brazil in 2015

After Mexico, Poland, Peru and the U.S., the ninth BCB will be devoted to yet another major beverage nation. This year’s guest country will be Brazil. For visitors, this means an up-close look at the enormously varied uses of the popular spirit, Cachaça, as well as additional beverages from the rising, resource-rich country. In addition, former guest countries, Peru and the U.S., will return.

“Internationality begets quality. That’s why we care so deeply about bringing even more nations to BCB,” says Petra Lassahn, Event Director, Reed Exhibitions, who now works alongside Hasenbein to manage BCB. “Exhibitors get an opportunity here to present their products to international markets and visitors get to discover new products from around the world.”

More than half of the approximately 9,400 trade visitors last year traveled to BCB from outside Germany, including the U.S., the U.K., Poland, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, Austria, Finland, the Czech Republic and Denmark.

About Bar Convent Berlin (BCB)

Since its founding in 2007, Bar Convent Berlin (BCB) has emerged as one of the leading international trade fairs for the bar and beverage industry. Every year, a who’s who of the German and European bar and beverage industry meet in Berlin for two days to establish new contacts, catch up on the latest product innovations and attend educational seminars. Launched in 2013, Brew Berlin adds a beer-in-bars platform to BCB. BCB was created by bar and beverage experts Jens Hasenbein, Bastian Heuser and Helmut Adam. Reed Exhibitions, a leading international trade fair organizer, came on board in 2015. The trade fair will take place at Station Berlin on October 6-7, 2015. About 10,000 trade visitors are expected to attend. For more information, please visit http://www.barcovent.com.