London Mezcal Week 2017!

A Celebration of Mezcal, Mexican Culture, Art & Food
11th – 17th September 2017
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Okay, so you *KNOW* this is gonna the best week for agavephiles, and a great excuse to get your friends who’re still scared of mezcal into the game.

Taking place from Monday 11th to Sunday 17th September across London, the first official London Mezcal Week will be a series of events in London that celebrate Mezcal, Mexican culture, art and food, ending with a two-day tasting festival and Mexico Independence Day celebration.

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Organised by two of London’s most exciting Mezcal enthusiasts, Thea Cumming and Melanie Symonds, the founders of Dangerous Don and Quiquiriqui Mezcals respectively, the series of events will be produced by Lucie Massey, who organises the sell-out pop-up series Slap Ya Papa. Together, the trio hope to provide a platform for all kinds of people to explore the culture of traditional Mezcal production, as well as taking a closer look at Mexican art, film and food.

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Throughout the week, a series of social events in venues across the city will champion the diverse creativity of Mexico as well as the magical story of the agave plant, from which Mezcal is made. From art exhibitions and panel discussions, to the creation of a Mexican mural, mezcal masterclasses and food pairings, each event will uncover
the fascinating world of Mezcal and its place in Mexican culture.

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The series of events are as follows:
Monday – A Mezcal Pairing Dinner with Edson Diaz-Fuentes, at his restaurant Santo Remedio

Tuesday – Mezcal sampler with Mezcal Master Jon Anders at Santo restaurant

Wednesday – Panel Discussion “The Future of Mezcal” and Blind Tasting at The Bloomsbury Club Bar
Wednesday – Coffee, Chocolate & Mezcal tasting at Wahaca, Charlotte Street

Thursday – Bartender’s Brunch at Café Pacifico
Thursday– El Grito! At Pop Brixton

Friday – Independence day party at Club Makossa

Saturday – Tasting Festival at Unit 5 Gallery & Yard
Sunday -Tasting Festival at Unit 5 Gallery & Yard

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The headline Mezcal festival, held over 2 days in Hackney, will feature the UK’s biggest ever Mezcal tasting, where ticket holders can taste over 50 mezcals from 30 brands and talk to many of the faces behind the brands.

Independent brands are given precedence at this festival, which will be focusing on traditionally made mezcals and the families behind them. A proportion of ticket sales will go towards charities working within the agave community. For those looking to make a day of it, there will also be an array of Mexican street food, a mezcal bar
serving cocktails, beers and more, and a programme of art, DJS and live music over the weekend event. Some of London’s best Mexican restaurants will be involved including Bad Sports, Santo Remedio and Temper.

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So what are you waiting for? Book those tickets and remember to leave the salt and lime at the door. This is a sipping zone.

https://www.londonmezcalweek.com

Number 90 Bar & Kitchen’s Bank Holiday Weekender

Heads up to the next Bank Holiday Weekend party on your list!

One of Hackney’s most popular canal-side venues, Number 90 Bar & Kitchen, is throwing an incredible four day long  bank holiday summer festival, taking place from 25th-28th August, complete with live art exhibitions & music, record  stalls, extraordinary performances, delicious food and drink offers, and much more.

Kicking off on Friday 25th August, the first day of festivities begins with a friends, family and press launch, featuring a  great range of entertainment to get the party started. Along with an art exhibition, which will include live painting, Rough Trade will be providing the ultimate Friday night soundtrack until early hours of the morning, giving a perfect taster of what’s to come in the following days.

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On the Saturday partygoers can firstly refuel with Number 90’s brand new weekend bottomless Prosecco brunch, which offers a selection of breakfast favourites from Eggs Benedict with Bacon, to Smashed Avocado on Sourdough with Chilli, alongside two hours of refreshing Prosecco refills. Once rejuvenated, music lovers can rejoice for hours of
entertainment; DJ Mohson Stars will provide the afternoon soundtrack, whilst the ‘House Clearance House Party’ will deliver a fun-filled disco house vibe whereby guests can take home the DJ’s vinyl collection as they play it.

Koncept Music will be situated outside with their eclectic record stall for guests to browse through, whilst the glitter station will be on hand to add the perfect Ibiza inspired sparkle for the evening of festivities. Number 90 favourites, Half Baked, will be bringing hot talent Raresh for a late night ticketed event from 11pm to 6am, providing an upbeat soundtrack of house and techno until the early hours.

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On the Sunday, guests are invited to relax on the sun-drenched terrace and replenish with one of Number 90’s mouthwatering roast dinners, offering everything from slow roasted aged Derbyshire topside beef for meat lovers, to homemade beetroot, mushroom and spinach wellington for veggies. Sunday is also National Burger Day and it won’t go a miss at Number 90, with an exclusive burger to be served on the day, alongside an array of additional options including fresh and flavoursome vegan salads.

Sunday evening festivities will kick off with live music from the likes of The Knox and Callum Chynoweth, with Phonica Records taking the late night reins until the early hours of the morning, and free entry until 4am. True to any great party, there will be a giant treat-filled piñata competition for guests to compete in, and even unicorn disguised
entertainers playing interactive games with revellers. Throughout the weekend cocktail lovers can indulge in a range of refreshing concoctions, which have all been given a Number 90 twist, such as the ‘Garden Spritz’, which comprises a summery mix of strawberry, cucumber, Boxer gin, soda and Prosecco.

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With the celebrations winding down on the Monday, Number 90 will be offering 2 for 1 on Bloody Marys for all those in need of a ‘hair of the dog’ refreshment, and Jamie King and Folkies will provide relaxing background music for a lazy day of recuperation.

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Number 90 Bar & Kitchen prides itself on being a key figure in the Hackney Wick community, throwing some of the best parties in East London and continuously working alongside its neighbours to implement the all-inclusive ethos that it’s celebrated for. This summer festival will invite brand affiliates, friends and locals to come together and enjoy this four daylong summertime weekender, in a venue that is renowned for its fun-loving nature.

 

Number 90 Bar & Kitchen’s Bank Holiday Weekender
Friday 25th August – Monday 28th August
Friday: 7pm-1am, Saturday: midday-6am, Sunday: midday-4am, Monday: midday – 11.30pm

90 Main Yard, Wallis Road
HACKNEY WICK
E9 5LN London

http://number90bar.co.uk/bookings/

London Espresso Martini Fest 2017!

“Celebrating London’s late-night coffee culture with one of the world’s most iconic cocktails

Gods of boozy coffee, Mr Black, are launching London’s first festival expressly dedicated to the espresso martini. Mr Black’s Espresso Martini Festival will run from 10-12 August celebrating the capital’s most famous cocktail export and including some of the most prestigious cocktail bars.

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Working hand in hand with DrinkUp.London, the company behind the award-winning London Cocktail Week, the three-day festival will see 50 top cocktail bars across the city pouring £5 variations on this celebrity of the drinks world. Alongside the eponymous serve, each bar will also be rustling up a unique coffee-based cocktail that makes use of Mr Black coffee liqueur – ensuring that visitors will be spoilt for choice wherever they choose to go.

The apocryphal story of the espresso martini is almost as famous as the drink itself. Legendary barman Dick Bradsell invented the drink whilst working at Brasserie Soho in the 1980s, responding to a request from a patron for a drink to “wake me up and then fuck me up”. Dick Bradsell sadly passed away in February 2016, but his influence on the London drinks scene will endure for decades to come.

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Made from Australian grain spirit and beans from Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia and Brazil, Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur has become indispensable to the bartender’s back bar.

The Hoodooist himself is often averse to coffee liqueurs for the tendency toward a rank sweetness and acidity, but Mr. Black is one of those rare liqueurs that hits the mark just right – making it perfect for an Espresso Martini.

The nose is an immediate of coffee and vanilla – raw and powerful. The palate rich with coffee and caramel, but balanced by dark cacao. A finish to coffee and hints of demerara linger.

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Expect to see some of London’s best bar’s participating:
Demon, Wise and Partners will be serving up a Black Gold, starring Mr Black Coffee liqueur, El Dorado 12 yr old rum, fresh espresso coffee, house spiced syrup and garnished with dehydrated orange and chocolate chips – No doubt served short and strong, as is their signature style.

Whereas the gorgeous 46 & Mercy will have The Bradsell Manifesto, Mr Black Coffee liqueur, Olmeca Tequila, Jägermeister Manifest, mezcal and fresh espresso coffee.

On the other hand, whisky den, Bull In A China Shop will be serving a double whammy of the Eastpresso – Mr Black Coffee liqueur, fresh espresso coffee, Nikka from the barrel Japanese whisky, matcha tea syrup and yuzu bitters; and Chilpresso – Mr Black Coffee liqueur, fresh espresso coffee, El Dorado 8 yr old rum, chilli liqueur, agave syrup and wood essence bitters.

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“Coffee is one of those things that runs deep with people – like sex and religion – so we use our festival as an opportunity to bring people together and indulge a little. We had huge success with the inaugural festival down in Melbourne last year, with tickets for the Friday night session selling out in 60 seconds – so we thought we’d give it a spin here in London.”

Attendees will need to purchase a £10 Festival Pass via DrinkUp.London and download the free app to search for bars taking part.

Once signed up, simply flash your festival pass at each participating bar to enjoy outstanding cocktails at any time over the three days for just £5. Festival Passes for Mr Black Espresso Martini Fest go on sale from Monday, 3rd July via DrinkUp.London and are limited for the first year, so Espresso Martini lovers will need to act fast to snap up one of the hottest tickets around.”

WHAT: Mr Black Espresso Martini Fest

WHEN: Thursday 10 – Saturday 12 August 2017

TICKETS: £10

APP: Search for DrinkUp.London on the App Store or get it on Google Play

MORE INFO: www.drinkup.london

@MrBlackSpirits #espressomartinifest

 

Rebel Yell’s Band of Rebels – Monday 17 July

Monday 17 July had Rebel Yell bourbon Band of Rebels launch serving Summer cocktails and sizzling sounds until late at Lockside Tavern and its outdoor terrace, Camden NW1.

The venue is now the home of Rebel Yell bourbon all Summer long. Just don’t expect a quiet one.

Following the packed out first night of the series in May, Rebel Yell will stage this second event at Lockside Tavern, hosting cocktails and a line-up of entertainments curated with GRM Daily. The Band of Rebels series explores music scenes and its sub-cultures across the UK that are pushing boundaries and challenging the norm. It features a mix of artists that are pioneering sounds from across the globe and fusing them into modern electronic music to create heady, innovative sounds for dancing and drinking.

Rebel Yell was one of the first wheated bourbon recipes created in 1849 (one of the few in the market). It was produced by the W.L. Weller family, the first distillers to produce Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey using wheat instead of rye in the mash. When Stitzel Weller created the Rebel Yell recipe, he broke the standard rules of making bourbon at that time.

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Rebel Yell Bourbon, I was pleasantly surprised! A smooth, rounded whiskey, the nose is honeyed and woody. On the sip, the vanilla really pulls through, with hints of citrus, sultanas, and winter fruits. A long apple finish tops off the spirit that would inspire the song.

As cocktails, a fab bargain at 6 quid:

A Boulevardier of RY Bourbon, Campari and Punt e Mes Vermouth produces a quickly made, but well-balanced dry cocktail. The sweetness of the bourbon alongside the bitters complement each other beautifully.

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The Smoking Gun was meant to mix RY Rye, Manzanilla Sherry, Grand Marnier, Angostura Bitters and orange oils. However, the Rye, sadly, does not work so well in this cocktail. Switching it out for a bourbon though, gives the drinker of drier tastes a version of a Sidecar they always wanted. Orange citrus, with the nectarine of the RY Bourbon, and the dry sherry work wonders – strong and potent wonders though they are.

The Peach and Thyme Smash, however, feels off-kilter. RY Bourbon, thyme syrup, lemon juice, muddled peach form something extraordinarily sour and all over the shop. Although with the prior two wonderful cocktails, this is easily ignored.

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Topped off with a post-burger Pickleback of RY Bourbon and pickle brine, a fab night with great cocktails.

The Band of Rebels night will return to Lockside Camden soon, and a 6 pound cocktail of that quality is worth gunning for. Good job on Rebel Yell for producing a beautiful bourbon and ace cocktails!

75-89 Upper Walkway, Camden Lock Place, London · NW1 8AF

 

Irish Gin & Tonic Fest 2017


The best of Irish Gin and Tonic comes to London!

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On 1st July Great Irish Beverages and A Drop Of Irish are hosting the closing party for this year’s Irish Gin & Tonic Fest 2017 in London.

The Irish Gin & Tonic Fest is an all Irish summertime celebration of the best gins produced in Ireland. Hundreds of bars and restaurants from across the Republic and Northern Ireland celebrate the best that Ireland has to offer the G&T between 25th June and 1st July. The organisers, Great Irish Beverages, decided that this year they’d bring some of their good cheer and lovely spirits over to London and close the festival in style!

The party will be hosted at Bootyard, home to 40FT Brewery and Cold & Blac coffee liqueur, the guys that brought you the best Paddys Day party in town earlier this year! Doors to the party open on July 1st from midday to 10pm.

Wristbands are available to buy online through DesignMyNight for £10, or on the door for £15. This will give guests access to samples of all of the gins being showcased, along with one complimentary All Irish G&T, served with Poacher’s tonic water. Delicious 40FT beer will also be available from the Tap Room.

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Gins representing every province in Ireland will be in attendance, along with a chance to meet the people behind the brands to find more about their story and how they’re made:

  • From Ulster, the lovely Boatyard Gin. Wild bog myrtle from the family farm in Fermanagh helps to characterise Boatyard Distillery’s gorgeous organic grain gin. It has been nicknamed a “double gin” for the two distillations they implement for each bottling.
  • From Leinster, the delectable Bonac 24. The initial inspiration for this Wicklow gin actually came from time spent working in the Hamptons in NY, also known to the locals there as Bonac. Apparently, it took the Clifford family 24 times to get their gin formula right, hence the name Bonac 24.
  • From Munster, the delicious Dingle Gin. Straight outta county Kerry, with a rich spirit that is beautifully infused with eastern European spices and local flowers. Brought to you by the same folk as The Porterhouse Brewery.
  • From Connaught, the outstanding Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin. Made in the only distillery in Leitrim, it is named after the famous Chinese green tea, it also features Irish ingredients such as dried meadowsweet which makes it a rather global spirit.

A dedicated G&T bar will be serving up Gin and Tonics throughout the day, pairing the Irish gins on show with Poacher’s Tonic, a craft Irish brand currently making waves in the tonic market. Ireland’s only producer of premium, low sugar, natural mixers, Poacher’s citrus tonic water features Florida orange and Irish rosemary, while their classic tonic water is more quinine forward with just a tiny sprinkling of Irish thyme.

Renowned Irish Chef Simon Lamont, will be cooking up some of the finest BBQ to line attendees stomachs too. Host of TV show The Lazy Chef, which saw him take to the road to highlight some of Ireland’s best kept culinary secrets, Simon now splits his time between Ireland and London, cheffing and running creative pop-ups.

So come along to the 40FT Brewery in Dalston and join us for a one night only extravaganza of Irish gins and Irish tonics! Or as we like to call it #LondonIrishGnT.

 

Ardbeg Day 2017 – Under the Sea

It’s that time of year again!

3rd June rolls around marking Ardbeg Day! Last year we got our hands on the Ardbeg Dark Cove, and this year we get a look at the new Ardbeg Kelpie!

Perched on the southern coast of Islay, the Ardbeg Distillery has forever held a deep connection to the sea. The depths around Ardbeg are full of legends of mysterious creatures that inhabit the skerries (small rocky islands) and kelp seaweed forests off our shore.

Ardbeg Kelpie is named for the legends of the sea around Ardbeg. The whisky’s powerful aromas of oily peat, salty seaweed and tarry rope have been produced by virgin oak casks from the Black Sea, intermingled with the hallmark Ardbeg flavour profile. Waves of spicy black pepper give way to a delectable tide of bacon and dark chocolate for a deep, enticing dram.

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On Saturday 3rd June 2017, celebrate Ardbeg Day 2017 and the mysterious creature that will be joining us this year – Ardbeg Kelpie!

Come and experience the spirit of Islay as you have never experienced it before, and go deep under the sea to bring those legends to life.

This year, you will be able to get on the water in a chance to catch your own Kelpie. Join our Ardbegian Boat Regatta on the River Thames and have the experience of decorating your own ship and race against other Kelpie hunters. An adventure open to all … will you dare and try to catch your own Kelpie at sea?

For those not wanting to test their sea legs, Ardbeg games will be open to all and great prizes will be up for grabs (but who will manage to catch them with their lobster claws?!); a pub quiz will test who is the biggest Ardbeg fan, food, and cocktails from all smoky natures and of course, you will have the chance to taste the celebrated Kelpie for the very first time. You will not be disappointed!

Boat Activity Guests: Time: 14:00
Land based Kelpie Catchers: Time: 14:30
Date: Saturday 3rd June
Location: Greenwich Yacht Club, 1 Peartree Way, Greenwich, London SE10 0BW, UK

Tickets are 40 GBP and can be purchased at:
http://www.moethennessy-selection.co.uk/en-GB/ardbegday2017-tickets/

World Whisk(e)y Day 2017

Is there much else better than whisk(e)y?
Probably not.

The third Saturday of May marks World Whisk(e)y Day! Whether you like yours neat, on the rocks, or muddled into a julep; on an armchair or at a bar – WWD is a day to make the best of a beautiful spirit.

So here is a run down of what to do WWD 2017!

The Sun Tavern, Bethnal Green

The Sun Tavern are more than partial to a drop themselves, they thought they’d do something a bit special this Saturday 20th.

Throughout the day they’re hosting three free Poitín masterclasses, normally priced at £25 per person. Guests will try four different Poitíns and a Poitín cocktail while learning the history of the homemade whiskey-turned legal spirit.

These classes are to run on a first come first serve basis on the day, however bookings will be taken to reserve a spot in advance. Classes will take place at 1pm, 3pm & 5pm.

They’re also launching their new Whiskey Menu on the day. Having won Imbibe’s Whiskey List Of The Year for 2016/17, they’ve certainly got something to live up to.

They’ll be introducing three whiskies from their private collection too. These are whiskies that are extremely rare and not normally available to customers. They will be offered on their menu at a cost price in order to give everyone a chance to enjoy something extremely special.

  • ‘Dungourney 1964 Pure Pot Still Special Reserve’ – in auction originally at over £800 and available to customers at only £30 per measure. Only 1200 of these bottles were released and are seldom seen any more.
  • ‘Knappogue Castle 1951’ – in auction originally at £550 for the bottle and available to customers at £20 per measure, 36 years old when bottled. Was some of the last stock from the old Tullamore Dew Distillery. A true taste of history.
  • ‘Bushmills 1975 Millenium’ – in auction originally at £200 for the bottle and available to customers at only £10 per measure. 24 years old when bottled for the millennium. These were sold privately to investors, so it’s really rare to see a bottle on the market.

Other interesting new additions are The Boutique-y Whisky Company Single Malt, Connemara Single Malt, and the pretty exclusive Cill Áirne PX.

Merchant’s House, City

This Friday the 19th, the whisk(e)y celebrators at Merchant House of Fleet Street are going all out with 50% off all whisk(e)y drinks and cocktails!

Take a seat and enjoy the fabulous whisk(e)y cocktails the MH is renowned for and soak in the comfy atmosphere of the venue – hidden away from the rush and bustle of the busy City.

 

MASH Soho London Cocktail Bar

The Binchotan at MASH Steak

MASH Steak, Soho

Bourbon lovers rejoice, everyone knows the Hoodooist enjoys popping by MASH Steak for a drink.

To celebrate World Whiskey Day, MASH have partnered with Buffalo Trace to launch a special menu showcasing some of their favourite whiskeys. From 20th – 31st May, join MASH for a classic Mint Julep, a New York Sour, or a flight of the Bartenders’ Favourites: 1792 Ridgemont, Eagle Rare 10 (YES), and Buffalo Trace.

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Brick and Liquor, Tooting

Down in Tooting, cute & cosy cocktail establishment Brick & Liquor are celebrating World Whiskey Day by launching the second edition of their much lauded cocktail menu, starring the Southside Flip, a revived Jerry Thomas classic from 1862, featuring Chivas Regal 12 year old whiskey, apricot brandy and lemon juice; served smooth with a whole shaken egg; and the Amaro No.2, the perfect gentleman’s tipple, featuring Buffalo Trace bourbon, Disaronno & a delicious Italian Amaro liqueur.

Amaro is an often unloved and often neglected Italian gem; with a taste that is both graceful and robust making it the perfect companion for the whiskey and amaretto. Served gently stirred.

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Maybe you’d rather spend the evening relaxing at home?

Fetch yourself your nearest Glencairn whisk(e)y glass and pour yourself a dram. These gorgeous glasses provide a wide crystal bowl to appreciate your drop’s colour, a shape to inspect the body of your whisk(e)y, and a tapered mouth to focus the aroma to the nose.

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Some iconic whisk(e)ys to try this season would be a classic smoky Ardbeg for this late Spring rain.

The Uigeadail capture’s Ardbeg’s traditional silkiness, its deep, smoky notes with luscious, raisin tones of old ex-Sherry casks

The recently released limited edition Kelpie brings powerful aromas of oily peat, salty seaweed and tarry rope have been produced by virgin oak casks from the Black Sea, intermingled with the hallmark Ardbeg flavour profile. Waves of spicy black pepper give way to a delectable tide of bacon and dark chocolate. Incredibly deep.

Ardbeg Kelpie Box and Bottle

Another good option would be Glenmorangie’s Private Edition Bacalta 2017: the sweet and honeyed nose opens to a palate ripe with mint toffee, caramelised oranges and dates, ending with a mentholic length of creamy fudge and sweet citrus.

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And if you want something from across the Atlantic, why not try Texas’ first whiskey! Made from blue corn, the Balcones Baby Blue is rich and thick with baked apple and caramel, buttery with baked spices.

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Other whiskey choices from the emerald isle can be found at our trip to the Irish Embassy with a wealth of Irish whiskeys to taste!

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Or, maybe, you want something less intense for the weekend, maybe a drink for when the sun is out?

Whisk(e)y and ginger ale/beer is certainly experiencing a bit of a renaissance, and people are out to capitalise.

Merchant’s Heart introduces its ‘Spirit Enhancers’, well made and beautifully bottled mixers for a simpler retreat. The MHSE Ginger Ale provides a fresh ginger note is found throughout with a lingering heat on the finish. Excellent with aged spirits, particularly bourbon and whisky.

Light and airy, a bit of the ginger ale with Woodford Reserve and a drop of bitters is enough to pep you up on a hot day. These go down easy on the patio as you watch the world go by.

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The Ginger Beer by Umbrella Brewing is, for lack of a better word, gorgeous. At a surprising 5%, UBGB takes no prisoners.

The team behind it explain, “We wanted to create a drink that was very natural, so our Ginger Beer contains only a few ingredients: fresh pressed ginger; hand squeezed lemon, cane sugar, malted barley, yeast and water.  Natural ingredients create natural sediment in every bottle. We remove all the yeast using an incredibly fine filter, so the sediment in our bottle is entirely made up of pressed ginger root.  That’s why we ask you to turn the bottle over before serving – to “wake up the ginger”.

What you get is the powerful flavour of raw ginger and candied lemons, thick with molasses and hint of malt. A length of fiery and spicy ginger follows.

A bit of Suntory classic with UBGB, a slice of citrus and honey and you’re sorted.

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While you sip on your drinks, make sure to grab something to read!

Iconic Whisky by Cyrille Mald and Alexandre Vingtier brings together 1000 whiskies into one impressive text. Each whisk(e)y is accompanied by flavour notes and an aroma wheel, followed by a map marking the origins and terroir, not to mention a 3D illustration of whisk(e)y production!

Spirit of Place by Charles MacLean takes us on a visual tour of 50 distilleries in Scotland, with photographs by Lara Platman and Alan MacDonald, documenting the ‘cultural terroir’ of the distilleries these historic and classic whiskies originate from.

 

Sadly, World Whisk(e)y Day lasts only a day – but who follows thew rules anyway. June is London Food Month, and there is a *lot* of whisk(e)y nights to enjoy!

Whisky Ambassador Colin Dunn guides a tour of taste and flavour, pairing whiskies with amazing delicacies from Borough Market. The Whisky Exchange has selected six treaty whiskies and matched them with great artisanal produce. The evening will begin with a cocktail featuring the brand new Ro and Co Irish Whiskey, before sampling the six pairings. Patrons will be served Oysters, artisan cheese, and cured meat with a selection of fantastic whiskeys, including Talisker, Lagavulin, 25-year-old Mannochmore, and much more.
When: Monday, June 12
Cost: £40
For one night only guests will be able to experience an exclusive Talisker whisky masterclass hosted by World Class Brand Ambassador. Guests will be guided through a flight of five Talisker whiskies paired alongside delicious delicacies from Black Rock.
When: Thursday, June 15
Cost: N/A
A luxury tasting featuring six different Johnnie Walker whiskies including the luxurious Blue Label. Hosted by the legendary Diageo brand ambassador Colin Dunn.
When: Thursday, June 15
Cost: £40
Tonkotsu Mare Street hosts a tasting of a selection of rare Japanes whiskies, including Hakushu Bourbon Barrel, Yamazaki Puncheon and 15 year old Miyagiko. Whisky expert David Wrigley will guide the event, pairing his favourite whiskies with delicious delicious from Tonkotsu’s kitchen.
When: Tuesday, June 20
Cost: £40
Manicomio Chelsea serves a Talisker Whisky-based cocktail throughout June as part of London Food Month, made with fresh sage, apple, and a touch of coconut rum. This delicious cocktail can be enjoyed in the bar on on the terrace.
When: Throughout June

And if you are up in Edinburgh, on 20th May from 1:00am – 2:00am whisky lovers are encouraged to stay out late (or get up early!) and join esteemed whisky writer and founder of World Whisky Day, Blair Bowman; Alex Bruce, whisky maker and Managing Director of Ardnamurchan Distillery and Chris Hoban, whisky blogger and brand ambassador for R&B Distillers as they extol the virtues of Scotland’s National drink. 

Savour a dram of Harry’s, a dram of Raasay While You Wait and a taste of the much sought after Glover 4th alongside a delicious cheese and meat board, while basking in the knowledge of our 3 whisky experts – what better way to kick off World Whisky Day!
And that’s all for this World Whisk(e)y Day 2017, folks! There is no right way to drink it except the way you love it.

 

Appleton Estate Joy Tasting @ Joyeux Bordel

Appleton Estate, the world’s leading Jamaican premium aged rum, releases Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend, a limited edition rum celebrating Joy Spence’s 20th anniversary as Master Blender. In fact, Joy Spence was the world’s first female Master Blender, paving the way for more women Master Blenders across the globe.

 

Appleton Estate Master Blender Joy Spence

Appleton Estate Master Blender Joy Spence

Wielding a Masters in Analytical Chemistry, Spence creates the Appleton Joy to appeal to rum, whiskey and cognac drinkers alike.

To quote Joy, the Italian glass is shaped to evoke “the hips of a Jamaican woman”, the purple box to note regality and heritage, the logo on the bottle to celebrate its Jamaican origin.

Highball Hoodoo Appleton Estate Rum Joy Launch Review

“For my anniversary blend, I simply set out to create the rum that I’d like to sip while watching the colours of my garden change in the warm glow of the Jamaican sunset,” said Joy Spence. “It includes two rum marques which are of particular sentimental significance to me: The first of these marques was laid down to age in 1981, which is the year I joined the Appleton Estate team, and the second is my favourite marque of pot still rum. The final blend is a wonderful rum that I hope will be become a cornerstone of my legacy.”

The Joy is a blend of rums whose ages range from a 25 year old pot still and other pot and column stills, up to a spectacular 35 year – creating a beautiful copper spirit.

Highball Hoodoo Appleton Estate Rum Joy Launch Review

The rum opens with Appleton’s characteristic orange, and a powerful hit of ginger. The ginger then dances and effervesces on the sides of the tongue to slowly open up to coffee and cocoa, almond and oak, and lingering vanilla. The finale is a long length of deep, lightly burnt brown sugar.

Highball Hoodoo Appleton Estate Joy Rum Launch Review

The limited edition Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend is available online – order now before the prices shoot up!

Highball Hoodoo Appleton Estate Rum Joy Launch Review

Cocktails in the City 2017 Summer Edition

Once again, Cocktails in the City is coming into serve thirsty Londoners some of the best cocktails in the city!

Oh wait, I just got the name.

Yes, CitC 2017’s Summer Edition is a bringing  London’s most exciting bars beneath the green canopies of London’s Bedford Square Gardens for a sunny two-day
celebration of the city’s unique and diverse drinking scene.  Festival-goers will get a chance to enjoy bars from around the city coming together in one gorgeous location on July 28th-29th.

Bars and a representing brand set up stalls where bartenders presented the brand in a cocktail of their devising to the public for judging, with scores gathered at the end of the weekend.

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“Mixing together interactive and diverse drinking experiences, Cocktails in the City takes guests on a whirlwind tour of cocktail exploration. Sip on signature serves and taste-test exceptional concoctions from a handpicked selection of bars from all over the world,” including the award winning Nightjar, new openings such as Blind Spot, concealed drinking dens London Cocktail Club and Reverend JW Simpson, and the retro sexiness of Fontaine’s.

“A whirlwind tour of cocktail exploration, expect to sample incredible cocktails from London’s top bars, taste unusual and rare ingredients, shake up a storm with the world’s finest bartenders in interactive masterclasses and watch talented mixologists put their personal twists on new summer creations in this immersive weekend-long cocktail party.

Some of the London’s best street-food concepts are on board to provide tasty sustenance and a roster of live music and DJs will provide a festive backdrop. Soak up the atmosphere and enjoy the very best in drink entertainment in the beautiful green surroundings of Bedford Square Gardens.

Cocktails in the City takes guests on a sensory tour through London’s drinks scene in one night, without having to take more than a few steps. No tubes, taxis or buses!”

 

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Keep an eye out for long, refreshing drinks, fruit flavours, and the return of fizz!

Some favourites from years past include:

The Looking Glass Cocktail Club, Shoreditch – harking back to Maker’s Mark’s history as breadmakers, this cocktail is inspired by Italy’s sweet panettone bread loaf and it’s potent almond flavour.

The Maker’s Baker cocktail mixes Maker’s Mark whiskey, cider reduction with winter spice, Americano vermouth, ‘Liquid Panettone’, and Sinner Bitters. A sweet wintery Manhattan with heavy mix of cinnamon, nutmeg and spices, with lingering almond certainly took centre stage with it’s innovative homemade creations of ‘liquid panettone’ and spiced cider reduction.

Other cocktails presented by LGCC included the Honey Loaf, and Fig Muffin – each an excellent rendition on the baker/distiller theme.

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Fifteen, Old Street, came in with another winner! Inspired by Wimbledon’s classic, the Strawberries and Cream.

Inspired by Behn’s Milk Punch, this summery cocktail gets a 300 year update and is a massive mix of Langley’s gin, strawberries, whole milk, Dolin dry vermouth, coconut water, green tea, lemon juice and peels, sugar, pink peppercorns, tarragon and coriander seeds.

And what a fabulous mix it is!

A wonderful well balanced, silky cocktail, sweet without being overbearing and mellowed by the fruit and spices. Absolutely fantastic.

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Another great cocktails from CITC’s past is the the Reverend JW Simpson with their Larder Batch: Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon, Pinot Noir and pink peppercorn reduction, cardamom bitters and angostura bitters; with a steak accompaniment. In terms of presentation, it stuck with the theme of the bar and the Four Roses bourbon, and the service was conversational, fun, and effervescent like the event itself. The accompaniment suited both the intense aspects of the drink, the bourbon, and Pinot Noir/pink peppercorn reduction – here the Reverend presents us with a steak dinner in a cocktail format and a nibble; the natural spiciness of the Four Roses Small Batch, and that of the peppercorn and cardamom suits the steak perfectly. The Reverend excelled on all fronts and more.

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So if you love your cocktails, get yourself a ticket asap, and see you at Cocktails ion the City 2017!

Bedford Square Gardens, London, WC1B

Tickets are £15 and include one cocktail, multiple complimentary experiences and cocktail booklet.

Friday 28th from 4pm – 9.30pm
Saturday 29th (two sessions) 12pm – 4pm, 5pm – 9.30pm

http://www.cocktailsinthecity.com

 

The Spirit of Sharing 2017, @ The Embassy of Ireland

Some of you might be gearing up for the craziness of this year’s St. Paddy’s Day (cough Sun Tavern), but whether or not you’re still wearing (feeling) green (or still pretending to be Irish), this year’s explosion of Irish whiskeys and poitins onto the London cocktail scene is making some of the Scots lowkey panic.

As for the English whisky distilleries..Well. Um.

Anyway.

We now enter the ballroom of the Irish Embassy, South Ken, where the Bord Bia Irish food board and brought in some of the biggest, and growing, names in Irish spirits to taste, in the company of fab bartenders from Loves Company and LCC!

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Let’s have a stroll and look at some of the outstanding spirits we have on show today!

Before the whiskey classics, let’s get on to whiskey’s ancient ancestor and fairly recent and exciting on the London scene – the potent Poitin has been released after its four century long ban from 1997.

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The Glendalough Sherry Cask Poitin – Picture courtesy of: http://www.glendaloughdistillery.com

Stored in virgin Irish Oak, the Glendalough Poitin range provides variety.

The standard Glendalough Poitin comes with a similar bread palate, with pepper and oak, with a subtle creaminess. The (wonderful!) Sherry Cask Finished Poitin has a beautiful nose of orange and spicy sweetness, a toasty palate of fruit and spice, and long sherry finish. Finally, the Mountain Strength is bold with barley, fruit and oak. Spectacular stuff.

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On the note of strong drops, St. Patrick’s Distillery Moonshine will put a bit of pep in your step.
How about something a little different? We’re seeing a lot of gin from Ireland, and one of the more intriguing ones is Drumshanbo Gunpowder Gin: A bright citrus of lime and lemon before giving way to deeper spices and the characteristic gunpowder tea. Great if you like your gins spicy without getting too Opihr-esque.

 

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The blurry Teeling Trio

Of course Teeling is here!

We know the Single Malt: Light, peppery, cinnamon – peppered with floral notes. The Single Grain is more adventurous: Be ready for cereal flavours with spice and treacle, custard plays around here too. A spry spirit, that. Finally, the gorgeous Small Batch: rich with floral notes, spiced with cinnamon and other herbs, a creamy creme brulee at the end. Wonderful and flamboyant.

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On whiskeys, got to give a second to Hyde’s 1922 Rum Finish Single Malt – the rum cask gives this whiskey a twist with tropical fruit, and stronger vanilla notes.

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The Dublin Liberties Oak Devil – Picture courtesy of: http://www.marblehead.uk.com/

They say an oak-carved devil stood over the gates of a place nicknamed Hell in the Liberties of Dublin. They also say that oak was soon used for whiskey barrels – explaining the name of The Dublin Liberties‘s whiskey: Oak Devil. Expect a lot of caramel, spice and pepper, followed by warm winter notes of Christmas. Love this little tipple.

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Let’s end the night with Harry Gerakis’ gorgeous customised cocktail! A mix of Dubliner whiskey, Angostura Orange bitters, ginger syrup and chilli tincture: a sweet, deep, spicy and rich concoction made the perfect nightcap.

Get yourselves ready for St. Patrick’s day!