Must Try Spirits of Summer 2017

Summer’s here and it is time to go over some notable releases for that cabinet!

Great to show off, some of these drops can be used wonderfully in simple cocktails, or best enjoyed neat after food. Let’s have a quick look:

Gins

What beats a G and T in the summer sun?

Two recent gins to be tried are certainly unique: the Scottish Isle of Harris, and the Japanese Ki No Bi!

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The Isle of Harris gin from Scotland is infused with sugar kelp, giving the gin a sweet but slightly briny finish. The nose is dry, juniper and florals are surrounded by citrus and pine. The palate has more of the pine and juniper, with sweet citrus and coriander. A light minerality is refreshing. The finish brings out the brine of the kelp after the vanilla and black pepper.

Great in a Martini, and only needs a small splash of tonic for a G and T.

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The Ki No Bi is smooth and well balanced. This Japanese gin has a nose of aromatic sansho and a powerful note of yuzu. The palate is silky, with the notable yuzu, sansho, bamboo and tea, the earthy notes followed by a hit of ginger root for a refreshing, fast finish.

Love this in a dry Martini for something subtle and balanced.

Whisky

oznor

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.

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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.

This is notably far less smoky and peaty than the other Ardbegs, and instead revels in its chocolate sweetness, silky texture, and late afternoon soul.

Rum

Highball Hoodoo Appleton Estate Rum Joy Launch Review
Appleton Estate, the world’s leading Jamaican premium aged rum, releases Appleton Estate Joy Anniversary Blend, a limited edition rum celebrating Joy Spence’s 20thanniversary 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.

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.

Appleton Estate Master Blender Joy Spence

Appleton Estate Master Blender Joy Spence

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.

A perfect late night digestif.

Mezcal

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Del Maguey Papalote de Puebla is a recent release from the Puebla valley.

The agave spirit is wonderfully delicate – creamy, smooth. Beginning with traditonal agave, powerful florals like lilac mask a bedrock of tropical fruit, a finish that is delightfully mineral with light hints of vanilla.

This a mezcal you want to enjoy neat in the sunshine.

 

That’s all for today, hope you enjoy these spirits as much as I have!

The Aperol Spritz Terrazza @Bird of Smithfield, Clerkenwell

Aperol Spritz Terrazza Summer Cocktails Bird of Smithfield Clerkenwell London

Isn’t it about time we got some summer?!

With the sudden blessed heat, Bird of Smithfield welcomes you to their summer pop up: The Aperol Spritz Terrazza!

Working with the Italian bitter aperitivo, the Terrazza serves up the perfect summer drink of the season: The Aperol Spritz.

So simple you could make it blindfolded, the three simple steps of 2 measures Aperol, three parts prosecco, and dash of soda over ice.

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A bright, refreshing cocktail with a hint of tartness and slight bitterness for intrigue, there really isn’t a better way to welcome the weather turning.

The gorgeous orange terrace boasts a bar hosted by the wonderful Stan of Bird of Smithfield, all round seating under jasmine and oranges, perfect for a summer evening as you celebrate aperitivo hour from 5-7PM with provided small plates.

The terrace will also be hosting a variety of events through the weeks, the Aperol Spritz Socials give you and opportunity to create your own wall art with Print Club London, your own radio show with Soho Radio, and help yourselves to a supperclub with Forza Win!

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Course, if you’d rather go back indoors, take advantage of the GIF photobooth to share (#ItStartsNow!) your summertime Aperol Spritz moments!

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Running 6 days a week till the 31st of August, the Aperol Spritz Terrazza of Bird of Smithfield provides excellent drinks, events and a wonderful space to celebrate the summer that’s finally here
#ItStartsNow!

Aperol Spritz Terrazza Summer Cocktails Bird of Smithfield Clerkenwell London

The Aperol Spritz Terrazza 

Bird of Smithfield, Clerkenwell
26 Smithfield St, London EC1A 9LB

http://www.aperolspritzsocials.com/

Ice Dream Drams @ The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, Clerkenwell

SUMMER.

If the heatwave on the Central Line hasn’t cost you your faith in intelligent design, a short walk from Chancery Lane brings you to the out-of-the-way doorstep of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society.

And what better way to deal with the summer but with ice cream?

Or better yet, whisky ice creams!

Paired with more whisky.

….

Whisky.

Can you tell I’m enjoying this

Whisky Ice Cream Summer SMWS

The usually Member’s Only venue will be open to the public to sample 4 of the Ice Dream Drams and pairings during 4 Scoop Sessions on the 1st, 8th, 16th and 22nd of July 2015 at 15 quid a person!

SMWS buys casks of whisky that they place under a numbering system to keep the customers blind to distillery preferences, and for Ice Dream Drams, the whiskies are paired with ice creams by S. Luca, made with the same whiskies, as well as flavoured to either complement or contrast the dram.

Whisky Ice Cream Summer SMWS

The 64.61 ‘The Angel and the Devil’, alongside the Snowball Seduction icecream

At our Scoop Session, we began with the Cask No. 64.61, titled ‘The Angel and the Devil’. The nose is bold with coconut and vanilla, the first sip being powerfully oaky and intense on the vanilla. Hints of stewed fruits, autumnal with brown sugar and nutmeg, butterscotch – but contrasted by brighter flavours of citrus and light herbs.

A young ex-bourbon barrel, paired with a Snowball Seduction ice cream – vanilla and coconut, with 64.61 whisky. Complementing the flavours of the young whisky, it also happens to be the most subtle of the ice creams of the evening.

Whisky Ice Cream Summer SMWS
The second whisky, the 41.65 is called ‘Sweet Couscous and Argan Oil’ – a beautiful dry, spice whisky, 30 years old in an ex-bourbon hogshead cask – the Hoodooist fell in love with this one, and enjoyed it neat (and is very similar to a mezcal by Bruxo!). The nose is complex, on one hand, somewhat reminiscent of polish, on the other, the sweet fragrance surrounding beehives. The palate is powerfully spicy, and are much deeper than first expected: powerfully Moroccan with raisins, Argan oil, as well as roasted figs in honey, intense cloves, star anise. Beautiful. Paired with the Ginger Rasta ice cream with its ginger bite and chunks of ginger cake.

Whisky Ice Cream Summer SMWS

The third whisky, 117.5, is utterly beautiful, coming in from Ireland, it’s described as ‘Smouldering, Brooding and Alluring’. 22 years in an ex-sherry hogshead cask, the drier, deeper flavours of the sherry cask are notably passed into the whisky.

For the Hoodooist, the nose was powerfully warm, cocoa, cinnamon, manuka honey, sandalwood, like smouldering woods and incense, like settling into a four-poster bed. Can you tell I love this nose? Alongside sweeter flavours of toffee and vanilla, treacle and Kirsch, some lighter herbs flowered alongside the spices.

A beautiful, dry whisky. Served with the Cherry Popper, a rich fruit ice cream with cherry and dark chocolate. An absolutely wonderful pairing. Probably my favourite of the evening.

Whisky Ice Cream Summer SMWS

The heavily peated 53.223, ‘Angels & Demons’

Finally, ending with the 53.223, the ‘Angels & Demons’, 23 years, ex-bourbon barrel. You smell this one coming from a mile away. It screams Islay, a nose powerfully tarry, smoky, medicinal and iodine, with final traces of aniseed. The palate was a fascinating mix of honey and tropical fruit, as well as powerfully peated smoke and white pepper, with that similar medicinal flavour. If drunk through water, the whisky presents strong dried fruit notes, particularly apricot, and bit of honey.

Served alongside the Smoky Lavender Kiss ice cream, the lavender and Parma violets sheds the more medicinal flavours to contrast powerfully the peat, and present the fruits. An excellent combo.

Led through the course with the wonderful Sam MacDonald, exploring the whiskies and their ice cream pairings was easily accessible, and an informal, enjoyable experience – followed by relaxed conversation. Highly recommended – and 4 well aged whiskies and whisky ice creams at 15 quid seems like a pretty good deal to me!

Highly recommended to take advantage of this July! Grab a space while you can!

The Ice Dream Drams Scoop Sessions take place on 1st, 8th, 16th and 22nd of July.

Entry: £15.

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society

19 Greville Street,
London EC1N 8SQ

http://www.smws.co.uk/icedreamdramslondon

#StoliLemonade Van across London!

19th June saw the launch of the #StoliLemonade Van, handing out free (yes, free!) samples of Stoli Lemonade and Mint Sorbet, splashed with Vodka (yes, vodka!) at Covent Garden on a fantastically sunny day – Blended with Stoli® vodka, real lemon rinds, fresh mint and natural sugars, the herby Stoli Mint Lemonade Sorbet is a delightful low-fat and refreshing adult sorbet!

Stoli Lemonade Vodka Sorbet Summer Free

And it’s back for more! The Stoli Lemonade Van can be found traversing London hotspots this summer on:

Saturday 27th June – Angel Central
Saturday 4th July – South Bank
Saturday 11th July – Truman Brewery
Sunday 12th July – Truman Brewery

 

As you’d imagine, this is all working up to a bigger project – for you see, Stoli is sponsoring the CAMDEN BEACH at the Roundhouse this summer (17 July – 23 August)!

Stoli Lemonade Vodka Sorbet Summer Free

Camden Beach presented by Stoli, will create a daily destination where members of the public can enjoy the sunshine at North London’s very own ‘seaside’ resort. Camden Roundhouse terrace, Camden’s biggest outdoor space,  will be loaded with 150 tonnes of the finest sand to  host the Stoli Lemonade Van for a 5 week residency, complete with Stoli beach huts, deck chairs and of course a full Stoli Lemonade menu with lots of choice on offer.

The Stoli lemonade Van will also be in position handing out free Stoli Lemonade and Stoli Lemonade sorbet! This perfect alignment will showcase the Stoli Lemonade serve as a refreshing summer beverage in a creative and original space.

 

Come on down and hunt for the Citroen H #StoliLemonade Van, and wait excitedly for the launch of Camden Beach this summer!

Stoli Lemonade Vodka Sorbet Summer Free

KERB Food: An Ice Cream Adventure, King’s Cross St. Pancras

The street food market KERB KX is back with a twist: An Ice Cream Adventure!

Every Saturday till 20th September is going to bring 12 ice cream and lolly phenomenons to Granary Square, along with a handful of food and dessert stalls of the likes of Bill & Beak, Kimchinary, Grilling Greek, & Bleecker St. Burger – a pretty bloody decent bunch, if you ask me.

Today’s review will limit itself to must-try ice cream stalls, because there’s only so much double creamy goodness you can consume in one day (BUT, there are vegan options at the venue!).

Kerb
Although the Hoodooist wished he could, couldn’t manage to eat a proper lunch, because the ice creams and cocktails were more than enough to satiate him at this point. Starting with The Manhattan Project’s Asian Bloody Mary – Stoli, Tomato, Wasabi, Calamansi, Soy, Sriracha, Fermented Chilli – a spectacular combo since Bloody Marys have not usually been the Hoodooist’s first choice. We made our way to the excellent Ruby Violet, whose horseradish ice cream we then added to the Bloody Mary for a wonderful extra kick.  At first I certainly wasn’t sure, but was happily surprised at how well it worked! The horseradish ice cream isn’t the sweetest, so doesn’t throw off the flavour of the Bloody Mary, worth a shot if you’re feeling adventurous. On that note, props to Ruby Violet for the adventurousness of a horseradish ice cream!


Sorbitium Ices
 (from the previous Street Feast reviews – Click for Hackney, Dalston Yard & Lewisham, you know they’re an old favourite), knocked it out of the park with their Olive Oil, Pine Nut & Candied Orange ice cream. I preferred it at the Hackney Street Feast without the candied orange, but it didn’t hurt! Other great combos like the Dark Chocolate & Whisky (bit intense on the whisky), and Strawberry Balsamic ruled the menu, whereas the Melon, Cucumber, Buttermilk & Chilli was a nice tangy choice.

I walked up to Drunken Dairy a bit wary, but was pleasantly surprised but the lovely Dark Destroyer: Dark Chocolate & Grand Marnier, definitely stood out in the massive barrage of orange flavours all the stalls put forward. Similarly surprised was I by Jolly Nice’s savoury Plum & Star Anise – couldn’t have too much of it, but was a spectacular production! The depth provided by the anise was incredible – absolutely necessary to try.


Finally, one that definitely stood out, and though I am choosing no winners today, but a painfully high ranker: La Gelatiera’s Porcini Mushroom & Chocolate Cream.

Don’t ask me by what sorcery or defiance in the laws of physics that this works: but it does. And it does so with confidence and humble panache. The earthy porcini complements the chocolate, and does so with strong flavour, but without overpowering it, blowing La Gelatiera’s other ambitious flavours like Basil & Chilli out of the water.

All the choice at the KERB Ice Cream Adventure can be a bit overwhelming, but don’t fret too much – follow our little guide for suggestions toward the most adventurous and exciting of the ice creamiers – and throw that weighing scale out the window 😉


KERB’s Ice Cream Adventure
Every Saturday till 20th Sept ‘14,

Granary Square,
King’s Cross

http://www.kerbfood.com/kerb-saturdays/