All posts tagged cocktail

blood oranges or sanguinellos

How to Construct a Bespoke Cocktail

or Antidote to a Stressful Week

Bob, my new best friend

Bob, my new best friend

In a week where blood, sweat, and tears were spilt, bitter words exchanged, and ideas pulped, I was determined to make a Friday night cocktail to restore balance.  The usual ethanol delivery methods felt inadequate, so I thought it necessary to deconstruct the week’s assaults and reassemble them into a bespoke cocktail.

Here’s my cocktail de/construction process:
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Gin Journey

Gin is not merely ethanol and water with some botanical flavourings added.  It is a spirit deeply rooted in the history of London, forms the bedrock of the cocktail, and elicits real passion amongst its devotees. To enjoy gin is to enjoy discovery, as it is the most mercurial of spirits.  Marcel Proust said, “We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us.”

And so on a recent Monday night, I find myself and some kindred ginthusiasts on a Gin Journey in east London.  Expertly guided by Leon Dalloway of Shake Rattle and Stir, it is an educational evening that tells you everything you ever wanted to know about gin while taking you on a tour of some of London’s finest cocktail bars.  Leon promises 5 samples, 5 cocktails, chauffeured transport, and no hangover for the princely sum of £50.  I am intrigued.
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Tony C's Prairie Oyster

A Masterclass in Cocktail Wizardry

Or, Don’t Try This At Home…

Centrifuges, sous-vides, and distillers– Oh My! Floor to ceiling shelves crowded with bottles, jars and vials of such esoteric substances as essence of damp earth, desiccated peas, aroma of the sea, and a 1910 rum. Lab-coated technicians wielding electronic pipettes and digital scales buzz around us as I ponder the genius of Tony Conigliaro’s Drinks Factory. This is the lab where he manipulates flavour, aroma and texture in order to deliver a full sensory experience with a buzz. Cocktail alchemy.
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Anyone for Tennis? The new Pimms Blackberry and Elderflower


Pimm’s cup:  the quintessential Wimbledon tipple.  The Best of British with a Royal Warrant.  But I was almost permanently put off Pimms at a school fete, on a most perfectly sunny Pimmsy day many Junes ago.  Having handed over the hyperactive sugar-charged little darlings to their dad, I joined the queue at the very popular Pimms stand with all the other harangued mums.  My drink chit was limp with sweat by the time I handed it over to the dad on duty.
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Melon Madness

Melon Madness in the Med

Or What to Drink by the Pool…

The Mediterranean. Ancient centre of the world. Cloudless skies over an undulating turquoise sea. A bracing morning dip in the salty brine screams for something fresh and crisp to drink when back on terra firma. Something festive, as we are on holiday, but not too strong, as it is still early in the day and we wish to drink intelligently above all. Read more…

smoky caramel pear nirvana in a glass

Pear-allel Universe

or What kind of Hospitality Gift is That?

I was hosting a lavish barbecue on the first sunny Saturday in a while when one of the guests turned up at the door bearing an ordinary tin of pears.  I tried to look pleasantly surprised and grateful, as good hosts do when presented with a gift, but my furrowed brow betrayed me.  “You said you like a challenge, so how about a cocktail with these?” were her innocent words.

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