Atholl Brose – An Earl, a Well and a Fine Drink

•September 29, 2014 • Leave a Comment

So, as promised, here is the first of my ongoing posts from SlowStruck. This one is the first post I wrote for them and can also be found in it’s original form here: Atholl Brose

drunk knights

One of my favourite things about mixing cocktails is that there are always stories involved – where they originate, how they have evolved or even who famously drank them. I truly believe that by savouring the history and/or legends around our drinks, we enrich the actual experience of mixing, tasting and sharing with friends.

So, please humour me… let’s imagine we’ve set some chairs around a pub table. Let’s pour our drinks, toast to each other’s health and take some time together. Don’t despair! At the end of my tale, I have a recipe for you.

Whilst it is not my favourite spirit – I prefer good old rum – it is interesting to share that whisky is by far one of the most varied spirits out there. Unlike the intentional tastelessness of Vodka, whisky made in one part of Scotland can and usually will – taste completely different from whisky made in another part of Scotland.

This diversity in such a small amount of space is what gives this spirit category greatness.
We are going to discount the Americanised whiskies for this post – yes I know it hurts, but it’s all about the flavours Scottish whisky brings this time round.

I can this question burning in your mind: what exactly is Atholl Brose?
Well to answer this we have to visit a little tale first told to me by the Monkey Shoulder global ambassador Grant Neave, and legend of the cocktail, Gaz Regan (yes the one and only).

Whisky & Oats: The traditional Scottish Drink. Who'd have thought it?

Whisky & Oats: The traditional Scottish Drink. Who’d have thought it?

It’s around 1475, and the Earl of Atholl wants a Scottish castle all for himself. The problem is that the current owner of the castle is putting up a bit of a fight. Now the Earl knows the opposing army has the local water well (a big strategic point in the fight). Rather than sending his men to certain death in the battle that would most certainly occur, he sends in a small team of his best men to ‘spike’ the water In the well. Armed with the greatest poison known to man they set of to the little village. The poison of course refers to the alcohol; a rather medieval form the whisky would’ve taken back then.
So armed with the rather rough-whisky, oats, cream and honey, they set off to the little village whilst the opposing forces were asleep. Into the well they mixed the whisky, honey, cream and oats. The trick, no doubt, was to cover the taste of the whisky and when the opposing army woke up and tried the water they soon found there was something different afoot.

So what did the men do when they realised their water source was contaminated? They realised it tasted fine and shared it around with the men who had yet to realise. This obviously led to them becoming rather inebriated.

Of course the opposing earl did not know what was taking place and sent them into battle half cut. The battle was short, swift (and rather hilarious no doubt) as a direct result of the Earl of Atholl’s forward thinking.
This is the first record of this cocktail being used and is popularly considered one of the first whisky cocktails. Of course, these days, the recipes for this drink vary from source to source but generally the combination of the cream, honey, oats and whisky remains.
At last year’s London Cocktail, I attended a historical whisky tour hosted by Grant Neave and Gaz Regan. The event was essentially a time line of whisky cocktails starting with the Atholl Brose, and is where I obtained this guideline to the recipe:
“The Atholl Brose is a combination of water, Scottish oats, whisky & honey. By combining these ingredients and possibly adding some forest fruits (strawberries, cherries etc.) or even some liqueurs like Drambuie or Disaronno, this really can be turned into something a little special” – Grant Neave, Global Brand Ambassador for Monkey Shoulder Whisky.
Granted, the original recipe is more a meal than a drink; but refined in the following recipe, it resembles more of a cocktail than it ever has. This is a prime example of refinement over time. Cocktails have been around in popular culture since the 1920’s and whilst some have the same recipes they did back then, most have experienced changes and tweaks.

Atholl Brose recipe (taken from: http://londoneats.wordpress.com)
Serves 8
Step 1: The Oat Milk
• 1 cup oats (rolled, pinhead…your choice!)
• 2 cups lukewarm water
Mix the oats and the water. Leave to sit for at least 30 minutes (longer doesn’t hurt). Put into a blender and then pass through a muslin cloth. As you get to the end of the, now-strained, mixture you should be left with just a sludgy-oaty mess, squeeze this to get as much liquid from the mixture as possible.
Step 2: Making the Atholl Brose
• 7 parts oat milk
• 7 parts whisky
• 5 parts good single cream
• 1 part honey
Mix the honey with the ‘oat milk’. Put everything into a cocktail shaker or large jar. Shake until mixed. Taste the Brose, and then if required, adjust to taste (more honey, more cream, more whisky…). And finally the most important step of all: Serve chilled or over ice.
It has been great to spend this happy hour with you…I’ll see you soon at our favourite table.

Picture of Whisky & Oats from WikiHow.

Return of the Fervent Shaker

•September 25, 2014 • 2 Comments

im back

Ok so I admit I’ve not written out a decent enough post for this site for many months (The fact that the last post is about Cinco De Mayo scares me far too much!). I have however been writing posts so i do have some coming up that should entertain and impart at least some knowledge onto you.

So here’s a quick rundown on what I’ve been working on the last few months and what you can look forward to in the next year or so…

So first let me explain: I have a new job. It’s with the same company as before (an unnamed supermarket) but a completely different department; which means new skills, new things to remember and absolutely nothing of my boring, mind numbingly dull previous position. I’m starting my training in around 3 weeks so i may go a little quiet (again i know!) for about 2-4 weeks but I’ll have 3 days off per week and hopefully that should allow me to at least update with some pictures and/or recipes for you all to try.

Second: I’ve been working on my Science Fiction Novel and my Cocktail books. These are nowhere near done but i did start spending a lot of time working out what i wanted in the cocktail books (recipe wise) and also spent a heavy amount of spare time on the Sci-Fi novel.
The decision I’ve come to is to start up a Sci-Fi specific blog which will have all sorts of short stories, reviews, poetry with the eventual aim of getting some guest bloggers (mainly friends) to write some items for it.

Anyway back to the alcohol:
Finally the huge news is that I’m now also a contributor for a fantastic website: SlowStruck, on which i write posts very similar to the ones found on this site. They’re exclusive to SlowStruck for at least a month an then I’ll post them on here (with links back to the original source). I’d love for you to keep checking out this blog, but I’d also love for you to check out the SlowStruck website as it has all sorts of great posts all focused on taking life slow and making time to enjoy everything to its fullest.

So what can you expect in the near future from this blog?

Well several things, mainly new & hopefully intriguing posts about all things cocktails (nothing new there then!) as well as some spirit specific posts (I should have one about Sipsmith coming up very soon!).
The main thing i’ll be sharing with you all are the posts i’ve already done with SlowStruck and as stated above these will have links back to the site so you can all check it out if you wanted.

Basically I just want to say thank-you to both long time followers and newbies! As always I encourage comments & feedback so please feel free to look through my posts and leave your thoughts and comments :)

The first post i’ll be sharing is on one in keeping with recent events and also one of Scotlands oldest cocktails: The Atholl Brose. That’ll be up within the week! Take care Shakers!

Margaritas Three Ways – A Cinco De Mayo Special

•May 4, 2014 • 3 Comments

Today is the 4th of May 2014. That means Cinco De Mayo is literally around the corner! Whilst not usually a huge deal here in the UK, they revel in Mexican culture across the pond so it’s only natural they have a whole day set aside for a celebration of sorts.

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Whilst not necessarily celebrated the same way in Mexico and other Latin American countries, Cinco De Mayo is a festival celebrating all of the finer things Mexican culture has to offer the world.

Whether it’s Chocolate, Spicy Food or even a certain infamous Mexican spirit (or 2) Cinco De Mayo is a celebration and a time for getting together with friends and family…

So what are the 3 margaritas I have in store for you? Well let’s start with a classic recipe and tweak it a little…

Mi Casa Tequila:

Mi Casa Tequila is an extremely high quality 100% Agave Tequila, obviously from Mexico, and is unfortunately not readily available on the UK Market it can be found readily across the USA so if you plan on heading out there any time soon, be sure to pick a bottle up!

It’s an estate-craft tequila from a family run business and has wone numerous awards for their utterly fantastic tequila(s). You can find their page here, but be sure to check out their signature margarita before you do:

Mi Casa Margarita

Recipe:

2 measures Mi Casa Reposado

1 measure St. Germain

¾ measure Fresh Lime Juice

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Reposado Tequila always adds a slight depth to the drink, making it even more awesome!

Method:

-  Mix with ice in a shaker and shake until the tin ices over.

-  Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a Lime wedge and fresh sprig of elderflower.

This is a refreshing take on a classic margarita uses the best Elderflower liqueur on the market and awesome tequila to create something familiar yet refreshingly different.

Try it this Cinco De Mayo or any other spring/summer evening it will be a refreshing break from your normal cocktail intake…

 

Margarita Picante

Recipe:

3 Slices red chilli pepper

2 measures 100% Blanco Tequila

¾ measure Cointreau

½ measure lime juice

½ measure sugar syrup

1 pinch cilantro

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This Margarita is dangerously spicy, if you like your drinks hot then this is the one for you!

Method:

-  Combine all the ingredients over ice and shake until the tin ices over.

-  After filling a small rocks glass with cubed ice (and a few slices of red chilli should you prefer*) strain the drink into the glass and garnish with a chilli slice on the rim of the glass.

*The fresh chilli in the glass will add an undercurrent of heat and is recommended for those who love their spicy flavours. Feel free to leave it out if, like me, you prefer a little less heat.

This drink is what it says: Spicy. It holds no punches and can bring a person to tears if they don’t respect it. Using a top quality brand of 100% Blanco Tequila (what else) this drink really is something a little spicy; just the thing to celebrate Mexican culture this Cinco De Mayo…

Roasted Blueberry Basil Margarita

Recipe:

2 measures Grand Marnier

1 ½ measures Blanco Tequila (100% Agave)

2 measures Lime Juice

2 ½ measures Blueberry & Basil Flavoured Sugar Syrup

Garnish: Fresh Whole Blueberries, Basil leaves & Sliced lime. And a Salt/Sugar rim (3:2 Ratio).

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So here is the oddball… Sweet & Savoury fuse into something rather special in this magical Margarita – Perfect for headlining your Cinco De Mayo…

Method:

-  Rim a large rocks glass with the salt/sugar mixture (use the lime as adhesive).

-  In a cocktail shaker combine the Grand Marnier, Tequila & Lime Juice, shaking `until the shaker ices over.

-  Fill the glass with ice and then strain in the drink.

-  To garnish; add a blueberry & Lime peel skewer and a fresh sprig of Basil to the top of the drink.

-  Serve with a straw.

This drink is remarkably balanced considering the blueberries are roasted, it’s very easy to over-do them and turn them too bitter for the drink. However done right, the basil and blueberry work wonders for the tequila.

It’s a special little recipe I came across a few months back, tried and loved. It’s perfect for Cinco De Mayo and has a refreshing summer evening feel about it, which means you don’t have to wait too long before you can have another one!

So there you go, 3 margaritas; 3 very different cocktails. The best thing about these drinks is that once Cinco De Mayo is over you can continue enjoying them time and time again. Whether you’re a thrill seeking Picante Margarita, or a sweet and slightly roasted blueberry margarita; there’s a drink here for you…

If you’d like to know how to make the Blueberry-Basil Sugar Syrup then click here and roast away…

Links for further reading, original recipes, pictures etc…

Original Recipes & Pictures:

Roasted Blueberry Basil Margarita

Margarita Picante

Cinco De Mayo Facts

Mi Casa Tequila – Check out their Mission Statement :)

Mocktails – For discerning non-drinker…

•April 20, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Non-Alcoholic treats

Cocktails don't always need alcohol to impress...

Cocktails don’t always need alcohol to impress…

So I haven’t had the time recently for a post, with the combination of work and other things getting a bit on top of me. That’s all dealt with and within the next few weeks you’ll see this blog get back to its best. This includes all the “cocktails o’clock”, “Product of the month” and general cocktail musing posts you have been used to seeing.

Anyway with my apologies, and spoilers, out of the way let us move onto the point of this post: Cocktails, or more accurately Non-Alcoholic Cocktails.

The inspiration for this post is my brother; he’s been on a bit of a detox since Christmas and stopped his alcohol intake completely (don’t worry I’ve been drinking his share). I admire him for it, although would never attempt such a feat (nor would I tell him that I admire him for it).

This post therefore will represent 3 non-alcoholic cocktails, inspired by my brothers detox, and then also some little tips on how to make them a little more interesting…

The Cocktails;

1)      Green Grape Glacier (cocktails.about.com)

Ingredients;

12 seedless green grapes

4 measures white grape juice

4 measure cold sparkling spring water

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Vividly Green, this cocktail is as refreshing as it looks…

Method;

-          Freeze Grapes & then mix 10 of them in a blender with the grape juice until smooth/thick.

-          Pour mixture into a highball glass.

-          Add the sparkling water and stir gently to combine.

-          Garnish with the remaining 2 grapes and serve with straws.

This drink is refreshing, fragrant and perfect for evenings spent watching the April showers. I find that using sparkling spring water instead of plain soda water adds more of a natural taste to the drink. Try using different grapes for slightly different flavours.

Fervent Shaker twist: this drink leaves itself open for the addition of a broad range of spirits, and I find that different spirits result in, unsurprisingly, different tastes… Using Gin creates a crisp refreshing evening drink, whilst Rum results in a more vivid summer spritzer. Then there’s Vodka, which results in the classic refreshing spritzer (although a splash of fresh lemon always helps here) and finally Tequila; which adds a specifically earthy and rather rich taste to the drink.

2)  Green Lemonade

Ingredients;

4 measures Lemonade

2 measures limeade/lime cordial

4 kiwi slices, peeled

¾ measure sugar syrup (agave nectar)

Kiwi/Lime slice for garnish

 

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The fizzy nature of this drink sets it apart from your standard mocktails… It looks pretty good too!

Method;

-          Muddle the sugar syrup and kiwi slices in a mixing glass.

-          Add limeade, lemonade and ice and shake well.

-          Strain into a highball glass full of fresh ice.

-          Garnish with a kiwi/lime slice.

This ‘mocktail’ is a bitter lemon style mixture with the kiwi adding its very own special brand of flavour. If you’re a fan of Kiwi, like me, then you’ll love this drink.

Fervent Shaker Twist: This one is easy; it’s built for vodka left right and centre. I worked up a post about the Kiwi inspired Mordor Mule a little while ago and this reminds me of it so much. So yes I’d go for vodka but it may also suit a tequila fan if balanced well.

3)  Spring Fever

Ingredients;

¾ measures lemon juice

¾ measures mango syrup

1 ½ measures apple juice

2 measures blood orange juice

 

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Striking as any red drink should be, this mocktail is very fruity and goes down a treat on those chilly spring nights…

Method;

-          Add ingredients into a shaker and shake over ice until the tin ices over.

-          Strain into a Collins glass half filled with crushed ice and serve with straws.

This is a slightly complicated drink in that blood orange has a very specific and almost pungent taste. I’m not a complete fan of this drink and that’s simply down to me preferring Valencia orange juice. However, that aside this drink has a certain feel about it that makes it perfect for those windy yet warm spring evenings. The use of orange & lemon juices also leaves this drink open for the addition of various spirits without a great change in the flavour (excluding those of the alcohol itself if you’re using aged spirits). Vodka is the obvious, albeit dull, choice but rum is the spirit to use if you want to taste some real magic. Using Golden rum (I’d suggest Havana Club Anejo) will add a sense of depth in the drinks flavour as well as the usual aged rum taste.

So there you go, proof that not only are cocktails for people who don’t drink alcohol but that the drinks that seem non-alcoholic only can always be turned into something a little more exciting for those who like their tipple.

But as always remember to drink responsibly, I only ever suggest to add 1-2 measures of alcohol per drink and each measure is roughly 25ml (although sometimes I like to go halfway between the two and use just 35ml).

Notes: Pictures are courtesy of;

Green Grape Glacier – Pinterest

Green Lemonade – MixedGreensBlog

Spring Fever – Festen.dk

Please check out their websites for further information/more fun stuff :)

Cocktails at the BAFTAS

•February 20, 2014 • 1 Comment

Herein are cocktails to inspire the mind, as well as the mouth…

So further to my previous post (yesterday) this post combines the five cocktails served by Grey Goose at the BAFTA’s after party at the Rosewood Luxury Hotel in London, England.

Created by Master Mixologist and Grey Goose global ambassador Joe McCanta these 4 cocktails (as well as Grey Goose’s Signature cocktail – The Grey Goose Le Fizz) have been inspired by some principals that have been a theme this past year, here are what Grey Goose have to say about them:

“The four GREY GOOSE Awards Season Cocktails have been inspired by the themes of ‘Pioneering Spirit’, ‘Unconditional Love’, ‘Futurism’ and ‘Return to Retro’ which are represented by some of this year’s most acclaimed movies, in addition to Grey Goose’s ultimate celebratory cocktail, the Grey Goose Le Fizz.”

These cocktails are a combination of easy to mix and difficult to master drinks that will make you question your own tastes and also why you never thought about trying them before.

Yeah I know you probably didn’t know about them until now, but that’s not the point…

So without further ado, the cocktails of the2014 BAFTAS are:

1)  The Grey Goose Le Fizz

Recipe:

35ml Grey Goose Original Vodka

25ml St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

20ml Fresh Lime Juice

70ml (top up) Soda Water/Champagne

What better place to start than the cocktail perfect for any celebratory occasion…

Method:

-          Hand-squeeze the lime juice into a tall champagne flute or large wine glass.

-          Add the remaining ingredients and top up with cubed ice.

-          Stir well and serve with a cocktail stirrer.

This cocktail is one of Grey Goose’s favourites, billed as the ‘signature celebratory cocktail’ it comprises of high grade vodka, fresh lime, a French elderflower liqueur and soda water to create something just a little bit special.

This cocktail is Grey Goose’s replacement for a champagne cocktail, and to be honest it works really well. I’m not one for too much champagne so a tasty alternative is always welcome. Should the Soda water be a little too ‘dry’ for your palate then try a splash of lemonade instead – it’ will taste a lot sweeter but it might be more to your tastes…

Grey Goose say:This uniquely balanced cocktail uses soft, floral elderflower and refreshing lime to highlight the smooth, rounded taste of Grey Goose Vodka.”

2) The Martini De La Mer

Recipe:

2 parts Grey Goose Original Vodka

2 sprays Sea Spray Essence

Meaning ‘Sea Martini’ this cocktail is something a little special…

Method:

-          Add the ingredients to a mixing glass and stir gently over ice to chill.

-          Strain into a very well chilled coupe glass.

-          Garnish with micro-shiso, red amaranth and a large caper.

Whilst extremely difficult to replicate, this cocktail is a very swanky deal. Using just two main ingredients this cocktail really does show off both the quality of the vodka and the smoothness of its creation. The garnishes add both to the aroma of the drink as well as the overall pleasure. The trick with this cocktail is to chill the mixture right down. This creates the body and complexity you need to really enjoy it.

Grey Goose say:Inspired by ‘Pioneering Spirit.’ Celebrating a pioneering spirit that overcomes adversity, our signature cocktail receives a maritime makeover. Lightly spritzed with an oyster shell infused ‘sea spray’ essence, the GREY GOOSE Martini De La Mer invokes aromas of the open sea and is beautifully garnished with micro-shiso, amaranth and capers.”

3) The Lower East Side

Recipe:

1 part Grey Goose L’Orange Vodka

2 parts Fresh Squeezed Blood Orange Juice

1 bar spoon Grand Marnier*

A Drizzle of Aged Balsamic (Vinegar)*

Based on the classic Wallbanger cocktail, only brought up to date for the 21st Century…

Method:

-          In a glass filled with cubed ice, build the grey goose & orange juice.

-          Float the Grand Marnier on top and garnish with a slice of Blood Orange

-          Drizzle on the Balsamic for the finished touch and serve with a stirrer.

A great penultimate drink, this cocktail is based on the Harvey Wallbanger and brings it into the new century with its taste- bud-tantalising combination of fresh blood orange, classic French spirits and a splash of the finest Balsamic. Not one for the feint of hearts and certainly not for those with an aversion of the use of Balsamic. This drink is best used to impress at after dinner events and guaranteed to blow the roof of your friends mouths (one way or another).

*the balsamic should be of a high quality to suit the drink, but as long as it is not cheap and nasty it should work. Also the Grand Marnier is one of many orange-brandy liqueurs; feel free to use your favourites.

Grey Goose say:Inspired by ‘Return to Retro.’ A sophisticated twist on the most popular drink of the 60s, the Harvey Wallbanger, this downtown classic is a unique blend of Grey Goose L’Orange, seasonal blood orange juice and liqueur, with a slight drizzle of aged balsamic to give an intriguing gritty bite.”

4) L’Amour Moderne

Recipe:

2 ½ parts Grey Goose Le Citron Vodka

2 parts Fresh Pomegranate Juice

1 part Fresh Pink Grapefruit Juice

1 part Campari (Bitter Italian Aperitif)

1 part Passion Fruit Syrup

¼ part Fresh Lime Juice

Originally a Valentines cocktail, it was so good they kept it on for the after party…

Method:

-          Combine all the ingredients over ice, in a cocktail shaker and shake until well iced.

-          Double strain into a martini glass and garnish with an orange zest.

This cocktail looks the most complicated, but as you can tell from the method it’s a classic mix’n’shake cocktail. But don’t let that take away from its class. This drink was created especially for Valentines and was such a hit they used it again for their awards season selection. Nothing shouts quality cocktail than that résumé.

Grey Goose say:Inspired by ‘Unconditional Love.’ A taste of love in a modern age, passionate but bittersweet, with fresh, fruity notes. This romantic reddish-pink martini perfectly balances rich pomegranate and passion fruit flavours with sharp pink grapefruit and a bitter aperitif, strikingly garnished with orange zest.”

5) The Cosmonaut

Recipe:

45ml Grey Goose Le Poire (Pear)

25ml fresh lime juice

17.5ml domaine de canton ginger liqueur

1 dash cardamom bitters

Space aged and classy; this cocktail has it all!

Method:

-          Build over a single large spherical ice cube in a spherical rocks glass.

-          Garnish by skewering a space-candy-covered grape with a cocktail stirrer and serve.

This cocktail is based on futurism and boasts an all-around Sci-Fi feel. The drink is literally from the future of the cocktail scene. Flavoured vodkas have been around for a little while now, with citrus flavours being favoured over others, but more and more we are seeing different fruity flavours. The Grey Goose vodka used in this cocktail is flavoured with pear and is surprisingly refreshing; making it the perfect addition to this futuristic cocktail.

Try it with a splash of lemonade or if you’re feeling really fancy try using French champagne to really bring it all together. Only a little mind, you don’t want to go to over the top!

Grey Goose say: “A futuristic cocktail, the Cosmonaut is a refined and elegant blend of Grey Goose La Poire, ginger liqueur, fresh lime and cardamom bitters built over ‘planetary’ ice-spheres. Inspired by futurism, the space-candy rolled grape adds some playful glamour.”

stephen-fry-bafta

The BAFTA’s: Making Cocktails Even Cooler…

•February 19, 2014 • 1 Comment
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The Bafta’s are host to some of the biggest names in Hollywood… Oh, and the occasional Prince.

Let me be honest, I love cocktails. Any good publicity for cocktails is a great thing indeed, so when I saw the photos on the Grey Goose RSVP facebook page last night my heart jumped for joy.

The annual British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards ceremony has always had an after party for the guests to mingle, photo’s to be taken and of course congratulations/scornful looks to be given to the award winners. And rightly so in my book! And this year was no different; hosted by one of the top end premium vodka brands in ‘Grey Goose’ the event saw star a studded collection of celebrities attend and enjoy what looked like a fantastic evening of glitz and glamour.

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The Rosewood Luxury Hotel, London: Perfect for such a fancy soiree…

Now I love a good awards show like this, especially when the deserved actors/actresses win the deserved awards and after they go through the elation (or heartbreak in some cases) that winning & losing an award will bring the very minimum they deserve afterwards is a completely unjudged drink or two.

The hosts: Grey Goose, are an extremely high grade vodka brand from the wonderful country of France and therefore a perfect companion for an award show as renowned as the Baftas.

Serving various cocktails to some of the biggest names in the Hollywood phone directory; this entire after party screamed great publicity for cocktails, not to mention alcohol in general.

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Celebrities world renowned share a cocktail or two. Left to Right: Steve McQueen, Dede Gardner, Sari Mercer and the fantastic Chiwetel Ejiofor.

Especially with the bad rap alcohol is getting due to this utterly ridiculous drinking ‘game’ (I use the term game for lack of a better descriptive word – it most certainly is not a game) known as necknomination. It’s a stupid idea survived by stupid people thinking they need to better the person before them, reminding me of the saying: “Whos the bigger fool? He who leads, or he that follows.”

This whole situation is giving anti-alcohol groups an unlimited amount of ammo in an unfair war against something that, in moderation, can actually be of benefit to a lot of people. So I for one am glad this awards ceremony has shown the class alcohol brings to events such as these, not to mention the glorious cocktails supplied by Grey Goose. So whether you’re planning a party for the Oscars (March) or the Emmy’s (august), this cocktail-after-party from this years BAFTAS should provide at least a small amount of inspiration to you all…

With winners like the fantastic Chiwetel Ejiofor and stunning Cate Blanchett this BAFTAS really hit the mark and, if you keep an eye out, soon on this very blog you’ll spy some of the cocktails they were all drinking recipes and all so you too can feel like a movie star; even if it is for only a drink or two.

Next on the Fervent Shaker: BAFTAS The Grey Goose Cocktails (here’s the link)

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Check back tomorrow for these great cocktails broken down and shared with you all…

My Sweet Valentine: 5 Cocktails you should be drinking this Valentine’s Day

•February 13, 2014 • 15 Comments

Cocktails: Made, literally, with love…

Cocktails: Making Love a little smoother since, well, forever.

Here below are 5 of the best cocktails you’ll be drinking this Valentine’s Day. Some will open the door for you, others might just slam it in your face; pick wisely and, as always, enjoy in moderation…

Please note: These cocktails are so good you’ll be wanting more and more, so they are best used for the love of your life, and if you’re single why not invite a few friends over and celebrate an argument free life – after all you shouldn’t miss out. Right?!

1) Agave Kiss

Recipe:

2 measures Very Smooth Silver Tequila

1 measure Crème De Cacao

1 measure Double Cream

½ measure Chambord

Garnish: White Chocolate flakes & Fresh Raspberries.

Cream and Tequila: Pefection. The Raspberries add a little love.

Cream and Tequila: Pefection. The Raspberries add a little love.

Method:

- Rim a cocktail glass with the flakes of white chocolate (use some lime juice/water as adhesive)

- Combine the ingredients over ice and shake until

This drink is a mixture of pure bliss with a splash of Tequila.  Blending chocolate, raspberry and tequila with the cream in this cocktail brings out the best of all the different flavours and then finishes it off with a smooth creamy texture that only double cream can supply. Hint: The smoother the tequila the better the overall taste of this drink.

2) Love Potion

Recipe:

30ml Sipsmith Vodka

20ml Sipsmith Damson Vodka

2 fresh strawberries

½ a lime

10ml sugar syrup

35ml Pineapple Juice

20ml Mango Juice

1 shot of strawberry Champagne

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Elegant and Sophisticated… Just like the person you’re sharing one with… It’s OK, we don’t judge here!

Method:

- Muddle the strawberries and sugar syrup in a shaker and then add the rest of the ingredients.

- Shake well, over ice, until the shaker ices over and strain into a martini glass.

- Serve next to a shot of strawberry champagne.

This cocktail is a perfect fit for this year’s Valentine’s day; utilising one of the best gins in the world (and the only one distilled in London) as well as some fabulous creativity with the addition of a strawberry champagne shot.

If you can’t be bothered to stay in and make your own then make your way to the ‘Kensington Palace Restaurant & Fish Shop’ this February 14th as this is their valentine cocktail this year.

3) Frosted Rose

Recipe:

25ml Vodka

25ml Orange Juice

25ml Pineapple Juice

50ml Cranberry Juice

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Cute & Petite, Just my type!

Method:

- Combine the ingredients over ice and shake well until the shaker ices over.

- Strain into a martini glass and serve well.

This cocktail is one of the lighter options on this list, using only the one measure of spirit – but that’s not to say it’s any less tasty. It’s similar to a sea breeze but with the added exotic flavour pineapple juice brings with it. If you want to tweak the flavours slightly then Peach Schnapps is a good addition (yes so it becomes more like a Sex on the Beach).

4) Cherubs Cup

Recipe:

1 measure St. Germain Liqueur

2 measure Vodka

¾ measure Lemon Juice

¼ measure sugar syrup

3 muddled strawberries

Top Up Rose Champagne

Garnish: halved strawberries

cherubs cup

A sweet little cocktail with a name to suit this special day…

Method:

- Shake over ice and strain into an ice filled glass. Add in some strawberry halves here.

- Top with the rose champagne and garnish with a left over strawberry half.

The cherub’s cup is a cocktail perfect for those summer nights on the veranda, but seeing as the summers in the UK are nothing but a damp squib (no they really are rather damp) this cocktail becomes perfect for those romantic evenings with loved ones, so it kind of makes sense to include it on this list. Using the best the French have to offer (St. Germain Liqueur & Champagne) this cocktail really does spark things up when it comes to a romance. Looking the part and tasting delicious; if you hand your date one of these they will be readily impressed – just make sure they aren’t allergic to strawberries first…

5) Besame (Kiss Me)

Recipe:

50ml El Jimador Blanco (Silver) Tequila

2 lime wedges

5/6 raspberries

Top up Passion Fruit Juice

1 teaspoon Chambord

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Besame, quick whilst no-one is looking!

Method:

- Muddle the lime wedges and raspberries in a highball glass.

- Add the tequila, stir and fill with crushed ice.

- Top up with the passion fruit juice and stir well.

- Top up with the crushed ice and float a teaspoon of Chambord on top of the drink.

For an added twist mix, shake the ingredients before added to an ice filled glass.

Aptly named, this drink is a colourful mixture again using tequila. Whilst not known for the abundance of female drinkers, Tequila can be a beautifully balanced spirit (if chosen correctly). Like other spirits the smoother the tequila the better and this drink utilises that fact. Smooth Silver tequila blended with some tropical flavours result in not only a stunning red hue, but also one of the better tasting cocktail on this list.

 
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