Wine & Wisdom … Cocktails & slight distraction…

Wine & Wisdom 13/2/13

The wine & wisdom event at my work was always a constant thing in the past, so when HR decided to start them up again, i asked if they wanted me along to make some cocktails. Thankfully they obliged, agreeing it would add something new to the experience (and also help me get some exposure through the work colleagues i have yet to speak to)…

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The Sainsbury’s I work for have started up their Wine & Wisdom staff quizzes again…

3 cocktails and a bucket load of questions no one knows the answers to…

1) A Classic Tequila Sunrise

2) A Hawaiian Bay Breeze

3) The Clicquot Rico

 

So the plan was to attend the wine and wisdom as a part of the competition but further to this during the break (around halfway through) I was to create and serve 3 cocktails of my own choosing. The alcohol was supplied by the company and any donations were towards comic relief.

The thought process was simple I was given a simple brief: 3 eye catching but simple cocktails. Something that looks good but at the same time wouldn’t take all night to create.

The first cocktails I chose for the event were the vibrant blue curacao type cocktails, those that shock and awe. But to be honest I thought this was far too obvious and would put to waste some of the more tasty cocktails out there. The cocktails mentioned above where set on after another think through. The Classic Tequila Sunrise is simple to make, but looks both elegant and quite striking. The Hawaiian Bay Breeze is rather simple both in creation and aesthetics but its flavour is far better than any breeze cocktail and even some versions of the sex on the beach. The elegance and sophistication really takes off in the final drink of the three; The Clicquot Rico…

1)      Classic Tequila Sunrise

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A representation of what a Tequila Sunrise ‘should’ look like…

 

So this is the cocktail I’ve been waiting to make at an event for some time, it was far too obvious for the Mexican themed party I did a while back and not cheap enough for the other event I did (tequila can cost a small fortune over here in the UK).

So the recipe I used was a ‘classic’ recipe, one almost every bar/cocktail enthusiast will use:

–          1 measure Silver Tequila

–          6 measures Fresh Orange Juice

–          ½ measure Grenadine Syrup (the proper stuff – try ‘Monin’ syrups)

This recipe is simple sure, but its visually effective as the grenadine instantly sinks to the bottom and then over time will work its way into the bulk of the drink, rising in an aesthetically pleasing reddish-pink hue(hence the name).

2)      Hawaiian Bay Breeze

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A couple of Hawaiian Bay Breeze’s

 

The Hawaiian Bay Breeze is a cocktail born out of experimentation. Replacing the orange juice used in most Vodka Sea Breezes this drink instantly supplies a Caribbean kick to a drink already made refreshing thanks to the cranberry juice. Not only is it far better in taste than a normal sea breeze cocktail, the pinkish hue the drink creates in a lightly lit room is something special (something orange juice and cranberry juice just cannot supply).

The recipe I used contains supermarket brand vodka, but any other medium-high quality vodka will work just as well:

–          1 measure Vodka

–          3 measures Cranberry Juice

–          3 measures pineapple juice

Served over ice this drink becomes a light and refreshing cocktail that is worthy of any event. This one in particular was by far the favourite of the three cocktails available at the wine & wisdom, out-playing the tequila sunrise by around 5-10 drinks.

3)      The Clicquot Rico

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A Glorious marriage of pineapple, rum and champagne…

 

This cocktail is a spin off from research for a future post, and is for all intents and purposes a champagne cocktail. The recipe I had used Veuve Clicquot champagne with rum and pineapple juice.

Mixing equal parts sophistication (champagne) and fun (white rum and pineapple) this drink encapsulates the very best of the champagne cocktails.

Whilst this recipe calls specifically for Veuve Clicquot, it is a rather expensive and inefficient mixer for an event catering for 50+ people; unless you’re flashed for cash in which case go for something even more expensive! – If things are the opposite and you find you’re on a tight budget then try using a good quality Prosecco. It gives the same experience with a little less body to the drink (generally speaking anyway).

At the Wine & Wisdom I used ‘Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference ‘TTD’ Prosecco Conegliano. This is a good quality Prosecco that is genuinely one of my favourite ‘budget buys’.

The original recipe:

–          1 measure White Rum

–          2 measures Pineapple Juice

–          Top up Veuve Clicquot

My ‘tweaked’ recipe:

–          1 measure White Rum

–          2 measures Pineapple Juice

–          Top up TTD Prosecco Conegliano

All the cocktails were well received and enjoyed by everyone that tried them, granted the Clicquot Rico was the least consumed and that was mostly down to everyone taking the other two recipes and running off before I had them fully prepared. Otherwise the Hawaiian Bay Breeze was the stand-out favourite, the Caribbean flavour the pineapple brings to the drink, seemed to be the defining feature.

So to summarise; 

Whilst the event in general did not go as i had envisioned (it was rather poorly organised on the companies part) the cocktails went down well and everything i had control over worked. Which for me is a small victory. It shows that people are receptive to the unique nature cocktails bring to an event. 

So then onwards to my next post. You may notice that one of the above recipes is a Champagne/Prosecco topped cocktail. Well my next post is all about cocktails that contain some sort of sparkling wine, whether it be renown Champagne brands, or the lesser known sparkling wines. To whet your appetite, as it were, here’s a little spoiler:

This brings us onto the cocktails themselves and there are many varied, famous cocktails. Almost all of which hold some sort of colourful back-story as to how they were invented, however for the premise of this blog I am far from interested in the stories. I’m more interested in the cocktails and their recipes. Now discarding the recipes with what I like to call ‘dangerous’ ingredients (ingredients people generally shy away from when making cocktails at home; such as egg whites), the recipes to be discussed here are generally fruity, floral drinks with a very easy-to-consume nature about them. “

Thank you for taking the time to read my work and until next time, take care 🙂

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