Drinking out and about…

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I don’t get to go to many cocktail parties, shame really.

So if you hadn’t noticed, I write about cocktails, a lot. And I’ll be honest; I enjoy the odd cocktail in person too. Now I don’t get out and about very often (money is scarce these days) so when I get the chance to try out a few different bars I’ll jump in feet first. You may remember recently I posted a small review about some cocktails I tried at a Mexican themed restaurant, and how just above average they were. It’s not too surprising that their focus would be on the food first, and drinks second. This is the thought of most establishments that label themselves ‘bar/restaurant’ and it is a shame. I don’t know about you but there’s nothing I enjoy more than a cocktail made well. Sure sometimes you’re are less bothered and just want to enjoy any old alcoholic beverage (like when you’re at a house party for instance), but most of the time you just want to sit, chill and drink in style.

Now style is not a hard quality to provide when serving cocktails. In my opinion, the best way is to serve a good quality drink. Sure you have to make it look good, and know what you’re doing but none of that will matter if you get the drink wrong. Cocktails are all about flavour balancing and the best way to do that is to follow the recipes out there. I once read that a bartender should learn how to do the classic cocktails, and master them before attempting to create their own recipes. And even then the chance of creating a great unique drink is about 1 in 100.

This is not to say that you cannot be a little inventive, as an avid enthusiast I often try mixing random things up (excuse the pun) and although there are a lot of drinks that I shall not be making again, there are more than a few that were rather nice, in fact one of the favourite and most asked after cocktails at the events I’ve done was my very own recipe. But what I’m trying to say is, you cannot dive straight in and think you know everything. Sure I may know how to make a good Cosmo, or even one of the best Mojito’s you’ve ever tasted (these are comments from people I’ve served, not my own words) but I feel no shame in admitting I cannot make a very good old fashioned, as I don’t really like Bourbon/Scotch/Whisky and therefore find it hard to judge what tastes right and what doesn’t. But with practice I know I’ll get it (practice makes perfect after all).

So back to the point: Cocktails in most places in my local area are often thought of as secondary to food, or just there to draw in people (a sort of publicity stunt – most common in clubs around here). This annoys me slightly as I find it hard to see where I could go for a nice Mojito, or even a chilled Rum cobbler. I resort to making my own and therefore not going out much. However, recently a couple of new establishments are due to open in my local area: 1) a hotel (with a bar serving cocktails) and 2) a restaurant & cocktail bar. Now the pure fact that the latter has ‘cocktail bar’ in its title gets my hopes up a little. So after enquiring next week as to whether they need an extra hand (yes I want a bar job) I’ll settle down with a friend or two and try out a few of their menu cocktails.

Obviously they may suffer the same problem as the Mexican restaurant I went to, but then again they may concentrate on cocktails quite a lot, especially as not many other establishments in the area offer quality cocktails full stop.

Obviously you can look forward to the reviews of those cocktails tried, most likely next month (mid-end July).

As I was saying at the beginning of this post I don’t get to go out and enjoy cocktails as often as I’d like to, but this Tuesday coming (25th) I’ll be heading up to London Bridge and attending a little event by the name of a ‘Cointreau Fizz Garden’ at the Skyroom (5th floor, Magdalen House).

This is something I am very much looking forward to, along with a few of the many bars in the area. The chance to test out a few different cocktails made by people in some of the top bars in London is not something I’ll pass up anytime soon!

So again you can look forward to me keeping you updated about that over the next couple of weeks (including pictures of course).

Until then I shall continue updating you on cocktails made, events I go to, recipes I like and of course the odd 3 course cocktail & product focus if I have any!

Thanks for everything so far guys, all the reading, sharing and general interest. This blog has grown quicker than I thought and the fact it is still growing makes me extremely proud.

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The Joy of Jazz & Cocktails is lost in my area…

As a last little note, I’d like to put a little something out there:

This blog is all about helping people understand cocktails, whether it’s through sharing recipes, my thoughts, places I visit, great websites/products or just general facts about cocktails. This is something I want to continue, but to help me give you post’s you want to read, tell me below in the comments section what it is you’d like to know about, what recipes you like and/or want to hear about. This way not only will you have something good to read but I expand my learning and understanding of a subject very close to my heart J

Goodbye for the time being, and thank you again!

Dan, AKA: The Fervent Shaker

P.S. Look out for some video updates on my YouTube channel (see the link on my home page), as well as the odd video posts as well as some appearances from yours truly: That’s right I’m looking to show you, in person, how to make your favourite cocktails!

P.P.S. Look I have a bottle of rum!

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A glorious Cuba Libre… Havana Club 7YO, Lime and Cola.
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