Category Archives: Events

Cocktail related events i have either attended or hosted. Short-medium sized blog’s about events i go to or host and the goings on. Trends i notice, or just general chit chat.

Prosecco – 3 ways to a New Years Party…

Hey, everyone! Sorry about my forced hiatus recently! I had internet troubles whilst moving into a new house! I’m back up and running now though and just in time for New Years! So scroll on down and enjoy yourselves! Thank you all for your continued readership!


Enter the New Year in style with some fancy sparkling wine! Whilst you could go for an expensive bottle of Champagne, sometimes saving a little bit of money is a good shout…

Prosecco, generally speaking, is much cheaper than even a semi-good bottle of champagne. And if you head to a specialist wine shop, you’re more than likely to find a top end brand too!

The best example I’ve come across in the past few years is Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference Prosecco Conegliano… It’s usually inexpensive and can often be nabbed when it’s on offer!

Below I give you 3 simple cocktails you can make for your new years eve party. At least to make it a bit more fun for your new-to-prosecco friends! The price detail really hits home if you have a party for more than just a few people!

Cocktail #1:

Prosecco & St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

Ingredients:

30ml St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

Top Up TTD Prosecco Conegliano

Method:

  • Using a standard champagne flute, gently add the Elderflower Liqueur into the bottom of the glass.
  • The simply top up with the prosecco.
  • Garnish with

Usually used at Christmas this simply made cocktail is perfect to capture the sweetness of the prosecco and pump it up into a sweeter-than-usual mouthful. The St. Germain Liqueur adds a floral note and really does make the prosecco go down easier for those with a sweeter tooth…

I tried this very recently at an italian restaurant with my girlfriend. It was delicious and should be available for everyone to try! My well-known bias for Licor 43 aside, this is my favourite cocktail in this post!

 

Cocktail #2:

Prosecco & Licor 43

Ingredients:

30ml Licor 43

Top up TTD Prosecco Conegliano

Method:

  • Pour chilled Licor 43 into a standard champagne flute.
  • Top up with the Prosecco and garnish with a twist of orange peel.

This cocktail is one I’ve wanted to try out for a long while and, thanks to my girlfriend, I was able to finally get hold of a full bottle of Licor 43. It’s a very sweet liqueur and can produce many a fine cocktail. But there’s something about this Prosecco & liqueur blend that captures my feelings for prosecco perfectly!

Prosecco, whilst sweeter than champagne, is still a little dry for my palate. But add enough of a sweet liqueur and you have the perfect balance of sweet and dry. Not to mention the addition of various subtle flavours (from the liqueur).

Licor 43 brings its blend of 43 different ingredients into the mix, but it mainly shows off the Citrus and Vanilla in this particular drink… Although there are some herbal undertones there for those with a keen nose…

 

Cocktail #3:

Prosecco & Creme De Peche

Ingredients:

25ml Creme De Peche

Top up TTD Prosecco Conegliano

Method:

  • Gently pour the Peach Liqueur into a standard champagne flute.
  • Top up with the Prosecco Conegliano…

This cocktail is very much like a mimosa, only it cuts out the fruit juice and uses an alcoholic peach liqueur instead. It has certainly got more bite, but like the other 2 drinks on this list, you get a balance to the dryness of the wine with the sugary liqueur…

This is one of the fruitier of the 3 drinks, with the peach flavour being very, very prominent throughout. Give it a try, and if it’s too sweet, try cutting it back with a dash of fresh lime!

Mr Fogg’s Residence: Around the world in 80 cocktails

Located in the heart of Mayfair, a short walk from Green Park underground station, there is a place of wonder and intrigue; a portal to a world long forgotten: Mr Fogg’s residence.


I’ve always wanted to visit Mr Foggs’ Residence. For years, I’ve dreamed about seeing the inner sanctum of that famous drawing room. I also don’t get to visit London very often. As I finally get to spend some decent time in the English capital, it would be rude not to make my way through the glitz and glamour of Mayfair to this mysterious and intriguing bar…

Mr Fogg, the fictional adventurer of Jules Verne’s 1873 novel ‘Around the World in 80 days’, is an eccentric adventurer and the theme behind Mr Fogg’s Residence – a bar located in Mayfair, London.

Having looked forward to this London city break for the best part of 3 months, I have no qualms in telling you, unequivocally, that it was by far the highlight of my week!

Having used this outing to meet with an old university friend and his girlfriend, this night was made even great via the nostalgic catch up. Great bar, great company, fantastic cocktails. There was even a little bit of magic thrown in for good measure!

The venue…

To reach the establishment I had to pass through the Ritz’s walkway, past several other high-end hotels and restaurants before finally turning down a rather ominous looking alleyway; only then was I within sight of the large, towering, one-way door.

As you pass the fresh hold, the door shutting behind you makes you turn back, but like some 1930’s film you spin on your heel and are met with the glorious, time-defying drawing room pulled straight from the novel itself. With leather-clad, lavish wood seating, fanciful stools, and tables, scattered about the place, you feel utterly cut off from the outside world – in the best possible way.

The bar itself is a tall solid beast, behind which stands one of the tallest collection of spirits I’ve ever seen. The seating me and my friends were taken too was amongst the plethora of stools and tables in an area directly in front of the bar. All of this in the midst of the Victorian led décor.

From stuffed reptiles and tiger skins to mounted guns and ancient leather-backed books, the décor is brilliant and that brilliance is, remarkably, not halted when you finally decide on a cocktail to order…

The cocktails…

The cocktail list is inspired by the novel ‘Around the world in 80 days’ and is called ‘Around the world in 80 cocktails’. There are 80 cocktails on the list and they’re split into their base alcohol (all the whisky based cocktails are together, and then the Gin, vodka, rum etc.) and whilst this makes it easier to single out those that contain ingredients you may not favour (for example I kept away from any whisky cocktails) the waitress that served our table brought us a rather cute foldout map that had overlaid the different cocktails to where they’re supposed to be inspired by. Different areas of the map reflected certain aspects of the cocktails they inspired.

But what about the cocktails themselves I hear you say! Well, look below at 3 of the cocktails we had that night… There will be no measurements as they were not included on the menu, neither would I want to supply them as these cocktails are all unique to Mr Fogg’s residence and, to truly appreciate them, you’d have to go there yourself…

 

Cocktail #1: No.8 Maidens Blush

 

Maiden's Blush.jpg
No.8: New Zealand – Sweet, fruity, sharp.

 

Ingredients: Tanqueray number 10 gin, raspberry jam, fresh lemon juice, sugar, drop of absinthe.

This cocktail was fragrant, as well as being exactly as advertised: sweet, fruity & Sharp. You lose the sting of the alcohol (the thing I hate the most about some stronger spirits) and yet you get the full aroma of the base spirit as well as all the flavours introduced by the other ingredients.

The vivid deep red of the drink, combined with the low-lit ambience of this Victorian speak-easy, really suited its title and made for a well-balanced cocktail.

Sarah, my friends’ girlfriend, liked this one – it was ordered more than once, and she seemed to really enjoy it.

Cocktail #2: No.34 Dewdrops of the Samurai

Photo by www.JohnnySphotography.com
No.34: Japan – fresh, light, delicate, shaken.

 

Ingredients: Ketel One Vodka, Isake classic Sake, shiso & mint Leaves, pomegranate seeds, pomegranate juice, fresh lime juice, and house made sugar syrup.

This was my first choice, having spent a long time looking at the menu, and, after not being able to decide, I went with the one drink that really stood out. Shamefully I have to admit it jumped out at me for two main reasons: its name, and the fact that it used Sake.

I’ve never had sake in a cocktail before, nor have I tried it on its own. So to me, this drink, seemed like the perfect starting point for a place as wonderful as Mr Fogg’s Residence.

As the drink was placed before me I was not disappointed, it sat in a small bowl like glass that looked as though it would suit a bramble perfectly. Upon it’s crushed ice sat a dried piece of peel (I assume pomegranate peel, although it could have been grapefruit) and, like a boat used to cross the Nishiki River, the pomegranate seeds used the peel to protect them from a sea of exotic flavours.

It was an extremely well-balanced drink, a fact making itself known among all our drink choices, and really allowed the flavours and fragrances of the ingredients used to fill your nostrils as well as your taste buds.

Cocktail #3: No.31 Boo Boo on Bromo

 

Boo Boo on Bromo.jpg
No.31: Indonesia – Spicy, aromatic, exotic, shaken.

 

Ingredients: Kaffir lime infused Grey Goose vodka, Domaine De Canton ginger liqueur, pear puree, House ginger syrup, apple juice, and lime juice.

This cocktail took even longer to choose because I was only having one more. I searched the map they gave us and perused the cocktail list several times before settling on this spicy yet fragrant looking concoction. I’ve used Ginger Liqueur before and Domaine De Canton is sublime. So I knew kind of what to expect from that ingredient. I also liked the idea of the orchard theme coming from the use of pear and apple. So I happily exclaimed, “the no.31 please!”

The cocktail, I received was a longer one than the previous Japanese themed drink, and yet still looked just as exotic. With leaves and dried fruit sprouting from the crushed ice filled glass, it really helped project a sense of the exotic towards me. The fragrance you’re hit with straight away is this lime filled apple orchard. Something that is not unpleasant to me at all. I certainly chose well that night.

Whilst a balanced fragrane doesn’t always lead to a balanced taste, one thing Mr Fogg’s residence does is balance all of their cocktails, no matter how exotic or weird they sound, and that, I believe, a sign of true class in the cocktail world.

Overall…

To have 80 different cocktails, and all of the ingredients that then infers, and still have 80 well-balanced, fragrant and truly unique cocktails, is truly a feat well achieved by those in charge.

This establishment is a truly fascinating place. A bar that allows you to, once that door shuts, fully lose yourselves within its confines. Mesmerising you with the authenticity of a Victorian (via Jules Verne) themed drawing room, Mr Fogg’s residence goes above and beyond that of any normal bar I’ve ever been too. From the beautiful waitresses, and highly skilled bartenders to the wandering magician who wows with his splendid talent, Mr Fogg’s residence is not only my new favourite bar, it’s my new favourite destination. Every time I go to London in the future, I will set aside time to visit this glorious palace of delight and every one of you reading this, who has the opportunity to travel to the English capital, should do the same. I cannot implore to you how much you should visit the residence of the fantastic Mr Fogg.

Final word: A huge thank you to Mr Francesco Medici, the Bar Manager. Thanks to him and his staff for a wonderful evening. Thank you to Siegfried, the fantastic magician – who, to this day, still amazes me and my friends. And finally: A massive thank you to my friends Stuart and Sarah. You both made the night just that little bit more fun!

 

 

20160331_220036.jpg
My companions this night. Left – right: Stuart & Sarah.

 

2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

And, personally, it’s looking very good for me. Especially as i’ll be trialling some new post formats next year. As well as revisiting some older posts…

I’m hoping 2016 can be a big year for both me and this blog. So let me just say this:

Thank you for all your support and I sincerely hope you all have a happy new year!

Love: The Fervent Shaker.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 59,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 22 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Cinco De Mayo 2015

So Cinco De Mayo is here! It might be nearly over here in the UK but over in the USA it’s just about time to prep your drinks and start upon your drinking night…

My addition this year is a simple yet often overlooked tweak to make your lovely cocktail a little more… punchy.

Recently I was out for a meal at Chiquito’s (a Mexican/Southern American themed chain restaurant here in the UK) and my tipple of choice whenever visiting this particular branch is their exceptional Dark N’ Stormy. They use Gosling’s Black Seal Rum, and of course Goslings ginger ale – What you have to use to create a Dark n’ Stormy, and call it so.

Well I finished my first one and, sporting my Mexican sports jacket (I purchased it during the 2014 world cup – it’s a delightful shade of green) I asked the waitress if she would mind asking the bartender to make me a Dark N’ Stormy, but with a tweak… She told me they can if they have the means, so I asked for a Dark N’ Stormy but for Tequila instead of rum, I said I wasn’t too fussed on what tequila, just whatever the bartender thought would work best.

Now I don’t know what tequila the bartender used, nor did I remember to ask on my way out (a mistake on my part – although I’d had a few and was with friends). All I know is that it tasted fantastic, and worked wonderfully! So whilst I do not know what tequila was used (I’ve left that to your own tastes) I have included a recipe I know to be pretty accurate to what I had:

Cinco De Mayo Special: Mexican Storm

Whilst it lacks the famous looking dark line at the top of the drink, it has a little more kick and is perfect for your Mexican themed parties...
Whilst it lacks the famous looking dark line at the top of the drink, it has a little more kick and is perfect for your Mexican themed parties…

Recipe:

50ml Tequila (your favourite)

150ml Ginger Ale/Beer

15ml Fresh Lime Juice

Method:

  • Pour the ginger ale/beer into a half filled tall glass.
  • Squeeze in the lime juice and top up with the large slug of tequila.
  • Garnish with a slice of lime and serve with a couple of straws.

This cocktail is so simple it’s a wonder it isn’t used more often in the world of cocktails. Supplementing tequila for rum in this case means your drink packs a little more of a kick, as well as making it instantly Mexican themed…

So next time you order a Dark N’ Stormy, switch out the rum for a nice quality Tequila, preferably your favourite, and you may never go back. I know I’m sold!

Happy Cinco De Mayo Everyone!

Que tu noche sea una buena!

Shaking things up in Battersea Park: Who let the Dodd’s out?

So I recently subscribed to Shaken Cocktails, and covered that in my post last week. After reading my post; Mark Jennings, one of the founders of Shaken Cocktails, invited me up to Battersea Park, or the nearby area to be specific, for a gathering of members and founders at the base of operations for Dodd’s Gin (The London Gin Distillery). Now this is the sort of event I’ve been looking forward to and the type of event I simply don’t get to go to enough.

From Left to Right: Mark Jennings, Darren Rook, Darren's Gin Still: 'Christine',  Sarah, Sophie & Fergus...
From Left to Right: Mark Jennings, Darren Rook, Darren’s Gin Still: ‘Christine’, Sarah, Sophie & Fergus…

Shaken bill the event as ‘A Shaken Lock-In’ and event where you go to meet like-minded people and, using the ingredients supplied in that specific months box, create 2 gloriously alcoholic cocktails. This event, at the London Gin Distillery in Battersea, consisted of meeting Mark Jennings as well as Darren Rook of Dodd’s Gin as well as several other members of Shaken Cocktails. It was a well organised and extremely down to earth event that was opened by Mark himself. Mark spoke very humbly about the event, Shaken and of course all those who attended. He came across highly passionate and very emotional when speaking about their recent successes at crowd funding (they’ve surpassed their original total and have since raised over £97,000… Congratulations to them!

congrats

It continued with a “15-minute” talk from the gin distillery’s main man: Darren Rook. Darren came across as extremely knowledgeable yet extremely down to earth and happy to talk about his work. Now you’d expect that from most people in his position but what’s refreshing is his openness and blatant passion for his craft. He’s humble yet highly knowledgeable.

Moving onto the cocktails and why everyone came: To experience Shaken and their cocktails…

So this month’s main cocktail was The Negroni, and was backed up with the Elderflower Collins.

Both cocktails used the Gin from the very establishment we met at: Dodd’s.

Check out the recipes below:

1) The Dodd’s Negroni

Recipe:

30ml Dodd’s Gin

30ml Cocci Torino Vermouth

15ml-30ml Cynar

1 part Dodd's Gin + 1 part Cocci Torino + 0.5 parts (OR 1 part) Cynar = One damn fine Negroni!
1 part Dodd’s Gin + 1 part Cocci Torino + 0.5 parts (OR 1 part) Cynar = One damn fine Negroni!

Method:

  • Into a rocks glass add the Dodd’s Gin and Cocci Torino Vermouth.
  • Then add the Cynar bitter liqueur. Try 15ml at first and then if you’d like it a little drier try add the other 15ml.
  • Add ice to the top of the glass and then stir for around 10-20 seconds.
  • Take a slice of orange peel and using your thumbs and forefingers squeeze the oils over the top of the drink.
  • Wipe the peel around the glass and then place it into the drink and sip away.

2) Elderflower Collins

Recipe:

45ml Dodd’s Gin

30ml Fresh Lemon Juice

15ml St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur

15ml Sugar Syrup

Top up Soda Water

Blending Gin, lemon juice, elderflower liqueur and sugar syrup with a dash soda water results in a spritzy little number...
Blending Gin, lemon juice, elderflower liqueur and sugar syrup with a dash soda water results in a spritzy little number…

Method:

  • Fill the metal tin (from a Boston shaker) 2 thirds full with ice.
  • Using the glass part of the shaker add together the Gin, Lemon, Elderflower liqueur and sugar syrup.
  • Shake well, for around 10-15 seconds (until the tin ices over).
  • Strain into a tall, ice filled, and top up with Soda water.
  • Garnish with a lemon wedge and serve with 2 straws.

Now these cocktails are complete opposites and by Marks own admissions this was purposely done to cater for those who like their alcohol straight and for those who enjoy a longer crisper drink.

The Negroni, with its unusual mix of more exotic ingredients is both stronger and more abusive than the Elderflower Collins yet it also holds greater depth and its lighter dilution level means you get to experience all of the great flavours from each of the 3 spirits used in its creation.

However this doesn’t write off the elderflower as a lesser cocktail. Sure the Negroni is a classic, but let’s not forget that the Elderflower Collins, by name as well as nature, is a tweak on another classic cocktail: The Tom Collins.

This tweak lightens the drink up a little and also adds a floral note, one that reminds you of the summer days gone, and makes you look forward to those to come. It’s an easy drink to consume and whilst perfect for a summer’s eve, I would state that it’s a pretty good all-rounder and something I would happily make myself when at home.

margate evening
Chill out, kick back and relax.

This event was a joy to attend and cocktails with Shaken & Dodd’s aside, meeting the other people like minded and enjoying both Shaken and cocktails in general.

Shaken is doing wonderful things and they’re headed up by Mark Jennings who not only believes in Shaken but passionately believes in what they’re doing. His sincerity and humble manner will take the company a long way and I’m proud to be a paying subscriber. I simply cannot wait for the next box to arrive!!!

The Shaken & LDC Folk: Left to Right - Mark Jennings, Darren Rook, Darrens Gin Still: Christine, Sarah, Sophie & Fergus...
So one big thank you to the team at both Shaken & LDC…

As a final note I’d like to add this:

I used to hate gin. A couple years ago I met the group over at Sipsmith and they turned me. And that’s all I’ve drunk Gin-wise since. Now, after meeting Darren Rook and experiencing the effort and quality that goes into Dodd’s gin (along with the actual gin itself – sublime) I can safely say that my self-labelled bottle will be treasured for a long time to come!

So from me here at The Fervent Shaker: Thank you Mark Jennings & Shaken Cocktails for the invite and event. And thank you to Darren Rook at Dodd’s Gin for hosting and sharing your knowledge with us all!

Valentines cocktails: An Bitter Aftermath

So Valentines has been and gone, couples have loved and lost and there’s even been a rather infamous movie release (a favourite with the female audience more than the male I imagine) but sometimes valentines does not always work out for everyone so below is a cocktail specifically created for the aftermath of a bad valentines day. Whether it was the breakups to end all break ups or just simply a poor first date this cocktail will help you suck it up and move on. Or realise what went wrong and correct it… Either way enjoy the cocktail and and chin up!

A Shot to the Heart

Recipe:

1-3 slices Jalapeno

1.5 measures Campari

1.5 measures Cold Coffee

Bitter and refreshing, this cocktail is sure to perk you up...
Bitter and refreshing, this cocktail is sure to perk you up…

Method:

  • Shake all of the ingredients well, over ice (shake for around 5-10 seconds, or until the tin ices over).
  • Double strain into a small rocks glass with fresh ice.
  • Garnish with a thin slice of lemon peel and another slice of Jalapeno pepper.

This cocktail was originally created and shared for a twist on the same old valentines cocktails. It was meant as a take on how sometimes this time of year can be a bitter pill to swallow for obvious reasons.

However I feel the cocktail itself is pretty darn good in its own right. It blends bitter Campari with refreshingly cold coffee and, in a move that shouldn’t work but does; it also has a subtle hint of spice, from the Jalapeno, running through it! This might sound like a match made in hell but assuming you like all three ingredients this drink really is something you can sink your teeth into, it’s a little different which will look good when preparing it for your friends.

One final thing to mention is that the spice scale can be tweaked for those who, like me, have an adversity to too much spice. Simply use 1 slice per spice level (1 for a slight tingle, 2 for a slight tingle followed by a small burst of intense heat and, finally, use 3 slices for an intense heat wave that will build up as you sip (especially with the garnish floating about).

Bitter-Sweet Valentines day? Then knock this cocktail back and forget all about it...
Bitter-Sweet Valentines day? Then knock this cocktail back and forget all about it…

So for those of you with a passion for spice and coffee then this cocktail could be your new sipper and even if you’re not a fan it could still be a hit for one of our spice loving friends…

!!! SUPER BOWL XLIX (49th) COCKTAIL RECIPE !!!

A new year, a new original Fervent Shaker cocktail recipe.

super bowl 2015

So then, The Super bowl ‘XLIXJNEH’ (or #49 as it’s more commonly known) is on this weekend (don’t pretend like you don’t know) and let’s face it: You Americans, when it comes to sport at least, do not need much of an excuse to drink. But the super bowl is like the British FA Cup Final, or like when Andy Murray finally won Wimbledon for us.

So I get it; it’s a pretty big deal.

But I’m not here to insult, undermine nor take away from the glory of several handfuls of hardened men battering each other for a proverbial pig-skin football (yes I know it’s not actually made from pig skin anymore) and the huge-ass trophy at the end.

I am, in actual fact, here to ask all of you NFL fans out there for help. Yes that’s right I a lonely cocktail maker, require you sports fans to make, try, enjoy, and then eventually, when the hangover of your teams loss/win wears off, feedback your thoughts to me on this page…

Are you up for it? Well I hope so as this is one of my very own cocktails, that’s right: a recipe created by the one and only Fervent Shaker that you can all share and enjoy…

The big thing to tell you is that it involves Tequila that wonderful spirit from Mexico. Alongside that is the Midori, a melon liqueur that literally oozes sweetness and then simply some triple sec and pineapple juice. The idea is that this cocktail will help brighten up the obvious dodgy weather that is currently plaguing both the USA and UK and help you think about all the fun to be had this coming summer…

So without further ado I reveal to you the first Fervent Shaker original cocktail of 2015:

El Martillo (The Hammer in English).

The green colour is as stunning as its taste...
The green colour is as stunning as its taste…

Recipe:

2 measures Silver Tequila (100% Agave only)

1 measure Midori Melon Liqueur

½ measure Triple Sec Liqueur (try to use a clear triple sec)

2 ½ measures Pineapple Juice (fresher the better)

Method:

  • Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and then add ice.
  • Shake well, until the tin ices over (around 10-15 seconds usually).
  • Strain into a small coupe cocktail glass and garnish with a lime peel*.

For an added zing squeeze the lime peel, releasing the oils, over the drink, and then wipe the outside of the glass with it, before putting it in the drink. This will add a little crisp finish to an already very delightful drink.

Personally I quite like this drink and when you use good quality tequila you really get its balanced taste shine through.  This cocktail was inspired by my local cocktail bars’ Melon Ball recipe which can also be found here.

So whether you’re going tailgating, spending the afternoon on the couch or just down the local watering hole; give this cocktail a try and please do report back. If you like it: Great, please share with everyone why and whether you’ll drink it again soon. If you don’t like it: Even better, please share why and how you think it can be improved…

I really want to get some great feedback on this cocktail recipe so my dear readers (old and new): Get drinking and experiment away!

Cocktails at the BAFTAS

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

Special Occasion? This calls for a Cocktail!

Cocktails for all occasions

pimms no1 & lemonade 2

There are some cocktails out there that are best saved for those big occasions; you know all the weddings, birthday parties and fancy shindigs you are all getting up to! Here in this list are 8 drinks that are best utilised for relaxing nights in with your friends or small cocktail soiree’s.

From simple build-a-spritzer combinations to slightly intricate shaken mixtures this list contains a healthy balance of both – not to mention everything in between.

We’ll start with relaxing events. So these would be times when you have friends over for a chilled out evening either with a film or generally have a good time…

Spiced Whisky Ale

Recipe:

50ml Whisky of your choice

125ml Fever Tree Ginger Ale

whisky ale cocktail

Method:

–          Build ingredients in a glass, over ice.

This cocktail is simple. Just pour the ingredients in a glass and enjoy. And that’s the whole point, relaxing cocktails are about putting a few ingredients together following a simple method allowing you to spend more time with your guests, and enjoy that time too.

New Yorker

Recipe:

50ml Vodka of your choice

125ml Cranberry Juice

Wedge of Lime

Seven Grand

Method:

–          Build in a glass over ice.

–          Either drop in the lime wedge whole, or squeeze it in the drink before dropping it in.

This again is a very simple yet elegant drink. The cranberry juice is a perfect complement for the Vodka. With Smirnoff, Finlandia and other companies bringing out different flavoured vodkas, it might be worth finding one you like and trying it out. Finlandia Grapefruit works particularly well with this drink.

Pimms No.1 & Lemonade

Recipe:

50ml Pimms No.1

100ml Lemonade

Garnish: Orange slice, Cucumber slice, Strawberry, Mint Sprig.

pimms no1 & lemonade

Method:

–          Build the ingredients over ice in a tall glass.

–          Garnish with the above ingredients.

Of course Pimms cocktails are always better prepared as jugs/pitchers but for chilled evenings with friends sometimes a little intimacy is called for. There’s no trick involved in the garnish either, use a swizzle stick and mix the fruit in the drink – not only does this mix the garnishes up, but also mix the drink a bit better!

Spiced Ice-Tea

Recipe:

50ml Captain Morgans Spiced Gold Rum

125ml iced tea

Pinch Ground Cinnamon & Ground Nutmeg.

spiced teas

Method:

–          Combine the ingredients in a mixing glass over ice and stir well.

–          Strain into an ice filled Collins glass and serve with a straw.

This drink is a little more artsy, with the cinnamon and nutmeg making an appearance, but this drink could easily stand a test without them, should you not like the flavours. The iced tea recipe can be a basic recipe, but I find a standard tea works well, maybe an earl grey?

Mahiki Breeze

Recipe:

50ml Mahiki Coconut

10ml Spiced Gold Rum

80ml Cranberry Juice

35ml Grapefruit juice

Garnish: Lime wedge

mahiki breeze

Method:

–          In a cocktail shaker, combine all ingredients and shake well (until the shaker ices over).

–          Strain into a tall glass, half filled with ice.

–          Drop in the lime wedge, or squeeze in if preferred.

Rum and Citrus is an age old combination dating back to when people had the good sense and taste to drink them together. That’s right it’s an awesome mix and you should try this cocktail at your next party to prove my point. The Cranberry & Grapefruit juice compliment the rum and each other well, not to mention the coconut flavour of Mahiki blending in well too. This drink is shaken well before serving so it is both mixed well and chilled.

Gran Cran

Recipe:

25ml Grand Marnier

50ml Cranberry Juice

7ml Lime Juice

gran cran

Method:

–          Shake the ingredients together over ice and strain into a tall glass filled with crushed ice.

–          Garnish with a lime wedge and serve with a straw.

A rather unusual use for Grand Marnier, but a cocktail that allows this fantastic spirit to shine is more than ok with me! Try this after food – it’s perfect for settling your stomach and helping cleanse your palate. Not to mention it tastes pretty darn good.

Archer Cooler

Recipe:

50ml Archers Peach schnapps

50ml Orange Juice

50ml Cranberry Juice

archers cooler

Method:

–          Combine the ingredients in a tall glass, over ice, and stir well to mix.

–          Serve with a straw

Holiday Schnapps

Recipe:

50ml Archers Peach Schnapps

125ml Pineapple Juice

7ml Lime Juice

archers pineapple

Method:

–          Build the ingredients in a tall glass, over ice.

–          Garnish with a lime wedge and serve with straws.

This cocktail is as refreshing as they come, blending the peach schnapps with pineapple juice helps bring back those long forgotten summer holidays of old. The Lime adds a crisp finish to a very refreshing drink. This versatile is perfect for cocktail parties or just quiet nights in.

So there you go, 8 cocktails for you to use at any parties/occasions you deem them relevant. But remember they are best suited for relaxing events; BBQ’s, Soiree’s, and general evenings in with your mates.

N.B.the recipes in this post are from, or inspired by, recipes on www.uk.thebar.com and the pictures are partly taken from the same website as well as others (including this iced-tea recipe from Sensibiliteas). Recipes that differ from those on the first website have been tweaked or changed by myself and myself alone. Enjoy them responsibly folks!

Happy New Year!

Celebrate in style…

So where do I start? This is my last post of the year of 2013. And I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped me over the past 24 months. This blog was set up through my love of cocktails and a need to write about them.

I love cocktails and I need you all to know it!

So whether it’s a mild mannered rooftop Soiree…

So from the 57 Bloggers , 190 Tweeters & 133 Facebookers out there down to each and every individual person who has ever read/commented on one of my posts: A very humble thank you.

When I first started this blog I never imagined to have got as far with it as I am. 13 months after I started I’m sitting here having reached over 3000 views in one month (December 2013 – 3110+) and am sitting on just under 18,000 total views. Just WOW!

Or whether it’s a rather messy Student mash up…

My spare time is dwindling as i work on my 2 cocktails books and also a side project (Sci-Fi – novel) but i will still aim to hit you with about 4-6 posts per month (more so when I have more time!).

I’ll be hoping to take this blog into new areas of alcoholism and of course cocktails will feature as heavily as they have done. Hopefully I’ll even have a prize draw for all you UK readers at some point (as well as looking at going “.com” at some point).

Thank you again and may you all enjoy a fantastic 2014!

Remember to always have fun, even it that means playing ‘go fish’ with the family…

Stairs to the cocktail heaven:

It might rain, so say the weather people; Rainy Day Cocktails is my response…

Even Sharks love cocktails…

If you don’t like sharks, how about a Mule?

Fizz things up a bit with a Fizz cocktail or 10.

Here’s Cointreau with their Fizz Cocktails too…

And even some 3 course cocktails

Penultimately here are my two Champagne Collections:

Christmas 2013

Not just Bellini’s and Mimosa’s

And finally, my collection of several Summer Cocktail lists:

Whisky Exchange, Tequila, Gin, Vodka, Rum, Liqueur 43 & Cointreau. Not to mention my entire collection of Cocktails O’ Clock Posts.

 

Enjoy and again a very happy New Year to you all!