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!
Prosecco & St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
30ml St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
Top Up TTD Prosecco Conegliano
Using a standard champagne flute, gently add the Elderflower Liqueur into the bottom of the glass.
The simply top up with the prosecco.
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!
Prosecco & Licor 43
30ml Licor 43
Top up TTD Prosecco Conegliano
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…
Prosecco & Creme De Peche
25ml Creme De Peche
Top up TTD Prosecco Conegliano
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!
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!
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 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
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
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
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.
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!
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.
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
50ml Tequila (your favourite)
150ml Ginger Ale/Beer
15ml Fresh Lime Juice
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!
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.
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!
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:
30ml Dodd’s Gin
30ml Cocci Torino Vermouth
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.
45ml Dodd’s Gin
30ml Fresh Lemon Juice
15ml St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
15ml Sugar Syrup
Top up Soda Water
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.
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!!!
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!
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
1-3 slices Jalapeno
1.5 measures Campari
1.5 measures Cold Coffee
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).
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…
A new year, a new original Fervent Shaker cocktail recipe.
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).
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)
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!