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.

The Zombies are coming… And they are carrying Hangovers…

Yes Halloween is over, and yes I know you’re probably getting over your hangover as we speak but bear with me here and I guarantee this post will make your afternoon/evening/day/weekend.

Everyone knows that hangovers are caused primarily by dehydration as alcohol is a diuretic and can have that effect but also by the chemicals found in darker alcohols.

Free advice: Hangovers suffered after drinking just clear alcohol (Gin/Vodka etc.) is felt less* than one suffered after drinking just darker spirits (Dark rum/brandy etc.).

Now I won’t tell you that hair of the dog is a good idea, because it is not. It will make you feel a little better in the short term but only as it prolongs the hangover (yes, it makes you drunker quicker than normal). The best way to treat a hangover is to replace the nutrients you lost through urinating. Now the first thing to do is a have a nice relaxing shower and maybe a drink of water and feel clean and ready for your day, then follow that up with a light breakfast that includes fruit juice. Something like oats/multigrain cereal work well. As for the juices; go for orange, apple, cranberry and any ‘super-food’ or ‘super-berry’ juice (things like berry/soft fruit smoothies, blueberries etc.) as they replace the nutrients and minerals you need. If you feel like cheating find a

Free Advice: I love a good smoothie, making them fresh is brilliant but any premade product (like innocent/supermarket brands) will also work just as well.

So where am I going with this post I hear you shout, well listen to this: Cocktails don’t have to contain alcohol. Sure they taste better with some, but there is a whole library of ‘Mocktails’ out there that can help you out on a hung-over Sunday morning/afternoon.

Here are some of the best:

The All Rounder

Recipe:

100ml Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice

250ml Apple juice

100ml Peach Puree

10g Fresh Ginger, sliced/cubed

150ml Cranberry Juice

1 apple, 1 orange (peeled & seeded), 1 Banana*, handful of fresh berries (to taste).

Method:

1)      Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

2)      Serve straight away and enjoy with a grapefruit and some brown sugar.

This concoction is one of my very own recipes and includes some orchard fruits, which are always a handful when blending, which can be removed if you keep the juice. The fruits help boost your nutrient intake, and the ginger helps your body cope with any ethanol left in your system. The orange juice is a natural source of Vitamin C which is always handy, but can be removed if necessary.

This smoothie is not going to set the world on fire, but it is a pretty good all-rounder, perfect for batch making and has enough of everything you need for a fruit filled breakfast boost.

 

The Super Fruit

Recipe:

100g Blueberries

100g Raspberries

4 hulled, Strawberries

100ml Mango Juice

100ml Pomegranate Juice

200ml Milk

2 tablespoons honey

Method:

1)      Blend all of the ingredients until smooth.

2)      Pour into a glass and enjoy with some blueberries as garnish.

This Smoothie is all about helping you ‘be all you can be’. The fruits used are considered ‘super’ for their health boosting properties, not to mention the boost in nutrients and high calcium content of the milk. This is perfect for those who prefer milkshakes to juice smoothies.

 

Ultimate Hangover Buster, courtesy of ‘hip & healthy

330ml Cocoa Coconut water

1 Banana*

1 Kiwi fruit

1/3 Pineapple

Method:

1)      Chop up and blend until smooth.

2)      Serve straight away and enjoy.

Courtesy of Hip & Healthy this ultimate hangover buster contains the main nutrient lost due to alcohol ingestion:  Potassium. Almost all of the ingredients used in this drink contain high levels of the mineral, which means your body gets a huge boost to help you combat the hangover symptoms. The fruit juice contains high amounts of naturally occurring water easing that banging headache of yours and the nausea, well that should go once your body starts to break down the fruits.

The perfect choice for the morning after a heavy night! Make a few of these up in advance and store in the fridge and you’ll be the super-hero of the hangover curing world.

 

Fruit & Tea

Recipe:

3 tablespoons water

1 green tea-bag

2 teaspoons Honey

200g Frozen Blueberries

½ Banana*

180ml Vanilla Soya Milk

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Super fruit + Green Tea = A very good start to the morning after…

Method:

1)      Boil the teabag for 3 minutes in a small glass/mug of water.

2)      Remove the teabag and add the honey and stir until dissolved.

3)      Allow to cool.

4)      Combine the berries, milk, banana, tea in a blender and blend (some blenders have a ‘crush-ice’ setting – use this, failing that use the highest setting).

5)      Blend until smooth, and pour into serving glasses.

For the more sophisticated hangover, this recipe is more across the board than the previous 2 recipes, but it does its job very well. Mixing the healthy green tea with the original super-food blueberries and a potassium pumped banana this recipe will have you up and about in no time.

Time consuming and best served fresh on the day, this recipe is probably the one that will have you working the most for the pay off, but it is ultimately worth the effort. The flavour combinations are surprisingly tasty, the nutrient boost is fantastic and the fact that this recipe is a little different (due to the tea) makes it something worth trying at least once. Again it is very easy to scale up for guests.

Berry & Almond

250ml Almond Milk

1 banana

65-80g mixed berries (try using forest fruits here, including blueberries & blackberries)

½ teaspoon Cinnamon

½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract

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Attractive and fruity this smoothie will pick you right up…

Method:

1)      Blend all the ingredients until smooth.

2)      Serve in rocks glasses.

This recipe is for those of you who are Lactose intolerant. Utilising a relatively new product on our UK shelves; Almond Milk, this recipe also combines a warming cinnamon with the fragrant vanilla and mixed forest fruits. High in healthy nutrients and high in Calcium (not to mention the rather different flavour) this recipe is great for settling your stomach early in the morning and having instead of a bowl of cereal.

Studio 72 House Smoothie

1 Kiwi,

½ Lime,

75g mixed berries (include blueberries)*,

50g Acai berry,

100g pineapple chunks,

250ml water

Method:

1)      Blend all of the ingredients until smooth.

2)      Serve in a tall ice filled glass.

This is also one of my own recipes and it’s more of an afternoon smoothie. A mix of potassium high fruits, nutrient rich berries and the super Acai berry this recipe will both quench your thirst and boost your body’s system and help pep you up a bit.

It might seem silly to put an afternoon recipe in here but if you combine it with any of the other morning recipes then you’ll find your hangover not only goes quicker but you’ll feel much better long into the night.

Free Advice: please be aware that some people are allergic to bananas, oranges, strawberries etc. so make sure you ask before making these drinks. All these drinks are mixable without the relevant allergens, just substitute in fruits the person of note is able to eat.

So there you have 6 hangover helpers that will make the difference to a wasted day and a quick recovery. Sure they might not work instantly, but the point is to rehydrate and replace lost nutrients. Experiment with the fruit you have at home, with milk or water, and even use vegetables if you like. Chin up and get on with your day!

So after a few too many daiquiri’s and Martinis fill your morning with fresh fruit smoothies and light, energy boosting foods and you’ll be ready by lunchtime!

Drink well and prosper folks!

Links to websites used:

Hip & Healthy

Lifestyle 1

Lifestyle 2

AllRecipes

DrinkAwareUK

Cocktails O’Clock: Inspired by… Halloween Part 1

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Just like Ant & Dec, here’s my first number one…

Here it is, the first of my Halloween Cocktails for your pleasure…

1)      Spiced Caramel Apple

Recipe:

60ml Fresh Apple Juice

45ml Bacardi Oakheart

15ml Fresh Lime Juice

2 teaspoons Caramel Syrup

3 dashes Angostura Bitters

Garnish: Lime wedge & cinnamon sugar rim dusting.

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Golden and cinnamon rimmed, this cocktail will warm your sweet tooth all night long…

Garnish preparation: Combine ground cinnamon and caster sugar in a 2:1 ratio in a small bowl.

Then mix with a spoon or fork until the mixture is one colour.

Wet the rim of the glass with a lime wedge.

Finally, whilst holding the glass upside down, pour the cinnamon sugar over the wet area; allowing for an even coating.

Method:

a)      Combine all the ingredients over ice and shake well for 5-10 seconds

b)      Strain into an ice-filled glass (use crushed ice).

c)       Garnish with a lime wedge and rim the glass with a cinnamon/sugar dusting.

Serving this drink over crushed ice supplies the dilution effect required, allowing for full enjoyment of its sweet apply flavours. Inspired by a Toffee Apple and all that is sweet this Halloween this drink is everything you need to keep your sugar rush going through the night. Warming, sweet and seasonally delicious (works really well with home-made seasonal apple juice)…

London Cocktail Week – A drinkers thought’s

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I’ve just jumped of the tube at Covent Garden, naively thinking it was the best choice being the closest to where I had to go. Everything was good, people were in high spirits, well as high as they can be sitting on the tube. After disembarking I had two choices…

1)      Wait with the large crowds for a lift,

2)      Or, Take the stairs.

I didn’t see the point of waiting for the second lift and being crammed into a sardine can so I took the ‘easy’ way out. It wasn’t until I was in the current of people already pushing their way up the stairs that I read a message that made my heart sink:

covent garden

Or course it was too late as by then I’d commited myself to the program. Now I’m not the fittest person in the world, but 1/3 or the way up and I passed a couple of older walkers, obviously in too deep so I used that as incentive to keep going and not turn back (if they weren’t turning back I’ll be damned if I was). It wasn’t until about ½ way up I started to feel it, a slight tingling in my thighs, which turned into an intense burn around 2/3’s of the way up. Then every step felt like 10, with people having the same problem stopping more frequently. The only people that seemed to keep on was me and a group of Italian girls. As we got to the top we were sharing moans and groans about how painful it was and eventually made it, laughing together before making our own way onwards.

Anyway this was a bit of a tiring way to start the day, but an otherwise exhilarating one and needless to say on the way back down I took the lift…

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Greeting’s from the London Cocktail Week team!

I’d been waiting for a while for this day now, having booked 2 events;

1)      Gaz’s Historical Tour (at the Monkey Shoulder DIY Kitchen)

2)      Discover Sipsmith, a tour of their distillery

These events will have separate posts, both coming soon. In the meantime the day as a whole was good fun. The collection of ‘pop up’ bars and ‘push bike’ bars creating a very Wild West style vibe across both Monmouth & Earlham Street. The two most noteworthy were the Fever Tree and Disaronno Sour stations. The former offering Tanqueray G&T’s as well as tasters of their brands various carbonated drinks (including Ginger Beer, Classic Tonic water & Elderflower Tonic). I don’t like Tonic water at all, excluding in a G&T of course, but there was something special about the elderflower tonic that was obviously an occurrence of the Elderflower adding a sweet tint to the otherwise dry tonic.

Definitely something to look at with further cocktails and posts and one of which will deal exclusively with Fever Tree as an overall company (including their products compared to other similar ones), however for the meantime let it be said that this was one of the better pop-ups on the day.

The other, Disaronno’s  stand, was serving freshly mixed Disaronno Sours to anyone with a LCW wristband. The Sour is the cocktail of the moment for Disaronno, with them spending a lot of time try to promote it, alongside Disaronno’s use in cocktails (which is a good idea seeing as it is perfect for such a use).

The drink itself is strange, an enigma if you will, combining lemon juice with the liqueurs almond flavour as well as sugar should result in an odd and almost unpleasant taste one might be mistaken for thinking but the fact is that it actually tastes rather nice. The lemon juice adding a little acidity to the sweet flavours of the liqueur and sugar with the almond holding its own and supplying enough of a hit to let you know it’s alcoholic without it being painful.

A rather nice afternoon, but then it was time for the first event Gaz’s Historical Tour; a 90 minute seminar on the history of Whisky cocktails through the ages (courtesy of Monkey Shoulder).

When I saw this I thought “Gaz Regan? No, cant be!” but it was, in all his glory, the great and legendary Gary Regan. He’s been an icon ever since I started reading about cocktail culture and learning about recipes and where they came from (as well as how they came about). And to finally meet him, in the flesh, well that was something special…

And there were no disappointments, he was just as hilarious and eccentric as one would expect and was very welcoming to the 15 or so people in the group (including me). After introductions were made, including with the Monkey Shoulder brand ambassador; Grant Neave, who was fantastically insightful and also extremely welcoming, the talk ensued…

Starting with a sampling of Monkey Shoulder itself and an introduction to their first cocktail on the list: The Athol Brose (a middle aged brew of whisky, water, honey & oats) and culminating with the Debonair; this talk was very educational.

I’m the first person to admit I’m not the biggest fan of whisky, in any form – Including its cocktail counterparts, but I went to this event for two reasons:

1)      To meet the great Gaz Regan (Mission Completed).

2)      To learn about both monkey shoulder and whisky in general (both straight and cocktail forms) (Mission Completed).

Overall the event was great value for just £15 I got an extended (it started late but lasted longer than billed) introduction to monkey shoulder and a fantastic tour of the most important whisky cocktails through the ages. Overall a great event and topped off perfectly with a handshake from both Gaz Regan himself and the brilliant Grant Neave. Awesome afternoon!

Next time on the Fervent Shaker LCW special: Discover Sipsmith – A Gin of epic proportions and historical significance… 

It’s London Cocktail Week!!!

October 7th – 13th is London Cocktail Week.

Huzzah and glory to everything cocktail!

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Come one, Come all!

This week, in the seven dials area of London (basically down the road from Covent Garden), spirit companies from around the world will gather and celebrate in all things cocktail…

Whether it’s a Fever Tree inspired Dark N’ Stormy, or one of the heavily advertised Disaronno sour there is something for everyone… I for one intend to have my fill.

Below is my itinerary, from picking up the wristband (that allows entry to some events, but more importantly allows you to partake in £4 cocktails at certain establishments across London throughout the week.

The idea to begin with is to grab my wristband, and have a look around, then attend the first of my pre-paid events: Gaz’s Historical Tour. Then I’ll have 2 hours to have another look around and explore some of the goings on in the streets before making my way over the Nasmyth st for the discover Sipsmith seminar. Then I’ll make my way home. It’s a simple, but hopefully fruitful day out. Learning about Sipsmith gin, experiencing some great street vendors and of course Gaz’s historical tour…

Thursday 10th October: Itinerary

12:00 – 14:00                      Wristband Collection                   

14:00 – 15:30                      Gaz’s Historical Tour

15:30 – 17:30                      Jerry’s Backyard Bar

15:30 – 17:30                      Botanical Bicycle (FeverTree)

16:00 – 17:30                      Disaronno Sour Station

15:30 – 17:30                      Whisky Exchange (Offie)

15:30 – 17:30                      Averna Pop Up Van

15:30 – 17:30                      Funkin Street Bar

17:00 – 17:30                      The Caorunn Sensorium

18:30 – 20:30                      Discover Sipsmith

As you can see this should be a fun day and I cannot wait to go up and have a look, not to mention photograph and write down everything I experience. You can all look forward to reading about this day in blog posts to come, but if you’re about at all and want to come and join in the fun you can!

I’ll be about as part of the crowd, but should you notice me at all (I’ll let you figure out who I am on the day) then please feel free to introduce yourself and we’ll share a drink and some words!

Until next time readers! Adieu

King of Cool: Cocktails and Justin Timberlake…

“Take Back the Night… With a Cuba Libre”

At home I make cocktails all the time, granted I drink a lot of Cuba Libre’s, (hell if I have rum I’ll drink them all day long) but every now and then I push the boat out, buy some Tanqueray, and chill with a classic Gin fizz, but mainly I’ll use my Boston Shaker for something a little more challenging. Now when I do this, it’s like making a meal, I gather all my ingredients; making sure I have all the tools (utensils, shaker glass etc.) ready and the right measuring jiggers for what I need.

Now to really get into the ‘zone’ I like to chuck on some music, whatever I happen to be into at the time. When I want a classic cocktail from the prohibition I go for Jazz, it just sets the mood, but when I’m making something more modern I like to listen to a bit of pop. Mainstream I know but its easy listening and easy to jig along to.

Anyway, to the point, the other day I chucked on Justin Timberlake’s new song ‘Take Back the Night’ and started to test out some cocktails for the Angostura 2014 Global Cocktail Competition. This was one of the more fun sessions I’ve had recently, both distressing from my current job, and also general life. You might say it’s my happy place… Now I’ll listen to anything me, I’m quite partial to a bit of the classic 80’s & 90’s stuff but also quite into artists like Diana Vickers. Something happy, upbeat and fun, that’s the name of the game for me. This is where good old JT comes in to the fray:

JT likes a drink or two... He's also pretty good at music if you hadn't heard...
JT likes a drink or two… He’s also pretty good at music if you hadn’t heard…

I was jigging along to we take back the night, mixing away working out cocktails that worked and those that didn’t (those that were as crisp and refreshing as being hit around the face by a Pimms marinated cucumber, and those that were worse than a martini containing more brine than a walrus’ backside), when I realised I’d come up with something a little special.

What I came up with are 3 very fantastic but equally dangerous cocktails. I have no doubt that I will not be invited to the UK heats, as I’m sure that there are other people better than me, but I live in hope, the hope that I get to go to such an event and have someone professional judge my work. That’s my aim, for professional feedback from someone in the drinks business. The money always helps should I ultimately win it too hehe.

One of these cocktails is a tweaked version of a mule cocktail I published on a recent post; the Mordor Mule (that’s right the New Zealand themed Mule Cocktail).

I won’t be sharing the cocktails just yet as, should I be invited to the heats, I want them to be a surprise (you never know who’ll read the post right folks?)…

What I’m trying to get across is that for me, music and cocktail making work extremely well together. If I enjoy the music, it helps me get lost in the atmosphere I create, letting my creativity run a little looser than usual.  And the magic potion this time: JT’s Take Back the Night

Although my favourite song at the moment is: Diana Vickers: Music to make boys cry

It doesn’t always result in great cocktails every time, but I find it helps me focus in on the ingredients that work better than others. It may not work for you but that’s the point, I find it works for me, so thought I’d share that with you all… Not to mention this funny cocktail related picture 😀

Even the lesser mammals enjoy a cocktail or three...
Even the lesser mammals enjoy a cocktail or three…

Drink well, drink responsibly!

I Entered a Competition!!!

“I hope I win…”

So recently I entered two competitions, whilst one involved coming up with 3 cocktails (one initially but 3 in total should you make it to their UK heats) the other was a screenplay competition. In my spare time (when I’m not working on my cocktails, this blog or my book in progress) I love coming up with Sci-Fi novel ideas. None of which I’ve had the time to write up in full yet.

However these competitions have given me something to focus on heavily (hence the abundance of shorter posts from me in recent weeks). The screenplay was only for a 3 minute scene, but I actually got some great ideas written down for my own novel, which I’ll be working on this week coming.

This screenplay competition is something I’m extremely excited about from a personal point of view; however this next competition is something I’m also proud about from a business point of view…

With London cocktail week coming up (October 7th-13th) I wanted to enter a proper cocktail creativity competition. Then I saw the Angostura Bitters Global Competition. An annual competition, Angostura looks for ways to showcase one of their flagship products: Angostura Bitters.

The prestigious Angostura global cocktail championships…

This competition calls for three cocktails:

1)      A Rum based cocktail containing 5 dashes of Angostura bitters. Rest of the ingredients were my own, as were the garnishes, glassware and methods.

2)      A freestyle cocktail: Can use any combination of alcohol but must contain 5 dashes of bitters once again.

3)      An Angostura Rum (1919, 1824, Reserva, 5yo & 7yo Rums) & bitters drink.

All 3 are allowed up to six ingredients as long as 1 is Angostura bitters (5 dashes). Now I think 5 dashes is far too much, but I set out to prove myself wrong and try and come up with something a little better than I have done before. Now straight away I singled out Ginger Ale as the obvious mixer for at least one of my three drinks…

The others are very orchard like, and what I feel to represent the best fusion of Angostura Rum/Bitters with the British produce. One is a soft berry & mixed berry themed punch (my signature one) and the other rum one is an orchard special (using apple and elderflower).

I won’t be sharing the cocktails just yet as, should I be invited to the heats, I want them to be a surprise (you never know who’ll read the post right folks?)…

With any luck I can make it to the heats, be told how my cocktails are, and either take the brutal criticism on the chin or revel in some great remarks (most likely a mixture of the two).

Anyway I shall leave you with this, rather special, cocktail you should all try:

Open House Punch

750ml Southern Comfort

175ml Lemon Juice

175ml Fresh Lemonade*

175ml Fresh Orange Juice*

3 litres lemon-lime soda (7up/Sprite)

Perfect for large parties, this punch is soft enough but if you're not careful it'll kick like a Bucking Bronco...
Perfect for large parties, this punch is soft enough but if you’re not careful it’ll kick like a Bucking Bronco…

Method:

1)      In a punch bowl combine all the ingredients, and stir well.

2)      Chuck in some fruit you like (citrus works well, and so do orchard fruit, soft fruit & berries).

3)      Chill well if making in advance (cover and place in fridge for 2/3 hours) if making to order:

4)      Add ice and stir until cold. The bigger the ice cubes the less the dilution. A single large block of ice is best.

5)      Serve out with a ladle and enjoy.

Top tip: Try experimenting with fruit liqueurs and different fruit juices, it won’t be an ‘Open House Punch’ but you just might discover something a little special…

*these can be found down your local supermarkets fresh juice aisle. The original recipe calls for frozen 6 oz cans of both the lemonade and OJ but over here in the UK we don’t have those readily available. Should you also want something a bit fresher (I’m aiming that one at all you north Americans (USA & Canada alike) then fresh lemonade and (not from concentrate) smooth Orange juice work as a great substitute.

Bon Anniversaire…

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What it feels like to know someone, anyone (other than your own mother) likes your work…

I finished work early today, and when I did my customary stat check on the blog and I was met with a notification symbol, the likes of which I’d never seen before. It was in the shape of a cup, not a tea cup, but one of those ‘takes two people to lift it’ football sized trophy cups…

Anyway I immediately clicked on it to find out what sort of prize awaited me, some glorious honour from my fellow bloggers? No? What about a special delivery, a message or gift from some famous alcohol company? – Too good to be true! Instead I was met with this message:

“Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!”

And then:

“You registered on WordPress.com 1 years ago!

Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging!”

Now to me nothing says happy anniversary like a nice bottle of Havana Club, or a sneaky ‘pushing the boat out’ bottle of Prucia Plum Liqueur. But whilst this message is a bit of a ‘well done old chap’ tap on the back, it does lead me onto a reflective train of thought…

It’s been a whole year since I signed up to my blog, granted I did take a couple months to publish the first blog, but I’ve still come a long way.

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White Arrow: You are here…

I started out with the small hope that I could grow my online presence and help get the UK more enthusiastic about cocktails (by celebrating ingredients, cocktails and bars wherever I find them!). Now having looked back at the stats, I’ve been blown away at just how many people have actually read a post on my blog. Let me share a few figures for you:

1)      Total Views since I started (and counting):                                            6,430

2)      Total months I’ve been posting not including this month (august):             10

3)      Total months where the blog has grown in views                                     10

4)      Top 3 Countries by views:

  1. United States of America:                                                                        2,508
  2. United Kingdom:                                                                                      1,397
  3. Canada:                                                                                                       226

5)      Total Countries reached:                                                                           108

6)      Number of spots on a leopard:                                                                    176

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THATS NUMBERWANG!!!!

Ok so that last one was a red-herring (ha-ha I’m full of animal puns today), but just look at the countries reached: 108… Now when I set out that was a number that hadn’t even crossed my mind. I was aiming to hit the U.K. solely and start my way on the U.S.A. at a later date. As it turns out, the North Americans (USA/Canada) are up there in my top 3. The only other places in the world I wanted to hit this early on were Australia and New Zealand (both of which are inside the top 20 (with 149, and 43 respectively).

Now I hope you can understand that to me these figures are mind boggling! I would never have dreamed that over 6,000 people would’ve read my blog, not to mention commented on it.

And this is where we move onto my followers…

I have 30 WordPress followers (as well as 200+ on twitter and Facebook) and, well to be totally honest, I don’t think I’d be where I am today without you all. Thank you all for reading/sharing/re-posting the contents of my blog. I’d like to think I could call a couple of you pals. Something I certainly never thought would happen!

At least I’d like to think some of you guys are at least on common speaking terms: here’s looking at you;

LordsOfTheDrink & ThingzThatFizz… among many others!

My last post: ‘The Fervent Shaker’s Top 10… Liqueurs’ was an apt blog on which to have this little number follow. University for me was as much about discovering cocktails and furthering my love for them as it was about getting my degree in Geography & Geology.

Hang on I hear you say, a student that drinks? Surely not! Well I can tell you that I did further my knowledge of cocktails, the best way anyone can: by consuming them in vast quantities over the course of a few years…

Well, finally let me end this emotional drivel and just say; I intend to commemorate this 1 year’s anniversary by continuing my blog as it is now. Fear not for you shall continue to see Recipes, alcohol specials, event specials and my general musings for many more years to come! (Hopefully).

Again thank you all, and if you ever need a recipe for any cocktail, you know where I am!

Dan

The Fervent Shaker.

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Oh, should anyone want to send me a few of these babies, then please do… (I reckon 1 for every post should be enough) haha. Peace out!

Black Tot Day: What do we do with a drunken wailer?

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Remember how sad you were when you saw this scene? Imagine how the sailors felt…

Ever heard the stories of sailors swabbing the puke off their decks? Or stories of drunken nights they don’t remember? No? Neither have I, and that’s for one reason: Sailors were well’ard. Back in the day Sailors were manly men. Men who had engines, internal combustion engines that run on the darkest of rums: BLACK RUM.

This fabled spirit is widely available nowadays but its humble beginnings are not lost on those who care…

On July 31st 1970 a tragic event befell the Royal British Navy: the very last ration of rum was given out to the sailors under the flag of her majesty’s fleet. This was a tragic and sad day for all those who would call themselves sailors, after all this day ended a 300 year old tradition.

“A mighty bowl on deck he drew

And filled it to the brink

Such drank the Burford’s gallant crew

And such the gods shall drink.

The Scared robe which Vernon wore

Was drenched within the same

And hence his virtues guard our shore

And Grog drives its name.”

An excerpt from Mariners Mirror by L.G. Carr Laughton, 1919

Back in 1655 the rum ration started (unofficially – as if there’s any other way) and carried on until Vice-Admiral Edward Vernon of the West Indies fleet insisted the rum be watered down and served with lime: And thus became known as Grog (after his nickname: Old Grog).

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The ‘Old Grog’ himself: Vice-Admiral of the West Indies Fleet: Edward Vernon…

This sounds like a great rule to me. And it was a shame they stopped it. Apparently during the 1950’s there was concern caused that the rations supplied might impact the ability of the sailors to operate the more complex warships. Personally I think it would’ve created a much more interesting world. I mean imagine the crap that would float to shore from the abundant collisions and groundings? Not to mention the rather abundant plunder to be had for treasure hunters scouring the sea floor.

You see the choice by the British government to ban the rum rations has created a loss of jobs and slashed the dreams of all those kids who grew up wanting to be Indiana Jones or Lara Croft. Hell, I wanted to be a treasure hunter (I still do!) and they ruined my life. Kind of.

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Treasure hunters: Whichever one you preferred, they both lived great lives, I still wish I could be like Indy.

Anyway in all seriousness this day has been celebrated by rum lovers everywhere, with rum brands making the most of the day with offers, competitions and of course sales. On that fateful day many of the sailors held mock funerals, others poured their last ‘tot’ into the sea and various other events.

Finally, an ending thought:

Black Tot Day (BTD) is not without its positive notes… In 2010 a company called Speciality Drinks realised that the remaining stores of Naval rum were available for ‘procurement’… They purchased the remaining rum stores and on July 31st 2010 they (re)launched their plunder under the apt name: ‘Black Tot Rum’.

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One ot the most expensive rum’s on the market. I still want one…

This rum is unique as it has been preserved in its stoneware flagons for the four decades between Black Tot Day and the launch of possibly one most unique alcohol products ever sold. Whether you’re a naval history enthusiast, or if you just like rum this is something you just have to try /own. If you can afford it that is!

If not, settle for a bottle Kraken Spiced, a bag of limes and rather large bottle of cola.

Until the next time readers!

Casamigos Tequila – Spoilers people, Spoilers…

I have heard news of a post about a New USA based* Tequila brand hitting this blog tomorrow around 11am (UK time) as a homage to the USA’s ‘apparent’ National Tequila Day (NTD)  … What could it be about I hear you say… What mysteries will be unveiled? Will it give you a hangover? All that and more on tomorrows post (Except the hangover thing – of course it will. It’s Tequila!**)

Here’s a little teaser to get you ebbing with saliva for that post…

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Who are they? What brand will this tequila be? Is this teaser to revealing? All these and more tomorrow!

Take care, and until tomorrow, drink well and be safe!

*As US based as it possibly can be whilst still being called Tequila…

**Tequila consumed in copius amounts will always cause hangovers, as much as any alcohol consumed in excess. Please drink responsibly and be aware of your limits.