Tag Archives: saigon sling

Kicking it like a pro – the World’s best Mule’s!

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The best mules in the world… Oh hang on a minute…

The Moscow Mule arguably one of the most famous mule cocktails ever made. But what you might not know is that there are literally dozens of variations. From Paris to New Zealand and everywhere in between, there is a Mule for everyone…

The idea of a mule is very simple… Top with Ginger Beer/Ale (whichever one you prefer). Of course you need other ingredients but if you take a gander at the recipes below you’ll see that those depend on the theme…

It’s important to keep the ratio’s in these drinks as they are written. Use this conversion: 1 measure = 25ml (UK) or 1oz (USA). This way the balance of the drink remains as it should be and everyone is happy!

Onto the cocktails:

10) Berry Nice

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Fresh berries make for the best Mules. Add a splash of ginger beer and Bob’s your uncle!

Recipe:

2 measures of Raspberry Vodka

¼ measure Chambord (Raspberry Liqueur)

½ measure Fresh Squeezed Lemon Juice

8 Blackberries

Top up with Ginger Beer/Ale

Method:

1)      Add the vodka and blackberries and muddle well.

2)      Add the Chambord liqueur and lemon juice.

3)      Shake over ice and strain into an ice filled glass.

4)      Top up with Ginger Beer/Ale and garnish with a blackberry and lemon peel skewer.

9) Yule Mule

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A simple yet stunning cocktail that scales up brilliantly if you have a few extra friends round…

Recipe:

2 measures Light (white) Rum

2.5 measures Cranberry Juice

Top up Ginger Beer/Ale

Method:

1)      Build this cocktail in an ice-filled Collins glass.

2)      Garnish with a Lime wedge.

This cocktail is a simple Caribbean style Mule. Made ideally at Christmas, so you can use cranberries when they are in abundance (here in the UK at least) for a fresher crisper drink, this cocktail is perfect for the summer too. Refreshing and crisp this drink is simple yet flavourful. Try experimenting with your favourite aged/dark rums for a deeper taste.

8) Blackberry Mule

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A wonderful infusion of British produce and gorgeous vodka… The Blackberry Mule: Summer, well, summed up…

Recipe:

1.5 measures Vodka

½ measure Crème de Mure (Blackberry Liqueur)

½ measure Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

6-8 fresh blackberries

Top up Ginger Beer/Ale

Method:

1)      Muddle the blackberries with the vodka in a shaker tin.

2)      Then add the crème de mure and lime juice.

3)      Shake well over ice and double strain (to keep out the seeds) into an ice filled Collins glass.

4)      Top up with Ginger beer/ale.

5)      Garnish with 2 plump blackberries.

A great UK summer cocktail, the Blackberry Mule comes to fruition around the same time as the blackberry bushes bless us with their bounties. Fresh blackberries mean a fresher drink. Sure you can shell out for some supermarket blackberries (the ones that have probably gained more air miles that you will in a couple of years) or you could go blackberry picking and gather some for yourself. Over here in the UK berry picking is still a pastime. I even tried my hand at it when I was younger. There are plenty of farmers that take on hands to help (as volunteers mainly – but they do let you keep the odd punnet or two). It’s a fun day out and you get to enjoy your spoils with a nice splash of your favourite spirit.

Oh right, one last thing, this cocktail tastes just as great using any spirit. Try it with some of these if you’d prefer: Tequila, Rum, Gin & Cachaca.

7) The Mordor Mule

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A drifter from Mordor… This mule has a slightly tangy feel as well as a knock-out blow should you disrespect it…

Recipe:

1.5 measures ‘42 Below’ Vodka

½ measure Lime Juice

¼ measure Agave Nectar

1 whole Kiwi (skinned & chopped into chunks)

Top up Ginger Beer/Ale

Method:

1)      In a mixing tin muddle the Kiwi chunks, lime juice and sugar syrup.

2)      Add the vodka and fill with ice.

3)      Shake and strain into an ice filled Collins glass

4)      Top up with ginger beer/ale

5)      Garnish with a Kiwi wheel (leave skin on this one).

This Middle Earth (New Zealand) themed Mule is something a little different. It combines one of the best vodkas in the world (from NZ of course) with a New Zealand Kiwi fruit and then using the ginger beer/ale as a top up. This cocktail, as a result, is extremely refreshing and crisp and great for those summer evenings when you want something a little different.

Again the room for tweaking lies with the fruit. There are several other edible species of Kiwi fruit available that are different to the commercial one we are all accustomed to. If you want to try them, and they’re available in your country, start here; on the Wikipedia site and have a search around.

Oh and not to mention this is one of my very own recipes so please let me know how it goes down!

6) Parisian Mule

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A great Parisian Mule, picture courtesy of the http://cocktailqueens.wordpress.com

Recipe:

2 measures Vodka

1 measure Crème de Cassis

1 measure Lime Juice

Top up Ginger Beer/Ale

Method:

1)      In an ice filled shaker add the vodka, crème de cassis and lime juice.

2)      Shake well and strain into an ice filled Collins glass.

3)      Top up with Ginger Beer/Ale and serve with a lime wedge as garnish.

This is a recipe I’m really proud of, back during the early days of this blog I catered cocktails for a friend of a friend’s birthday party. One of those cocktails was a pitcher sized serving of a Parisian Mule. Now various other mules do exist and probably more appropriately named too. But this cocktail is special to me, and when I think of Crème liqueurs I think of France, of the romance capital of the world: Paris. Now the other recipe I have found for a Parisian Mule contains Cognac, a fine vintage too I might say, and it is a delicious drink. But rather than fill up another spot for a cocktail of the same name, if you follow this link for what I have dubbed the Imperial Parisian Mule you’ll find the original website for it. Whichever taste of Paris you prefer, you will not be disappointed.

5) Moscow Mule

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A classic mule, in a classic Russian Copper Cup

Recipe:

2 measures Vodka

½ measure Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice

3 dashes of Angostura Bitters

Top up Ginger Beer/Ale

Method:

1)      Build this cocktail in an ice filled mixing glass.

2)      Start with the Vodka, then lime juice and bitters.

3)      Stir well and strain into an ice filled Collins glass.

4)      Top up with your preference of Ginger Beer/Ale.

5)      Garnish with a Lime Wedge and serve with straws.

This classic cocktail is all about the kick. Refreshing and crisp (the lime and ginger pair exceptionally well) it lulls you into a full sense of security, then after about 3 or 4 you try and stand and remember the vodka; It’ll sit you right back down again, I assure you. Perfect for those summer evenings when you just don’t want to get up the next morning. Still they taste great and a couple wouldn’t hurt…Right? Right.

4) Saigon Sling via Bar Blue

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A great Mule variation. It’s balanced well and the lime wedge adds a little tartness to the drink…

Recipe:

45ml Bombay Sapphire Gin

15ml Krupnik Honey Liqueur

30ml Pineapple Juice

2 dashes Peychauds Bitters

Top up Ginger Beer/Ale

Method:

1)      Add the Gin, Honey Liqueur, Pineapple juice and bitters into an ice filled shaker and shake well for about 20-30 seconds.

2)      Strain into an ice filled sling glass (see glass in the picture).

3)      Top up with ginger beer/ale and garnish with a slice of lemon.

This cocktail was first tasted by me when I went to London Bridge’s Bar Blue (on the way to the Cointreau Fizz Garden event). Combining the floral flavours of Bombay Sapphire Gin, and the sweetness of Krupnik Honey Liqueur, this cocktail is a borderline Mule, and therefore a controversial choice, but it is just so good I could not leave it out. It is just a wonderfully refreshing drink everyone needs to try at least once.

3) Anejo Mule

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What your Anejo Mule should look like…

Recipe:

1 measure Light Rum

½ measure Dark Rum

½ measure triple Sec

¼ measure Fresh Lime Juice

2 dashes of Angostura Bitters

Top up Ginger Beer/Ale

Method:

1)      Add all the ingredients (except the ginger beer/ale obviously) and shake well over ice.

2)      Strain into an ice filled Collins glass and top up with Ginger beer/ale.

3)      Garnish with a lime wedge sat on the rim of the glass*.

Now I love all types of rum. Whether it’s the classic white stuff or the darker, aged stuff, it doesn’t bother me as long as it tastes great (which most of them do). Usually I find it hard to choose between light and dark rum, but this drink puts a line through this conundrum with a simple answer: Use both…

*this allows for your friends/customers/drinkers to add a splash more lime juice if they would like.

2) Caribbean Mule

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The best thing about a Mule, is you can dress it up to look like a Circus Zebra, but underneath it all, it’s still a Mule.

Recipe:

1.5 measures Light Rum

½ measure Spiced Dark Rum

½ measure fresh squeezed lime juice

½ measure guava juice

1 measure pineapple juice

3 dashes of angostura bitters

Method:

1)      Combine the first 5 ingredients in an ice filled shaker and shake well.

2)      Strain into an ice filled sling glass and top up with ginger beer/ale.

3)      Garnish with a pineapple wedge and cocktail cherry.

4)      Serve with straws.

Similar to the Anejo Mule, this cocktail adds a little Caribbean flavour to the mixture with some exotic fruit juices. This does lengthen the drink somewhat and water down the rum a little, but it makes it a little more beach specific and refreshing. The ginger beer/ale adds a splash of crispness and heat that is really balanced well with the sweetness of the juices.

Give it a go and close your eyes, you’ll be hearing waves roaring at your feet and feel a tan coming on before you know it…

1) Mexican Mule

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Lots of lime and Tequila, this one is all Mexican 100% baby! (Except the glass – that was made in china)…

Recipe:

2 measures good quality Tequila

¾ measures fresh squeezed lime juice

¼ measure agave nectar

2 dashes Angostura bitters

Top up Ginger Beer/Ale

Method:

1)      Add the tequila, lime juice, agave nectar and bitters into an ice filled shaker and shake well.

2)      Strain into a tall glass filled with crush ice.

3)      Top up with ginger beer/ale and garnish with a lime wedge.

This cocktail is my number one by a country mile. This cocktail takes everything great about the classic Moscow mule and just spins it on its head, in a way only the Mexicans can, with TEQUILA!

Now a couple of months ago it was Cinco de Mayo (5th of May) which celebrates Mexico’s ways in all their glory, although it’s a more United States specific celebration, which means Tequila and all things Mexican are centre stage.

And then there was National Tequila Day (NTD) which was as recent as last week! Again it’s largely an American ‘Holiday’ (I’m starting to notice a theme here, are you?) upon which much more Tequila is consumed (naturally). Now I did a post on the 24th July (NTD) and this was based on the craft Tequila George Clooney has co-financed, along with his life-long buddy Rande Gerber and this is the perfect tequila to use here. If you cannot get a hold of it (I know I can’t) then use the best quality Tequila you can find (that means 100% Agave people!).

This drink, as already stated, turns the classic vodka based version on its head and creates a rather delicious monster. Tequila mixes well with lime, we all know this, but it also mixes fantastically well with Ginger Beer/Ale. So combining the 3 sounds perfect right? Right.

“Never ever mix tequila with lime and ginger beer/ale” – Said no one. Ever.

So mix one of these up, chuck a poncho and a fake moustache on and put the maracas down, Sit back on your hammock and enjoy the sunset – beach, sunset, fake moustache, maracas & poncho not included.

finally enjoy this lovely couple of Mules, can you guess their names? Hint: Even I’m not sure of their names, so good luck…

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A happy Chap…

And the twins here…

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A couple of twins not happy with your lack of a cocktail like beverage already…

Licor 43 International Cocktail of the Month

Sweden Sangreal

I’ve made no secret of my love for Licor 43 (aka Cuarenta Y Tres) and I’ll be honest once more: This is one of the best cocktail’s I’ve ever tasted. Recently I went to Bar Blue and tried a little number called a ‘Saigon Sling’. In some ways they were similar, although overall they are totally different – I know, I know, it all sounds a bit contradictory but just stay with me here… The similarities lie in the use of 3 of the ingredients; Ginger Ale, Lemon’s & a form of sugar syrup (Saigon sling uses plain sugar syrup, whereas the Sweden Sangreal uses grenadine – pomegranate sugar syrup).

Of course the Saigon Sling, using gin and honey liqueur, does differ in taste, but the ideas for both cocktails lie along a similar path…

This cocktail, one of a whole host of cocktails Licor 43 are presenting (a new one each month) is perfect for the summer, both sweet and sour with a touch of crisp ginger to top. The addition of fresh grapefruit just adds that little extra ‘zing’ the drink needs to make truly special.

The recipe, along with a link to the website (and a lovely little video) can be found below…

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This is a Singapore Sling, as I couldn’t find a decent picture of the Sangreal (and mine went far too quickly to be photogenic), for the purposes of this drink, imagine the above picture with a couple chunks of fruit afloat…

Sweden: Sangreal

40ml Licor 43

2 chunks of Grapefruit (2 ¼’s)

2 chunks of Lemon (2 ¼’s)

Large dash of grenadine (around 5-10ml – to taste)

Top up with Ginger ale

Method:

1)      Drop the lemon and grapefruit in the glass and muddle well, releasing the juices (and oils in the skin).

2)      Add crushed ice, then grenadine and finally the Licor 43. Stir well, mixing up the fruit and ice.

3)      Top up with a little more crushed ice and finally top with ginger ale.

4)      Serve with a straw and a second helping (they’ll want another one).

 

So have a go, it’s a simple cocktail to prepare, with the best results coming from using a good quality ginger ale as well as proper grenadine syrup.

Licor 43 is one of those liqueurs that can cost a little bit more than the normal bottle of alcohol, but it will last a lot longer than your average bottle of Vodka (not to mention having infinitely more flavour).

The best place to grab a bottle is here. Unfortunately I still cannot find a bottle for sale any of the supermarkets (should this change I’ll have a massive party to let everyone know!). Until that day enjoy it where you can find it! Adios Amigos!

Cocktails at Bar Blue (at the Vinopolis, London Bridge)

There’s nothing depressing about this bar…

If you find London Bridge on any mapping application, and then search ‘cocktail bars’ you’ll have a bit of a job on your hands to separate the tags from one another. However one bar stands out a little: the Vinopolis’ Bar Blue. Whether it’s the unusual reverse of the name giving it a little originality (it’s called ‘Bar Blue’ instead of ‘The Blue Bar’) or the décor easily visible through the floor-ceiling glass walls, it has something that draws you to it.

Its close proximity to ‘Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre’ and the ‘Tate Modern’ art galleries not to mention London Bridge (as well as the Blackfriars & millennium bridges) itself obviously help it out, and whilst there are plenty of pubs in the area, it’s the only cocktail bar in the immediate area.

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Bar Blue: Within walking distance of the Globe Theatre…

Some bars that similarly draw you in, usually fail to deliver when it comes to a varied cocktail selection, and originality in the cocktails, especially those in my local area in Kent. However Bar Blue does deliver, and it delivers well above the standard I am used to.

Looking at the cocktail menu, especially the ‘favourites’ section, there is an abundance of originality showing that the owners have looked at the cocktails and thought seriously about offering a high quality, varied selection of ‘fruity’ & ‘exotic’ cocktails.

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A range of exciting cocktails available for you at Bar Blue…

Whilst the time constraints of other visits only allowed for us to enjoy the one drink, let nothing be taken away from the overall experience, not only was the cocktail consumed one of the best I’ve ever had, I would more than happily visit this bar every time I went out in London. I’ll definitely be heading there when I go back to London Bridge in a few months.

Now, onwards to the cocktail(s) themselves…

The menu itself is well presented, protected with the hard cover and the font is very easy to read. Not only that, but they stock a lot of different spirits, liqueurs & cordials, which they like to show off. This can be seen by looking at the favourites section again; for the 13 different cocktails they have, they use 30+ liqueurs, spirits or cordials/purees. The use of so many ingredients results in a wider selection of cocktails and flavours (using all of the ‘main’ spirits: Tequila, Whisky/Bourbon, vodka, Rum & Gin). The cocktails that stick out (for me) are the Saigon Sling, Almond Breeze and the Warsaw Cooler, all three are slightly longer drinks and contain a healthy mix of sweet and sour and all taste a little exotic; Perfect for those summer evenings chilling out by the Thames (it’s a 30 second walk from the bar’s front door).

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A couple of Saigon Sling’s half way through…

Now the only cocktail tried on this trip was the Saigon Sling. The menu has this to say about it:

“Saigon Sling: Bombay Sapphire Gin, Krupnik Honey Liqueur, Pineapple Juice, Peychaud’s Bitters & Ginger Ale”

It was simple, yet full of flavour, and although the top up of ginger ale was not excessive, it balanced with the rest of the drink extremely well. As you can see from the picture below they went down rather well. It is this sort of drink I believe will take London (and hopefully other cities/towns) by storm this summer, refreshing drinks bursting with flavour.

Now I don’t often rate a venue like this but, in all honesty, I don’t get to go to bars like this often. With its contemporary and spacious design, this bar is perfect for an afternoon/early evening drink with your friends. Whether you prefer Beer, Wine or their extensive collection of cocktails/champagne then this is the place for you and your friends. If you’re ever in the area of London Bridge then I highly recommend checking it out.

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The Bar at Bar Blue, very contemporary, and very well stocked…

Verdict:

Décor: 8/10

Minimalist interior is perfect for lunchtime business meetings and early evening drinks with a few friends, but it might struggle upon an evening to fit a large number of people in. Overall a great looking bar with a great terraced area showcasing their large range of Spirits & Liqueurs.

Service: 9/10

Fantastic service from a friendly and helpful member of staff, and knew how to make the cocktail off the top of his head…

Drinks Selection: 10/10

As if their menu wasn’t extensive enough, they even offer to make cocktails not on their menu, not a lot of places offer that these days…

Drinks Ordered: 9/10

The drink we ordered, it was agreed, was amazing. It was perfect for the stuffy London weather, refreshing enough to help chill us out, but packing enough kick to let you savour the alcohol used. The only thing holding the score back is that Beefeater Gin was used instead of Bombay sapphire and this probably changed the drinks overall flavour a little. Otherwise it was perfect.

Overall Score: 9/10 – Amazing! You should go, and take your friends too!!

This is by far one of the best bars I’ve ever been to, not to mention its part of a famous visitor’s attraction: Vinopolis. The drinks were perfect and the place was fantastic to just sit and chill and it’s now the first ‘Best of London Bars’ on this blog. Again I strongly recommend checking them out!

For more information about this venue, including offers and other news please check out their Facebook page, website and twitter feed via the links below:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cantina-Vinopolis-and-Bar-Blue/84763028147?fref=ts

Twitter:  @VinopolisLondon, https://twitter.com/VinopolisLondon

Website: http://www.barbluevinopolis.com/