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Master of Cocktails - The Sazerac

by Ben Ellefsen     21. July 2014 12:41

Master of Cocktails The Sazerac

Another classic for this week's #MasterofCocktails, the Sazerac.

Now this really is a very, very simple drink, but, like the Mojito from a few weeks ago, one that people love to overcomplicate. The most common over-complication is the belief that you need to stir a sugar cube with the whiskey forever and a day...

Luckily enough though, some bright spark has invented this stuff. It's called Sugar Syrup. You may have heard of it.

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WIN a Chivas Regal Cocktail Set as The Chivas Master is announced!

by Jake Mountain     17. July 2014 11:00

Chivas Cocktail Masters

Tuesday night saw the first ever Chivas Master announced in New York following the conclusion of The Chivas Masters global final. You can read all about the UK leg of the competition here, with Hawksmoor's Ali Reynolds coming through the heats and a fantastic UK final to take his place in the international showdown of Chivas Regal's first ever global cocktail competition!

Before we tell you who won the big prize though, here's your chance for your very own whisky cocktail win: We're giving away this rather handsome Chivas Masters Cocktail Set to one of you lovely folk. Keep reading to find out how you could get your hands on this cheeky little prize, including a full 70cl bottle of Chivas Regal 12 Year Old, a stylish Cocktail Shaker and Bar Spoon, plus Recipes for 4 classic cocktails (one from each 'age')!

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Master of Cocktails - The Hemingway Daiquiri

by Ben Ellefsen     14. July 2014 13:53

Master of Cocktails Hemingway Daiquiri

After a break from Daiquiris on #MasterofCocktails last week, they're back in force with probably the finest evolution of the drink – maybe with the exception of Artesian's Frozen Banana with Caviar... and I'll be having a crack at recreating that one in a few weeks' time incidentally... but this week we're going with The Hemingway Daiquiri.

He liked a drink or two did old Ernie, and this recipe is a fine legacy indeed. The theory here is essentially unchanged from the standard, only we're going to be replacing boring old sugar syrup with Maraschino. The original recipe also calls for a splidge of Grapefruit Juice. Not convinced it needs it myself but we'll stick it in anyway and you can easily omit it if you've not got grapefruits in (who does, usually?).

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Can't Stomach The Football? It's the World Cup Final of Digestifs!

by Jake Mountain     11. July 2014 16:25

World Cup Fional Germany Argentina Digestifs

I've done quite well at not boring "the crap out of you" about this "kickball tourney" as Ben suggested I would, haven't I? I've not done quite so well at keeping those who do have some interest "entertained" though. So, without going too far off the topic of drinks (I don't think...) I bring to you: The World Cup Final of Digestifs!!!

There is some logic to this, I promise.

Argentina, you see, have reached the World Cup final for the first time since Italia '90 (which is quite apt, as you'll see in a sec) so Sunday's match is going to be quite the event for La Albiceleste. And no Argentinian event is complete without fernet!

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Master of Cocktails - The Cosmopolitan

by Ben Ellefsen     7. July 2014 14:18

Master of Cocktails Cosmopolitan

As a big bunch of whisky fans finally went their separate ways after another ace-looking Dramboree (Jake will tell you more soon, but I hear the barbecue was pretty special...), and a Serbian was embraced in the final throes of an epic battle with a Swissm’n somewhere in southwest London, it was also time for another Sunday night #MasterofCocktails on the twittersphere.

This week we made a Cosmopolitan. Controversial? Shouldn't really be. They're yummy if made correctly, and definitely a 'proper cocktail'. So here we go...

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Kininvie Single Malts. They're Coming.

by Jake Mountain     4. July 2014 09:00

Kininvie Single Malt Whisky

Back in October we heard that there was to be an exciting, new, secret product from William Grant & Sons and our thoughts immediately turned to a long-anticipated Kininvie single malt release. On that occasion we quickly realised that the imminent launch was in fact for Girvan single grain, but not this time folks. This time it’s the real malty deal!

Kininvie has been William Grant's slightly mysterious, almost secret distillery for almost 24 years now, and I'm sure Brian Kinsman has lost count of the times people have asked him whether they'll ever release an official Kininvie single malt. Well last year they did just that - with an exclusive release in one country - and now it's the rest of the world's turn...

If you’ve ever visited Balvenie, then you may well have seen Kininvie distillery, it’s that corrugated iron shed in its more famous brother’s back garden.

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The-Eccentric-History-of-Berry-Brothers-and-Rudd-Part-III

by Michael Orson     3. July 2014 10:47

Berry Brothers and Rudd

In 1920, Berry’s was joined by Hugh Rudd, a lover of Bordeaux and German wines. Such an essential part of the business, Hugh Rudd’s name was officially added to the door when the firm became a limited company in the 1940s.

The Second World War raged on, and tragedy struck when two of the partners lost their sons: Francis Berry’s son George Gilbert died leading a charge against in the enemy in North Africa; and Hugh Rudd’s son Brian was killed in action in Italy at just 20 years of age.

No. 3 was never hit directly during the London bombings, though the top floors were badly burnt. The shop itself escaped too much damage thanks to the old wooden shutters which protected the shopfront. Years later, during the 2011 London Riots, these shutters were put to use for a second time (though, in my opinion, Pomerol probably wasn’t on the agenda).

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The Eccentric History of Berry Brothers and Rudd -- Part II

by Michael Orson     2. July 2014 15:17

Berry Brothers and Rudd

The first George Berry was born in 1787 and, at the impressionable age of 16, made the two-day journey from Exeter to London, in which city he remained. He would become an extremely successful merchant, maintaining a clear focus on wine and spirits – a tradition continued by his sons George Jr. and Henry – the original “Berry Brothers” who took the helm in 1845.

Berry’s young life was not without event. In 1838, he signed up as a special constable during the Chartist riots, alongside his friend, the future Napoleon III. Years later, whilst in exile in London, Napoleon used the very cellars at No. 3 to hold secret meetings. Two storeys below terra, the marvellous stone-walled chamber bears his name, and is home to a collection of ancient bottles from centuries ago, back when a member of the gentry would have his own glass bottle stamped with his seal. The sealed bottles would be taken to No.3 to be filled with wine or spirit, and returned when they were empty. Napoleon’s own bottle still stands in one corner.

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Highland Park Dark Origins

by Jake Mountain     2. July 2014 10:04

Highland Park Dark Origins

When we received an invite to the launch of a new core Highland Park expression, we were naturally quite excited. The invite said that we were to be taken into the darkness for a whisky “dark by nature and character”. Having recently released our own Darkness! range we had a pretty good idea what this meant. (Hint: yummy Sherry!)

What amused us about the invite, however, was that there was a hooded chap printed in the background that looked suspiciously like the protagonist from the ’90s computer game ‘Thief: The Dark Project’ (emphasis added). Apparently it’s actually supposed to be Magnus Eunson, the butcher/church official by day, legendary whisky smuggler/illicit distiller by night of Highland Park foundation myth (dating back to 1798). Indeed, whilst other whiskies may have adopted the dark, we’re told that the Orkney single malt was very much born in it. BaneCat would be suitably impressed.

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The Eccentric History of Berry Brothers and Rudd -- Part I

by Michael Orson     1. July 2014 11:03

Berry Brothers and Rudd

Earlier this year, I became rather enamoured with what is arguably the drinks world’s most prestigious address – No. 3 St James’s – home to the wine and spirits merchant, Berry Brothers and Rudd (known henceforth variously as BBR or Berry’s).

This springtime love affair all started with a ‘three martini lunch’ on a surprisingly balmy day in February. I arrived fashionably late at No. 3 and climbed a steep wooden staircase through a locked door at the back of the shop to meet a group of familiar faces from spirits retail. The event’s hosts were BBR’s charming spirits man, Doug McIvor, and Glenrothes’ brand ambassador and gifted raconteur, Ronnie Cox.

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