Right then ladies and gentlemen - for this week's #MasterofCocktails we made a Japanese Cocktail. It's one of those oft-forgotten classics that really does work very well indeed if made with decent ingredients.
Before we get onto that though, we need to do some prep for next week's drink. Or rather 'drinks'. See, with all this amazing weather we've been having, I'm going to show you how to make an amazing bowl of Punch.
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.
So – it's that time of year again.
Last week, we attended the Whisky Magazine World Whiskies Awards (and Icons of Whisky), and came away with a slew of trophies and awards to show for another year's hard work.
First things first – we're absolutely delighted to announce that we've retained our crown as 'World's Best Online Whisky Retailer' for the third year on the trot. An absolutely fabulous achievement which we're immensely proud of. We've said this before (and will keep on shouting it from the rooftops) but our site remains the only purpose-built online whisky shop coded from the ground up. It took an extraordinary amount of effort to build something that wasn't based on a standard e-commerce platform, and we're all hugely proud of the software stack we've built.
Once upon a beginning, the folks of the world drew chalk lines on their doors to physically count down the first 24 days of December. These days that seems a rather sad thought, more reminiscent of a prisoner counting the days they've been locked up than a celebration of the festive season. Pretty miserable really. (That is, unless you're lucky enough to share a cell with comedy legend Ronnie Barker!) It was some time before some bright spark decided that using candles would be rather less bleak. I mean, candles, they're okay aren't they?
Last week, we gave you the choice between a classic summer cocktail or something more wintery and, overwhelmingly, the good people of twitter voted for a winter #MasterofCocktails option. So, last night we made the ultimate Eggnog!
The clocks had just gone back and the #UKStorm2013 was approaching so it did indeed seem the perfect time to batten down the hatches and mix up a classic winter warmer whilst we waited for all this to blow over.
The entire recipe can be found below, and apologies that it's been posted slightly later than usual - the bloody storm has evidently even affected our blog posts!
On to the 'nog!
Back at the end of May, just before all the busyness and rushing about, Ben and I attended a very special event, which I was no doubt supposed to write about back then. Drawing attention to the fact that I didn’t is probably a terrible decision, but the people must still know, damn it!
The time has come for you to learn all about this: Glenfarclas & Hine 1953 – Auld Alliance.
So – we’ve been doing our Drinks by the Dram whisky sample service for almost a year now, and in that time have decanted ‘loads’ of 700ml bottles into 30ml samples.
700 divided by 30 is 690, so even if one is slightly generous with the 30ml measure, there’s still going to be a little drop or two left over.
My original plan (and I thought it was a darned good one) was to save all of this up, and make some awesome cocktails at the staff Christmas party, or maybe do something at the directors’ joint birthday party, but it turns out that “a little drop or two” multiplied by “loads” is about 37 full-sized bottles-worth.
Even we aren’t that thirsty. More...
For the first time ever, one of France’s big Cognac houses has started putting age statements on its products. Courvoisier have begun labelling Cognacs just like we do in the whisky industry, where the number reflects the age of the youngest spirit in the bottle.
The new age statement releases give a real insight into Cognac, and it’s particularly interesting that Courvoisier should take this route, as the previous designations were very vague indeed. In fact, if you were to ask the average spirits drinker what the difference between a More...
We’ve added some incredibly exciting spirits to our Drinks by the Dram sample service.
These include a brace of classic Speyside distilleries, some beautiful Bajan rums and a trio of cognacs.
Here’s a rundown of the new selection of samples, kicking off with William Grant’s legendary Balvenie and Glenfiddich distilleries.
Having their entire range in dram form is quite a coup, we’re sure you’ll agree… More...
12 New Samples!
Just a quick post to let you know which samples we’ll be adding to the site today. We’ve been adding loads and loads and the range is starting to get pretty big! Click here to see all the drams.
Today we’ve got a very interesting selection for you; in fact we’ve only just got most of these in a week ago!