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Master of Cocktails - Espresso Martini

by Ben Ellefsen     10. February 2014 13:18

Master of Cocktails Espresso Martini

For this week's #MasterofCocktails we're having a go at a modern classic. An Espresso Martini. Now before we begin, we're going to start by getting a few silly preconceptions out of the way...

The biggest one is probably the ingredients. If anyone says that you need a coffee liqueur to make an espresso martini, chances are they're trying to sell you some coffee liqueur. Or have been paid by a Coffee Liqueur Brand.

The thing about coffee liqueur is that it's made of coffee, and alcohol. We're using incredibly fresh coffee for this, which means you're going to get more than enough coffee punch, and won't have to sacrifice any flavour (as larger, more complex flavour molecules tend to degrade over time). We're also using dry ice today. As detailed last week, you can get this by ordering from online stores that ship frozen.

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Master of Cocktails - Singapore Sling

by Ben Ellefsen     3. February 2014 13:07

Master of Cocktails Singapore Sling

Another classic long drink for this week's #MasterofCocktails – this time around we're making a Singapore Sling to tie in with Chinese New Year. Definitely not a massive coincidence levered into the proceedings. Nope. Not that.

Remember, you can follow along on twitter from 6pm every Sunday before the recipe appears here on the blog the following day for your reference and general delight.

So, a bit about this cocktail - the Singapore Sling is a stalwart at Singapore's Raffles Hotel, dating back to the early 20th century. I've taken a slightly updated twist, however, heavily inspired by the superb book 'The Curious Bartender', by Tristan Stephenson. More on that shortly...

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Master of Cocktails - Amaretto Sour

by Ben Ellefsen     13. January 2014 13:43

Master of Cocktails Amaretto Sour

An unbelievably simple recipe today, but genuinely one of my all-time favourites. That's right – today we're making an Amaretto Sour.

Now before we get started, there are, of course, many ways to make this drink. You can serve it up, or on the rocks. You can include egg-white for additional body, and you can even bang in some bitters for additional complexity. The picture below is an example of an 'up' drink courtesy of 'The Art of the Shim', a superb book that I'll come back to at the end.

We're keeping it as simple as you like for this #MasterofCocktails version, however, which means you'll require just 2 ingredients: Lemon and Amaretto...


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Master of Cocktails - The Chrysanthemum

by Ben Ellefsen     6. January 2014 12:16

Master of Cocktails The Chrysanthemum

Happy New Year! Time for this week's #MasterofCocktails. No #Dryathlon for us, thank you very much.

If though, like us, you've had an entire Christmas of rich stuff and beery nonsense, you'll be happy to learn that all through January we're going to be preparing some slightly lighter cocktails. All January's drinks will be *under* 2 units.

This is quite a challenge in itself – most cocktails contain at least a double-measure of strong booze, but nevertheless. We're not cheating and making small drinks either. These are all proper-sized, delicious cocktails.

So, without further ado – this week we made a 'Chrysanthemum'. If the combination of the name and low ABV are making you feel uncomfortable, don't worry. It's got absinthe in it. Mmm...

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Master of Cocktails - Vieux Carré Noeleux

by Ben Ellefsen     16. December 2013 15:17

Master of Cocktails Vieux Carre Noeleux

This week's #MasterofCocktails recipe is an absolutely stunning, christmassy twist on one of the true classics. The Vieux Carré dates back to the 1930s, but as we're creeping ever closer to Christmas 2013, here's a version using the latest festive ingredient from Professor Cornelius Ampleforth.

Many thanks go to Mark Gill (@thecocktailgeek) for the inspiration behind this one – a top suggestion that's very much appreciated.

In case you're sick of Christmas cocktails, apart from the fact that we pity you, there's also some good news – next week we're doing something totally different and you can find all the ingredients you'll need for that one at the bottom.

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Master of Cocktails - Christmassy Ginger Sour

by Ben Ellefsen     9. December 2013 15:00

Master of Cocktails Christmassy Ginger Sour

Here we are, in the second week of advent already! It must be time for the first, but definitely not the last, #MasterofCocktails Christmassy drink of December, this one being a festive twist on a classic...

You see, we love a good whiskey sour, but we also sure do love warming, Christmassy flavours at this time of year with ginger being one of the yummiest and most satisfying of them all. Back in October we not only made the perfect Eggnog but also some Bathtub Ginger Beer using fresh ginger and (perhaps unsurprisingly) ginger beer. Both cocktail recipes are well worth a revisit as we approach Christmas, but this time around we'll be getting our ginger warmth from an excellent ginger liqueur as well as gingerbread syrup, which brings some darn' tasty baked goodness into the mix!

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New product day – Christmas Mulled Cup from Professor Cornelius Ampleforth

by Ben Ellefsen     8. November 2013 16:43

Professor Cornelius Ampleforth Christmas Mulled Cup

"Hip hip hooray – new product day!

All the world was heard to say,

Because they knew with certainty,

Mulled wine was ‘fixed’, eternally..."

Ah mulled wine. The most Christmassy of drinks. Head and shoulders even above Eggnog. There’s really nothing like it to warm the cockles, instil a sense of bonhomie, and usher in the festive season properly.

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Master of Cocktails - The Last Word

by Ben Ellefsen     30. September 2013 11:36

Master of Cocktails The Last Word Cocktail

Following on from The Negroni and The Scottish Gold Rush, we’re now entering Master of Cocktails’ third week – how time flies!

Each week you can follow along on Sunday evenings via twitter (#MasterofCocktails) and, in fact, from now on we’ll be letting you know what you’ll need for the following week, making it even easier.

(You can find next week's ingredients at the bottom of this blog post.)

Last night, we made one of my all-time favourites cocktails: The Last Word. These are just awesome. If you haven’t ever tried one then, frankly, we feel sorry for you. Fortunately, you can remedy this terrible state of affairs by following the simple instructions below...

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Oops!... We did it again: IWSC Results (International Wine & Spirits Competition)

by Jake Mountain     26. July 2013 17:21

Master of Malt 30 Year Old Speyside IWSC 2013 Tasting

Another week, another set of awards results announced! This time from the International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC), “the premier competition of its kind in the world”. (I know, I know, they can’t all be the best - and they do indeed have similar sounding names – but this is another one of the really, really BIG competitions. Important stuff.)

As well as the usual Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, there are also Gold Outstanding and Silver Outstanding Medals at the IWSC, with a huge score of 90-100 out of 100 required for a Gold Medal and Gold Outstanding Medals only being awarded at the judges’ discretion! Welcome to big school!

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World Whiskies Awards (6 of them. Yes. 6)

by Ben Ellefsen     27. March 2013 11:10

World Whiskies Awards 2013

Hot on the heels of our success at the Off License News Drinks Retailing Awards, the World Whiskies Awards 2013 were presented last week at the Waldorf Hotel in London, and, erm, we cleaned up again*.

I’m not going to re-hash the recent blog post I wrote about our success at the OLN awards, but suffice it to say, there’s a reasonable-length post here about the innovations and initiatives we’ve launched in the past 12 months. It’s well worth a read if you’ve not already.

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