All posts filed under: Drink

Cocktails and Platters at Brick & Liquor, Tooting

There are more and more new bars and restaurants opening in my local neighbourhood of Tooting, and I couldn’t be more excited by the prospect. One of these is Brick & Liquor. I say it’s new, it actually opened in October last year but shamefully, I’ve only just got around to visiting. I think the reason for this is that I just saw them as a ‘bar’ and I will usually meet friends for drinks somewhere central (very few of my friends live around my area). Tim and I will regularly go for meals in our local establishments but not usually just for a drink (which is why we still haven’t visited The Little Bar yet, also on our list!) Brick & Liquor is owned by David Layton, who has run venues for major brands across London for 12 years, but this was his first independent venture. Seeing the opportunity in up and coming Tooting, he decided on a derelict spot on Mitcham road, which used to be a news agent which had been lying …

Saving the Forest with The Gin Bothy

It’s no secret now that I just adore gin. I think this was encouraged by my best friend Ceri, who you will no doubt have read about on this blog – she is a gin queen and has inspired my love of this delicious spirit. I’m always excited to learn about and try new gins, and one of these recently was the Scottish ‘Gin Bothy’, with a wonderful and heart warming story. I’m also a lover of all things Scottish – you might have read about my recent trips to Edinburgh and Loch Lomond on here – Tim and I are hoping to visit again soon, this time with the car to explore even further afield. This is also a gin which is ‘doing good’ – sales of the artisan small batch gin are raising money to conserve the precious ancient pine trees whose needles give it flavour. Loch Arkaig pine forest near Spean Bridge was recently bought in a partnership between the Woodland Trust and community group Arkaig Community Forest. Now award-winning Angus distiller …

Gin Ice Cream with Brockmans Gin

I was recently introduced to Brockmans Gin. It was established eight years ago by a group of friends who wanted to create a gin that was so easy to drink, you could pour it neat over ice (!) and it would be good to go, while combining 11 different botanicals to give it a truly unique taste. It is created from a beautiful recipe of botanicals, sourced from all over the world. These naturally grown aromatic botanicals are steeped in pure grain spirit for many hours to release their oils and aromas. Thereafter, Brockmans is distilled in a 100 year old traditional copper still. The distinctive gin notes and the aroma of coriander married with the softer notes of blueberry and blackberry help deliver an exquisite new taste experience and an intensely smooth gin. Juniper: From Tuscany in Italy: grown wild, their beautiful juniper spice gives a perfumey note to the gin, with hints of pine and lavender. Blueberries: From Northern Europe: a unique and original addition of blueberries provides a dry fruity smoothness and …

Tequila Dinner Pairing at Mestizo

A few weeks ago I was invited to a Mexican restaurant called Mestizo in North London, for an evening of tequila and food pairing. Tequila seems to have a bit of a ‘Marmite’ appeal in the UK, most likely because us Brits like to knock back the shots, which I think has potentially cheapened what is a high quality and traditional spirit. That said, I didn’t know a huge amount about tequila, so I was keen to learn more. And having the largest selection on display in the UK (260+ and counting), Mestizo seemed like a good place to do this! We started with the classic frozen margarita before moving on to a selection of Don Fulano tequilas, while being given an introduction to the production methods and types of tequilas. Tequila takes from 7-10 years to produce, unlike many other spirits such as rum and vodka) which can be made on a yearly basis. It is made from the Blue Agave plant that grows principally in the State of Jalisco and takes its name from …

Pimms Ice Lollies

One of my favourite summer drinks is Pimms, and I’ve been known to drink it for the rest of the year too. In fact, we served a ‘Winter  Pimms’ at our wedding in February last year. This weekend it was particularly hot outside so I thought I’d try out making some Pimms ice lollies – I didn’t look up any recipes so it was definitely an experiment, but thankfully one that worked! I filled each lolly mould with a couple of centimetres of Pimms, topped up with sparkling water. I also dropped some frozen fruits into each one. They overflowed a bit when they were in the freezer, as you can see from the photo above, but otherwise they worked perfectly and were incredibly refreshing – although definitely not suitable for children, they were pretty strong! I’ll definitely be making them again, as well as thinking about what other ways I can use Pimms for. Do you have any Pimms-related recipes? Let me know in the comments below. _______________ I was sent some Pimms to …

Trying Purple Matcha from Williamson Tea

I was recently sent the most lovely little parcel from Williamson Tea, to try out their new purple matcha. As you might have read on here, I love testing out new tea flavours and the more unusual the better. I’m not really a fan of typical British ‘builders’ tea – I like to be able to taste the flavours of the tea and I think that milk can often ruin this. It feels a bit sacrilegious! Williamson Tea is a fifth generation tea farming business, with over 140 years of experience, committed to growing the highest quality sustainable teas to the benefit of Kenya, its communities, wildlife and environment. They have four farms in the heart of the Kenyan highlands – Tinderet, Kaimosi, Kapchorua and Changoi. I hadn’t actually tried any of their products before, so I was excited to give this a go. The matcha was sent in an adorable little elephant caddy (I’m a sucker for great packaging and containers) along with a traditional bamboo whisk and a little bag. Matcha (a type …

‘Gin It Yourself’ at The Happenstance, St Pauls 

I was recently invited to a gin pop up at The Happenstance in St Pauls, so I knew I had to take along my gin expert buddy Ceri. We actually visited the restaurant together last summer, which you can read about here – we were particularly impressed with their vast cocktail menu. ‘Gin It Yourself’ allows you to create your own bespoke G&T, choosing your gin, tonic and garnish, with a wide range of flavours and botanicals. First of all, we sampled eight different gins, to get a taste for the various flavours and see which ones we liked best. Tanqueray No.10 – I had obviously tried Tanqueray gin on numerous occasions but I hadn’t actually tried the No.10 – this was beautiful, with hints of grapefruit and camomile Little Bird – as the brand and the bottle depicts, this gin is going back to old school basics. The percentage was weaker but felt stronger, which makes it perfect for cocktails. Gin Mare – made with olives, this has been one of my favourite gins for …