All posts filed under: Drink

A chocolatey Sailor Jerry Easter cocktail!

I recently learned about and tried Sailor Jerry rum. I do love a spot of rum (particularly in a cocktail) and this one has a great story.  ‘Sailor Jerry’ was born Norman Collins, and came of age in the 1920’s when tattooing was an expression that belonged to an emerging American counterculture. He left home as a teenager and travelled the US by hitchhiking and train hopping and it was along this way that he learned how to tattoo, working primitively with only a needle and black ink, doing designs freehand. He ended up in Chicago where he worked with local tattoo legend Gib Thomas who taught him how to use a proper tattoo machine. He then joined the Navy and developed a lifelong love of ships.  After the Navy he settled in Honolulu and at the height of World War Two, he was regularly tattooing many of the 12 million Americans serving in the military who were on shore leave in Hawaii. This is where he created his legacy. I also had no idea …

Would you trust a robot with your wine choice? A review of Clara Wine

How much do you know about wine? I mean, really know about wine? I’m sure most people would know if they prefer a Merlot over a Pinot Noir, the latter seeming to be the ‘wine of choice’ in recent times, the ‘flat white’ of the wine world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely in that category of people who will quite happily jump onto a new ‘trend’ in wine. And for me, the reason I’ll do that is because quite frankly I’m daunted by trying to properly understand the wine world. People do courses and exams in this, there’s so much to learn! I know that I like wine, and I know what flavours I like, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I know how to choose a bottle in a shop or restaurant. I often find myself in the wine aisle in Sainsbury’s staring at their ‘fine wine’ stand ahead of a dinner party without a clue what I’m really looking for. And as the old saying goes, ‘never judge a book by its cover’, …

Making Snowballs with Warninks Advocaat

When I was a teenager growing up in Cyprus, my favourite Winter tipple was the mighty ‘Snowball’. I have absolutely no idea why it was a popular drink over there, but our go-to pub used to do a brilliant one which my friends and I loved. And I knew that somewhere deep in my photographic archives (aka Facebook!) there were some pictures. And dear reader, I found them. WHAT is that haircut? I think I was going for the Noel Fielding look… So to summarise, I really do love a Snowball but I have to admit, I’d forgotten my love of this Advocaat-based Wintery drink! Earlier in the month, the team at Warninks kindly sent me a Snowball ‘kit’ with everything you need to concoct one of these beverages, along with a Christmas jumper which has had a lot of outings for the past few weeks, including our annual friends’ Christmas jumper lunch! For those of you who’ve never tried Advocaat, you might be wondering what on earth it is (and why it’s so yellow!) …

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 …