When asked if I fancied a trip to Southwold I didn’t have to do a lot of thinking. A chance to visit a lovely coastal town, get some fresh, sea air in my lungs, escape the madness of the festive season AND visit the fantastic Adnams distillery to taste two brand new English whiskies?!
Um, yes. I think I can probably manage that, at a push. So off I went to Waveney to meet up with Jonathan Adnams, Chairman and fourth-generation brewer, and Head Distiller John McCarthy for a bit of a shimmy around the distillery and to taste two new, unique whiskies prior to their release.
The first ever Adnams whiskies. Ever.
Right then chaps, this week’s #MasterofCocktails recipe is The Improved (New) Holland Gin Cocktail. Despite what you may be thinking, this is one that whisky fans will really enjoy. We're using some top notch American ingredients here too, including the New York Distilling Company’s fantastic Chief Gowanus New-Netherland Gin as well as some Cask-Aged Whisky Bitters.
Brooklyn, you see, used to be a Dutch colony. Yep. And this gin we're using is a Holland gin (i.e. a genever), and it was made to a 19 century American recipe with the help of David Wondrich, using the New York Distilling Company's unaged, double-distilled rye whiskey. Moreover, it's bloody fantastic.
"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.
This week on #MasterofCocktails we made the Martinez – or rather, the more modern, gin-heavy version of the Martinez. We will, however, do the old-school, original version another time, as it's utterly delicious and a completely different drink.
As ever, you could mix-along by following the hashtag above on Twitter on Sunday from 6pm, and we've included the pics you posted below along with the recipe in full.
At the bottom you’ll also find the ingredients we’ll be using next week, but without further ado, let’s get started!
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...
Back in 2012 Professor Cornelius Ampleforth released his own unique version of the classic that is Sloe Gin, and he saw that it was good. Very good. So good, in fact, that everybody bought some... and then they bought some more for good measure. Then there wasn’t any left…. until now!
Introducing: Professor Cornelius Ampleforth’s Sloe Gin 2013! *cue rapturous, hearty applause*
One of the problems the Professor faced last year was securing sufficient quantities of high quality Sloe Berries in order to keep up with demand. (After all, almost half a pound of Sloes are used in the production of each and every bottle!) Excitingly though, he now seems to have a handle on it now.
Some said that Galileo Galilei was crazy when he claimed to have evidence of a heliocentric solar system.
Some even said that Robert Matthew Van Winkle had lost his marbles when he decided to try his hand at being a white rapper.
These days we of course know that the Earth revolves around the Sun and that Vanilla Ice’s To the Extreme became the fastest selling hip-hop album of all time, but it still takes a brave soul to swim against the tide like some kind of beautiful maverick.
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!
It’s not often I manage to crowbar distillery visits into trips back to my hometown, near Washington, DC. Last December though, I was invited to go and check out Smooth Ambler Distillery in Maxwelton, WV, only about 4 hours’ drive away.
I put the offer out to a group of friends I’ve known for the better part of 15+ years: Would you like to go down to one of the finest distilleries in the country and try all of their delicious whiskey and gin?
Rolling on with our recent trend of bringing new brands to the UK market (and beyond), we are pleased to introduce you to the Spirits of Hven. A Swedish whisky distillery which produces gin and vodka in a most nontraditional way (most gin does not take 2 years to produce), Hven is located on a tiny island that was home to astronomer Tycho Brahe in the 16th Century.
When I imagined the journey to an island off the coast of Sweden in early March, I pictured snow, ice, and travelling in a boat exactly like like the one below.