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New Product Range: Reference Series

by Ben Ellefsen     17. April 2014 14:15

The Reference Series

It’s fair to say that this project has been a while in the making*, but hopefully it’s been worth it. It’s a bit of a two-sided coin, this – one side of it is that there are 3 whiskies here that are utterly delicious and will be super-appealing to everyone. The other side is incredibly obsessive, probably super-geeky, and almost certainly not for everyone. If you’re still reading at this point, well done. You’ve passed the test, and you can be in our club.

I’ll explain the inspiration, before going into the mechanics and the way it’s going to unfold over the coming months and years. It’s a journey, and one which I hope you’ll all come on with us. Actually, I’ve just been sick in my mouth a bit because of how marketinggy that sounds. I’ll re-phrase. It’s a cool thing, and it will become cooler still over time. That.

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Master of Cocktails - (1970s) Negroni

by Ben Ellefsen     14. April 2014 14:03

Master of Cocktails 1970s Negroni

This week we have a very special #MasterofCocktails as we’re indulging in some cocktail porn – or, more accurately, some utter, unrepentant cocktail filth.

We're going to be making a Negroni, but with ingredients that all come from the 1970s! Not a cheap serve this, admittedly, but it is completely, unequivocally epic so you do very much need to get involved still. Sorry.

Incognito window open? Let's get to it then...

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Ardbeg Auriverdes – Coming Soon

by Ben Ellefsen     10. April 2014 12:40

Ardbeg Auriverdes

So – it’s that time of year again isn’t it? I checked my calendar the other day, and realised it’s 6 weeks until Feis Ile. 6 weeks. I’ve got no idea who’s stealing all the time, but as whoever it is takes with one hand, they surely give with the other – we’re only 7 weeks away from the release of this year’s Ardbeg Day special edition.

This year’s offering is called ‘Auriverdes’ – a portmanteau of the latin ‘Aurum’ (Gold) and Portuguese ‘Verdes’ (Green) – Gold for the colour of the whisky, and Green for the iconic green* bottle in which Ardbeg is presented.

Why Portuguese, I hear you ask? Well apparently there’s some sort of kickball tourney on later this year in Brazil? Not really my sort of thing, but I’m sure Jake will use it as an excuse to bore the crap out of you / keep you entertained (delete per your preference).

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How to make clear ice for cocktails – redux

by Ben Ellefsen     8. April 2014 10:05

Clear ice balls

As I’m sure you all remember, about 3 months ago I told you all how to make beautiful clear ice for your cocktails.

Today, I’m going to show you an easier way. You know how much we all like things that are easy, right?

It started when a chap called Dan Skinner* posted an innocent comment at the end of the post mentioned above, saying that there were some guys in the USA making directional freezing equipment.

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Master of Cocktails - Bloody Mary

by Ben Ellefsen     7. April 2014 12:25

Master of Cocktails Bloody Mary

This week we're making a classic drink on #MasterofCocktails – a Bloody Mary. We'll get through this, and then I'll explain what you should have made instead. Clear? Good.

Now for me, when it comes to Bloody Marys, it's all about seasoning. Hence the (frankly ridiculous) list of ingredients.

What we're after is something to compliment the umami-rich flavour of tomato juice and work with the spice of the Worcestershire sauce. These are really the two key ingredients in this drink, and we're aiming to add to them.

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Master of Cocktails - The Palmetto

by Ben Ellefsen     31. March 2014 12:20

Master of Cocktails The Palmetto

So – the clocks have changed, and we've either gained an hour, lost an hour, or gone back in time. It's unclear which... Either way, it's time for #MasterofCocktails! This week's drink is a Palmetto.

Traditionally, this drink would be made with rum, vermouth and bitters, but as we're using Rumbullion! There's no need for the bitters in this one. I'm using the Navy-Strength, as that's what's behind the bar, but you could certainly use the regular stuff. No problem either way.

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Global Online Whisky Retailer of the Year, World's Best Blended Whisky & more...

by Ben Ellefsen     28. March 2014 10:53

World Whiskies 2014 Awards

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.

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Master of Cocktails - The (Original) Martinez

by Ben Ellefsen     24. March 2014 12:21

Master of Cocktails The original Martinez

This week we're re-visiting a recipe for the first time on #MasterofCocktails – The Martinez.

The reason we're doing this is that the first recipe published way back in October was the distinctly modern version. Heavy on the gin, and light on Vermouth. Today we're going back to the old-school, with a 1:1 Gin:Vermouth recipe.

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Master of Cocktails - The Boulevardier

by Ben Ellefsen     17. March 2014 11:25

Master of Cocktails Boulevardier

This week we're making a nice potent, wintry drink for #MasterofCocktails to accompany all the unseasonably warm weather we've been enjoying. D'oh!

Don't worry about that though, we're making a Boulevardier. You'll notice, ingredients-wise, that it's basically a Negroni made with whiskey instead of gin. It appeared in Harry McElhone's Barflies and Cocktails right back in 1927 after the New Yorker set up his bar in Paris and it's just an absolutely superb drink.

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Master of Cocktails - Mai Tai

by Ben Ellefsen     10. March 2014 12:15

Master of Cocktails Mai Tai

This week's #MasterofCocktails is an absolute doosie. We're making a Mai Tai. Probably one of the most abused and under-appreciated drinks in the world.

Now, if you've ever ordered one of these in a bar, you'll either have had a delicious variant on a Daiquiri, or a juice-laden mess that bears as much resemblance to a proper cocktail as a bottle of Hooch and an apple schnapps chaser.

Can you guess which version we're going to be making?

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