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Feis Ile 2014, Tales From The Isle - Lagavulin Day

by Jake Mountain     25. May 2014 09:47

Tales From The Isle Lagavulin Feis Ile

We've made it to Islay! In fact, we've been here since Thursday (quite keen) but it hasn't all been plain sailing. Alexandra and I actually missed our ferry, which, as every other one was fully booked for days, was a bit of a problem. Fortunately we managed to board another by using our powers of persuasion* and were soon running up and down the metal staircases on either side freeing hostages finding the very best views of Gigha, Northern Ireland, the Paps of Jura and, of course, Islay herself, including the silhouette of good ol' Cnoc Rhaonastil.

Without further ado though, welcome one and all to Tales From The Isle! Over the course of eight issues we'll be bringing you our own unique take on the events and releases at this year's Fèis Ìle, the legendary Islay whisky festival, as well as sharing some dark tales and perhaps even an adventure or two from this famous whisky isle...

Greetings traveller...

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Master of Cocktails - The Americano Bolognese

by Ben Ellefsen     19. May 2014 12:20

Master of Cocktails Americano Bolognese

Well hello there you. Time for another #MasterofCocktails me thinks. This week we made a twist on a classic, which is genuinely better than the real thing. We're making an 'Americano Bolognese'.

I have a real problem with 'regular' Americanos. They take one of the best drinks in the world (Camparisoda) and ruin it. This concoction, however, stands entirely on its own two feet, borrowing only the booze-ingredients from the original.

So – a quick thank you to @nuloungebar, and @MaverickDrinks for the recipe, and then straight into it.

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New Product Range: Bitter Bastards

by Ben Ellefsen     15. May 2014 12:00

Bitter Bastards

So – cocktail bitters then. The salt, pepper, Worcestershire Sauce and Encona of the Cocktail world. Cocktail seasoning if you will.

This new, and tremendously exciting launch sees the phasing-out of the Master of Malt bitters range in favour of this new, improved and super-exciting range of cocktail ingredients. Why the change though?

Well.

Sit down children, and I shall tell you a story all about standardisation, Rapid-Maceration, the effects of Gravity on particle-suspension, oil-solubility and swearing:

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Master of Cocktails - The Corpse Reviver No. 2

by Ben Ellefsen     12. May 2014 10:54

Master of Cocktails Corpse Reviver No 2

Right then chaps – it's #MasterofCocktails time once again. This week we made another real classic – The Corpse Reviver No. 2.

It's yet another excellent recipe taken from The Savoy Cocktail Book – a superb compendium you all should own.

The Corpse Reviver No. 2 is also one of those drinks that manages to lives up to the awesome name it's been given. Unsurprisingly, it was originally a hair of the dog drink, with Craddock warning readers that "four of these taken in swift succession will unrevive the corpse again"! It can certainly be enjoyed at any time though. We've made a few substitutions here – most notably Pierre Ferrand Curaçao has been brought in on account of its yumminess.

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Master of Cocktails - Piña Colada

by Ben Ellefsen     5. May 2014 14:39

Master of Cocktails Pina Colada

This week's #MasterofCocktails is a bank holiday treat – Piña Coladas! Now, there are two reasonably important 'tricks' to this drink, well, one really...

The first trick is NO ICE. We're not using any in the preparation of this drink – instead we're using frozen pineapple. The second trick is to use an uber-ripe pineapple. All of the sweetness from this drink comes from the fruit. So, like I said – sort of one trick, but nevertheless.

We're also going to be weighing all the ingredients this time around, just for ease of reference.

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Master of Cocktails - The Modern Cocktail No. 2

by Ben Ellefsen     28. April 2014 11:26

Master of Cocktails Modern Cocktail No 2

This week on #MasterofCocktails we're making a lesser known cocktail – the 'Modern Cocktail No. 2', taken from the superb reference tome that is The Savoy Cocktail Book.

Now – it's worth remembering that Mr Harry Craddock, the author of this book, would have had access to very different ingredients to the ones we have today. For that reason, I've (hopefully lovingly) changed a few of the quantities and in one case omitted an ingredient. I'll explain as we go.

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Master of Cocktails - The Bramble

by Ben Ellefsen     21. April 2014 13:28

Master of Cocktails The Bramble

Happy Monday one and all, hope you're enjoying the long weekend! For this week's (conspicuously non-Easter-themed) #MasterofCocktails we made a Bramble.

This is essentially a gin sour with a lovely slug of Crème de Mûre (Blackberry Liqueur) in it - hence the name. The perfect drink for a pleasant spring evening, like this evening...

(I just touched wood so you can't blame me if it pisses it down yet again. Nope. My hands are clean.)

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The Singleton Whisky Night Market with Tailfire and Sunray

by Jake Mountain     16. April 2014 13:38

Singleton Tailfire and Sunray

The Singleton of Dufftown recently launched two new NAS expressions. You may have seen them, they’re the ones named after hot rod car paints fishing flies (in keeping with the Singleton logo): Tailfire and Sunray. The colours correspond to the flavour profiles of the whiskies, which makes it a little easier for folk who may otherwise find choosing from a shelf of single malts a daunting proposition.

The new releases are set to be celebrated at The Singleton Whisky Night Market on Thursday May 15th (18:30-22:30) down at Southbank, where they will be paired with specially made chocolates (Cocomaya), cheeses (Pong), and whisky marshmallows (The Marshmallowists) alongside theatrical presentations (no doubt involving the one and only Colin Dunn), comedy (Tom Sandham* off of Thinking Drinkers), some top grub (Forza Win and Mark Hix) and whisky cocktails from the excellent Andrea Montague (of Callooh Callay fame, now Diageo’s in-house ‘malt mixologist’).

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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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Callooh Callay - Bar Review

by Michael Orson     11. April 2014 11:56

Callooh Callay

The streets of Shoreditch are roamed by tight-chino’d packs of hip London youth, gyring and gimbling in the wabe like those slithy toves in Lewis Caroll’s brilliant work of nonsense, Jabberwocky. Fitting, it will transpire, that cobbly little Rivington Street’s Callooh Callay should be named after the poem. I must confess I remember little of my first visit (an ill-fated absinthe tasting some years ago), and thinking up preconceptions at Callooh Callay is nigh-on impossible.

In the main bar there’s that kind of Victorian chic thing that a lot of cocktail bars go in for, only, not quite. And then you walk through the wardrobe at the far end (I promised myself I wouldn’t use the term “Narnia-esque”), and you’ll find a hidden secondary lounge area, replete with gaudy Vegas-style leafy centrepiece, barbershop sign, and bathroom bedecked with old tape cassettes. And then there’s the Oyster Card-themed menu, which is something else entirely.

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