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Monkey Shoulder, Callooh Callay, and other abject nonsense

by Ben Ellefsen     7. February 2012 14:12

Monkey Shoulder Bar

It really only struck me as I was trying to explain to a (non-whisky-loving) friend the weekend after this event that I was, to all intents and purposes talking in tongues. “Oh yes – well earlier in the week, I went to a Monkey Shoulder event at Callooh Callay” could just as easily have been “Oh yes – well earlier in the week, I went to a Badger Scapula event at Lorks a Lawdy”. Nonsense. Just nonsense.


Anyway – muggle-confusing industry Jargon aside, I’ve been asked by a few people to jot down the recipes and photos from the evening, as it was by all accounts one of the best whisky cocktail events I’ve ever been to.


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London Cocktail Society Bitters

by Ben Ellefsen     16. December 2011 15:48

It all began last month, when I was invited by the founders of the London Cocktail Society to go up to London and present our range of bitters to their members. Throughout the course of our conversation it became clear that we could potentially do even more than this, and turn the event into a bitters blending competition.

Throughout the course of another couple of conversations (and over a few lovely cocktails with The Cocktail Geek at the superb Shaker and Company), it became clear that not only was it our moral duty to bottle and release the winning bitters, but that more research at the bar was required as to which cocktails exactly contained bitters, and what were cocktails again, and who are you and why am I here? Ah. Cocktails.

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Bathtub Gin Cocktails

by Ben Ellefsen     8. December 2011 14:41

Okay – I’m not going to lie – it’s busy around here at the moment. Anyone would think that there’s some kind of holiday impending…


Anyway, it turns out that despite the craziness of the ‘tide, my wife’s sister wasn’t prepared to move her Hen Party back by a couple of weeks to accommodate the fact that I’d promised to develop a bespoke cocktail for them, and was quite busy at the moment. Something to do with already having booked her plane tickets over from Australia or something. Selfish if you ask me…


Anyway – yesterday evening, I finally settled in to make a cocktail both sufficiently special for the event, but which also reflected the turning season, and seeking to get the most out of our new Bathtub Gin.


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Categories : Cocktails | Gin


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Hot Buttered Rum

by Michael Orson     18. November 2011 12:39
Hot Buttered Rum

Every year on the 5th of November here in the UK we set off fireworks and burn an effigy of a man who tried to overthrow a king who enforced religious oppression against Catholics living in England. To an outsider, Guy Fawkes night looks like an insane, cult-like pagan ritual, but really it’s just about merriment, the partaking of yummy winter cocktails, and watching fireworks in awe and wonderment with their loud noises and pretty colours (we’re easily amused).

For the unofficial Master of Malt 2011 Firework More...

Dry Martini, Barcelona – Bar Review

by Ben Ellefsen     30. September 2011 15:01

It’s hot today in Tunbridge Wells. Really hot.

Whilst it’s never too hot for whisky (by Jingo I could go for a Great King Street Highball right about now), the palate does tend to crave something a bit more refreshing and crisp on occasion. If the last few days’ sales of our new Bathtub Gin are anything to go by, it’s Gin that the nation turns to when things start to hot up.

If I’m honest, I thought I’d stowed the trusty flip-flops away for good, but they’ve made a re-appearance. Here they are next to the Christmas bitters: More...

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Categories : Cocktails | Gin | News | Review


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The Bushmills Nectarine Sour – Whiskey Cocktail Recipe

by Ben Ellefsen     1. September 2011 16:54

I’ve long held up Bushmills 10yo as one of my all-time favourite Irish Whiskeys, predominantly because it has such an incredibly clear and obvious flavour component within it, that of Nectarine.

In fact, I can be more specific than that. It’s the taste of the little pieces of Nectarine that are present in yoghurt. I can go further than that, too if you like – it was the standard range of Safeways (before they got eaten by Morrisons) yoghurts available in the late 1980s. Only available as a 4-pack with Strawberry, Peach Melba, and Vanilla I believe (seriously - who eats vanilla yoghurt?). More...

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Categories : Cocktails | Whisky


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The Old Fashioned Cocktail

by Master of Malt     26. August 2011 12:20

New product announcements! Hurrah!

Yes, today we are announcing a terrific addition to the Handmade Cocktail Company’s sterling range of ready-made bottled cocktails. Many of you cocktail enthusiasts have already been asking us for one particular cocktail - a classic that was left out of the original range. It’s the ultimate zesty, spicy bourbon cocktail, and the favourite tipple of none other than Don Draper, Harry S Truman and Cole Porter. That’s right… The Old Fashioned. More...

New Product entitled… erm… “Brown Drink”

by Ben Ellefsen     3. August 2011 15:43

browndrinkthumb

So – we’ve been doing our Drinks by the Dram whisky sample service for almost a year now, and in that time have decanted ‘loads’ of 700ml bottles into 30ml samples.
 
700 divided by 30 is 690, so even if one is slightly generous with the 30ml measure, there’s still going to be a little drop or two left over.
 
My original plan (and I thought it was a darned good one) was to save all of this up, and make some awesome cocktails at the staff Christmas party, or maybe do something at the directors’ joint birthday party, but it turns out that “a little drop or two” multiplied by “loads” is about 37 full-sized bottles-worth.
 
Even we aren’t that thirsty. More...

Bar Review – Purl

by Ben Ellefsen     19. July 2011 17:28

Astonishing.

It’s an easy term to bandy around (and god knows I’m possibly more guilty of doing so than most), but from time to time, one is simply so taken aback that the term “astonishing” is really all that fits the bill. I found myself using that particular word on approximately a dozen occasions, when my good lady wife and I visited Purl earlier this year.

Just as it is usually possible to accurately assess the competence of a curry house by ordering a simple Madras, the ‘control’ drink in any half-decent cocktail bar, for me, is a martini cocktail. Good glassware – points; correctly chilled glass – yet more points; really, really good Sicilian lemons for the twist, many points. If, however, as in the case of one restaurant recently visited who shall remain nameless – you serve it in a chipped glass, complete with crushed ice, and a slice of lemon, you’re scoring very low indeed. More...

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Categories : Whisky | News | Cocktails


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Making the Carambola Pantheon Cocktail – by Gal Granov

by Master of Malt     23. June 2011 15:56
Whisky Cocktail

We gave a few whisky bloggers a simple brief: come up with a great cocktail using our 8 year old blended whisky. We’ve had some great responses, and today’s cocktail is no exception! This recipe was sent to us by Gal Granov who writes the brilliant blog “Whisky Israel”, which is a great source of tasting notes and whisky reviews (despite being written in a country with an incredibly high tax on spirits!). So without further ado… More...

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Categories : Whisky | Cocktails


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