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The Eccentric History of Berry Brothers and Rudd -- Part II

by Michael Orson     2. July 2014 15:17

Berry Brothers and Rudd

The first George Berry was born in 1787 and, at the impressionable age of 16, made the two-day journey from Exeter to London, in which city he remained. He would become an extremely successful merchant, maintaining a clear focus on wine and spirits – a tradition continued by his sons George Jr. and Henry – the original “Berry Brothers” who took the helm in 1845.

Berry’s young life was not without event. In 1838, he signed up as a special constable during the Chartist riots, alongside his friend, the future Napoleon III. Years later, whilst in exile in London, Napoleon used the very cellars at No. 3 to hold secret meetings. Two storeys below terra, the marvellous stone-walled chamber bears his name, and is home to a collection of ancient bottles from centuries ago, back when a member of the gentry would have his own glass bottle stamped with his seal. The sealed bottles would be taken to No.3 to be filled with wine or spirit, and returned when they were empty. Napoleon’s own bottle still stands in one corner.

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Highland Park Dark Origins

by Jake Mountain     2. July 2014 10:04

Highland Park Dark Origins

When we received an invite to the launch of a new core Highland Park expression, we were naturally quite excited. The invite said that we were to be taken into the darkness for a whisky “dark by nature and character”. Having recently released our own Darkness! range we had a pretty good idea what this meant. (Hint: yummy Sherry!)

What amused us about the invite, however, was that there was a hooded chap printed in the background that looked suspiciously like the protagonist from the ’90s computer game ‘Thief: The Dark Project’ (emphasis added). Apparently it’s actually supposed to be Magnus Eunson, the butcher/church official by day, legendary whisky smuggler/illicit distiller by night of Highland Park foundation myth (dating back to 1798). Indeed, whilst other whiskies may have adopted the dark, we’re told that the Orkney single malt was very much born in it. BaneCat would be suitably impressed.

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The Eccentric History of Berry Brothers and Rudd -- Part I

by Michael Orson     1. July 2014 11:03

Berry Brothers and Rudd

Earlier this year, I became rather enamoured with what is arguably the drinks world’s most prestigious address – No. 3 St James’s – home to the wine and spirits merchant, Berry Brothers and Rudd (known henceforth variously as BBR or Berry’s).

This springtime love affair all started with a ‘three martini lunch’ on a surprisingly balmy day in February. I arrived fashionably late at No. 3 and climbed a steep wooden staircase through a locked door at the back of the shop to meet a group of familiar faces from spirits retail. The event’s hosts were BBR’s charming spirits man, Doug McIvor, and Glenrothes’ brand ambassador and gifted raconteur, Ronnie Cox.

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Master of Cocktails - The Strawberry Daiquiri

by Ben Ellefsen     30. June 2014 11:53

Master of Cocktails Strawberry Daiquiri

Right then y'all. It’s time once again for #MasterofCocktails. This week's drink (and next week's come to think of it), are both drinks that you *should* feel comfortable ordering if they're made correctly.

They are both pink though. Very pink.

This one (as you may have guessed) is a Strawberry Daiquiri. We're making it properly, which means no strawberry syrup, no strawberry liqueur and absolutely no sweet and sour mix. Shall we?

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Master of Cocktails - The Mojito

by Ben Ellefsen     23. June 2014 12:28

Master of Cocktails Mojito

Sticking with the Daiquiri theme, we're (finally) making Mojitos this week on #MasterofCocktails. It's taken a while to get round to it, but is there a more crowd-pleasing summer drink?

Now the very first thing you're going to need to do is take a small amount of granulated sugar...

and do this with it...

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Categories : Rum | Rum


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Limited Edition Joey Dunlop Charity Whisky from the Isle of Man TT

by Jake Mountain     20. June 2014 17:01

Joey Dunlop Foundation Whisky

After Fèis Ìle 2014 I travelled straight down to Liverpool - do not pass go, do not collect any clean underwear - and jumped on the Steam Packet over to the Isle of Man for the famous TT motorcycle races!

These legendary road races date back 107 years and the lap record now stands at 17 minutes 6.682 seconds for 37.733 miles, set by Bruce Anstey this year. That's an average speed of 132.298 mph! On narrow roads with over 120 corners!!! What's any of this got to do with whisky though? Well, last year the Joey Dunlop Foundation released a special limited edition blended malt Scotch whisky, which they sourced with a little help from Ralfy off of ralfystuff, with all profits going to the charity.

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The Affinity Cocktail & Handmade Cocktail Company 2014 Releases

by Jake Mountain     18. June 2014 14:19

The Affinity Cocktail

Cocktails galore! Not just on the blog though – these ones below will come right to your door. Not only are we bringing you Bramble Bar’s signature Affinity Cocktail as of today, but we also recently launched the 2014 vintage releases from The Handmade Cocktail Company. The latter including new additions as well as totally re-specced versions that have been improved significantly with even finer ingredients (no mean feat). These are exciting, tasty times, my friends.

First things first – Bramble Bar in Edinburgh. It’s awesome. For a while now they’ve been creating barrel-aged and bottle-aged Affinity Cocktails, which they serve at the bar in individual bottles for you to pour out yourself. (They’re pre-chilled and don’t require dilution.) We’re rather partial to a couple whenever we visit - it’s a perfect mix of Speyside single malt whisky and top quality vermouths (technically a red quinquina and a dry vermouth).

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The Chivas Masters Cocktail Competition

by Master of Malt     18. June 2014 11:00

Chivas Cocktail Masters

Jake: The Chivas Masters 2014 is Chivas Regal’s first ever global cocktail competition. Within the UK, heats were held in Bristol, Oxford, London (x2), Manchester and Edinburgh, with the winners of each going through to the UK final that was held on 3rd June. The UK champion will now be heading off to New York for the grand final against ten other champs in July, the winner of which will then be announced at Tales of The Cocktail in New Orleans!

So, who’s been mixing up a storm in the UK using Chivas whisky? Well I was able to pop down to the second London heat and Mike attended the final so we’re in a pretty good position to let you know whether Britain’s got talent… (Hint: there was a lot more on show than you’d have found on ITV last month.)

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Categories : Cocktails | Liqueurs | News | Whisky


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Master of Cocktails - The Daiquiri

by Ben Ellefsen     16. June 2014 10:52

Master of Cocktails Daiquiri

In this week's #MasterofCocktails we’re making what is probably the most abused drink in the history of all time: The Daiquiri.

It's such a blisteringly simple drink when done correctly. Rum. Sugar. Lime. That's all.

Now, there are some variations worth lauding (we're going to do a few over the next couple of weeks), but the classic version is one that should be in everyone's repertoire.

The recipe really couldn't be simpler. Can you remember the following?


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New Product – Rumbullion! XO 15yo

by Ben Ellefsen     11. June 2014 12:00

Professor Cornelius Ampleforth Rumbullion! XO 15 Years Old

It’s hard to believe, but the original Rumbullion! hasn’t even been with us for 3 years yet.

Initially launched in November 2011, and followed by a punchier Navy-Strength version late in 2012 (you’ll want to click on that one – it’s got explosives in it), it felt like high time we stepped up and produced a super-premium version.

With this in mind, development and sourcing work for this ultra-aged expression began over 2 years ago – it’s taken us this long to find a reliable source of exceptional, superbly-aged Caribbean rum that fits and compliments the flavour-profile of the original offering.

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