Pinch, punch, it’s the first of the month! What better way to welcome its arrival than with a healthy helping of boozy news. It’s the Nightcap!
Hey, it’s May! Everyone, look! It’s May! Though it might be hard to keep track of the days of late, a new month is definitely here and we can bid farewell to what was perhaps the longest April. Or what felt like the longest April, at least. We are welcoming this new month in the best way we know how – a new edition of The Nightcap! Would we have done a new edition of The Nightcap today even if it wasn’t a new month? Totally, but sometimes things line up great like this.
On the MoM blog this week, Ian Buxton returned to discuss the often murky past and present of private casks sales, we counted down the best drink advertisements of all time and Adam reminded us that the cancellation of the Spirit of Speyside Festival shouldn’t stop us from enjoying the best Scotch whiskies the region has to offer. Our Cocktail of the Week was a fluffy, deliciously creamy and super simple creation that Annie turned our attention to before she grabbed a quick chat with the co-founder of James Eadie, Rupert Patrick. Elsewhere, Henry spent his week looking into the story behind delightful creations such as a very special dry vermouth from Piedmont and an ultra-premium gin from Kenya, although he did thankfully leave enough time to celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Casamigos Tequila. Oh, and best of luck to all who entered our new competition with our wonderful neighbours, Greensand Ridge Distillery.
Speaking of which, we’d like to say a big thanks again to all those who entered our virtual pub quiz last Friday and congratulations to our winner Moa Nilsson! That £25 gift voucher can be put to good use at MoM Towers on any number of delightful drinks, including that Jaffa Cake Gin everyone keeps talking about… The answers to last week’s quiz are listed below, while this week’s edition will launch at 5pm here, so fix yourself a tipple and keep your eyes peeled on the MoM Blog!
Glengoyne releases custom jigsaw puzzle
With many of us on the search for ways to spend all this new-found spare time, Glengoyne Distillery has come up with a potential solution: a limited-edition jigsaw puzzle. Created to be enjoyed as the perfect companion while savouring a good dram, the 500-piece puzzle features a special painting by John Lowrie Morrison (Jolomo), entitled ‘Spring Blossoms at Glengoyne Distillery’. The celebrated Scottish artist spent weekends painting at the distillery during his student years attending the Glasgow School of Art. Glengoyne’s jigsaw, which is available through the brand’s online shop, is priced at £10 and £1 from each purchase will be donated to drinks charities The Drinks Trust and The Ben. “Many of us are obviously finding ourselves with more time on our hands right now, and time has always played such a big role in our whisky-making at Glengoyne,” says Katy Muggeridge, senior brand manager for Glengoyne. “We hope this limited-edition jigsaw will provide fans of our whisky with some special at-home entertainment during a difficult time, as well as offering a special keepsake from one of the nation’s leading artists.” The puzzle, which will be available, while stocks last, with any 70cl bottle of whisky purchased on Glengoyne.com, also features 10 Wonka-esque golden jigsaw pieces. Those lucky enough to stumble upon them will win a pair of tickets to a Glengoyne Wee Tasting Tour, redeemable once the distillery re-opens to visitors.
Woodford Reserve unveils homage to Kentucky Derby
Woodford Reserve embraced its sentimental side this week by releasing a music video as a homage to the delayed Kentucky Derby. The song, titled ‘My Old Kentucky Home’, features Kentucky cellist Ben Sollee playing solo in the Derby Winner’s Circle at a vacant Churchill Downs, where Derby 146 was scheduled to run this Saturday. The Kentucky Derby has been postponed for just the second time in its 146-year history (1945 was the first time, unsurprisingly) due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and is not set to run on the 5th of September. The Kentucky-based bourbon brand, who is the presenting sponsor of the Kentucky Derby, has also chosen to mark the history and tradition of the event by announcing its Kentucky Derby at Home celebration, which will take place tomorrow (2nd May). The programme features a live tasting and toast, as well as a demonstration on how to make the perfect Mint Juleps by Woodford Reserve master distiller Chris Morris. For those not from Kentucky or not really interested in horse racing, the images of the Twin Spires, vacant stands, track and starting gate may not move you, but it’s worth pointing out that for many in the state the Derby isn’t just a sporting event, but a celebration of Kentucky. “Now more than ever, we need to be connected to each other,” Morris explained. “This beautiful rendition of My Old Kentucky Home keeps the tradition and pageantry of the Kentucky Derby alive during these hard times.”
The Drinks Trust fundraising reaches £1 million
The news these days appears to mostly be bad. Just this week it was announced that Imbibe Live 2020 has been postponed to 5-6 July 2021 (the full statement is here). However, we’d prefer to focus on the number of people and organisations who are working tremendously hard in the name of good causes. The Drinks Trust is one of those who are making a difference and the community organisation for the drinks industry has revealed it has raised just over £1 million to support individuals who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The “Your Round, Help Your Trade” campaign has raised this amount thanks to £650,000 in generous donations and numerous fundraising initiatives and a further £350,000 from business partners either renewing or renewing at a higher level. The Drinks Trust has been supporting over 350 ongoing beneficiaries since the beginning of March and has recently completed the COVID-19 Emergency Grant fund, enabling it to provide 1750 beneficiaries with a one-off financial grant of £250 primarily assisting those who are facing a loss of earnings. In the weeks ahead the organization will launch a new initiative which “will assist members of the drinks industry to live a constructive and healthy life in these times of uncertainty, isolation and distance from an otherwise social and community-orientated industry”. The Drinks Trust also thanked those who have supported its good work, allowing that none of this would have been possible without the generosity and support from all areas of the drinks industry. “We are so grateful to absolutely everyone who has responded so quickly at this difficult time,” said CEO, Ross Carter. “We hope to work with you all on an ongoing basis to ensure that we continue to provide support for all drinks industry professionals. The Drinks Trust supports drinks industry people”. You can donate to this superb cause here.
Salcombe Gin launches Virtual Gin Schooling programme
It’s another bank holiday weekend soon (yay!), and gin is a tipple on many people’s minds. You may have been one of the people planning to visit the beautiful waterside Salcombe Gin distillery and its awesome gin school. Well, clearly that’s not essential travel (as much as we would like to kid ourselves), but luckily the distillery has brought its experience to you! Dubbed the Home-Gin-Schooling programme, it’s a virtual gin school experience, with three options to choose from. Through a live video with a member of Salcombe Gin’s distilling team, you can either create your very own new gin recipe, or if you’ve visited the gin school before, you can recreate that. Your tasty creation will then be posted to you complete with personalised labels, a copy of the recipe and a serving suggestion. You can also get your pals (virtually) involved with the virtual gin school, with the full experience of a distiller guiding you through each step of the process. Up to four households can tune-in and co-create the gin, which will then be made into four 70cl bottles which are presented in wooden boxes. You can check it all out here, and get those creative juices flowing!
And finally… Big Drop Brewing brings the pub gig to your living room
Here at Master of Malt the thing we miss about the before times is going to the pub: cold beer, warm friends and hot music, there’s nothing better. To help us through the pain of lockdown, Big Drop, the delicious (yes really, genuinely delicious) zero alcohol beer people, has come up with Big Drop Living Room Pub Gig. Every Sunday between 4-5pm (BST), a top musician will entertain you via the magic of electronic jiggery-pokery. Coming up this Sunday 3 May, it’s Russell Swallow who, as you can probably tell from his publicity photo melds “the British singer-songwriter tradition with ambient Berlin soundscapes”, according to the press bumf. Go to Facebook or youtube to find out more. There’ll be a new act every Sunday from now until the pubs reopen. Please let that be soon.
Pub quiz answers
1) Which brand of champagne do Rick and Ilsa (Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman) drink in Paris in the film Casablanca?
2) Typically, what kind of vessel is a Moscow Mule served in?
Answer: Copper mug
3) What’s the minimum number of ingredients need to make a cocktail?
4) Which country does the grape variety Malbec originate from?
5) What does it mean to ‘dry shake’ a cocktail?
Answer: Shake without ice
6) What’s the only distillery within the town of Elgin?
Answer: Glen Moray
7) Aeneas Coffey, inventor of the eponymous still, was from which country?
8) What’s the only Scottish distillery to make both single malt and single grain whisky?
Answer: Loch Lomond
9) In the production of Port, you would add aguardiente. . .
Answer: Before fermentation, during fermentation, after fermentation
10) A member of which band described their 1972 American tour as the “cocaine and Tequila Sunrise tour”?
Answer: The Rolling Stones