This week’s Nightcap stars Gino D’Acampo, a single ingredient Margarita, and a sherry bottled at the Duke of Wellington’s home.
Hello, everyone. We’re Nightcapping after a heatwave so hot that the weather became even more prevalent in the British national conversation, which is some going. We love a good bit of weather chat but not as much as drink news, which is why we love putting together The Nightcap. Let’s check out what happened during the last week.
Firstly on the blog we spoke to Aisling Bea about working with Jameson, Lucas Bols about making pro cocktails at home, and Sarah Burgess about the magic of pairing Maltesers with Caol Ila. We also gave you a chance to win a bundle from Dutch Barn Vodka, took you on a trip back time to learn all about Punch, and enjoyed one of the oldest brands in existence. With National/International/World Tequila Day on Sunday, we also recommended some top treats, great bars, and a twist on the classic Margarita.
Now it’s time to check out The Nightcap: 22 July edition!
Global malt whisky market predicted to reach over £5b by 2031
Whisky is a big deal, and not just to those of us at Master of Malt. Just a week after Ardbeg sold a cask for an amount of money that would make Dr. Evil bring his little finger to his mouth, the global malt whisky market in 2021 was worth US$4.3bn, or about £3.6bn (according to Allied Market Research). It has also predicted a 4.7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) forecast for the next 10 years. That means by 2031, the global malt whisky market could be worth US$6.7 bn, or more than £5.6bn. Scotch whisky accounted for approximately two fifths of the market in 2021 and the sector is projected to achieve the highest CAGR from 2022 to 2031, reaching 4.9%. There’s good news for Irish and American whiskey too, which are forecast to grow at a similar rate to each other, while the report also notes the increased desire for whisky in new markets. Although, Europe is still the dominant area, holding a third of the global malt whisky market. There was good news for us too, as the report reckons that e-commerce is on the up, with it set to become a ‘high traction” sales avenue for spirits due to: “…advancements of technologies in logistics, ease of regulations, and increase in digital connectivity”. Remarkable what we can do with a simple mix of water, yeast, barley, wood, and time.
The Duke’s Wellington’s sherry goes under the hammer
On 21 July this week a very special bottle of sherry sold at Dreweatts, the auction house. This 1840 sherry was bottled at the Duke of Wellington’s home Apsley House between 1850 and 1870. Though it may not have been bottled under the Duke’s supervision as he died in 1852. The rare sherry had been stored in a Hampshire cellar having been bought at an auction of wines from Wellington’s house in 1977. A similar wine was tasted at Christie’s in 2020 and described as follows: “At over 150 years of age, it looked almost like a young en rama Manzanilla. On tasting, the 1865 was well-balanced, chalky and lightly nutty with a characteristic smoky edge. Its colour and youthful gait made it hard to believe it was bottled when Abraham Lincoln was President of the United States.” Mark Robertson, head of Dreweatts wine department commented on the Wellington sherry: “This wonderful bottle with only two careful owners in the last 170 years unsurprisingly garnered competitive bidding. We hope the new owner enjoys this unique sherry and whilst drinking can ponder on all the great historical moments that have passed since it was first bottled for the Duke of Wellington at Apsley house.” The price for this unique, historic and probably still delicious wine was a very reasonable price £1,527, against an estimate of £300-£700, pocket money really compared with that £16m Ardbeg cask. As Wellington might have put it: “fill your boots!”
Stauning Whisky launches limited-edition Sweet Wine Rye
Stauning Whisky is no stranger to pushing boundaries and doing things its own way so it was hardly surprising to receive the news in our inbox that it has made a Sweet Wine Rye. The limited-edition whisky, made with floor-malted Danish grain, has been aged for three years in new American oak casks, followed by two years in Marsala, Gewürztraminer and Ramandalo barrels. It’s said to result in a “gentle explosion of roasted rye kernels, ripe fruits dark caramel and malt”, in a “fruity and full-bodied” whisky that also has “hints of vanilla, cinnamon and pickled ginger followed by a bittersweet aftertaste”. This innovative Danish whisky is a limited-edition release of 2,909 bottles, and is recommended to be enjoyed over ice or in a number of classic cocktails. Stauning had a double dose of news this week as it also announced that it was launching wood chips for 2022’s BBQ season. Made from barrels in which its triple malt KAOS whisky was aged, the whisky-infused wood chips promise to add “subtle smoky flavour to all BBQ favourites”, and can be used on both gas and charcoal grills. Sweet Wine Rye and whisky-infused BBQs? You spoil us, Stauning.
Gino D’Acampo partners with Ginato Gin
Ginato Italian Gin has announced a partnership with Italian chef and king of the double entendre Gino D’Acampo. The TV personality from Naples, Italy, is now the maestro del gusto (master of flavour), which basically means he will be creating recipes and pairing them with Ginato cocktails, as well as working with the team in the development of new Ginato Gin variants and releases over the coming years. “My homeland has always shaped not only the way I cook but also what I eat and drink. Italians have a passion for great quality produce, and this is everything that Ginato Gin embodies,” says D’Acampo. “It is important for me to work with brands that are authentic and complement my style of food. Ginato Gin is an interesting concept, especially with the addition of the Pinot Grigio grape. This innovation as well as the superb taste is what attracted me to working with the brand.” Ginato is made using Pinot Grigio grapes selected from the wine-growing regions of Friuli in the north of the country, paired with Tuscan juniper and citrus picked from the sunny climate of southern Italy. The other three expressions include Ginato Melograno (Pomegranate), Ginato Clementino (Clementine orange), and Ginato Pompelmo (Pink grapefruit). It’s a bit like that deal Gordon Ramsey did with Gordon’s Gin, and we now look forward to seeing which other drink brands can secure endorsements from celebrities with names that sound a lot like the brand. Any famous Glens are a shoe-in for Scotch partnerships, surely. Call your agent, Glen Close.
Hacha makes “single ingredient” Margarita for National Tequila Day
On Sunday we’re celebrating all things Tequila with National/World/International Tequila Day (depending on which brand you ask). Whatever you want to call it, we’re very excited about Hacha’s limited-edition “single ingredient” version of its award winning Mirror Margarita: The Trilogy. The UK Specialist Bar of the Year’s new groundbreaking twist on its crystal clear signature serve is made up of three different Tequilas (hence the name). Each was chosen to represent the key taste components of a classic Margarita cocktail – the agave base, the sour and the sweet to balance. So for the base there’s Patrón, a highland Tequila with citrusy notes and the same that features in the original Mirror Margarita. The sour element comes from a sour mix created with Herradura Tequila from the lowlands of Jalisco, and the sweet comes from a homemade Hacha Tequila Liqueur made using El Rayo, which blends agave from both highlands and lowlands. So the one ingredient is Tequila… ish. It’s a bit of a stretch to call it a single ingredient to be honest but it’s a cool idea regardless (like a Margarita meets a Martini) that accentuates the spirit being celebrated. Plus, it’s Hacha, so it’s sure to be cracking. Served short and straight up, at 19% ABV, the The Trilogy is available now to enjoy at Hacha Dalston and Brixton for a limited time, with a 200ml bottle also available to buy from both locations.
Simone Caporale and Luca Missaglia launch The Art of Shaking
Ever wanted to become a top-level bartender? Simone Caporale from Sips Barcelona and Luca Missaglia of Cocktail Concierge fame have teamed up to help that dream by launching The Art of Shaking. The independent online platform offers training and masterclasses for the international bartending community, giving professional bartenders the chance to learn new techniques and processes. It is specifically targeted at already accomplished bartenders who want to know how to elevate their drinks creation to the next level. The community is full of talented, committed people who are open to learning and exploring, but times are hard and not everyone has the ability to travel the world to access the wealth of information out there. Those who are interested can get a sense of the quality and content of the first three courses here: Cocktail Development, Cocktail Menu Creation and Ultimate Bar Techniques. Over time, the duo will expand the course content to showcase everything they have learnt over their careers in what is the first bartender-led, paid-for subscription training programme that is completely independent and is not sponsored by any brands. We should point out that if you do complete The Art of Shaking, that is still no excuse to call yourself a mixologist.
And finally…. enter Sandbox with Martell
One to file under things we don’t really understand: Martell, the 300-year-old Cognac house, is entering the metaverse with a gaming platform in the Sandbox. This will consist of “ever-evolving content and enhanced digital theatre, features will include unique games and challenges, a marketplace for limited editions, collectible NFTs, and exclusive live events.” For those of you who don’t know, get with it guys, the Sandbox is “a decentralised, community-driven gaming ecosystem where creators can share and monetise voxel assets and gaming experiences on the Ethereum.” So that’s cleared that one up. Richard Black, marketing director at Martell, attempted to explain further: “We are excited to partner with The Sandbox and open the doors to the Maison Martell brand world in ways that have never been done before. The metaverse environment allows almost limitless creativity and we aim to leverage this to empower the Sandbox community to shape their own virtual legacies – supported by the unique opportunities and benefits that we have specially created for visitors to the Maison Martell virtual world.” Some questions remain: what has this got to do with Cognac and why are they illustrating it with what looks like a Lego Mozart?