The Nightcap: 25 May

Happy Friday, team! It’s a wrap on the week that was, which means we have another edition of The Nightcap for you! Read on for news of distillery developments, brilliant new bars, and intriguing product developments…

It’s Friday, Friday, gotta get down on Friday… (you’re welcome for the earworm). It’s time to down tools for the weekend and reflect on another seven days in drinks.

Before we crack on with The Nightcap proper, let’s recall another stellar week on the blog. On Monday we got set for the Chelsea Flower Show with Annie’s round-up of deliciously floral whiskies – whether plants are your thing or not, it’s a sublime list of sunny-day sippers. Then on Tuesday we were VERY excited. We got to share a sneak peek inside Macallan’s new distillery following our secret visit back in April. It’s definitely one to add to the bucket list!

Categories : Cocktails, Competitions, Gin, Irish Whiskey, News, Rum, Scotch Whisky, Tequila
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Caricatures and cocktails: Scarfes Bar shakes it up with new menu

Scarfes Bar

Master of Malt travelled to Scarfes Bar to speak to bar manager Martin Siska and head bartender Greg Almeida about how they and their dynamic bar team brought together mixology magic and mischievous artwork to create this year’s menu…

What’s better than art? Art that incorporates alcohol – that’s what. Which is precisely what inspired the team at Scarfes Bar at the Rosewood Hotel, London when developing the 2018 cocktail menu.

It’s a creative take on pop culture with 18 crafty creations based on the satirical work of the bar’s namesake, renowned British artist and caricaturist Gerald Scarfe. Presented in the style of a beautifully vandalised copy of The Bartender’s Handbook of Fancy Cocktails & Concoctions, the new menu features drinks inspired by key cultural figures and events in recent British history from 2001 to 2018.

Categories : Cocktails, News
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How the world’s first ‘female’ bar list highlighted gender imbalance in booze


Last year, Brixton bar The Courtesan launched a wine and spirit list featuring bottlings produced, owned or grown exclusively by women. We chat with owner Hammant Patel Villa and discover just how stark a point of difference his concept is in a male-oriented industry.

With movements such as #MeToo and #TimesUp taking centre stage across international news outlets, gendered assault and discrimination is at the forefront of everyone’s minds. The drinks industry is not without misogynistic marketing, structural inequality (spanning from the boardroom to the back bar), and, regrettably, sexual harassment and/or assault.

While a collective push akin to either of these campaigns is yet to surface within the industry, there are a handful of people (of all genders) who are taking action to progress the discussion. One such ally is Patel Villa, owner of Brixton dim sum restaurant, tea room and cocktail bar The Courtesan. The venue is inspired by the courtesans of Ancient China; highly-respected, well-educated women that played an important role in the country’s history – an internationally gendered effort to recognise the multifaced roles of women today.


Categories : Cocktails
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American Bar at The Savoy crowned World’s Best Bar 2017!

128 year old American Bar at The Savoy, one of the most iconic venues in bartending history, was last night named World’s Best Bar 2017 – and has immediately topped our must-revisit list.

Where many London bars try to create an air of faux-retro glamour with a bit of velvet upholstery and a waiter in a bowtie, the American Bar is the genuine article. And it can thank its rich history for its sense of style.

You could quite literally write a tome documenting the history of the bar – it opened the same year as the Eiffel Tower was completed (1889, FYI) – and the famous faces that have walked through its doors over the years. We’re talking Frank Sinatra and Marlene Dietrich here, none of that Kardashian nonsense.


Categories : Cocktails
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JP Fetherston’s hottest American whiskey cocktail trends

What’s hot now when it comes to American whiskey cocktail trends? Leading bartender JP Fetherston shares his insights…

It’s safe to say American whiskey cocktails are having something of a moment. From Manhattans and Old Fashioneds to Sazeracs and Sours, we’ve all got a taste for liquid Americana. Which is why, when the Distilled Spirits Council* came to London Town earlier this week, decamping at Somerset House with a contingent of spirits producers in tow, we had to tag along and get involved.

Along with the entourage came noted bartender JP Fetherston, a partner at Washington DC’s renowned Columbia Room. As well as receiving multiple awards in the US and beyond for his talents behind the bar, Fetherston also apprenticed at the Bruichladdich distillery under Jim McEwan – so when he chats about cocktails, you sit up and take note. He knows his whisk(e)y. As part of the Distilled Spirits Council’s day-long meeting, greeting, tasting session, he took to the stage (bar) to share his take on current American whiskey cocktail trends, what people can’t get enough of in the US, and how serves can showcase whiskey to a whole new audience.

Categories : American Whiskey, Cocktails
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