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Master of Malt Blog

Tag: Beefeater

The Nightcap: 17 May

It’s Friday, and around these parts, that means one thing – it’s time for another edition of The Nightcap! Imagine the scenario – last Friday evening, you felt a bit…

It’s Friday, and around these parts, that means one thing – it’s time for another edition of The Nightcap!

Imagine the scenario – last Friday evening, you felt a bit tired. You yawned, looking at your watch or at a clock on the wall or at your phone – it doesn’t really matter where you look to find out the time. All that matters is that it was time to go to sleep. However, instead of sleeping in a bed, you decided to go to sleep under a rock. For a week. Imagine that. Now, if you have been under a rock since last week, you’ll want to know what’s happened during said week, and we’ve got all the booze news right here in The Nightcap for you! Wow, that was a pretty far fetched introduction, even for us.

On the blog this week Henry kicked things off on World Cocktail Day (on a Monday, of all days!) with our Cocktail of the Week, The Pornstar Martini, then talked Venezualan rum with The Diplomático Distillery. Guest writer Nate Brown made a passionate plea for bars to prioritise all customers, Annie explored the new range from Sweden’s High Coast Distillery and Kristy indulged our love of Japanese spirits with our New Arrival of the Week, Haku Vodka. Adam meanwhile helped you prep for Fèis Ìle 2019 in the only way we know how, before he and Camden’s Croque Monsieur celebrated absinthe. Oh, and we’ve also launched another incredible competition, where you could win a VIP trip to Mortlach Distillery!

Now, on with the news!

The Nightcap

A classic of the genre returns!

Classic Islay whisky book reissued

One of the best whisky books of the last 20 years was Peat Smoke and Fire by Andrew Jefford which was published in 2004. Jefford, best known as a wine writer, applied a lyrical touch in this hymn to Islay’s culture, history and whiskies which were at the time relatively unknown except by the cognoscenti. Back then, you could pick up a bottle of Port Ellen, for example, for around £100 as opposed to the thousands you’d pay today. Oh, to have saved a few then! Fast forward 15 years and the island is booming with two new distilleries since the book was published, Kilchoman and Ardnahoe, and Fèis Ìle, the island’s annual festival, becoming an international tourist event. So, it’s a good time to republish this classic book now under the slightly less evocative title of Whisky Island, with a forward by Dave Broom. It’s a must read for peatheads everywhere.

The Nightcap

Who wouldn’t want a garden full of gin botanicals?

Kyrö brings first Finnish garden to Chelsea Flower Show

The Chelsea Flower Show and Kyrö Distillery have joined forces, with the distillery bringing the first ever Finnish garden to the ‘Space to Grow’ class! The brains behind this stunning show belong to Finnish landscape designer, horticulturist and environmental biologist Taina Suonio. The garden is inspired by Kyrö’s delicious Napue Gin, with plants native to the Finnish meadows and woodlands, while the display will also stress the importance of pollinators with a butterfly garden. “Taina has done excellent work in creating a garden that reflects the Finnish countryside and the botanicals we use to make our gin”, says Kyrö’s Managing Director Miika Lipiäinen. “Out of all of the raw materials presented in the garden, we could actually distil a gin.” Maybe we’ll take our still along to the show…

The Nightcap

Introducing: Ardbeg Drum!

Ardbeg Day and Ardbeg Drum

Look past the busy bank holiday weekend to 1 June, because that’s Ardbeg Day! This year’s celebration ‘Drum Roll Please…’ is taking place in London’s Regent’s Park. What to expect? A fantastic afternoon marrying the best of Islay and Caribbean flavours, games and influences, from steel bands to ceilidh dances, Ardbeg whisky to Caribbean food. Ardbeggians are also encouraged to arrive on the day in Caribbean-meets-Islay finery, and we can’t wait to see how that turns out! All this to celebrate the limited edition Ardbeg Day release, Ardbeg Drum, and you can be sure there’ll be a tasting of that peaty treat at the celebration. This expression is pretty special because for the first time Ardbeg has finished the single malt in rum casks from the Americas. If you say ‘Ardbeg Drum’ really fast, it sort of sounds like ‘Ardbeg rum’… Coincidence?

The Nightcap

Don’t fear the spirits…

Beefeater Gin and The London Dungeon: Partners in crime

In a somewhat unlikely partnership, Beefeater and The London Dungeons have teamed up to present Dungeon LATES. Kicking off on 24 May, these nights are said to be darker, scarier, and definitely more alcoholic, so it goes without saying they’re adult-only. Guests can sip while they’re scared, and in between screams it looks like they’ll be drinking Beefeater Blood Orange. After a tour of the dungeons, you’re then treated to a cocktail with said gin, which will have been wholeheartedly deserved. We’re sure their choice of tipple was no coincidence. Now blood orange takes on a whole different tone.

The Nightcap

Prince Charles was guest of honour at the annual Fortnum & Mason awards

Prince Charles rocks the Fortnum & Mason awards

As we have outlined before on the Nightcap, where there’s fine booze, you are often likely to find Prince Charles. First, it was the distillery visits, and then on Thursday afternoon, he was guest of honour at the annual Fortnum & Mason awards. The awards celebrate the best in food and drink writing, photography and broadcasting in Britain. But he wasn’t just there to knock back the Champagne with Chris Evans and Claudia Winkleman, Prince Charles was presented with a special award for his services to the sustainable food industry. Other winners included Nina Caplan winning Debut Drink Book award for The Wandering Vine; Mary Berry won Personality of the Year; Marina O’ Loughlin from The Sunday Times won restaurant writer of the year; Nadiya Hussein was a popular winner of TV Programme of the Year for her ‘Asian Odyssey’. And finally, we are delighted that Alice Lascelles from the Financial Times won the most important award of all, Drinks Writer of the Year. Everyone partied responsibly long into the night.

The Nightcap

Scenic views, delicious whisky and plenty of local culture will be on show

The first ever Hebridean Whisky Festival begins next week

We hope you’ve kept your diary clear between the 21st and 25th May 2019, because that’s when the first-ever Hebridean Whisky Festival begins! A celebration of the four distilleries along the Hebridean Whisky Trail, the festival will feature free tours, tastings, music, casks and special events at Talisker, Torabhaig, The Isle of Raasay Distillery, Harris distilleries and the Aros Centre, Portree. Proceedings kick off with two days on Skye at Torabhaig Distillery on Tuesday 21st May followed by events at Talisker on Wednesday 22nd. Then it’s across the water to the Isle of Raasay Distillery on Thursday 23rd May 2019, where whisky pilgrims will witness the launch of the exclusive new warehouse and enjoy whisky and chocolate tours. The self-guided whisky trail route up will then lead festival-goers to Isle of Harris Distillery on Friday 24th May. Meanwhile, in Portree, the Aros Centre will showcase the distilleries at a special Hebridean Whisky Festival tasting stand for the duration of the festival. The finale is the ‘Big Day at Slig’, where the four distilleries will come together at the Sligachan Hotel on Saturday 25th May for a day of whisky tastings, Hebridean Whisky cocktails, distillery vehicles, cask displays, craft ales and a visit from the Isle of Skye pipe band. These events are free entry and the choice is yours whether you want to experience part of the festival or follow the full trail over five days by land or sea. We’re sure those who are attending will have a smashing time!

The Nightcap

It’s been a good week for the folks at Winchester Distillery!

Winchester Distillery smashes first crowdfunding target by over 200%

As Winchester Distillery acknowledged its fifth years anniversary this week the English gin brand it quickly found out there was cause for further celebration as the distillery’s crowdfunding campaign had already reached over £240,000 from 94 investors, exceeding its first 30 day target by over 200%. The need for external investment was first made public in April 2019 by Winchester Distillery as it announced plans to increase the production of its premium spirits, install a brewhouse, further develop its whisky & rum, increase marketing activity, pursue export opportunities and open an onsite gift shop. To date, the £375,000 for 8.1% equity campaign has been in ‘private mode’ on Crowdcube, which means it was open only to followers of Winchester Distillery, and the target during this time was to reach 20% of the overall amount. However, at the time of writing, 65% of the funding has been achieved. There’s still a month to go, during which time the Winchester Distillery pitch will go public on the Crowdcube website. Founder Paul Bowler commented: “The news this morning that our supporters have pledged almost a quarter of a million pounds, plus the overwhelming amount of support we’ve received over the last month, has been the best fifth birthday present for Winchester Distillery. We’re really excited that our Crowdcube campaign will be open to all later this week and that we’re another step closer to being able to proceed with our expansion plans.” For more information about Winchester Distillery’s crowdfunding campaign and how to invest from just £10, (rewards are available from £20) then visit http://crowdcube.com/winchesterdistillery.

The Nightcap

Anyone doing lifts to Manchester?

Lucky Manchester diner given £4500 bottle of Bordeaux by mistake

On Thursday night a customer at Hawksmoor in Manchester got rather more than they bargained for when instead of a bottle of bottle of Château Pichon Longueville Contesse de Lalande worth £260, they were accidentally given a bottle of one of the world’s greatest wines, Château Le Pin 2001. The restaurant lists this cult wine from Pomerol at £4500 a bottle! The restaurant tweeted on Friday morning: “To the customer who accidentally got given a bottle of Chateau le Pin Pomerol 2001, which is £4500 on our menu, last night – hope you enjoyed your evening! To the member of staff who accidentally gave it away, chin up! One-off mistakes happen and we love you anyway”. The customers in question then tried to order another bottle, but it was the only one in the restaurant. What we want to know is, when will this member of staff be working again? There will be queues around the block.

The Nightcap

The Pineapple Daiquiri Slushie, our stand-out serve from the event

Jerk & Beyond Festival

We were lucky enough to head down to Limin’ to grab a sneak peek of the wonderful treats that are going to be on offer at rum and food festival, Jerk & Beyond! Created by Sham Mahabir, a native Trinidadian-turned-Londoner, the late May bank holiday weekend will see Old Spitalfields’ Limin’ bar showcasing the diversity of Caribbean food for three days. Mahabir founded Limin’ and has partnered up with Plantation Rum for the festival, with cocktails including Rumgria (we’re sure you can guess what combo that is), Mai Tai, Limin’s (in)famous Rum Punch and, perhaps our favourite, a Pineapple Daiquiri Slushie, made with Plantation Pineapple Stiggins’ Fancy. These were accompanied by some delectable Caribbean canapés, including traditional Trinidad street food. Limin’ is an abbreviated version of ‘liming’, a Trinidad expression for ‘hanging out’, which is exactly what this whole-family-friendly festival is encouraging. Surrounded by music, delicious food, fabulous cocktails and even two daily Plantation rum masterclasses, what more could you want?

The Nightcap

This actually happened. And we really want one.

And finally… Lambrini doughnut launched for National Doughnut Week

Doughnuts and Lambrini, you say? That’s right, in honour of National Doughnut Week (11-19 May), Shrewsbury’s Planet Doughnut has launched a new Lambrini doughnut! Freshly cooked, it’s frosted and filled with Lambrini, dusted with edible gold, sprinkled with more gold and finally crowned with a doughnut tiara (where can we get one of those?). Though this launch happens to coincide with Lambrini’s new release, this isn’t merely frivolous fun, oh no. The bakery will donate a portion of each doughnut sold (we assume the money from the doughnut, not the baked good itself) to The Children’s Trust. In case you’ve missed it, National Doughnut Week has been running for 28 years after its launch in 1991, and last year it raised a smashing £33,679. Time to get your Lambrini hats on and contribute to a deliciously good cause.

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How did The Glenlivet, Chivas Regal and Jameson perform in 2018?

With Pernod Ricard’s full-year sales results hot off the press, we take a peek at how the likes of Scotch whiskies The Glenlivet and Chivas Regal, Ireland’s Jameson, Cognac brand…

With Pernod Ricard’s full-year sales results hot off the press, we take a peek at how the likes of Scotch whiskies The Glenlivet and Chivas Regal, Ireland’s Jameson, Cognac brand Martell and Absolut vodka fared in 2017/18. Spoiler alert: Scotch wasn’t the star of the show…

It’s results season, folks! Big companies left, right and centre are publishing their annual (or quarterly) reports, giving us an insight into how they’re getting on sales-wise. Today it’s the turn of Pernod Ricard to disclose its full-year data to the end of June. We had a nose through the docs and crunched the numbers to see how some of the world’s biggest drinks brands got on…

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The Nightcap: 18 May

It’s Friday, which means the weekend is here – and with it we’ve got another edition of The Nightcap! Read on for your handy digest of the week’s biggest booze…

It’s Friday, which means the weekend is here – and with it we’ve got another edition of The Nightcap! Read on for your handy digest of the week’s biggest booze news, all in one useful place!

It’s Friday, folks! Congratulations on making it through another week. It’s been a busy one in the world of all things sippable, so we suggest you get comfy, pour yourself a dram/G&T/anything else that takes your fancy, and join us as we recall another busy seven days in drinks.

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Hone your cocktail skills with Beefeater MIXLDN winner Maxim Shulte!

Earlier this month, Maxim Schulte triumphed at the seventh annual Beefeater MIXLDN cocktail competition with his mouth-watering serve, Stack of Fortune. We caught up with the Macau-based bartender to discover…

Earlier this month, Maxim Schulte triumphed at the seventh annual Beefeater MIXLDN cocktail competition with his mouth-watering serve, Stack of Fortune. We caught up with the Macau-based bartender to discover the secrets behind crafting an award-worthy cocktail…

Regardless of whether you’re an expert behind the stick or a wistful amateur, there’s always room to hone your cocktail skills. And who better to glean advice from than a drink-slinging champ?

Introducing Maxim Schulte of The Ritz Carlton in Macau. After an intense four-challenge cocktail showdown in London, he beat 30 other finalists from across the globe to clinch the sought-after accolade of Beefeater MIXLDN 7 Global Bartender Champion – so he knows better than anyone how to create a cracking drink.

His winning cocktail, Stack of Fortune, won over an expert panel that comprised the likes of Ryan Chetiyawardana of Dandelyan, Doug McMaster of Cub, Alessandro Palazzi of Dukes, Simon Difford of Difford’s Guide, Beefeater global brand ambassador Sumaiyah Connolly, and Beefeater master distiller (and all-round gin legend) Desmond Payne MBE. So you could say he comes highly recommended.

Here, Schulte shares his top tips for experimenting with flavour, muses over the next big cocktail trend and offers up some advice for those considering competing professionally…

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Think pink: Introducing Beefeater London Pink!

Leave your preconceptions at the door – the pink gin trend is going nowhere. Beefeater has become the latest distillery to jump on the bandwagon with the launch of its…

Leave your preconceptions at the door – the pink gin trend is going nowhere. Beefeater has become the latest distillery to jump on the bandwagon with the launch of its new strawberry-flavoured variant, Beefeater London Pink. Spoiler alert: it’s delicious.

It’s nigh-on impossible to have missed the flurry of pink gins that have entered the category over the last year, so kudos to you if you managed it. Keen to capitalise on the ‘millennial pink’ movement, a plethora of producers have concocted their own rose-coloured creations, sending juniper purists shouting unintelligible swear words into pillows (probably).

You might think Beefeater is a little late to the party, and you’d be right – but it turns out there’s a pretty good reason. As with any fledgling spirits trend, there have been some excellent pink gin releases, and there have been others with, shall we say, questionable flavours (read: saccharine sweet, artificial, a bit naff). Beefeater has been busy refining the recipe to get it bang on.

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Beefeater Global Bartender Competition 2014: MIXLDN

  The Beefeater Global Bartender Competition (now the fourth biggest cocktail competition in the world, we’re told) brought finalists from 30 separate countries together in London this week for 2014’s…

Beefeater Global Bartender Competition 2014 MIXLDN

 

The Beefeater Global Bartender Competition (now the fourth biggest cocktail competition in the world, we’re told) brought finalists from 30 separate countries together in London this week for 2014’s grand final.

Last time around Jason Williams from Sydney’s The Rook took the crown with the brilliantly named ‘Werewolves of London’*, a drink that used our Frankincense Bitters! (You can now find the new and improved version of these Frankincense Bitters as part of the Bitter Bastards range.) This year, after three days of intense judging, we can reveal that the Global Champion is Brandon Phillips from The Duck Inn in Chicago. Congratulations Brandon!

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Master of Cocktails – (1970s) Negroni

This week we have a very special #MasterofCocktails as we’re indulging in some cocktail porn – or, more accurately, some utter, unrepentant cocktail filth. We’re going to be making a…

Master of Cocktails 1970s Negroni

This week we have a very special #MasterofCocktails as we’re indulging in some cocktail porn – or, more accurately, some utter, unrepentant cocktail filth.

We’re going to be making a Negroni, but with ingredients that all come from the 1970s! Not a cheap serve this, admittedly, but it is completely, unequivocally epic so you do very much need to get involved still. Sorry.

Incognito window open? Let’s get to it then…

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Master of Cocktails – Bloody Mary

This week we’re making a classic drink on #MasterofCocktails – a Bloody Mary. We’ll get through this, and then I’ll explain what you should have made instead. Clear? Good. Now…

Master of Cocktails Bloody Mary

This week we’re making a classic drink on #MasterofCocktails – a Bloody Mary. We’ll get through this, and then I’ll explain what you should have made instead. Clear? Good.

Now for me, when it comes to Bloody Marys, it’s all about seasoning. Hence the (frankly ridiculous) list of ingredients.

What we’re after is something to compliment the umami-rich flavour of tomato juice and work with the spice of the Worcestershire sauce. These are really the two key ingredients in this drink, and we’re aiming to add to them.

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Hottest Summer Ever

When we flung open the MoM shutters this morning we were greeted with the sound of birds chirping and children playing as blissful sunshine poured into the room.   We’ve…

 Here Comes The Sun

When we flung open the MoM shutters this morning we were greeted with the sound of birds chirping and children playing as blissful sunshine poured into the room.

 

We’ve earned this summer, having had the coldest winter for 31 years! Just imagine our chagrin last year, when the Met Office promised us a “barbecue summer” and instead we were given drizzle, and lots of it.

 

Positive Weather Solutions (who have been a tad more reliable than the Met Office and have a pleasingly optimistic name) have predicted Summer 2010 to be a record breaker, with a good chance of temperatures exceeding 2003’s high of 38.5C. This is good news indeed.

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