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Master of Malt Blog

Tag: Cocktail Bitters

Superb and surprising sweets for Easter

With Easter just around the corner, you’ll want to make the most of the long weekend. These sweet and sublime expressions from the world of booze should do the trick….

With Easter just around the corner, you’ll want to make the most of the long weekend. These sweet and sublime expressions from the world of booze should do the trick.

You know how every Easter we eat a ridiculous amount of chocolate and then comfort ourselves in the knowledge that it’s a tradition? Yeah, I love that. What an amazing time of year.

But it doesn’t always have to be egg-shaped confectionery that we indulge ourselves in. There are plenty of other sweet treats just waiting to be enjoyed, and some of them are delicious drinks. To save you the trouble of going on a easter egg hunt yourselves, we’ve created a selection of superb and surprising sweets for Easter.

So, what are you waiting for? Tuck in!

Liquid Intellect Jam Doughnut Negroni

It’s a scientific fact that jam doughnuts are delicious, so it’s about time somebody distilled them. The creative folks at Liquid Intellect did just that, making the doughy, jammy and sugary treats into a pre-bottled cocktail in the form of a Negroni. It’s an idea we can only applaud. Then drink.

What does it taste like?:

Oodles of sweet and fresh strawberry jam and doughy jam doughnut, with a fabulous balancing bitterness of Campari.

Mozart Gold Chocolate Cream Liqueur

Named after some bloke called Mozart, this creamy chocolate liqueur from Austria is a go-to for bartenders wanting to add chocolatey goodness to an array of cocktails for good reason. It was made using cocoa from West Africa, Madagascan vanilla, gourmet Belgian chocolate and a blend of cream and cocoa butter, and it’s as tasty as it sounds.

What does it taste like?:

Chocolate truffle, creamy vanilla and a pleasant touch of dark chocolate bitterness.

Aske Stephenson Peanut Butter & Jam Old Fashioned

Peanut butter and jam (AKA PB&J) doesn’t just make a great sandwich, but a wonderful Old Fashioned bottled cocktail too! Made by Aske Stephenson, the creation of Thomas Aske and Tristan Stephenson, this is best enjoyed in a rocks glass over ice. Oh, and the bottle was sealed with raspberry jam-scented wax. What a treat!

What does it taste like?:

Peanut butter and jam, nutty rye, fruity rye, corn sweetness and rich caramel.

Zymurgorium Extra Io’s Footsteps Sweet Violet Gin Liqueur (Quintessential Range)

The enigmatic distillers at Manchester’s The Zymurgorium have a reputation for creating all kinds of weird and wonderful delights, and this sweet violet gin liqueur is no exception. Ideal in an Aviation cocktail, Zymurgorium Extra Io’s Footsteps Sweet Violet Gin Liqueur also shines in desserts. It was named after an Ancient Greek mythological figure, in case you were wondering.

What does it taste like?:

Fragrant and sweet, with plenty of pastel Parmas.

Chocolate Orange Gin (That Boutique-y Gin Company)

Chocolate and orange go together like jam doughnuts and Negronis, so it’s little wonder That Boutique-y Gin Company made this flavoured gin treat. Crafted using bitter orange peels, roast cacao nibs and a host of traditional gin botanicals, this Chocolate Orange Gin blends all the creamy richness we love from chocolate and the tart, refreshing qualities of oranges in a winning combination.

What does it taste like?:

Chocolate cake, peppery juniper, fresh clementine, floral elements and lingering dark chocolate elegance.

Bakewell Gin

The Bakewell tart is an institution, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. Thanks to a humble family-run distillery in the peak district, you can now enjoy said institution in the form of a tasty gin! Distilled in a small copper pot still using six botanicals, cherry, almond, juniper, cardamom, cubeb pepper and hibiscus flowers, Bakewell Gin is exactly as delicious as you would expect from a tribute to the classic English confection.

What does it taste like?:

A spicy and floral opening keep things interesting before the awaited ground almonds and cherry jam reveal. There’s a touch of custard in there too.

Bob’s Chocolate Bitters

From Bob’s Bitters range comes a way to chocolatify (it’s a word) your cocktail in style, with this single-botanical Chocolate Bitters. You can just picture Willy Wonka and the orange fellas using this when they’re enjoying a well-earned drink after a shift in the factory.

What does it taste like?:

Chocolate bitters, to be honest.

Boekenhoutskloof The Chocolate Block 2017

We saved something a little different for the end, a top South African red wine made with a blend of wine types, predominantly Syrah supported by Grenache, Cinault, Cabernet Sauvignon and Viognier. The 2017 vintage from Boekenhoutskloof spent over a year resting in French oak before being bottled up for wine enthusiasts that know that Easter is the best time to enjoy a rich, chocolatey red.

What does it taste like?:

Raspberry and blackcurrant, cacao, mince pie and just a touch of smoke.

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That’s amaro! The best and bitterest liqueurs from Italy and beyond.

Amari (plural of amaro) are traditional Italian bitter liqueurs which are madly fashionable among the cocktail cognoscenti. No wonder, as they make versatile mixers as well as being delicious on…

Amari (plural of amaro) are traditional Italian bitter liqueurs which are madly fashionable among the cocktail cognoscenti. No wonder, as they make versatile mixers as well as being delicious on their own.

Italians love bitterness. You can taste it in the coffee, in the wine (there’s a Puglian grape called negroamaro – black and bitter) and, most notably, in a class of liqueurs called amari, meaning ‘bitter’. They are made all over the peninsula by steeping herbs, spices, fruit and vegetables in alcohol, then sweetening and diluting the concoction. The best known is Campari but each part of Italy has its own amaro, like Fernet Branca from Milan, or Amaro Montenegro from Bologna. These brands have their roots in the 19th century, but Italian families and monasteries have been making versions for much longer.

Until recently, they were seen as a bit old-fashioned, the sort of things drunk by old men in cafes alongside an espresso. But in recent years they have become fashionable with bartenders all over the world. This has inspired people outside Italy to make their own. There are now a number of boutique producers in America and Britain, and even specialist amari bars like Amor y Amargo in New York.

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Nature distilled: Exploring Oslo Håndverksdestilleri (OHD) in Norway

With its idyllic fjord, lush forested hills, bountiful indigenous botanicals and laid-back stance on foraging, Oslo is a city that practically lends itself to distilling. Last December I ventured to…

With its idyllic fjord, lush forested hills, bountiful indigenous botanicals and laid-back stance on foraging, Oslo is a city that practically lends itself to distilling. Last December I ventured to Oslo Håndverksdestilleri (OHD) for a tour and tasting during a trip to the country’s vibrant capital.

They say that in Oslo you’re never more than a 15-minute walk from nature, and there’s not a single doubt in my mind that statement is true. But the city is much more than the wild and breathtakingly beautiful nature that surrounds it.

Cosmopolitan yet quintessentially Nordic all at once, Oslo’s bustling cafe culture, eclectic architecture, and dynamic food and drink scene rival the likes of its hip Scandinavian sisters Stockholm and Copenhagen. Amid the coffee-slash-cocktail bars and microbreweries lies Oslo Håndverksdestilleri, which was established by Cask Norway’s Marius Vestnes and Number One Drinks’ Marcin Miller back in 2015.

No matter where you are in the world, it’s a given that the ultimate way to experience a country – particularly if the visit is fleeting – is to eat and drink like a local. With that in mind, I found my way to a red brick building by the city’s longest river, the Alna, where commercial manager, Elias Vega, and head distiller, Matt McMillan, greeted me with a cracking Nordic spread.

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Master of Cocktails – Tasting Notes; Reconstructed

Greetings one and all to another edition of #MasterofCocktails. If you didn’t catch last week’s instalment, you might not have seen that we’re changing up how we do this –…

Master of Cocktails Tasting Notes Reconstructed

Greetings one and all to another edition of #MasterofCocktails. If you didn’t catch last week’s instalment, you might not have seen that we’re changing up how we do this – a much less step-by-step affair, though you’ll be getting more advanced, exciting recipes, with more focus on presentation and garnish. This week we’re going to be using the ‘Beast of Dufftown’, Mortlach single malt Scotch whisky.

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Master of Cocktails – The-Candy-Apple-Jack-Hammer

It’s the return of #MasterofCocktails! And there are a few changes to the format… We’re going to be making this a much less step-by-step affair – in return though, you’ll…

Master of Cocktails Candy Apple Jack Hammer

It’s the return of #MasterofCocktails! And there are a few changes to the format… We’re going to be making this a much less step-by-step affair – in return though, you’ll be getting more advanced, exciting cocktail recipes, with more focus on presentation and garnish. We’re also moving to once a fortnight, although still at the usual time of 6pm Sunday on twitter and on the blog the very next day.

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Master of Cocktails – I’m a Fun Guy

Right then everyone. Are we all ready for this week’s #MasterofCocktails? We’re going somewhat off-piste this week, making a riff on the Boulevardier, but introducing massive Umami by firstly subbing…

Master of Cocktails I'm A Fun Guy

Right then everyone. Are we all ready for this week’s #MasterofCocktails?

We’re going somewhat off-piste this week, making a riff on the Boulevardier, but introducing massive Umami by firstly subbing the Campari for Cynar and secondly garnishing with a pickled Shiitake Mushroom, courtesy of the Pitt Cue Co. Cookbook.

The acid-umami it adds to the drink is truly wonderful, and transformative. If there was ever a cocktail for food…

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Master of Cocktails – IL Beetz

Right everyone – ready for another instalment of #MasterofCocktails? This week’s is pretty awesome, and has a pretty awesome name too – IL Beetz. I’ll explain the reasoning behind that…

Master of Cocktails IL Beetz

Right everyone – ready for another instalment of #MasterofCocktails? This week’s is pretty awesome, and has a pretty awesome name too – IL Beetz. I’ll explain the reasoning behind that later…

We’re putting together this drink using FEW Spirits American Gin – super-rich and ‘whisky-like’. It’s more than enough to stand up to the rich, roots-y quality of the Beetroot juice we’re using.

So – to business.

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St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland with Jameson!

It was 11am in Gatwick airport on Saturday 14th March. The plane taking a small drinks press contingent over to Ireland for Jameson’s extended #HelloDublin St. Patrick’s Day celebrations was…

Hello Dublin Jameson St Patricks Day Live

It was 11am in Gatwick airport on Saturday 14th March. The plane taking a small drinks press contingent over to Ireland for Jameson’s extended #HelloDublin St. Patrick’s Day celebrations was due to leave in just over an hour from Heathrow. Had I made a terrible mistake?

In fact, I’d just arrived back from a holiday and had always known I couldn’t make that flight, just as I knew all I’d be seeing on my return to blighty was Gatwick airport itself. My flight to Cork was later, and until then I’d simply be pretending I was Tom Hanks in The Terminal. (Although there were no Catherine Zeta-Jones love interest developments to speak of.)

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Master of Cocktails – Pink Gin

Well greetings one and all. Ready for another installment of #MasterofCocktails? Good then. This week’s is a very, very straightforward drink, but one that seems to have fallen somewhat out…

Master of Cocktails Pink Gin

Well greetings one and all. Ready for another installment of #MasterofCocktails? Good then.

This week’s is a very, very straightforward drink, but one that seems to have fallen somewhat out of favour recently. We’re making a Pink Gin recipe. Probably one of the very first Gin cocktails?

The original recipe here calls for simply gin and bitters, served at room temperature, in a tumbler. Not that, obviously.

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Master of Cocktails – The Jinger Ninja

Well greetings one and all. Time for another round of #MasterofCocktails methinks. Oh yes. This week we’re making a super-delicious Japanese-y sort of tea-based gin sour sort of affair. Trust…

Master of Cocktails The Jinger Ninja

Well greetings one and all. Time for another round of #MasterofCocktails methinks. Oh yes.

This week we’re making a super-delicious Japanese-y sort of tea-based gin sour sort of affair. Trust me – it’s yummers. It’s called The Jinger Ninja, a name which should make sense as we go through the recipe.

We’re using a pretty decent grade of Matcha for this drink. That’s important, as although we do want *some* bitterness, we don’t want it overpowering. I prefer the sweet, grassy tones given by something like this…

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