It’s our first Nightcap of 2019 so it’s a special bumper edition. We’ve got a lot to get through so without further delay, ado, procrastination or beating about the bush, here’s what we’ve been up to since the last Nightcap way back in 2018.
Cast your mind back to New Year’s Eve, we know it seems like a long time ago, Adam came up with some top tips to drink on the night. Between Christmas and New Year, we rounded up our most-read stories of 2018, and looked at Glenkinchie’s exciting plans to become a top tourist destination. Then as January began, Annie fell in love with grain whisky and learned how your other senses affect how you taste. Adam produced a list of mouthwateringly-refreshing drinks and got all seasonal with winter-y botanicals. Kristy peered into her crystal ball (yes, she really has a crystal ball) to see what we’ll be drinking in the next few years and spoke to some bigwigs at Johnnie Walker about the future of whisky. And finally, Henry put in a plea for fortified wines, introduced a new regular feature, Cocktail of the Week, and got all bitter and twisted over amari. See what we mean about bumper edition?
And that’s not all. We had our first Dram Club of 2019 and announced a competition to win a VIP trip to Ardbeg!
Such content. Now we can’t hold back the tide of news any longer. Here it comes!
Need an excuse for festive Negronis? How about a whopping £20 off all three key ingredients and a fancy Riedel tumbler to sip from, with our super-duper Bathtub Gin, Martini Rosso and Campari Negroni Bundle?!
This is the late great Anthony Bourdain on the pleasures of the Negroni: “I’m not a gin drinker. I don’t like sweet vermouth, I don’t like Campari, but together they form a sinister yet lovely and inspired hell broth. Like a marriage, it’s a true everlasting love. This is not a cheap date; this is not a one night stand.”
Bourdain is right, the Negroni is a drink that really shouldn’t work. Mixing three strongly-flavoured alcoholic drinks in equal proportions sounds like a recipe for disaster. But, somehow, something wonderful emerges from the wreckage. Or perhaps it’s not that strange after all. I’ve been reading Cocktail Codex, a new book by the team behind legendary New York bar, Death & Co. It shows how various drinks are related to each other. According to the Codex team, the Negroni fits into the Martini/ Manhattan family being spirit + vermouth + some sort of bittering agent (lemon peel, bitters, Campari.) The Negroni isn’t such a maverick after all.
As a bevy of drinks companies post their full-year results, let’s get down to business with this week’s The Nightcap.
Greetings from another Friday! You’ve made it through a week, which is always an achievement of note and worthy of commemoration. As you settle into the weekend, do so with a brain full of booze news – get ready for another edition of The Nightcap!
Firstly, let’s look at the week that was here at MoM Towers. Our Annie chatted to whisky industry legend Charles MacLean, and then got us ready for London Mezcal Week by interviewing festival co-founders Thea Cumming and Melanie Symonds. Kristy introduced yet another whisky-based excursion to add to our ever-expanding bucket list with the Hebridean Whisky Trail. Sam said goodbye to Rum Month with a run-down of ace dark rums. Henry showed us why we shouldn’t fear the sommelier, and gave us a look at the new range of Mortlach whiskies due to hit shelves later this year. And finally Sam drilled down into Diageo’s results. On that note, on with The Nightcap booze news and those all-important numbers!
Charge your glasses and ready your bunting, folks – the royal wedding is officially upon us! To mark the occasion in the only way we know how, we’ve reimagined 10 of the royal family as cocktail serves. Enjoy!
For anyone who hasn’t been paying attention (and apologies if you’ve been hiding from it all), tomorrow Prince Harry, sixth in line to the British throne, and Meghan Markle, actor and activist, will wed at Windsor Castle in what promises to be one of the most quintessentially British shindigs of the entire year.
For a cocktail that traditionally contains just two ingredients and a garnish, the Martini is the ultimate test of bartending prowess and distillery finesse. Last week, six innovative gin brands and their esteemed partner bars battled it out for the title of World’s Best Martini 2018 – here’s how the competition went down.
When it comes to classic cocktails, there’s no greater disappointment than a mediocre Martini, and no greater pleasure than an exceptional one. To quote American historian Bernard DeVoto, “the proper union of gin and vermouth is a great and sudden glory; it is one of the happiest marriages on earth, and one of the shortest lived.”
Unfortunately, it’s incredibly easy to stumble across the former, since the Martini is one of the world’s most modified cocktail recipes. Dirty or Perfect? Wet or Dry? Shaken or stirred? Olive or lemon, or something different entirely? Vermouth rim? How much ice to use? It’s genuinely a flavour minefield. If only there was a way to find the ultimate recipe…
Packed with botanicals and historically rooted in medicine, cocktail staple vermouth has plenty in common with everyone’s favourite junipery tipple. But does the bittersweet, herbal aperitif have what it takes to knock gin from its perch? To find out, we set about demystifying the category.
It’s the pillar of the world’s greatest cocktails, and a must-have for any serious home bar – but what exactly is vermouth? In its most basic form, it’s a wine that has been aromatised (infused with botanicals) and fortified (livened up with distilled alcohol, usually grape brandy, to increase the abv).
The Handmade Cocktail Company‘s range of Pre-Bottled Cocktails has had a bit of a shake-up! From today, the entire 2015 selection will be available in 50cl bottles alongside the award-winning 70cl editions that were first launched over four years ago.
As well as updated recipes, there’s also a brand new addition for 2015 – another graduate from the Experimental Series: The Boulevardier! Do you enjoy a delicious Negroni? How about a classic Manhattan? Well if you answered yes to either or both of those questions then you’ll love The Boulevardier, made with top quality bourbon with a very high rye content, a blend of sweet vermouths and classic bitter apéritif. That said, if you like a Negroni or Manhattan, they’re available from The Handmade Cocktail Company too!
Right then boys and girls. Time for this week’s #MasterofCocktails – this week we’re making a pork-infused wet martini. Sound appetising? Well it should – It’s delicious.
This one’s called ‘Tea Thyme with Pepper Pig’ (I’m still waiting for my cocktail-naming crown to be delivered, by the way).
Plenty of prep work to do before bringing it all together, so let’s get to it.
Categories : Cocktails
Right then Ladies and Gentlemen – it’s time for another #MasterofCocktails. Excited? Oh yes.
This week we’re making a Chartreuse-heavy ‘Bijou Cocktail‘ recipe, though we’re making it with slightly less Green Chartreuse as to not overwhelm the drink.
‘Bijou’ of course, is French for ‘Jewel’, and the cocktail’s name comes from the colours of precious jewels (emerald, diamond and ruby) being similar to the colour of the ingredients (Chartreuse, Gin and Vermouth).
Well hello there cocktail fans. Hope you all had a wonderful Burns Night (apostrophe?)! In celebration, for #MasterofCocktails on Sunday we made a De La Louisiane recipe, which is a… erm… a cocktail with American Whiskey.
Should’ve thought that one through a bit better really, eh?
Nevertheless – this really is a good ‘un. It’s sort of a halfway house between a Manhattan and a Vieux Carre.