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Piedmont part three: The wine behind Italy’s famous Barolo Chinato

What happens when you combine one of the world’s most sought-after red wines with the dry bitterness of a gin and tonic? The answer: Barolo Chinato. Annie Hayes headed to Piedmont in northern Italy – the home of aperitif and sparkling wine producer Cocchi – to find out more…

Unless you’re a bartender, Italian, or really like wine, you might not be familiar with Barolo Chinato: a quinine-forward aromatised wine made from the nebbiolo grape. But if you’re keen on an after-dinner tipple, or (like me) have a penchant for bitter-sweet tinctures, you might well be missing a trick.

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Categories : Features
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Piedmont part two: The sparkling union between Bava Winery and Giulio Cocchi

Aperitif and sparkling wine producer Cocchi recently welcomed MoM to its Italian home in Piedmont. We marvel at the brand’s fascinating history, take a peek at aromatised wine production at Bava Winery, and touch on the world of Futurist cocktails…

“Our family tree dates back to 1682 – and it started on that hill,” says company director Roberto Bava, as he gestures at a vineyard opposite the Bava Winery. “We were farmers who came from the Savoy area to run the farm. We’ve been there ever since.”

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Categories : Features
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Piedmont part one: The epicentre of Italian vermouth

Piedmont: home of slow food, fine wine, and… medieval horse festivals? Well actually, yes. Aperitif and sparkling wine producer Cocchi recently welcomed MoM to the region for a weekend packed with bareback horse racing and vermouth-flavoured ice cream. Here’s what we discovered…

Many people go through their entire life without hearing those three little words. Unforgettable words that, when uttered together, promise the recipient that life will never, ever be the same from that moment on. No not ‘I love you’ – we’re talking about ‘medieval horse festival’. Or, if you want to be specific, ‘Palio di Asti’.

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Categories : Features
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Master of Cocktails – The Old Pal

Master of Cocktails The Old pal

Right then – everyone about ready for a #MasterofCocktails?

This evening we’re going to make an oft-overlooked drink, the ‘Old Pal’. The use of Dry vermouth lends this drink a light and very ‘aperitiffy’ (definitely not a word) character which makes it a wonderful springtime drink.

We’re going to start off by summoning up the energy to get off the sofa and walk over to the bar.

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Categories : Cocktails, Whisky
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Master of Cocktails – The Bobby Burns

Master of Cocktails The Bobby Burns

For #MasterofCocktails this week we made a twist on the Rob Roy (which I’ve decided on balance might be a rubbish drink). It’s called a ‘Bobby Burns’ – and uses a healthy slug of Bénédictine to give the whisky and vermouth a much-needed lift.

It’s obviously named after the Scottish Bard, Robert Burns, but in the week that Lynyrd Skynyrd’s original drummer Bob Burns tragically died it seems a fitting tribute to him as well.

So, let’s get to it…

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Categories : Cocktails, Liqueurs, Whisky
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Master of Cocktails – Flower Arranging With Mr. Gumby

Master of Cocktails Flower Arranging With Mr Gumby

Hi there folks. If you tuned into the @MasterOfMalt Twitter feed on Sunday night for another edition of #MasterofCocktails, you may have noticed it was a bit late. Sorry about that. Been doing a spot of flooring. My whole house smells like young Bourbon. I quite like it.

Right then. Onto today’s cocktail. This’n’s called ‘Flower Arranging with Mr Gumby’. Reasons for the name will become apparent very soon.

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Categories : Cocktails, Gin, Liqueurs
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Master of Cocktails – Cask-Aged Martinez

Master of Cocktails Cask Aged Martinez

Right then – time for this week’s #MasterofCocktails, where we will be making a Cask-Aged Martinez. Now this week’s drink is going to take probably 2 minutes to prepare, as we’ve done all the prep. already. Clever us. If you’ve not done your homework yet or need a bit of a refresher on what you’ll been needing in your cask (available here), have a look at the Prep. Blog Post I made early last week for the recipe.

Once you’re up to speed, we can begin. Go on. I can wait… Ready? Lovely.

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Categories : Cocktails, Gin
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Master of Cocktails Prep. – Cask-Aged Martinez

Master of Cocktails Christmas Panacea

Right then folks, you’ve had a day to assemble the bottles we’ll be needing for the prep for the upcoming #MasterofCocktails – This is really the ‘Christmas Panacea’ you’ve been dreaming of.

If you’re anything like me, there’ll be a seemingly endless procession of loved-ones throughout the Christmas period and ‘another Baileys’ only works so far. So – we’re going to make ourselves a cask of Martinez. Because, well, you know… Stir, strain and serve rocks.

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Categories : Cocktails, Gin, Vodka
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Master of Cocktails – Gin & It

Master of Cocktails Gin & It

Hello again, time for another #MasterofCocktails, innit? Now this one’s not a particularly common drink, but it’s a recipe that’s definitely worth having in your repertoire. We’re going to make a ‘Gin and It’. The ‘It’ being a contraction of ‘Italian Vermouth’, which makes up 50% of the drink.

I’ve chosen to use St. George Dry Rye Gin as the gin for this drink – it’s made from a much more flavourful spirit which, whilst it’s not necessarily more authentic for the drink, it does lend it a punchy white-dog-esque flavour.

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Categories : Cocktails, Gin
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The Affinity Cocktail & Handmade Cocktail Company 2014 Releases

The Affinity Cocktail

Cocktails galore! Not just on the blog though – these ones below will come right to your door. Not only are we bringing you Bramble Bar’s signature Affinity Cocktail as of today, but we also recently launched the 2014 vintage releases from The Handmade Cocktail Company. The latter including new additions as well as totally re-specced versions that have been improved significantly with even finer ingredients (no mean feat). These are exciting, tasty times, my friends.

First things first – Bramble Bar in Edinburgh. It’s awesome. For a while now they’ve been creating barrel-aged and bottle-aged Affinity Cocktails, which they serve at the bar in individual bottles for you to pour out yourself. (They’re pre-chilled and don’t require dilution.) We’re rather partial to a couple whenever we visit – it’s a perfect mix of Speyside single malt whisky and top quality vermouths (technically a red quinquina and a dry vermouth).

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Categories : Absinthe, Cocktails, Gin, Liqueurs, News, Whisky
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