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Master of Malt Blog

Tag: vodka

Cocktail of the Week: Improved Blood Orange Punch

This week, we’re making a drink where all the hard work is done in advance, leaving you with time to amuse your guests with some top anecdotes. One of the…

This week, we’re making a drink where all the hard work is done in advance, leaving you with time to amuse your guests with some top anecdotes.

One of the great advantages that wine and beer have over cocktails is that they come ready to drink. Simply open and pour. Mixed drinks need work. Cocktails require you to concentrate on something rather than gossiping with your guests.

One answer to this problem is to convert your living room into a bar (if only there was a book that showed you how) and turn cocktail-making into the focus of the evening. And let’s face it, shaking up Daiquiris is much more fun than discussing house prices or Brexit with the neighbours. The downside is that you have to keep concentrating.

Mary Hoffman

Maggie Hoffman!

To solve this problem, you could hire a bartender or, and this is the clever bit, you could make your drinks in advance. Why didn’t I think of that? Now, to show you how to explore this brave new world of batch cocktails comes a new book called. . .  wait for it. . . Batch Cocktails! It’s been put together by American drinks writer Maggie Hoffman who has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, Food & Wine and Serious Eats. Here she explains the idea behind the book:

“There’s nothing worse than scrambling at the last minute, trying to mix drinks as your guests walk through the door. It’s hard to hold a conversation while searching for lost bitters, knocking over the jigger on the counter and rattling a shaker full of ice. And without fail, just when you’re finally about to sit down, your friends are ready for a second round.”

Tell me about it. In the book, Hoffman has eschewed the obvious choices like the Negroni or the Old Fashioned in favour of signature cocktails from bartenders she knows. The book is full of good advice such as, “using fresh ingredients is essential when making larger quantities of cocktail”. Also, when making an individual cocktail, it will become diluted when shaking with ice so you have to make sure you add water in the right quantity when making a batch. Thankfully, she has done all the hard work: “I’ve calculated and tested and tasted the proper dilution for each recipe in the collection, so they’re good to go.” Very reassuring.

All the recipes look delicious, but I went for what she calls an Improved Blood Orange Punch (so much better than the unimproved version) because our local greengrocer has stacks of blood oranges piled up outside at the moment. It would be a crime not to take advantage of them when they are in season. The original recipe comes from Jen Ackrill of Sky Waikiki in Hawaii. I’ve had a bit of a play with it.Hoffman makes it with vodka but I think it’ll work with gin or maybe even white rum or Tequila. This is an incredibly easy drink to make and requires almost no work when serving, leaving you with more time to talk about how Brexit is affecting the housing market. On second thoughts…

Improved Blood Orange Punch

Improved Blood Orange Punch. You should have tried the unimproved version, you couldn’t even drink it

To make the batch:

360ml Wyborowa vodka (ideally straight out the freezer)
180ml Luxardo maraschino liqueur
720ml blood orange juice (freshly-squeezed)
360ml lemon juice (freshly-squeezed)

To finish:

1 bottle of Molvino Valdobbiadene Prosecco
Half moon orange slices

Makes about 10-12 servings

Make the batch about two hours before you need it (no more as orange juice loses its pizazz if left around too long). Pour chilled vodka, maraschino liqueur, orange juice and lemon juice into a bottle or jug. Stir, then cover and refrigerate.

To serve, fill a highball glass with ice, pour in 120ml mixture, top up with Prosecco, stir and garnish with an orange slice.

Batch Cocktails

Batch Cocktails: Make-Ahead Pitcher Drinks for Every Occasion by Maggie Hoffman (£14.99 Ten Speed Press)

 

 

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Chase Distillery: Turning potatoes into liquid gold since 2008

On Chase Distillery’s 10th anniversary, we paid a visit and discovered how to make the ‘World’s Best Tasting Vodka’ (and excellent gin) from the humble spud. Chase Distillery is located…

On Chase Distillery’s 10th anniversary, we paid a visit and discovered how to make the ‘World’s Best Tasting Vodka’ (and excellent gin) from the humble spud.

Chase Distillery is located on Rosemaund Farm in Herefordshire. This part of England is a food and drink-lover’s paradise: there are cider apple orchards, Hereford beef cattle, and potato fields as far as the eye can see. The Chase family have been farming here for generations. In the early 2000s they weren’t getting a good price from the supermarkets, so William Chase cunningly decided to fry his potatoes before selling them. The result was Tyrells crisps. Then, according to William’s son James, “we started the distillery because we had a huge surplus of potatoes too small to make the crisps”. It was such a success that the family sold the crisp brand in 2008 to concentrate on making vodka.

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10 of the best super spooky Halloween spirits!

Whether you’re attending a party full of deadly debauchery or spending a quiet night at home treating yourself, we’ve got the tipples to tickle your festive fancy this Halloween… Halloween…

Whether you’re attending a party full of deadly debauchery or spending a quiet night at home treating yourself, we’ve got the tipples to tickle your festive fancy this Halloween…

Halloween has come around again, promising a day of ghosts and ghouls, spiders and scares and all things frightening and foul. But there is truly nothing more terrifying than the idea of enduring the endless barrage of begging children or the heaving town centres without a decent drink in hand (severed or otherwise)…

So, let us set the scene for spooky celebrations and paranormal partying this year. Spare yourself the tricks and instead treat yourself to these spooktacular offerings. We’ve compiled a list of spine-tingling spirits, each with the scariest of serves, from peculiar punches to creepy cocktails.

So come and join us – if you dare – and cast your eyes upon the most bewitching boozes around. Oh – and be sure to check out our Halloween 2018 page for more ghastly greats… Mwahahaha!

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The Nightcap: 5 October

The first week of October is almost Oct-OVER. Sorry. That was terrible. Sorry. Anyway, here’s The Nightcap, lots of booze news to be had. As it turns out, October is…

The first week of October is almost Oct-OVER. Sorry. That was terrible. Sorry. Anyway, here’s The Nightcap, lots of booze news to be had.

As it turns out, October is cold. It’s almost like there’s some type of scientific reason to do with how planets move and where stars are, all of which contribute to making the start of October startlingly chilly… Either way, the work week for a lot of folks is drawing to a close, so it’s time to grab a warming tipple and dig into our weekly round-up of news from the drinks world – The Nightcap!

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Avast! Treasure ahoy for International Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Yarr, ahoy an’ yo ho ho! It be International Talk Like a Pirate Day, so we gots a treasure chest full o’ treats to be showing off! Smartly read on,…

Yarr, ahoy an’ yo ho ho! It be International Talk Like a Pirate Day, so we gots a treasure chest full o’ treats to be showing off! Smartly read on, ya swashbucklers!

If ye be noticin’ folk runnin’ around, hollering “Yarr!” at the top o’ their voice this morn’, ye best greet them with a rousin’ “Yarr!” of yer own, for it be International Talk Like a Pirate Day! But avast – what does this have to do with boozes? Well, landlubbers, we gots a trove of tangentially-pirate-themed treasure for ye to gaze at through yer spyglass!

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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: 10 August

Fair warning: this edition of The Nightcap features Rick Astley. If that doesn’t make you click through immediately, we don’t know what will. Friday greetings from your very favourite online…

Fair warning: this edition of The Nightcap features Rick Astley. If that doesn’t make you click through immediately, we don’t know what will.

Friday greetings from your very favourite online drinks retailer in the whole wide (and round) world. If you’re feeling a touch tired from a long week, then The Nightcap is here to ease you into the weekend. Acquire a cocktail, commandeer a seat and read on, folks.

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The Nightcap: 3 August

Down tools, unplug the laptops and close those books, folks. It’s Friday, it’s the weekend and The Nightcap is here with your latest measure of boozy news! Helloooooo Friday! You’ve…

Down tools, unplug the laptops and close those books, folks. It’s Friday, it’s the weekend and The Nightcap is here with your latest measure of boozy news!

Helloooooo Friday! You’ve made it to the weekend. Well done, one and all. And, as has become custom here at MoM Towers, we have The Nightcap here for you – our handy distillation of the week’s biggest drinks stories in one easy-to-digestif post.

But first, let’s recall the week that was over on the blog!

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