Parisian Cocktails with a British Twist
The London Cocktail Club is proud to present a series of six new videos inspired by an article written for The Times and The Sunday Times Insider City Guides. An exploration of the six coolest bars in Paris, the article paved the way for cocktail extraordinaire JJ Goodman to create a new menu of beverages based on the popular French drinking venues.
Some of the bars included in the list are; The Baton Rouge, based on Rue Notre Dame de Lorette, which has a Louisiana lounge-feel to it; Le Dauphin, situated on Avenue Parmentier, which is so exclusive that it has a waiting list for food reservations, and a queue system for cocktails; and the Mabel, located on the Rue d’Aboukir, which serves grilled cheese sandwiches at the front, and rum-based cocktails at the back.
Goodman soon got to work creating cocktails that represented the spirit of each of the bars. The founder of the London Cocktail Club, and the winner of many prestigious bartending awards, he mixed, stirred and shook a number of spirits to come up with the delicious cocktail treats, and now you can learn how to make them too!
The Baton Rouge cocktail
Vermouth lovers will enjoy The Baton Roughe. With equal measures of Gold Rum, Xanté Liqueur and, of course, Sweet Vermouth, and a double measure of Cognac, the spirits are carefully stirred together with ice, Angostura bitters and Peychaud’s bitters to create a smooth, potent cocktail that is actually served in its namesake restaurant. Watch JJ Goodman create this drink here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SF0cpLmnP-M
Inspired by the drinks served at Le Dauphin, the French 75 is a simple recipe that packs a lot of punch. A tasty mix of Gin, lemon juice and simple syrup shaken with ice and then topped with Champagne, the drink is certain to evoke the charm and elegance associated with the French capital. This quick video can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kJYxah7tksY
Meanwhile, those that are looking for a more unusual and impressive drink will enjoy the Mon Fizz. Complete with an egg yolk chaser, this cocktail combines Gin, Vermouth, pistachio syrup and egg whites, shaken once without ice, and again with ice to create a delicious drink that looks as unique as it tastes. Watch JJ Goodman work his magic here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jehDK1lGuGg
Although each video is no more than a few minutes long, Goodman is able to break down each step to make cocktail creation look simple. He also throws in a few fancy tricks with the glasses and bottles, but we don’t recommend you try these at home!
There are actually six cocktail recipes in total, with the final two being uploaded in the next few days, so be sure to keep an eye on the London Cocktail Club’s YouTube channel to see them all, and remember to check The Times Article to get more of an insight.
Cocktails mentioned in this post
The Baton Rouge
The Gold Coast of Australia has always been synonymous with fun, sun and laughter. A tourist hotspot, and home to a multitude of ‘surfer dudes’, few places are as busy and vibrant as Surfer’s Paradise.
But even the laid back locals have raised a few eyebrows at the latest cocktail being served at House of Brews. It is not the drink itself that has upset them; a delicious mix of gin, St Germain, elderflower liqueur, cloudy apple juice, grape and lime juice, orget syrup and rhubarb bitters, the Purple Haze is in high-demand with regulars and tourists alike.
The controversy has come from the instrument used to create the drink. A utensil shaped like a bong is used to pour the cocktail into the glass. The smoke effect created is theatrical and exciting, and exactly the impression the bar owner wanted to give.
Concerns have been raised over whether this performance trivializes drug use, but the bar owner has denied this as his intention, saying, “We absolutely do not encourage the use of drugs.”
The Purple Haze is not the first cocktail to cause a stir over the way it is served. Take a look at these wacky designs:
This scrumptious combination of rum, chocolate and cinnamon is served at Pret a Diner, Germany. The special twist comes in the form of an eggshell, which the beverage is served in. The recipe is a variation of a classic drink that was served in an egg cup in the 18th century in New Orleans.
A favourite at Las Vegas bar, Rock and Rita’s, The Crapper is a chocolate-based cocktail served from a mini toilet bowl. Luckily, that is where the distasteful bit ends, as the actual drink is quite delicious! It’s a variation of the Pina Colada, garnished with a Snickers bar. And the best bit (maybe) is that you get to keep the toilet glass when you have finished! Drinking out of The Crapper has never been so tasty!
If you like your cocktails steamy, the Gunpowder Plot could be just want you’ve been looking for. Created in Sydney, a concoction of dry ice, liquid nitrogen, and jelly is lit and the whole drink is held under a cloche so that the gin, fernet branca and egg whites in the glass are infused with a gunpowder-like taste.
The Sourtoe Cocktail
If you cast your minds back a few months, you may remember our blog post based on the Sourtoe Cocktail. Any drink can be transformed into the gruesome-sounding cocktail, the only requirement is that it contains an old pickled toe. Sold in Yukon, Canada, brave drinkers must ensure the toe touches their lips to earn a place in the Sourtoe Cocktail Club. And yes, the toes take some sourcing, but they are real, amputated human limbs.
In order to make a name for themselves in the bartending industry, cocktail enthusiasts need to come up with weirder and wackier ideas all the time. Thankfully they always have an eager audience ready to test out new ideas.
Cocktails mentioned in this post
Spring into Easter Cocktails
Spring has sprung, the grass is risen, I wonder where the cocktails is…!
Well look no further, because here I’ve put together a list of my very favourite Easter cocktails, and I recommend you try at least one of them. They all pay homage to our favourite furry festive friend, the Easter Bunny. So raise a toast to the chocolate-loving buck, and make sure you have a very Good Friday!
The Fizzy Bunny
This mimosa-style cocktail embodies everything I love about Easter. It is fizzy, wet and alcoholic. Okay, so that’s nothing to do with the religious holiday. But it is sweet, so I’d happily swap it for my chocolate egg. It is easy to make too – you simply pour one part carrot juice, one part orange juice and four parts champagne into a glass with a dash of cayenne pepper and an orange wheel garnish.
This super-cute cocktail will be a hit with guests. The jello gives it a fun, sweet edge, and the cream makes it irresistible. Start by making up the strawberry jello with ¾ cups of boiling water. When t has dissolved, add half a cup of triple sec and a couple of handfuls of ice. Pour into a blender and combine until smooth. Pour into glasses and refrigerate for two hours. Garnish with whipped cream and peeps.
You can’t celebrate Easter without a little bit of chocolate indulgence. This cocktail is perfect for this time of year, mixing my two favourite treats. Fill a glass with crushed ice and then pour in one part Vodka, three parts Crème de Cacao, a tablespoon of Cherry Liqueur and a tablespoon of chocolate sauce, and stir to combine.
This is the perfect Easter Egg for your grown-up friends. The white chocolate feels deliciously decadent, and the Easter bunny would be proud to serve up such a cocktail. Fill a glass with ice, and add a shot of Crème de Cacao White and a shot of Bols Blue Curacao. Top up with Half and Half and enjoy!
White Chocolate Easter-tini
Join the kids on a sweetie-binge with this tasty cocktail. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add an ounce of vanilla vodka, an ounce of cream, and ounce of white chocolate liqueur and two ounces of eggnog. Shake and strain into a martini glass and garnish with jellybeans!
Cocktails mentioned in this post
The Fizzy Bunny
White Chocolate Easter-tini
What do you get the-man-who-has-everything for his 35th birthday? Well Justin Timberlake got his very own customised cocktail from his personal mixologist! Named “The Thirty-Five”, the drink makes use of Timberlake’s own brand of Sauza 901 Tequila, as well as orange bitters and cognac, served in a double rocks glass. Mixologist Eddy Buckingham describes it as “a sophisticated yet approachable drink – perfect for a celebration”.
Turns out it is not the first cocktail to be created in JT’s name. Eddy Buckingham has been working with the popstar/actor since 2014 when the tequila collaboration first came about. Since then he has been creating personalised cocktails for parties, and promotional drinks for Sauza 901, as well as unique creations for his own bar. Here are a few of his tequila-based delights:
This cocktail came to life on The Tonight Show, when JT took Buckingham along to his interview. Made with two parts jalapeno-infused tequila, one part maple syrup and two dashes of orange bitters, this spicy drink is served in a rocks glass and garnished with a small jalapeno pepper. The drink is quick and easy to make, but the jalapeno-infused tequila requires a little preparation. It involves mixing one bottle of Sauza 901, four chopped jalapeno peppers, one teaspoon of agave syrup and a pinch of salt, and then leaving it all to marinate for at least an hour. It can then be finely strained back into the tequila bottle for a spirit with a kick. Not for the weak-of-heart!
This cocktail was created as a promotional beverage for Sauza 901. It is a twist on the traditional margarita, and is best served in a pitcher and shared among friends. The drink combines eight ounces of Sauza 901, six ounces of fresh lemon juice, four ounces of orange juice, four ounces agave syrup, one cup of cold black tea, and one bottle of pilsner, with a couple of handfuls of ice, a cup of raspberries and slices of orange, lemon, grapefruit and cucumber.
This drink is served in Buckingham’s own cocktail bar in New York, and is the perfect accompaniment to a pool-side vacation. Made with two parts 901 Sauza, one part fresh lemon juice, one part simple syrup, and a splash of soda water, garnished with lemon peel and cherry, it is served over ice in a highball glass. The syrup provides sweet relief from the bitter lemon and tequila, making for a delicious combination of sweet and sour.
Another custom-made drink for the bar, this drink is much simpler to make, but much more potent than some of Buckingham’s other creations. Two parts tequila, one part Campari, one part Sweet Vermouth and half a part of agave syrup is poured over ice in a rocks glass and garnished with a slice of orange.
Justin Timberlake has certainly fallen on his feet with a friend like Eddy Buckingham. We can’t wait to see what delectable delights he comes up with in the future.
Cocktails mentioned in this post
The Thirty Five
Cocktails of the Year
Everyone has a favourite tipple, but thanks to research conducted by the search engine Google, we now know the most popular cocktails of 2015! There are no major surprises, the list is full of classic cocktails that I am sure most of us have sipped on at least once in our lifetime. However, there are one or two you may be unfamiliar with, so perhaps this list will help you to broaden your horizons. Here is the top ten countdown:
This simple rum-based classic is popular drink that was invented in Cuba by an America mining engineer. The original is made with just rum, lime juice and sugar, although there are now many variations on this.
9. Sex On The Beach
This pretty cocktail is just perfect in the hot weather. Orange and cranberry juice combine to create a sunrise effect and add a sweetener to peach schnapps and vodka.
Created in New York in the early twentieth century, this is a gin-based concoction that contains some difficult to find ingredients. Maraschino cherry liqueur and lemon juice are the other main ingredients, but some recipes also call for Crème de Violette. Good luck finding a bottle of that!
It is difficult to find anyone who doesn’t enjoy this fresh, minty beverage. There are many variations on this cocktail, but the original contains white rum, sugar cane juice, lime juice, sparkling water and mint. Born in Cuba, the history behind it is difficult to pin down.
Created in Mexico for a dancer who was allergic to all spirits apart from tequila, this salty favourite is always popular. Made with tequila, triple sec, lime or lemon juice, and garnished with salt around the rim, it has a variety of finishes, be it shaken, on the rocks or straight up, and is delicious whichever way you choose.
5. Long Island Ice Tea
Various sources claim to have invented the Long Island Ice Tea, but its potency is undeniable. Despite being somewhat snubbed by bartenders, this combination of vodka, tequila, gin, rum, triple sec, sour mix and cola is still extremely popular among drinkers.
Although always a favourite amongst cocktail drinkers, the Cosmopolitan gained a whole army of new fans in the 90s, thanks to its frequent mentions on the television programme, Sex in the City. Made with vodka, triple sec, cranberry juice and freshly squeezed lime, it is a sweet, refreshing drink.
One of the simplest recipes on the list, the original Gimlet is nothing but equal parts of gin and lime juice. It has adapted over the years, and now contains far more gin than lime juice. Soda can be added if this is too potent, and mint and lime are often used to garnish.
2. Moscow Mule
Invented in Connecticut in 1941, the name of this cocktail refers to the Russian origin of vodka. It is made with vodka, lime juice, ginger beer and angostura bitters, and is traditionally served in a copper mug, although a highball glass does just fine too.
This Spanish treat is still the world’s most-loved cocktail! Served in pitchers big enough to accommodate a whole bottle of red wine, a touch of sugar, a swig of brandy, and a whole load of chopped fruit, the recipe varies between bars, and as such, the alcohol content does too! Only drinks made in Spain and Portugal are now legally allowed to carry the Sangria name, but we think it is well worth the trip to get the real thing!
Cocktails mentioned in this post
Sex on the Beach
Long Island Ice Tea
Christmas Punch Up
If you are hosting a Christmas party this week, you are sure to want to impress your guests with a variety of classy cocktails. However, if you have a large group of people to cater for, making individual cocktails can be difficult and time consuming. Save yourself some time to mingle, by preparing some Christmas punches, and let you guests serve themselves.
This cocktail does exactly what it says on the tin. Pomegranate and Cranberry Juice give it a festive flavour, while Vodka and Cointreau will warm the guests up when they arrive out of the frosty weather. Simply combine sixteen ounces pomegranate juice, eight ounces cranberry juice, eight ounces vodka, and eight ounces Cointreau with eight ounces chilled club soda, four ounces fresh lemon juice and four ounces sugar syrup in a bowl. Garnish with cranberries and lemon slices, and give your guests cocktail glasses filled with ice so they can pour their own.
Warm Cider and Rum Punch
Apple cider and dark rum are offset by lots and lots of fruit! This warm punch is perfect for a winter party and will have your guests going back for refills again and again, so be sure to make plenty as it takes a while to prepare! Put 64 ounces of apple cider in a pot, along with a thinly sliced apple, a thinly sliced orange, two cinnamon sticks and a one-inch piece of fresh, peeled ginger, and bring to the boil over a high heat. Allow it to simmer for two hours, before removing from the heat and stirring in sixteen ounces of rum. Transfer to your punch bowl and watch it be devoured!
Champagne Holiday Punch
If you really want to impress your guests this Christmas, this sparkling punch is sure to do the trick. Made for the most discerning of drinkers, this adds a touch of class to a cocktail party. Mix twelve ounces Genever with four ounces of Creole Shrubb, six ounces fresh lemon juice, four ounces of sugar syrup and ten dashes of Angostura Bitters in a bowl and then put into the refrigerator. Leave to chill for at least two hours, before adding four ounces Champagne and eight ounces Club Soda. Add plenty of ice and garnish with star anise pods and pineapple slices. Delicious.
Kids Christmas Punch
Obviously Christmas is all about the kids, and this non-alcoholic punch ensures they are not left out of the festivities. Mix 60g white sugar in a bowl with a litre of cranberry juice, 500ml pineapple juice, and two or three tablespoons almond extract. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours and then stir in two litres of ginger ale to serve.
Happy Christmas Cocktails!
Cocktails mentioned in this post
Champagne Holiday Punch
Kids Christmas Punch
The History of Christmas Cocktails
With Christmas on its merry way, we are taking this opportunity to celebrate three of the most popular tipples at the time of year. Whichever one you prefer, it is always interesting to know the history behind these traditional cocktails.
Eggnog is a creamy cocktail made of milk, sugar and eggs, as well as either brandy, rum or bourbon. It has a frothy texture thanks to the whipping of the eggs, and is usually finished off with a sprinkle of nutmeg or ground cinnamon. Served in a large punch bowl with a ladle, it is believed that it improves with age, and it can keep in the fridge for up to a year!
It is believed that the drink originated in East Anglia, UK. Another theory is that it is a derivative of the Posset, another milk-based cocktail. It was popular amongst the rich, who were the only ones who could get hold of milk and eggs at the time, before making its way to the British colonies in America in the 18TH century.
It became associated with Christmas thanks to the eggnog riots at the United States Military Academy in 1826. Some of the cadets smuggled the ingredients into the barracks to make a special cocktail for Christmas Day. The act resulted in disciplinary action for many of the soldiers.
This delicious mixture of red wine and mulled spices has the ultimate scent of Christmas. It is possible that this drink dates as far back as the 2nd century, where wine was warmed up in Rome. However, it is in the UK where it is most popular, and has been since Victorian times.
It is a recipe that is very much dependant on individual tastes, with the amount of spice added down to the barperson’s discretion. Added ingredients can include anything from orange slices, lemon slices, cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, cloves and sugar.
It is popular around Christmas time thanks to its ability to warm people up on a cold, snowy day.
Advocaat and lemonade with a dash of lime make up this popular yuletide drink. Created in the UK in the 40s, it really took off in the 70s. Then its reputation declined somewhat, as the cheapness and sweetness of the drink fell out of favour. However, in 2006, chef Nigella Lawson was responsible for a 40% rise in sales of Advocaat, and the snowball was revived.
Meanwhile, in America, the snowball has always been looked at with suspicion. There is something about the combination of egg and lemonade that seems to put people off. However, keep an eye out for this as there is a growing number of people that are keen to see it become just as popular in the States as it is in Europe.
Cocktails mentioned in this post
Top 5 Must Know Make Me A Cocktail Secrets
Over 5 years ago we started building Make me a Cocktail with one simple premise in mind – allow a user to enter what ingredients they have at home, and we’ll tell them what they can make! Simple. Succinct. No problem ….. right? Well, that original goal was relatively quick to solve, but as with all websites the main crux of the problem came on how best to represent all the information and how to give the user the best possible experience to find the information they were exactly after. To that aim we are always striving and one which means we are constantly tinkering with small GUI updates.
However, as we’ve been making this journey we’ve realised that what one user wants to be shown can be different to another, and giving the right results and information to a user is a complicated beast to solve. To try and achieve this there are so many small and clever user options, tabs and hacks that you can carry out on the website to get what you want, and here’s our top 5!
1. Ingredient Searching Cleverness
You carry out a search with the ingredients vodka and orange in. But do you mean you want to see cocktails with vodka OR orange, or vodka AND orange. Well, you can do actually do both. So lets say you carried out this very same search which takes you here:
Now near the top of the results, in a nice blue box, you get shown what you searched for, which looks like this:
However, click on that lovely black arrow and you’ll get shown this option:
And wham bam thank you mam! Simply click on the green and white ‘go arrow’ and we’ll change it from one to the other. Clever hey?
2. Home ingredients …. I’ve got them all!
We’re users of the site too, and as such we know that sometimes when creating a new My Bar you don’t want to enter all those pernickety home ingredients such as milk, cocoa powder, ginger, pepper, sugar, salt etc etc. You just want for the system to assume you’ve got them all and you just enter the alcoholic parts of your bar … well guess what, we built that feature in. It’s a member only feature so simply register or login (registration is free so theres no reason not to) and then go to the Preferences tab. There, among a host of useful options is the power feature of ‘Ignore home ingredients, assume I’ve got them all’.
Tick that box, hit save, and hey presto, when working out what cocktails you can make we assume you’ve got all home ingredients. If you go to My Bar you’ll even get shown a bespoke view to highlight that you’ve got this option selected.
How when you search using your bar we do all the home ingredient assumptions for you. Very very cool!
3. Default measurement
Stick with me here, and stay on the Admin > Preferences screen. You’ll notice among the options this little gem of choosing what default measurement you want shown on cocktail recipes.
Choose your preferred measurement and hit save. And just like that we try and show you all recipes using that measurement instead of the original text. You can still see a cocktails original text, but if we can, we show you the converted measurement too! Yep, very funky we know!
4. Tell me more about this cocktail…..
So sure we think we’re the best cocktail resource out there, and we hope our recipes give you everything you need to know, but we also believe in an open and connected web where information from different sources can only be a good thing. And to that end we built our ‘Elsewhere on the net’ widget for all cocktails.
On every cocktail page you’ll see this little powerful gem of a box:
Where we display 3 videos from YouTube that (hopefully) show how to make the cocktail you’re looking at. Click a video and we open it up in a mobile friendly lightbox so you can view the video without having to navigate off the site. In the picture above (and the ones below) I’m on one of my favourite cocktails page – the Caipirinha, and you can see the widget is showing me 3 videos from different sources on how to make the cocktail – nice.
But what about those two other tabs …. those are actually really clever little things. Lets take a look at the contents:
In the social tab (the one on the far right) we give you a Twitter and Google Plus feed of anybody who is talking about that cocktail right now, so you can see what people are saying about the cocktail on social media RIGHT NOW! Yep, up to date internet action on the very cocktail you’re looking at.
Not only that, but the other tab – Websites – gives you 5 other websites which mention how to make this cocktail. Sure, some of them are our competitors, but we believe so strongly in our brand and website, and the openness of the web that we’d rather give you as much information as we can on a cocktail then hide it away and shy away. Crazy – maybe, but we’re all about the best user experience for you rather than holding you tightly to our site and not letting you go.
5. Really (really) complex ingredient searching
Geek alert! This one is very very (very) clever but does come with a slight geek alert warning. Happy to carry on? Then lets begin!
We’ve already mentioned ingredient searching and being able to search with AND / OR logic, but what about complex searches where you want to be able to search for combinations of these. Lets take an example.
You want to see cocktails that use:
(Vodka OR Gin), as well as (Lemon juice OR Lime juice OR Orange juice), as well (Angostura bitters).
I.e. we’re saying one from the first set, one from the second, and one from the last, but in any combination. Well, you can do this with a little bit of URL tinkering. Firstly go onto the search page and add all the ingredients to the mix, and hit search!
You’ll get presented with a list of cocktails that use any of those ingredients (currently around 1500 cocktails). Now take a look at the URL:
And this is where you can tinker with the URL to get what you are after. In ingredient searching URL’s, comma’s mean or, and the pipe character (the straight line key … |) means AND. Those numbers are the ingredient id’s, so to build up our query we simple replace the comma’s between the sets we want to create with the pipe character, leaving you with this:
This URL logic means any one from the first set (before the pipe) AND any one from the middle set, AND any one from the end set. Hit return and boom – the complex search you wanted is carried out, in this case currently returning around 10 cocktails.
If you need a drink after that logic I suggest you try the Pegu Club from those results, lovely!
And thats our top 5 hints, tip and tricks to get the most from our website. It was tough to bring the list down to 5, as theres so many more very funky tips, but we’ll leave them for another article. Got any tips or ways of using the site yourself? Let us know in the comments below. Happy cocktailing!
Cocktails mentioned in this post
Flaviar First Look
Disclaimer: We’ve recently been speaking with Flaviar and received this box to review for this website. Below is an honest and open review on the company and the service they offer.
Today as I ran down the stairs like I was a child at Christmas, hearing the doorbell from the postman, I had that anticipation that something exciting and intriguing was being delivered. I was not to be disappointed! Today I received my first monthly box from Flaviar, with their Five Flavours of Scotch monthly tasting box; I had to withhold myself to capture some photos for this review before ripping open the box.
Flaviar, an online monthly or free subscription service, essentially hand pick some craft spirits which you then get delivered monthly direct to your door. Or as they put it they “…tongue-pick the ones that deserve a spot in your home bar.” Each box contains between 3 and 5 spirits in nifty little bottles and contain a range of flavours along with some helping leaflets to help you get the most from the contents. You can choose from rums, scotches, whiskeys, cognacs, bourbons and more. As well as the monthly subscription services that I am reviewing here, they also have an online store with a lot of great craft and hard to find spirits.
I’ve tried some of these monthly services before with a few craft beer services and food recipes and have had some mixed feelings; often the companies seem to try and get away with cheap standardised yet unfamiliar beers or ingredients that are mass produced and just repackaged under new names. However with the multitude of spirits out there, and the expense that you naturally incur trying to taste more and more, Flaviar seem to have something good going for them.
First impressions can mean a lot, especially in subscription services where your on-going support to the company is based not only on the product, but also in your feelings and emotions towards them. Flaviar didn’t disappoint as I opened up the delivery packaging to be presented with a smart, swish black box, that has an almost honest feeling of craftsmanship about it from the start – a theme that was to carry on throughout the product.
As I excitedly opened up the box, taking care not to rip the red sticky labels in half, for no other reason than an intrinsic feeling of keeping the box intact and to not spoil the overall feel, I had presented to me 5 test-tube esque bottles of scotch along with a couple of leaflets of information and tasting instructions.
I really do like the feel of the box; the presentation, the smart packaging and the way that the scotch is presented and displayed, held up in a stately manner akin to its prevalence and enjoyment hereon in. The 45ml bottles (for you non-math wizards out there, totalling 225ml of scotch) are made of glass, have a good solid feel to them and are of a good size, they are enjoyable to hold. Maybe I’m lamenting too much on the look and feel here, but it really is important that a company understand all these aspects and start right from the off before the product even shines through if they are to keep customers loyal and wanting more, and so far I’m impressed.
Before cracking open the first scotch however, I had a good read of the paraphernalia that comes along with the package. And you know what – I actually enjoyed reading it. The language is in a friendly almost humorous manner, with little jokes and attempts at humour that had me enjoying the read. They could have gone down the serious scotch drinkers route with flavour maps and what to taste for, but instead have gone for the much more approachable language with such snippets as ‘tastebuds’ in the ‘preflight checklist’, along with a ‘sound system’, reminding you to ‘invite your friends’, and a ‘SmartAss Corner’ flavour map introduction. Its the little touches…..
Of course, as much as a product can sell itself on the emotive responses gained from the product, the actual contents, in this case, the scotch, is just as important. In the box I received laid out before me was:
- Lagavulin (16 years old)
- The Glenliver (18 year old)
- Laphroaig (quarter cask)
- Auchentosham (12 year old), and a
- Singleton of Dufftown (15 year old)
Price wise, some of these go for £40+ ($60USD) a bottle and I was pleasantly pleased and upbeat to see the contents live up to the packaging, with the price point of the box definitely providing quality inside, and a good return on the monthly investment.
Of course taste can often be in the eye of the beholder, and I am yet to find that ‘friend’ that the leaflet requires of me to taste test these beauties, but I am excited and giddy at the thought of going through Flaviar’s product line and seeing what their leaflets can both teach and inspire me with the scotches received in this box.
Overall, a big thumbs up from me. Well done Flaviar. The packaging and care you’ve taken on your product is top notch. The way the contents are presented, the language used and the overall honest feeling of craftsmanship to the whole product is one of the best I’ve seen in a monthly subscription service.
With Christmas just around the corner, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the company have a good uptake on its products, a good solid business with uncompromising quality so far. Well done!
Flaviar’s website can be found here: flaviar.com
They offer a free members service with bottle deals and ratings and reviews, as well as the aforementioned monthly subscription packs, called Prime or Gift Packs.
They also offer an app (The Flaviar App) for use with their products that can be found here.
Prime membership (i.e. the monthly tasting box) is priced at:
First month is $18.99, then $24.99 per month after
First month is €15.99, then €21.99 per month after
First month is £14.99, then £18.99 per month after
See more of what they offer on their website.
The colder evenings may be creeping in now, but that doesn’t mean we need to desert our beloved cocktails in favoured of hot cocoa. This list of drinks will be sure to fill you with a warm glow, and they taste delicious too!
Caramel Irish Coffee
I couldn’t write a post about hot winter drinks without mentioning Irish coffee. This classic cocktail is regularly made in my house, but I really love this caramel twist. Made with equal parts of Jamesons Irish Whiskey, Bailey’s Irish Cream and Butterscotch Schnapps mixed with two and a half parts coffee, this tastes best if made in a pre-heated Irish coffee glass. Simply pour in the ingredients and top with whipped cream and caramel. It’s a wickedly naughty dessert in a glass!
Hot Peppermint Patty
Following along the lines of after-dinner drinks, this Peppermint Patty takes a traditional hot chocolate and gives it a minty, alcoholic twist. Make hot chocolate as normal, and add an ounce of Peppermint Schnapps, half an ounce of Dark Crème de Cacao, and a teaspoon of Crème de Menthe. Fill the cup up with whipped cream and sprinkle some chocolate shavings on top. This recipe will delight anyone will a sweet tooth and works best in a mug or a pre-warmed Irish coffee glass.
Hot Apple Toddy
This cider recipe is a wonderful alternative to the classic Mulled Wine that often makes an appearance around this time of year. Pre-heat an Irish coffee glass and then coat the base of it in honey. Pour in two ounces of Whiskey and then fill with hot apple cider. Give it a quick stir and then garnish with a cinnamon stick, lemon wedge, and a few whole cloves. It will become your new winter favourite!
Milk & Honey
This cocktail is one that is sure to take you back to the days when your mum used to make your warm milk before bed. Of course, this nostalgic favourite has been given a grown-up twist. Pour one and a half ounces of Benedictine into a mug and fill with warm milk. Bliss. One thing to remember is that milk will curdle with the alcohol in your stomach, so don’t drink too many or you will live to regret it!
Warm n’ Toasty
After a long day of snowball throwing, Christmas shopping or just running errands out in the cold, Warm n’ Toasty is exactly how you want to feel, so this cocktail had to make it onto my list. Another one that requires an Irish coffee glass, preferably pre-warmed to keep the cocktail hot, it is simple to make. Pour two ounces of Bourbon into the glass with a quarter ounce of lemon juice and a quarter ounce of Grenadine, and fill with hot water. The garnish is a cinnamon stick and orange wheel. The result is utter relaxation after a hard, cold day!