Launching just in time for the most indulgent month of the year and running throughout Dry January, Mindful Drinking Festival creator, Club Soda, is opening the UK’s first alcohol-free off-licence just off Regent Street in London’s West End.
The pop-up store, which launched on 13 December, will give customers the chance to discover the wide range of alcohol-free drinks available in the UK and pick up a new favourite tipple to try throughout December, January and beyond. To celebrate the opening day, the off-licence is hosting a Bottle Swap, where the first 50 people who visit the pop-up with an unopened bottle or can of alcoholic drink will be able to swap for a non-alcoholic equivalent, whether that’s a spirit, fizz or even a beer!
Perfect if you’re planning a hangover-free festive season, to challenge yourself to a Dry January or to give a loved one an alcohol-free Christmas present, the alcohol-free off-licence is for you. The many brands that customers can try in-store include Everleaf, Lyre’s, Thomson and Scott, Big Drop, Lucky Saint, and Adnams Ghost Ship 0.5%. Among the 70+ brands, there’ll be old favourites, new launches, UK and International brands, and several beers on draught.
The shop will also be hosting cocktail making and wine and beer masterclasses with experts such as Camille Vidal from La Maison Wellness, beer writer Emma Inch and wine expert Christine Parkinson.
Laura Willoughby MBE, Club Soda Founder, said: “We believe changing drinking habits starts with making better choices. Connecting everyone with the world of low and no alcohol drinks is essential to helping us all create and sustain lasting change. If you have not dipped into alcohol-free drinks for a while, you will be amazed at what has changed. So we invite everyone to pop along and find a new favourite tipple.”
Club Soda is the UK’s Mindful Drinking Movement. Club Soda support’s individuals to drink more mindfully and live well, empowering people to change their drinking, choose better alcohol-free drinks and connect with other mindful drinkers.
Club Soda is located at 59 Great Portland Street, London W1W 7LJ and Sunday: 11am-6pm Monday – Weds: 11am-6pm Thurs and Friday: 11am-9pm Saturday: 10am – 7pm
If you’re anything like the TDR team, then food and treats to savour at home are top of the list. We look at our top five foodie favourite’s that are sure to get the taste buds tingling without breaking the budget this Black Friday!
PLEESECAKES – Up to 30% off The Pllesecake cheesecake wizards are helping to make Black Friday that bit sweeter with 15% off across nationwide products, including the world’s first scoopable frozen cheesecake, Freezecakes; best-selling Mini Cheesecake Bundles; and Chuffles, the moreish cheesecake truffles – perfect for gifting, and can be stored in the freezer for up to three months (offer excludes limited-edition Baileys Chuffles). Pleesecakes are also offering 30% off their range of large cakes for collection only. Offer runs from 26th – 29th November 2021. Enter code BLACKFRIDAY at the checkout, nationwide delivery. Collection from Pleesecakes, 17 Trowers Way, Holmethorpe, Redhill RH1 2LH. Purchase at https://www.pleesecakes.com
LIBERATION COCKTAILS – 20% off entire range Hosting friends and short on time, or looking for the perfect present for a cocktail connoisseur? Liberation Cocktails has you covered with a special 20% off the entire range this Black Friday. Get ready to drink cocktail giftsets, pre-mixed bottles and party kegs for a steal. Usually £99, the Liberation Cocktail party kegs containing 33 servings will be available for just £79.80 across Black Friday weekend, available in Espresso Martini, Strawberry Daiquiri and more delicious flavours. Offer runs from 26th – 29th November 2021. Enter code BLACKFRIDAY at checkout. Purchase at https://liberationcocktails.com/
CARLUCCIO’S – At least 20% off the entire festive range + over 50% off cases of wine Visit any Carluccio’s store or go online to enjoy a generous 20% off all shop items across the full Carluccio’s range, including gift cards. And that’s not all! This year, some of the Carluccio’s favourites will be available at an even better discount – buono deals to have on your radar include the refreshing Sicilian white wine selection, with a case of six bottles of award-winning Planeta Alastro available at just £39 (RRP £89.70), and the Delizia Gin Limone Hamper – complete with a bottle of Malfy gin con limone, two cocktail glasses and a premium citrus chopping board, Davide Barbero Limoncello Chocolates and Baci al Limone – priced at just £50 (usually £69). Offer runs from 26th – 29th November 2021. Purchase at www.carluccios.com
PAUL BAKERY – 20% off online orders over £35 (delivery + collection) Leading French artisan bakery, PAUL, is offering 20% off all online orders over £35, available for delivery and collection. Why not plan ahead for Christmas and pre-order a festive yule log, for the ultimate dessert centrepiece? Or, delight in French classics such as a Chocolate & Caramel Layer Cake or a signature Fraisier Cake as well as Nationwide products including a Home Bread Maker Kit with 2kg Flour or a PAUL Coffee & Hot Chocolate Kit. Offer runs from 25th – 28th November 2021. Enter code PAULGIFT20 at checkout. Purchase at https://www.paul-uk.com
SEARCYS – Share the love with Searcys gift vouchers and Champagne This Black Friday, treat yourself and your loved ones to one of Searcys memorable experiences, ranging from traditional afternoon tea, lunch, and dinner with breath-taking views, to exclusive Champagne gift sets. Get 10% credit to your gift monetary voucher to spend on dining experiences at Searcys’ iconic restaurants and bars, as well as free UK-wide delivery for Searcys exclusive Champagne gift boxes (starting from 2 bottles). A free Searcys 1847 Club membership (worth £19) is included with every purchase of any Searcys Champagne gift boxes. Offers available on 26th November only. Purchase at https://www.searcys.co.uk/gifts
Baglioni Hotel London, SW7 – Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 October, and between Tuesday 19 and Sunday 24 October
Bar Camparino, Milan’s timeless icon of Aperitivo culture, is arriving in London for its first-ever UK residency during London Cocktail Month.
The bar will be hosted at the renowned Baglioni Hotel London – a destination for Italian luxury – on Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 October, and between Tuesday 19 and Sunday 24 October, celebrating the illustrious history of Camparino and the vibrancy of contemporary Aperitivo culture.
The residency offers the truly unique opportunity to enjoy an authentic CAMPARI Seltz, the signature drink of Camparino and original version of the Campari & Soda, never before seen in the UK. Served in the very same way as in Milan, it uses a recreation of Camparino’s famous 1915 soda machines, the only way to ensure a perfectly cooled, sparkling CAMPARI Seltz with its distinctive foamed head.
Established more than 100 years ago by Davide Campari, son of CAMPARI founder Gaspare, Camparino has ever since been home to the artists, intellectuals and celebrities of the day, cementing itself as a must-see mainstay of Milan.
Visitors to the Camparino residency can expect exceptional cocktails mixed by Camparino’s Head Bartender, Tommaso Cecca, and mixologist Mattia Capezzuoli, that capture the complexity and versatility of the distinctive CAMPARI taste. These include timeless classics and contemporary creations, brought to life by the Italian luxury hospitality experts at Baglioni Hotel London.
The residency arrives as the UK continues to fall in love with Aperitivo, embracing the timeless ritual of ending the day and starting the evening with a refreshing, appetite-whetting drink alongside light bites and good conversation.
Camparino’s limited residency consolidates its status as one of the most influential establishments in the world for lovers of mixology and gastronomic innovation. It is at the heart of Italian Week (15 – 21 October) during London Cocktail Month throughout October.
Those who want to experience Camparino at Baglioni Hotel can visit on 16, 17 and between 19 and 24 October. No reservation required.
Main image: Glasshouses designed by Thomas Heatherwick at Laverstoke Mill
Grab your closest friends and set off for a distillery tasting while letting someone else take care of the driving this World Gin Day (12 June). Eco-tour operator, Rabbie’s (www.rabbies.com), offers tours allowing guests to embark on adventurous days out to some of the UK’s well-known gin distilleries in the company of an expert driver-guide.
Rabbie’s mini-coach tours give travellers the space and freedom to travel in comfort and style while benefitting from the knowledge and expertise of a driver-guide. Forget bottomless brunch and an afternoon in the park, hit the road with Rabbie’s for a gin-tasting trip departing from London or Edinburgh. Sample itineraries include:
Bombay Sapphire Gin & Winchester
Mix in a slice of history with your gin and tonic on a relaxing day trip to the home of Bombay Sapphire Gin, Laverstoke Distillery. Setting off from central London, head straight to one of England’s most history-soaked cities, Winchester, for an exploration of its glorious cathedral, ancient mill, cute cafes, and plentiful museums. After wandering the lanes and paths of the ancient city, head to the home of one of the world’s most popular gins – Bombay Sapphire. It’s not just the booze at Laverstoke Mill that’s brilliant – the exhibition and Victorian architecture are just as interesting and stunningly beautiful. Enjoy a tipple while learning the art of gin distilling before making your way back to London. Prices for the one-day tour start from £59 per person.
The Whiskies & Gins of East Lothian
Set off from Edinburgh and head straight to NB Distillery – a gin producer launched in 2013 with a mission to develop the ‘perfect’ gin. Infused with eight traditional botanicals, sample the 42% ABV London Dry Gin without worrying about the drive home. Head to North Berwick, one of the most beautiful seaside villages in East Lothian, before arriving at Glenkinchie Distillery. Nestled in a peaceful glen, this distillery languished in obscurity for over 150 years before becoming an international brand at the end of the 1980s. Explore the huge stills and sample the malt whiskies while hearing how this distillery became such a success before a short drive through the golden wheat and barley fields back to Edinburgh. Prices for this one-day tour start from £37 per person.
Rabbie’s operates sustainability-focused, eco domestic travel options, ensuring that the places we love are there for future generations to enjoy and advocates’ taking only photos and leaving only footprints’. Rabbie’s tours provide worry-free journeys so guests can enjoy a sustainable staycation without concerns. All listed tours can be arranged privately, meaning guests can travel in just the company of their friends and family with one of Rabbie’s guides.
As autumn arrives and we face yet more time indoors the delicious, new Limehouse Apple & Cinnamon Gin, is sure to bring some much needed comfort as the evenings grow darker. Available exclusively in Tesco from this month at the bargain price of £15!
A perfectly balanced, limited-edition gin bursting with crisp apple flavour and a hint of cinnamon spice, Limehouse Apple & Cinnamon Gin (37.5% ABV) is delicious served over ice with a good quality tonic water or ginger ale, along with a slice of your favourite apple variety, but as the days and nights get colder, why not warm your cockles with a delicious and super-simple, Limehouse Apple & Cinnamon hot toddy?
Limehouse Hot Toddy recipe Apple, cinnamon and honey are a winning combination in this cosy cocktail that’s perfect for all sorts of Autumnal occasions, from curling up with a book on a rainy day to warming up after an evening walk on a chilly night or simply as an after dinner treat.
Ingredients for a single serve: (multiply by the number of people you’re serving if you’re serving in a pitcher or punch bowl) – 50 ml Limehouse Apple & Cinnamon Gin – 200 ml pressed apple juice, gently heated – One teaspoon of honey – Garnish: Cinnamon and cloves
Method and serve suggestion: Warm the apple juice in a saucepan, on a medium heat on the hob until it starts to gently bubble. Meanwhile, add the Limehouse Apple & Cinnamon Gin in a glass mug, adding a teaspoon of honey for a touch more sweetness. Stir the gin and honey as you add the warm apple juice. Add a cinnamon stick to garnish, with a couple of cloves sprinkled on top for good measure.
The perfect accompaniment to: Apple crumble after a roast dinner – or an alternative to dessert if you’ve overdone the roast potatoes (no judgement, we’ve all been there).
Apple & Spice Cooler cocktail recipe If hot gin isn’t your thing, you can still get a burst of autumn flavours in your gin with this deliciously refreshing cocktail that’s sure to get you feeling in the mood for festivities with its subtle warming spices. Ingredients for a single serve: (multiply by the number of people you’re serving if you’re serving in a pitcher or punch bowl) – 50ml Limehouse apple and cinnamon gin – 150ml ginger ale – Garnish with a thin slice of apple & a cinnamon stick
Method and serve suggestion: Add ice to a tumbler glass, followed by the apple & cinnamon gin, then the ginger ale. Give the ingredients a stir with your cinnamon stick garnish and add a thin slice of apple to finish.
Best enjoyed as: A deliciously cosy autumnal drink for any afternoon or evening, so why not impress your book club mates by serving this when it’s your turn to host?
Tom Savano, a London based startup, has launched the very first artisanal cocktail range, exclusively using small batch craft spirits from around the world. Their multi award-winning cocktail range offers what the founders claim to be ‘better than bar-quality’ cocktails, and with the new 10pm restrictions on hospitality, and a second lockdown looming, it’s the perfect time for hoteliers, bar tenders and retailers to invest in such convenience.
Having launched in March this year, the Tom Savano brand was born from a passion to bring a taste of lands afar to the homes of cocktail aficionados and novices alike. This commitment and deep love of small-batch, craft spirits is what sets Tom Savano apart in a world all too often dominated by large brands and lack of authenticity.
There are five cocktails in the range so far, including the following; Caribbean Dawn Mai Tai, Devon Coastal Negroni, English Garden Lychee Martini, Kentucky Winter Old Fashioned, and the Single Estate Reposado Margarita. This wide range of cocktails inspired by beautiful places across the world allows us to embrace another country and ‘travel’ at a time when we are perhaps most inhibited to do so.
The brand is based around a fictional character, Tom Savano, who travels the world in search of craft beverages and artisanal produce, with an underlying passion for craftsmanship and storytelling. Tom Savano’s tales of travel and cocktail craft spread far and wide, with him discovering the finest spirits and best kept secrets, bringing them back to his friends and family, and creating world-class cocktails to be enjoyed by all.
James Kerslake, founder of Tom Savano says:
“When you look at the bottle, you see through the eyes of Tom Savano. You step into his world and are transported to the destination he’s visiting, discovering those undiscovered spots with him. He represents the part of all of us that wants to be off on a plane or a boat, discovering beautiful places.”
The brand launched by James around his day job in the city, has been the result of nearly two years of dedication, with James often working 18 hour days until 3am in the morning to perfect a recipe or create the captivating story of Tom Savano himself, the iconic but mysterious enigma behind the drinks.
With consumer tastes changing rapidly, Tom Savano appears to have arrived just in time to lead the charge in a new growing trend towards farm-to-glass drinks, craft spirits and the philosophy of “drink less, but drink better”. Being the only cocktail company on the market to champion small-batch spirits and focus purely on regional sourcing, not to mention the only premixed cocktail brand to have won industry gold medals, has created a singly unique offering in the RTD scene, which has long been saturated with over sweet, mass-produced drinks.
James Kerslake, founder of Tom Savano, explained:
“’I wanted to really push the boundaries and redefine the perception of premixed cocktails. Being very particular myself about what I drink, I wanted something that I would personally drink over anything else, even from most top bars. Cocktails to me are all about a story, the origin of the spirit you use and the history behind every single ingredient down to the smallest detail, and what it evokes in your mind when you drink it.
When I drink a Mojito, I want to feel like I’m on the sunset strip of Ibiza watching the last golden strip disappear beneath the waves, sitting with the rum distiller and hearing about his family and life story. When I sip a margarita, I want to feel like I’m on a Rancho at the end of a long day of agave harvesting, the smell of earth, smoke and Mezcal in the air. That’s what Tom Savano is about.”
Main Image: Apex Waterloo Place Hotel in Edinburgh
Apex Hotels is providing the perfect tonic for gin lovers looking to combine their favourite tipple with a stylish staycation.
The group is offering its Botanical Break in four of its UK hotels – for a gin-cation that is fizzing with city attractions, as well as a Hendrick’s Gin flight to get the stay off to a flying start.
Whether they choose to live it up in London, get cultural in Scotland’s capital or bask in the wonders of Bath, city explorers can really get into the spirit of their staycation with the Botanical Break.
As well as a dreamy overnight stay, including a complimentary breakfast, guests will also enjoy a bespoke Hendrick’s virtual tasting as well as a City Sightseeing hop-on, hop-off tour – either by bus in Edinburgh and Bath, or on a magical London river cruise.
With a choice of Apex Temple Court in London, Apex City of Bath Hotel, Apex Waterloo Place and Apex Grassmarket hotels in Edinburgh, the hardest part of booking the Botanical Break is deciding which city to stay in.
With the Apex Assured -the brand’s quality seal across areas including cleanliness, guest safety, flexible booking and best rate guarantee – guests rest assured they will be well taken care of from the moment they step inside and experience Apex’s signature warmer welcome.
The Apex Hotels’ Botanical Break starts from £143 based on two people sharing.
When it comes to wining and dining at home, we love to get inspired from some of the amazing producers around the world. So when Faulkner Wines gave us a low down on the latest from rosés with their top four tipples.
Traditionally regarded as purely a summer drink, such is the popularity of rosé that it is now consumed 12 months of the year.
That said, there is something very special about enjoying a glass of chilled rosé as the sun sets and the heat of the day disperses.
Here we present a quartet of the very finest, produced and bottled on Julian Faulkner’s family estate in the Côtes de Provence, the spiritual home of rosé.
Julian Faulkner has a passion: to offer customers wines of stature and repute, but also with the ideal price-quality ratio. This selection appeals to a variety of palates and budgets, comprising three from the estate’s complex and aromatic Le Grand Cros range and one from the multi award-winning Jules collection which offers lighter, more keenly priced vintages for everyday drinking.
Aurélia 2019, £28.95
Originally launched with a 2015 vintage named in honour of his eldest child, Aurélia was created to showcase the very best of the terroir at Le Grand Cros and to offer discerning drinkers a fuller-bodied, more structured and altogether more serious take on the region’s classically light rosé.
Created using grapes hand-harvested in September, Aurélia 2019 spent eight months on lees and partially in oak, allowing it to develop a creamier texture and greater complexity.
It can be enjoyed with almost any food and at any time of the year.
Available from boutique company Asset Wines priced at £28.95 a bottle, it can also be purchased directly from the Faulkner Wines website.
Le Grand Cros L’Esprit de Provence AOP Côtes de Provence 2019, £16.90
Dry, fruity and elegant, this rosé has been the recipient of numerous accolades: only rosé in Decanter’s 50 Best Wines of the Year in 2015 and the 2019 Best Rosé of the Competition by the Œnologues de France among them.
With notes of white peaches, mango, hawthorn blossom, pink peppercorn, dry apricot and thyme, this rosé is complex with a delightful, long lingering aftertaste.
L’Esprit de Provence can be paired with sushi, ceviche, salads, pasta with clams, fish soup and gazpacho.
Available from boutique company Asset Wines, it can also be purchased directly from the Faulkner Wines website.
Le Grand Cros AOP Côtes de Provence 2019, £14.50
Fragrant with aromas of freshly crushed berries and exotic fruits, a hint of mango lends a touch of richness to the fresh, round palate, with some herbal notes in the mix and a creamy note adding extra elegance with plenty of freshness on the finish.
This exquisite wine pairs perfectly with grilled fish and chicken, salads, fish soup, crab roll and gazpacho.
This rosé is available from ten stockists listed on www.grandcros.com/how-to-buy/find-a-retailer/. It can also be purchased directly from the Faulkner Wines website.
Jules AOP Côtes de Provence 2019, £10.38
This superb value rosé makes a superb accompaniment to Provencal dishes and vegetables stews.
The nose is enticing and complex with intense aromas of lychee, pomelo and ripe white peaches and a citrus zest on the finish.
Available from Cambridge Wine Merchants (www.cambridgewine.com) and from the Faulkner Wines website.
We love a cocktail or two, so when we had the chance to grab some inspiration from the PR team Ophir, we grabbed the opportunity. Poised and ready with paper parasol we look at their hints for travelling the world – cocktail style!
From botanical and fruity flavour sensations to healthy mocktails, here is a selection of delicious cocktails you can make from home.
Inspired by Belfast City’s Botanical Garden, this fresh flavoured cocktail uses intriguing botanicals such as fresh apple, elderberry and wild clover to enhance the cocktails floral tone. This cocktail is beautifully balanced and vibrant, perfect for a warm spring evening.
30ml Shortcross Gin (or any gin available)
15ml Rhubarb Liqueur
10ml Pomegranate Cordial
20ml Citrus Juices
1 Egg (Whites only)
Pink Peppercorns and Viola Flowers for garnish
Chill you Martini Glass by filling with ice
Combine all the ingredients (excluding garnish) in a cocktail shaker and dry shake (no ice)
Add ice to cocktail shaker
Shake again to create a velvety foam top
Double strain into a chilled Martini Glass and garnished with Whole Pink Peppercorns and Viola Flowers.
This tropical fruity cocktail will remind you of summer holidays on MarBella Corfu’s stunning beaches. With refreshing citruses and sweet passion fruit, this simple signature cocktail will have you feeling as if you’re poolside and soaking in the sun.
0.25ml Fresh Lime Juice
0.30ml Passion Fruit Puree
0.3ml Orange Jam
2 dashes of Chocolate Bitters
Orange Slice or Peel and Fresh Mint Leaves for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker and fill with ice and shake well
Once shaken, pour into a tumbler through a fine strainer
Add crushed ice and garnish with an orange slice or peel and top with fresh mint leaves
Take your tastebuds on a journey to the Algarve with this delicious cocktail. Its sweet, herby and floral flavours are reminiscent of Quinta Do Lago’s luscious landscape. Quick and easy to make, this cocktail is the perfect after work-from-home drink.
40ml Gin Mare
20ml St. Germain
50ml Pear Juice
20ml Lime Juice
10ml Sugar Syrup
Pear Slices and Rosemary for garnish
Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with crushed ice and shake well
Double strain into an old jam jar or tumbler
Add garnish and serve
Renaissance by Julian Biondi, Beverage Consultant & Founder of “BarOmeter Consulting” from Tuscany Now & More, Italy
This refreshing and summery twist on a classic Negroni, the traditional cocktail of Biondi’s home town. Perfect for an evening spent in the garden, it’s easy to make and equally easy to drink. Think Pimm’s Cup with the taste of Tuscany.
25 ml Tuscan Vermouth Winestillery (or any other Red Italian Vermouth with a bitter note, such as Punt e Mes)
25 ml Amaro Ruffino (or any other Amaro with a nice herbal and bitter note, such as Nonino or Averna)
15 ml Peter in Florence London Dry Gin
15 ml honey & thyme syrup
15 ml lemon juice
1 slice of cucumber
1 slice of orange
Chill a highball glass with ice
Combine all ingredients (excluding Tonic Water) and shake well
Strain the cocktail into the glass and top with tonic water.
For any bartender it is important to master the classics and the daiquiri is a must know. A favourite beach cocktail around the world, the daiquiri’s sharp lime flavour will certainly make you feel full of zeal and zest.
0.5ml White Rum
0.25ml Fresh Lime Juice
0.25ml Caster Sugar Syrup
Lime Wedge for garnish
For the sugar syrup, dissolve one part caster sugar with one part water and boil. Leave to cool
Mix all ingredients together and stir for 20 seconds
Pour into a chilled coupe glass and garnish with a lime wedge
This cool cocktail will have you dreaming of the Carribean and Windjammer Landing’s beautiful beaches. The super sweet citrus flavours makes it easy to drink, but watch out for the Brain Freeze!
4 oz Tequila
2 oz Triple Sec
2 oz Lime Juice
4 scoops of Ice
Sugar to taste
Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth
Add sugar if required and mix again
Pour into a large glass and top with beer
Lady Rose by Alessandro Caro, Bar Manager at La Voga, Grand Hotel Dei Dogi: The Dedica Anthology, Venice
This light, floral cocktail celebrates Venice and Grand Hotel Dei Dogi’s incredible characteristics. With natural ingredients inspired by the hotel’s stunning botanical garden and delicate flavours of Italy, this cocktail is refreshing and showcases expert mixologist skills.
40 ml infusion of Verbena, Mint Tea and Orange Blossoms
20ml Homemade Rose Petal Syrup
40ml Moscato Fiori D’Arancio Colli Euganei Maeli
Raspberries, Blackberries and Mint Leaves for garnish
To infuse: soak the tea bag of in boiling water and allow to cool
To make the rose petal syrup: boil water and sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Next, mix in rose petal and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the syrup and allow to cool
Fill a glass with ice to cool
Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker, fill with ice and shake well
This popular cocktail is refreshingly bitter and perfect for a summer evening and pre-dinner drink. Take a sip of this delicious cocktail and transport yourself to the beautiful setting of MarBella Nido, watching the stunning Corfu sunset.
0.30ml Tanqueray Gin
0.30ml Antica Formula
0.002ml Orange Bitters
Strawberry and Orange Peel for garnish
Combine all ingredients in a small tumbler glass and add cubes of ice
A delicious sparkling cocktail with bitter citrus flavours and a hint of sweetness. A perfect reminder of a summer holiday and perfect for an afternoon treat.
50ml Aperol Aperitivo
10ml Fresh lime juice
100ml Pink grapefruit flavoured soda
2-3 Dashes lavender aromatic bitters
Cucumber and Lavender Blossom for garnish
Combine Aperol and lime juice in a glass and add ice
Top with soda and prosecco
Garnish with cucumber and lavender blossom
Tip: parfum mist with lavender essence spray
For those that prefer the glamour of a cocktail without the alcohol content, these mocktails are the perfect solution.
Pina Colada Mocktail from Longevity Health and Wellness Hotel, Portugal For a healthier, non-alcoholic option, try this delicious Pina Colada mocktail. Perfect for any time of the day, this creamy, coconut drink makes for the ultimate pick me up. Tasting just like the cocktail, this virgin Pina Colada will transport you Portugal’s beautiful Algarve Bay.
200 ml of coconut milk
1 mint leaf
2 slices of pineapple
Combine coconut milk and mint leaf in a blender and mix
Cut the pineapple into cubes and blend with coconut milk and mint leaf
Pour mixture into a large glass and add a sprinkle of cinnamon
Created by university student Blair Bowman in 2011, World Whisky Day has since become a global phenomenon. Most of us don’t need an excuse to enjoy a dram or two of the water of life, but to mark the occasion, the bar team at five star lifestyle hotel Andaz London Liverpool Street are sharing their recipe for that all-time classic. The Whiskey Sour:
50ml bourbon whiskey (or one egg cup if you don’t have a measure
20ml fresh lemon juice (or two tablespoons)
10-15ml sugar syrup (one to one and a half tablespoons depending on your taste)
10ml egg white (one tablespoon) if you want to add another level of texture.
Put all the ingredients into a cocktail shaker (or jam jar), add ice and shake for 20-30 seconds. To serve, pour through a sieve or tea strainer into a cocktail glass, or if you prefer, into a tumbler filler with ice.
Garnish with a lemon wedge or if you really want to push the boat out, add a couple of drops of bitters and a brandied cherry. Enjoy!
Raw Wine Fair London 8th & 9th March. Raw Wine Week 4th -11th March
2020 sees the ninth RAW WINELondon returning to The Store X in Covent Garden, with over 120 carefully selected low-intervention organic, biodynamic and natural wine producers from around the world showcasing their fine drinks to the trade and consumers.
Alongside the natural wine strongholds of France and Italy, RAW WINE is excited to welcome a trio of northern European producers to London for the first time. A wine producer from the Netherlands who has farmed organically for decades and eliminated all copper and sulphur usage from the vineyard; an urban, natural wine producer from Finland; and a Danish distillery that crafts sell-out seasonal spirits and was described by Wired as “the Noma of wonderful booze”!
Trailblazer of the natural wine movement worldwide, Isabelle Legeron MW’s portfolio of events now includes sell-out fairs in New York, L.A, Montréal, Berlin and London. All promote wines farmed cleanly that are harvested by hand and made without excessive use of processing and additives. Visitors to the fair will also have the unique opportunity to listen to experts from around the world impart their knowledge in RAW WINE’s intimate Speaker’s Corner.
With sustainability the hottest topic in food and drink right now, RAW WINE London is the perfect place to discover wines which are better for us and the environment. Fighting for greater transparency in the wine industry, in order to empower wine drinkers through authenticity and frank wine conversation, Isabelle says, “Wine has never been made with so many pesticides, additives, preservatives and processes. Winemakers at RAW WINE who respect life above ground and in the soil care passionately about their wines, they ensure their vines are able to absorb key nutrients and it shows in the quality of the final product. By buying organic, biodynamic and natural wine, we’re helping to protect the planet.”
RAW WINE London is the highlight of #rawwineweek, 4th-11th March, a nationwide celebration of natural wines with tutored tastings, glass offers and winemaker dinners. Throughout the week restaurants, bars, wine shops, distributors and importers will all be hosting events to showcase growers exhibiting at the fair. Take a look at what’s happening across the capital here.
You may have seen our recent feature on Sorakami, the new Sake subscription service that offers the latest craft Sakes.
We wanted to find out more on how founder Robin Sola discovered his love for Sake and what made him decide to turn it into a business and why Sake could be your next favourite tipple.
Tell us about your background and how you discovered Sake?
My name is Robin Sola, and I am the founder of Sorakami. I was born and raised in France. My background is a little unusual. After a slight colour-blindness condition put an end to my airline pilot career, I moved to Tokyo, Japan, to study economics at University. There, my friends took me on a tour of a small Sake brewery near Kyoto, and it is where I discovered the true face of Sake. I’ve always been into my wines, but I realised I knew nothing about Japanese Sake. It was a real eye-opening moment for me, but also the beginning of a long love story. That’s when I started educating myself about the drink to the point where I became a certified International Sake Sommelier or “kikisake-shi” in Japanese.
How did your idea for Sorakami take shape?
I moved to the UK for work in 2015, and I quickly started missing Japanese food and especially Sake. I’ve found it hard to find shops stocking good bottles, especially outside London, and selecting a good Sake online wasn’t straightforward either. Sake can be very difficult to approach and understand. For example, most labels are still written in Japanese (although they are absolutely gorgeous, in my opinion).
That’s how Sorakami came about. I wanted to make premium Japanese Sake simple, fun and available to anyone in the UK. Every month, we deliver to your door a sommelier-curated bottle with tasting notes as well as our magazine to explore the exciting new world of Sake.
What is the difference between a mass-produced and craft Sake?
While Sake has a history of over 1,000 years, the premium Sake that we love today is a relatively new thing, only about 50 years old. This is due to the recent development in brewing techniques and technology. Non-premium Sake (Table Sake) actually makes around 80% of the entire Sake market. Here at Sorakami, we focus on the other 20%.
The two main factors that determine the grade of Sake (i.e. premium or not premium) are:
Polishing Ratio: How much of the rice grain is milled away before the brewing process. The rice must be polished to remove the undesirable outer layer that would create off flavours. The more polished, the more premium and expensive the Sake becomes.
The Brewers: The most critical contribution to the quality, style and flavour of a Sake is the savoir-faire of the “toji”, master brewer. Sake is much more complicated to make than wine. Grapes will ferment the right way without much intervention. However, in Sake making, the rice must be polished, saccharified with koji and then enter the complex and unique process of multiple parallel fermentation. A great team under great leadership is a must to make premium Sake.
Can you give us your top tips on how to sample Sake?
Just like wine, there is a lot of different Sake out there. I would recommend you try as many different kinds as possible so that you can find your favourite.
Here is a general guide to help you start. Use it next time you are at a Japanese restaurant or Sake shop.
Order “junmai” Sake if you are looking for a full-bodied and rich Sake. Junmai Sakes are also excellent warm, perfect for winter! Order “ginjo” Sake for a more aromatic and refreshing drinking experience. Finally, you can try the ultra-premium category of Sake called “daiginjo”. Flavour and aroma profiles tend to be fuller than with ginjos, and exceptional labels display both complexity and finesse.
Ginjo and daiginjo types are better enjoyed chilled in a white wine glass.
What are the biggest misconceptions that people have when it comes to Sake?
In my opinion, the four biggest misconceptions are.
1 – Sake is a strong spirit – Wrong! Sake is a fermented beverage with an average ABV of 15%. We could actually say that Sake is made like a beer (almost) but drunk like a wine.
2 – Sake is drunk in a small cup and warm – Wrong! The premium and more aromatic ginjo and daiginjo types are better enjoyed chilled in a wine glass.
3 – Sake gives you horrible hangovers – Wrong! Just like any other alcohol, top-shelf bottles are the way to go for a hangover-free next day morning. Sake is a very natural product and contains no sulphites, preservatives or other added chemicals, which makes it easy for our body to process it.
4 – You should only have Sake with Japenese food – Wrong again! One of the unique attributes of the drink is that it is full of umami. For those who do not know what umami is, it is the fifth basic taste or savoury taste (sweet, sour, bitter, salty and umami). Because of that umami component, Sake matches beautifully with dishes such as seafood salads, olives, caviar but also cheese-heavy pizzas and burgers! While wine matches with food, Sake amplify the flavour of food.
Is Sake the new Gin?
The world of Sake is vast, sophisticated, and with a rich history of its own. I believe Sake belongs in its very own category alongside wine, beer and spirits. We are only just starting to appreciate its beauty here in the UK. As we increasingly do so, Sake will naturally take its very own special place in our fridge and cellar right next to gin.
What is your favourite Sake of the moment??
It is an incredibly difficult question to answer with so many delicious Sake out there! Still, in my opinion, the “OKA” ginjo from the Dewazakura Brewery is an excellent Sake for people new to the drink. It is a delicate and floral Sake with a touch of pear and melon. It is absolutely gorgeous when served well chilled. Go grab a bottle on our website and see for yourself!