Cocktail development

January 10th, 2012

So, I’ve been wondering about how mixed drinks would change over time for a while now. ??I remember quizzing Chemistry friends back in Edinburgh- and this is where the whole cocktail ageing came from- and I’ll fill you in on the barrel, bottle, biological and radiation ageing trials at another point, but I’ve been experimenting with a few twists of late.

I recall coming across some old sloe gins from an elderly neighbour when I was growing up- 50s and 60s stuff- and being astonished by how fresh it tasted. So I’ve tried to recreate a twist on this. The images show a couple of days development so I’m excited to see how much it changes. Maybe not evident in the shots, but the colour is developing rapidly.

The idea is it will not only age as a combination of spirits, but develop at a different rate with the fruits too. Something I tried before with a Rumtopf, but particularly here- as with sloe gin- as the fruit breaks down, the interaction of the kernels and sugar creates a welcome extra dimension.

1990s Knob Creek Small Batch Bourbon, 1980s Gordon’s Gin, Organic sloe berries, pear distillate, cane sugar and ambergris.

Will keep you posted!

World Whiskies

January 1st, 2012

In the aftermath of the Christmas period, and whilst the unforgiving weather continues (in the UK at least), my hand still turns to a good whisky to ward off the cold and harsher elements. [for a catalogue of my Christmas choices/treats check out @Ryancheti]

Now, Scotch is my first love having spent a good while in Edinburgh getting acquainted with the limitless taste temptations the fine spirit can offer, but for many years now I’ve been feeding a love of Japanese Whisky- I think I now have the finest collection around. Even the most stubborn have come around to the quality of the majority of Japanese Whiskies, but I felt there are a couple others that I think are worth a mention.

In particular, I’ve recently enjoyed two. The first is fairly close to home (in fact, from Birmingham, Wales is a mere stones throw- we steal their water) and it’s the interesting spirit coming from the Penderyn Distillery in Wales. We had the lovely Gillian come visit us at the bar, and the quality of the product is great. It’s particularly on point as the ‘standard’ Madeira finish is a fruity gem in the vein of what I’m very much enjoying at the moment.

The other is a bit more exotic (excuse the food miles- offset them by eating local) coming from India. There are plenty of awful Indian Whiskies I’m told, but the spirit from Amrut is very much worth seeking out. Again, a fruity stance, but backed up by some incredible spice, and some wonderful innovation lacking in some of our Scottish brethren. I’ve recently ordered some of the new batch of ‘Fusion’ and ‘Two Continents’.

Maybe a little late for Christmas presents, but a great set of drams to combat the season!




Merry Christmas!

December 25th, 2011

And POP!

December 15th, 2011

And another regarding Bottle Fermentation, and what I’ve dubbed Biological Ageing


December 15th, 2011

A link to an article I wrote for the good guys at Class Magazine concerning one of the techniques I developed for the bar