Challenging drinks

Over the years I’ve acquired a fair few bottles of random booze – many of my own production. Nice to drink in themselves, their complex or strong flavours can sometimes be hard to balance in a cocktail. Which is why I was so pleased when Cassis Bistro invited me to their Challenge the Barman night – ie, a group  of drink writers bring along whatever is lurking in the back of their booze cabinet that they don’t know how to use and the barman invents a cocktail with said ingredient. Continue reading

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A higher Plateau

Plateau's bar area

Plateau's bar area

It’s not often I find myself in Canary Wharf but when I do, I relish its relentless modernity. With glittering glass towers and well-dressed denizens, it’s an entire other city to the begrimed and altogether more historic patch of London I call home – a visit always makes me feel as if I’d gone on holiday. Continue reading

Premium Bonds

Bonds bar

Bonds bar

As a drinks blogger I rarely get invited to visit restaurants, so when Bonds asked me along to a bloggers dinner last month, I accepted with alacrity. As if the promise of fine dining wasn’t enough, the invite also offered inventive cocktails…sold.

I mentioned in my acceptance that I’m interested in food and cocktail pairing and that’s when things got even more exciting. Inspired by this casual comment, Bonds new bar manager, Brian Calleja (formerly of L’Atelier de Joel Rebouchon), constructed a cocktail menu just for little ol’ me.  That’s quite a challenge when you think about it, as the drinks needed to work with each course regardless of what I ordered but Brian definitely rose to the occasion. Continue reading

A week in cocktails

La clandestine being offered at the Candlelight Club

La clandestine being offered at the Candlelight Club

As you might imagine,  the world of the London-based cocktail aficionado includes much lounging around and  leisurely sipping of intoxicating libations. But it also offers many opportunities to find out about the history and future trends of mixed drinks, to taste new brands and generally expand your knowledge on the art of  civilised inebriation.

Last week was rammed with such opportunities from Prohibition-influenced gatherings to seminars on the history of punch. As it was such a good example of what’s on offer, I hereby present my diary from the week: Continue reading

A drop of Christmas spirit

Paolo makes a Blue Blazer at the Hide

Paolo makes a Blue Blazer at the Hide

The week leading to Christmas has finally arrived which naturally means a lot of going out and, umm, ‘socialising’. Unfortunately the blizzard threatened by the Met office has also arrived, meaning most of us would rather stay home with a vat of mulled wine. Lucky then, that many bars in London have created warming Christmas drinks to help the more hardy reveller beat the chill – here’s my pick of the best: Continue reading

Come to the LCS Christmas Party!

Would you look at this now?  Here I am,  hijacking my own website….  But there’s a good reason as the party below (which I’m helping to organise) promises to be pretty awesome.  RSVP is essential so go to the society website to register interest:  

Christmas party invite

Christmas party invite