Sunday Catchup #1

So Sunday slouching on the sofa, not too sure what’s been happening this week? Been too busy with work and last night you imbibed too much? Then don’t worry, below are some of the highlights from what we have read this week.

For the perfect martini, wetter is better

If you’ve never had a martini any way but bone dry, I implore you to give a wetter version a chance: vermouth — fortified wine flavored with botanicals — adds depth and imparts a spicy, subtly fruity quality. It’s what makes a martini a cocktail rather than just a chilled spirit.

EVENT: History and the modern cocktail

Tristan Stephenson will discuss the relevance of historical drinking cultures in the preparation of forward thinking, multi sensory cocktail service. He will look specifically at the history and evolution of rum and gin, and will demonstrate how his team re-creates classic and forgotten mixed drinks with the aid of high-end equipment.

The seminar will also showcase some of the ways in which rotary evaporators, sous vide, barrel ageing and biological ageing can be used in a bar environment.

Ginger’s bar at The Asquith

A large cocktail bar, Gingers, hogs the bulk of the space, with the restaurant tucked apologetically to the rear – clearly this is designed to be a great bar, with a rather nice restaurant attached. Neither room is overburdened by atmosphere.

But the staff are warm and solicitous, and the cocktail list is fantastic, in both senses of the word – its creations include lamb and mint-flavoured Sunday roast in a glass, though I wimped out with something involving marmalade vodka, ginger beer, and not a hint of Yorkshire pudding.

Vinegar – The Other Acid

I had my first vine­gar cock­tail back in 2008 at PDT. It was called Paul’s Club Cock­tail, invent­ed by Jim Mee­han. Gin, sim­ple syrup, a shrub made of con­cord grapes and a dash of Ricard. Rel­a­tive­ly sim­ple, but it was a rev­e­la­tion at the time. I liked it imme­di­ate­ly. Vine­gar has been a cultish ingre­di­ent in the cock­tail renais­sance for a few years now, but late­ly the trend has blos­somed.

I began notic­ing vine­gar drinks in greater num­ber a few months ago, short­ly before and after hav­ing attend­ed a sem­i­nar on the sub­ject at Tales of the Cock­tail in July. Two of the speak­ers at that sem­i­nar—Kel­ley Sla­gle and Ash­ley Greene—are quot­ed in the article

The Boy and his poison, No 3 Gin

As for the bottle, it’s a thing of beauty. Apparently the key on the front of the bottle is modelled on the key of the distiller’s parlour door. For the record I have not taken an impression, and I am not going to explore whether is actually works next week.

It’s not a cheap gin by any means (the good booze never is). The best-value stockist is The Whiskey Exchange and it’ll cost you £30.95. Just divide that price by the number of martinis you’ll make – drunken maths is always the best maths.

Avoid alcohol three days a week

A night of drinking should be followed by two or three alcohol-free days, doctors have advised.

The liver needs time to recover if people are consuming more than just a small alcoholic drink, the Royal College of Physicians (RCP) has said.

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