donderdag 21 oktober 2021

Cuberdon Gin: A hero in sustainability


Sometimes a bottle of booze can really give you the wrong idea. My food-blogging wife went to a press event for the launch of a new cookbook and brought home a bottle of Cuberdon Gin in the giftbag, made by Holy Water Gin. In case you don’t know a Cuberdon: it’s a popular sweet from the region of Ghent, the taste is extremely sweet and fruity. 

At first, I thought the gin would be terribly sweet too, but I was wrong. It’s a very floral gin, the Cuberdon is mainly in the aroma. The gin is made with juniper, coriander, cardamom seeds, Cuberdon, angelica root, orris root, orange peel and lavender.

It’s a nice gin, but this time I can tell much more about the bottle. Since we all have to think a bit more about sustainability, this brand did something extraordinary with their bottle. Minimising their ecological footprint is a primary goal for this brand. The bottle doesn’t have a label glued to the glass, but the info about the gin is printed on a paper label that is hanging loose on the bottle. You can easily remove it and reuse the bottle for something else. It’s a beautiful vintage bottle that looks stunning on any home bar or bar cart. You can reuse it for any other liquid, or transform it into a mood light. You can also reuse the bottle as a candle holder and the stopper will also fit on Champagne bottles. The paper label at last can be reused as a bookmark. 

I tasted the gin neat to explore aroma and taste. Next, I made a delicious Gin & Tonic with Grapefruit & Rosemary tonic by The London Essence. At last, I also mixed up a Gin Sour with freshly squeezed lemon juice and simple syrup. With a good base spirit, you don’t need to do crazy things. Just a basic recipe will give you a nice drink to enjoy. 

Disclaimer: All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations. 

maandag 18 oktober 2021

Viper Reviver


Sometimes you spot a recipe and you just want to mix it and taste it. That’s what I did when I saw this ‘Viper Reviver’. It’s a very tasty variation on the Corpse Reviver 2.

Viper Reviver

Ingredients
30 ml Drebbel Gin
15 ml Blue Curacao
15 ml Lillet Blanc
15 ml Fresh lemon juice
15 ml Pineapple juice
A dash of Absinthe for the rinse

Method
Add everything but the Absinthe to your shaker with lots of ice and give it a good shake. Rinse the glass with Absinthe and cool it with ice. Discard everything from the glass and fine strain the cocktail. It’s nice to use pineapple leaves for garnish, but I didn’t have any so I opted for this amareno cherry. 

Disclaimer: All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.

vrijdag 15 oktober 2021

Fruity Jack Old Fashioned


Just a few more weeks and we reach my favourite week of the year, the Old Fashioned Week. Of course also this year we will share several delicious Old Fashioned recipes. Let’s get a head start with a small variation on our last post. 

Jack’s Fruity Old Fashioned

Ingredients
50 ml Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey
7 ml Simple Syrup
1 barspoon of Apricot Marmalade
1 dash of orange bitters

Method
The best way to mix this drink is to stir it up in stages. Add the Marmalade to your glass with bitters and 10 ml of whisky. Add a splash of soda. Muddle the marmalade to dissolve it. Add two ice cubes. Add 20 ml whisky. Stir. Add more ice. Add the last 20 ml whisky. Stir again. Add more ice. Garnish with orange peel of a dehydrated orange slice and serve with a dark chocolate to complete the experience. Enjoy.

P.S. During the Old Fashioned Week next month, this cocktail will also be available on the suggestions menu at Paal 26 Grand Café.

Disclaimer : All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.

woensdag 13 oktober 2021

'X' by Glenmorangie


A couple of years ago Belroy’s started to distill and blend spirits with the single goal that they would work just perfect for many cocktail recipes. I always thought that was a great idea and their vodka is one of the best I have tasted so far. It seems that this year the same idea is picked up by a few large distillers and brands. 

You could say that every whisky can be used for mixing. That’s true, but a proper mixologist will always mix and match the spirits based on taste and aroma. Creating a whisky that will be perfect for lots of mixes is another story. 

A few months ago Glenmorangie launched “X”. On the bottle it states clearly “Made for mixing”. This whisky has a slightly sweeter and richer taste which will absolutely stand out when mixed with any kind of mixer, or used in a cocktail. Just use 50 ml of whisky with 75 ml of mixer. The whisky is also perfect for low alcohol drinks where you use only 30 ml of whisky with your favourite mixer. I attended a webinar with Jan Van Ongevalle who suggested “X” highballs with following mixers : 

  • Lipton Peach Ice Tea
  • Coca Cola Signature Mixers “Woody”
  • Soda water
  • Ginger Beer

I asked what he thought was needed to create a tasty cocktail with cold drip coffee. The answer was “a bit a pear juice”. Certainly trying that too. But you know I absolutely love Old Fashioned cocktails, let’s start with that… 

X-O Fashioned

Ingredients
50 ml ‘X’ by Glenmorangie
A generous barspoon (or even two barspoons) of apricot marmalade
A dash of orange bitters
A splash of soda (sparkling water. I often use Perrier for this purpose)

Method
The best way to mix this drink is to stir it up in stages. Add the Marmalade to your glass with bitters and 10 ml of whisky. Add a splash of soda. Muddle the marmalade to dissolve it. Add two ice cubes. Add 20 ml whisky. Stir. Add more ice. Add the last 20 ml whisky. Stir again. Add more ice. Garnish with orange peel of a dehydrated orange slice. Enjoy.

P.S. Watch out for next article, I made another variation on this recipe.

Disclaimer : All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.

zondag 10 oktober 2021

Amortentia (Harry Potter Cocktail)


My wife, daughter and my wife’s best friend were organising a ‘Harry Potter Night’ on Saturday evening. All three of them are big fans of the Harry Potter movies. They picked their favourite movie from the series and were even doing a complete themed dinner. My daughter was wearing her Hogwarts shirt. Of course, they asked me to mix up a themed cocktail.

I made my take on the famous Amortentia Love Potion. Sometimes it’s made as a simple mix of cranberry juice, vodka and grenadine syrup. I searched for a more complex-flavoured recipe to make my variation. I wanted to use Drebbel Gin, which actually sounds like it’s from a Harry Potter movie anyway 😉   

Amortentia

Ingredients
40 ml Aperol
40 ml Pomegranate juice
25 ml Drebbel Gin
75 ml Prosecco

Method
Add Aperol, pomegranate juice and gin to your shaker with lots of ice. Shake hard for 15 seconds. Strain in a cocktail- or coppa glass with lots of fresh ice. Add chilled Prosecco and give it just one or two gentle stirs. Garnish with raspberries and pomegranate.

P.S. This cocktail is also perfect for pre-batching. But do remember not to shake the bottle !!!

Disclaimer: All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations. 

woensdag 6 oktober 2021

The Slightly Yellow Dirty Dog - Mellow Corn


Each year I seem to discover a few spirits that are somehow ‘different’ and really leave their mark in my memory. This year I had this feeling with Eddu buckwheat whisky from Normandy (FR), but also with this old-school Mellow Corn from Kentucky (US). For starters they might get the prize for least attractive labelling. But this screaming yellow bottle does have a nice surprise inside.

Mellow Corn is a Straight Corn Whiskey, which seems to be the predecessor of Bourbon. With this bottle we are absolutely going retro in booze-history.

Mashbill: 80% Corn, 12% Malted Barley and 8% Rye. Bottled at 100-Proof (50% Alcohol). Aged four years in a once-used bourbon barrel. The result is a lighter, straw coloured spirit. Heaven Hill is one of the last distillers that still produces this unique Straight Corn Whiskey.

My followers know I like a good Bourbon, so you can already imagine that I also like this whiskey. With 80% corn it’s pretty sweet, but at the same time it has a lot of spicy influences.

  • Nose: Oak and delicate spices
  • Taste: Full-bodied and textured, with a softly spiced sweetness.
  • Finish: Sweet and chewy like a Barbadian rum.

Americans love to drink Bourbon, chased by a shot of pickle brine. They call this combination the pickleback. This tradition shows that “pickled” matches really good with corn whiskey. That brought me to the idea to use this whiskey for a variation on the Dirty Martini. I know that back in the days of illegal moonshine, they already did this with unaged spirit and called it the ‘Dirty White Dog’.

Slightly Yellow Dirty Dog

Ingredients
50 ml Mellow Corn Whiskey
20 ml Leoncé vermouth
10 ml Olive brine

Method
Add everything to your mixglass with lots of ice. Stir for 30 seconds. Strain in a chilled Martini glass. Add an olive.

Disclaimer : All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.

maandag 4 oktober 2021

Mom Gin Love


Watch out Moms, there’s a new sister in town !!!

Mom Gin, the popular Gin brand by Gonzalez Byass, released the third bottling of their spirit, still targeting our queens. This time they released a pink gin, still with lots of sweet strawberry flavours. They infused the gin again with strawberries after the fourth distillation. The result is a very fruity and easy sipping gin with a soft finish.

I’m not really a big fan of sweet gins. Sometimes even in cocktails, they seem pretty hard to balance. Do I like this bottle? I think I like it best pure on ice in a tumbler, as a companion for a sweet dessert. Hold the tonic, for me it’s optional but not really necessary.  

Disclaimer: All pictures and texts are copyrighted by Geert Conard and Esito Management & Communications unless stated otherwise in the article. While some items might have been gifted by the producer or distributor, these are in no way paid promotions or recommendations.