woensdag 3 juni 2020

Verhofstede Edelweiss Gin + 2 cocktails

 
This is our second blog in the series we do together with Foodbelgium.com – Links with promo’s and FREE items at the bottom of this article.

Are there still well-known classics that haven’t really been featured on this blog yet? How about this cool and refreshing Tom Collins with a nice base of Edelweiss gin ?
This gin by Verhofstede 
holds 20 botanicals and is produced with water from the Edelweiss source. The gin has floral and citrus notes and a nice and sweet finish. It received the silver medal on the Concours Mondial in Brussels.

Tom Collins


Ingredients
5 cl Verhofstede Edelweiss Gin
3 cl lemon juice
1,5 cl Simple Syrup
Perrier


Method
Shake the gin, lemon and sugar with lots of ice. Strain into a highball glass with fresh ice. Add soda water. I really like Perrier for this because it has just the right amount of bubbles. Garnish with fresh or dried lemon. Perfect drink to cool down on a hot day πŸ˜‰


And even more !!!
At our home we really like all things vintage and retro. That’s probably what I also like most about the Verhofstede spirits. They use old family recipes to create modern day drinks. Another Belgian company who does this is Ritchie
They have a range of vintage lemonades, which are very enjoyable and can now be found in several supermarkets.

The original lemonades dropped off the market in the 70s. Jan Verlinden, son of the former brewer, quit his marketing job in 2016, refreshed the old recipes (less sugar etc.) and brought them back to the market. They even have a natural coke without caramel or phosphor acid. Jan is the 4th generation running the brewery in Lubbeek, near Leuven.

The coke and the grapefruit lemonade both mix excellent with rum. I wanted to sample the orange lemonade and also give it a spike. This time it’s not a Gin Ricky, but a Gin Ritchie πŸ˜‰


Gin Ritchie


Ingredients
5 cl Verhofstede Edelweiss Gin
1 bottle of Ritchie Orange


Method
Add your gin to a tumbler with ice. Top up with Ritchie lemonade. Give it a single stir. Garnish with a dried orange slice. Cheers !


Buy now
Verhofstede Promopage 
  
Edelweiss Gin 20 CL (+ FREE apero mix)
 
Edelweiss Gin 50 CL (+ FREE Gimber)

 
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. Affiliate links present in this article.

maandag 1 juni 2020

Negroniweek postponed to september - Can we serve a tikidrink in Italian style ?

 
Normally the Negroniweek 2020 would have started today. Because of the COVID19 pandemic and the big challenges bars all around the world have to face when they reopen, the Negroniweek has been postponed.

Negroniweek 2020 will now take place September 14-20.
But just for fun and to keep spirits up, let’s do a Negroni-style drink with Campari, a nice spirit and a tastemaker πŸ˜‰

Why not try to do a crossover between a tikidrink and a traditional Italian aperitivo?
Is that even possible? Most tikidrinks are slightly messy, often served by ‘dirty dumping’ the content of the shaker into a large glass or tiki-mug. What if we create a very simple tikidrink, but serve it like a clean Italian aperitivo?


For the base of this drink I selected Bacardi Cuatro. First I had another try with World’s End Tiki rum, but I wasn’t 100% convinced by the result. I do however use some World’s End Falernum and finish with Campari.


By the way: Italians do love their tikidrinks too. The best tikibar I have visited until today, was probably an Italian bar, Nu Lounge Bar in Bologna. The totally crazy pirates of Tortuga Bar in Durbuy are pretty high on my personal list too.

Tiki in Italia

Ingredients
50 ml Bacardi Cuatro
20 ml World’s End Falernum
20 ml Campari
10 ml Simple syrup
Tonic


Method
Add rum, falernum, sugar and Campari to a shaker with lots of ice. Shake for 20 seconds and strain into your favourite tumbler with a clean block of ice.
Top off with a few dashes of tonic to take the edge off. Add a single 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.

donderdag 28 mei 2020

Are you ready for Ardbeg Day 2020 ?

 
This morning we welcomed a very special visitor at our offices. Maria Papadopoulou, brand manager for Glenmorangie and Ardbegcame by to drop off a few bottles and invite us to participate in Ardbeg Day 2020.

Do you like Ardbeg? In one of the bistros I frequently visit, I usually drink a cocktail with a strong base of Ardbeg, which is described in the menu with “It’s like licking an ashtray” πŸ˜‰. So yes, Ardbeg is peated whisky from Islay. 


Usually held on the final Saturday of Islay’s Festival of Music and Malt (FΓ¨is Ìle), Ardbeg Day is a global, annual celebration of all things Ardbeg. This year, with the festival sadly cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, Ardbeg is taking its celebrations online, and inviting malt whisky lovers everywhere to join them as they toast two incredible decades of the Ardbeg Committee. They are all set for the biggest day in their virtual whisky calendar as the team prepares to beam the party right into the living rooms, studies, spare bedrooms and garages of Ardbeggians everywhere. Tune in to the Ardbeg Facebook page next Saturday, 30th May at 20h. It will be a two hour event and we expect a lot !!!


And after the event ?

Just one week later, Saturday 6th June, we will participate in Ardbeg Hour, the online whisky-tasting which will be broadcasted live on YouTube. Hense the bottles which were delivered today πŸ˜‰.

Brendan Mc Carron, Head of Maturing Whisky Stocks will guide us through these Ardbeg expressions:
  • Ardbeg 10Y Old
  • Ardbeg An Oa
  • Ardbeg Corryvreckan
  • Ardbeg Blaaack (=feisty Limited Edition bottled in celebration of the Ardbeg Committee’s 20th Anniversary)
After the event we will post a link to the recorded session on our Facebook page. Looking forward to both these events !

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.

Verhofstede Hop Jenever - Dry Gibson

 
Great news !!! I have teamed up with foodbelgium.com – This is a webshop with authentic Belgian food and drinks. They have asked me to test some of the bottles on their “Jenever, liqueur and distillates” pages. All products we will be testing in the next weeks and months can be purchased through direct links in the articles, often with free extra’s or specials promotions for our followers.

In this first article we got to play around with Verhofstede Hop Jenever. This local distiller 
started creating this product in 1961 by an old family recipe, based on the wild hops growing around their property. The hops create a silky finish for this traditional jenever. Did you know that jenever existed 200 years before the first mentioning of cognac… and that jenever is the more complex predecessor of gin?

To highlight the silky finish, we didn’t want to mask it too much with other flavours. Our first thought was a Dry Martini, but I was afraid the umami taste of the olive would change the taste too much. I picked a Dry Gibson instead, swapping the olive for a pickled onion. I used a can of pickled onions, pickled with barrel aged apple vinegar.


Pickled Martinis are real bartenders’ drinks. Very complex taste. The Dry Gibson just might be the easiest first babysteps toward this ‘pickled’ direction. It’s a fresh and silky Martini-style cocktail that will be loved by most spirit-forward enthusiasts.


Dry Gibson


Ingredients
6 cl Verhofstede Hop Jenever
2 cl Forest Dry vermouth


Method
Add the Jenever and vermouth to a mixglass with lots of ice. Stir for 20 seconds and strain into a chilled Martiniglass. Add a pickled onion.


Buy Now
Verhofstede Promopage 
  
Hop Jenever 20 CL (+ FREE apero mix) 
 
Hop Jenever 70 CL (+ FREE Gimber)

 
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 25 mei 2020

Kiss My Hand Sanitizer

 
Big shoutout to all distillers on this planet who stepped up to the plate and produced sanitizing alcohol for hospitals in the past weeks. From Jack Daniel’s in Tennessee to Filliers in Deinze, from very large companies like Diageo to small local distillers like Massy in Houthalen. Thank you.

Today I want to highlight just one of many great initiatives by another small producer.
Kiss My Drinks 
is a local producer of ‘out of the box’ vermouts, two brothers who are reviving old recipes from their grandparents. Their vermouts are used in several Michelin star restaurants and to be honest, the restaurant and bar businesses are the largest part of their customers. Needless to say that COVID19 also hit very hard on their business.

While trying to keep their business alive, they also wanted to do something to help others who were also hit very hard by this crisis. Many distillers have produced alcohol for hospitals at extreme low prices, to help combat COVID19. The Kiss My brothers know that bars and restaurants will also face very big difficulties when they are finally allowed to restart their business. So they created their own help-plan.

Kiss My launches their own hand sanitizer, with a great bonus. For each bottle sold, one bottle is going to a local Belgian bar or restaurant for FREE. You can buy a 500 ml bottle at their webshop 
#redhoreca #savethebars #savetherestaurants

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 24 mei 2020

The Bicicletta, the older kind of Spritz

 
The Spritz is still one of the most popular summer-cocktails and I’m sure doing my best to support that position by enjoying lots of them during the long hot summer. It’s one of the most refreshing drinks, served on lots of ice. And at the same time it’s a perfect bittersweet aperitif.

Last year I wrote a pretty long article (in dutch) 
on the origin of the Spritz, mentioning that the recipe changed in the beginning of last era. Originally the Spritz was made with still wine and sparkling water. The Select Spritz, originated in Venice, was probably the first which used Prosecco instead of white wine. The Aperol Spritz which is the most popular Spritz today also uses Prosecco, but only became popular after the second Word War.

The ‘Bicicletta’ is another Italian name for the Spritz. The story says this drink was named after the men who swerved all over the road on their bikes, driving home after too many afternoon drinks at the cafΓ©.


In the early 1900s the quality and balance of cocktails was probably not what we are used to today. In the US moonshine was served illegally in speakeasy bars, using lots of sugar to mask the bad alcohol.  Drinks were rougher and more in one direction. The Bicicletta is a bitter-forward drink, made with typical Italian aperitifs. It’s an even part mix of Campari, dry Italian wine from the Veneto region and soda water. Do yourself a favour and use Italian wine and water to get the right feel for this drink.


San Pellegrino is produced in Bergamo, a region which has been hit very hard by the COVID19 virus and can use all our support. The first Campari production plant is located near Milano. All three products are produced in the north of Italy, between Milano and Venice.


 
The Bicicletta


Ingredients
6 cl Campari
6 cl Pinot Grigio delle Venezie (dry white wine)
6 cl San Pellegrino (soda water)


Method
For this drink we use a wineglass, not the rounder coppa glass which is used for your typical Aperol Spritz. Add the Campari and white wine to your glass. Fill up with icecubes and give it a stir. Add the soda water and give it one last stir. Garnish with a dried slice of orange.


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.

zaterdag 16 mei 2020

Man O'War - Is there a hidden bar on a battleship ?

 
I really love to use old classic recipes and give them a modern boost with new and exciting spirits.

The Man O’War is a cocktail named after one of the very best racehorses in the American racing history. In the years 1919-1920 this horse competed in 21 races and won 20 times. Man O’War also refers to a warship, which sparked my curiosity πŸ˜‰


The original recipe is prepared with bourbon, but I chose a more herbal touch with Knob Creek Rye Whiskey. The home-made orange liqueur is actually arancello. We used an old Italian (secret) family-recipe for limoncello, but swapped the lemons for oranges. Nobody got killed. That last remark is for Godfather-fans only πŸ˜‰

Is there a hidden bar on a battleship ?

Ingredients
5 cl Knob Creek Rye Whiskey
3 cl Home-made Orange Liqueur (You can also use Cointreau or Triple Sec, but it will change the color of the drink)
1 cl Sweet Vermouth
1 cl Fresh lemon juice

Method
There’s juice in it, so it needs to be shaken. Add everything to your shaker with lots of ice. Shake for 20 seconds and double strain in a large cognac glass. Garnish with a sweet cocktail 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.