maandag 6 juli 2020

Catch up on those lost apero-moments #inhaalzomer

 
The COVID19 virus has disabled the economy and our lives worldwide for several months. It’s interesting to see how organisations and companies handle this situation.

Supermarket Delhaize launched a great campaign, motivating us to ‘catch up’ on all those lost apero-moments during the lockdown. Let’s spend this summer having several great apero-moments with our small bubbles of friends and family in our homes and gardens. How could you ever disagree on that 😊

A few weeks ago they have sent me a totebag with a few nice surprises : A bottle of gin, a few mixers and a bottled cocktail and mocktail, mixed by Star-tender Hannah Van Ongevalle. They also added some coupons for snacks, to pick up at the local supermarket.

I decided to create a fun apero-moment with our neighbours, followed by a tasty BBQ.

For your inspiration, I’ll share what was in the bottles :

Apero Sur L’Herbe (Cocktail)

Ingredients
Gin
Lemon Juice
Peach-Cherry-Vanilla syrup
Fever Tree Elderflower Tonic


Crispy Carole (Mocktail)


Ingredients
Lemon juice
Non-alcoholic gin-style spirit
Camomille-star anise syrup
Fever Tree Ginger Beer


Spread the idea : Catch up on your lost apero-moments too !


#ecobelgisch #inhaalzomer


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 4 juli 2020

Easy & tasty summer cocktail : Summer Sour

 
Each summer I try to create a new tasty summercocktail. Last year it was the Sunshine Lover, which also made it to the menu of cocktailbar Coaster.

This year I created a summer drink in the style of the Caipirinha de Jerez 
I posted earlier, but added some blood orange juice for a complete makeover. Let’s say it’s a delicious crossover between a Caipirinha and a Daiquiri, with a big splash of sunshine 😉 

Summer Sour


Ingredients
25 ml Angostura 1824 Rum
25 ml Pitú Cachaça
15 ml Fresh lime juice
15 ml Blood orange juice
15 ml simple syrup


Method
Shake with lots of ice. Double strain in a cocktail glass with a big block of ice. Garnish with a dried piece of orange or a cocktail cherry. Pick your choice. Enjoy on a hot sunny terrace. Works pretty good with insalata caprese bites.


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 26 juni 2020

Scallywag - The Stray Dog goes to Italy

 
It’s hot, I would love to be in Italy right now and I really love this Douglas Laing Speyside malt blend. That’s three excuses to mix up one more cocktail based on Scallywag 😉

This whisky has a very recognizable flavour from the sherry casks and I just want to enhance this a little bit more. Some people add a tiny bit of tonic to Negroni-style drinks to take the sharp edge off the bitterness. I did the same with some dry fino sherry. The result is a Boulevardier with a nice sherry-touch.


The Stray Dog goes to Italy


Ingredients
30 ml Campari
45 ml Scallywag Blended Malt Whisky
30 ml Cinzano sweet vermouth
10 ml Tio Pepe Fino sherry


Method
Stir everything together in a large mixglass with lots of ice. Strain into a tumbler with a big block of ice. Add a piece of orange (fresh or dried). Salute !


Tip
I paired this tasty cocktail with a piece of ‘Doré de Lathuy’ Bio-cheese. This is cheese from the Ardennes, made from raw cow milk. This pairing was suggested by cheese master Peter Verbruggen


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.

dinsdag 23 juni 2020

The Stray Dog Returns - Scallywag

 
It’s more or less a year ago that I first played around with Douglas Laing’s Speyside blended malt. Since Speyside is my favourite Scottish Whisky region, I really need to use this great blend more often in tasty cocktails.

Scallywag is a blended malt whisky on 46% alcohol. With casks retrieved from Macallan, Mortlach, Glenrothes, and a few more distilleries. They have a tasty combination of ex-Bourbon and ex-Sherry casks. The color, taste and flavour of this whisky do give the impression that lots of sherry casks were used.

  • Color : Rich and dark
  • Nose : Richly spiced, vanilla, sherry, oak
  • Mouth : Strong whisky with herbs, warm red fruits, Christmas pudding and dark chocolate
  • Finish : Orange peel, apple, pear, tobacco and fruitcake


Last year I have sent the Stray Dog to the Big Apple, in a tasty variation on the Manhattan which I paired with some great cheese. It’s about time to take the next step and bring the Stray Dog back to Scotland for another variation on the Manhattan, adding even more flavours.

The Stray Dog returns

Ingredients
45 ml Scallywag Speyside Blended Malt
20 ml Cinzano sweet vermouth
15 ml Conker Cold Brew Coffee liqueur
20 ml Lemon juice
1 dash Angostura bitters


Method
Add all ingredients in your shaker with lots of ice. Shake for 20 seconds and double strain into a pre-chilled coupe. Add a cocktail cherry. Enjoy it out in the rain, don’t forget your umbrella 😉


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 15 juni 2020

(FAIL!!!) The Iceberg

 
Let me reveal one of the hidden secrets of booze-blogging. When we publish a recipe for a cocktail, do we always create or reshake the drink in just one go? Of course not.

I only publish a recipe (and the photos) when I’m satisfied with the result, even when only the taste needs a bit of tweaking and the problem doesn’t really show on the Instagram photo. If I’m not happy, it’s not posted online.

 
When I’m not satisfied, it’s because something just isn’t right. Maybe the cocktail isn’t perfectly balanced and I need to tweak the recipe. Or maybe I’m not really convinced by one of the ingredients and want to swap it for another ingredient and try again (recently I did this with a bottle of rum)
. Or maybe (not that often, stop laughing!) I made a stupid mistake in the execution making the cocktail.

Sometimes it's not possible to have another try… A while back I already made a list of reasons why bloggers don’t like small samples. 
Let me repeat it shortly, because the former article was in Dutch :
  • Small samples are often only 20 or 30 ml, while you need at least 45 to 50 ml as a base for a cocktail. 
  • When we are creating a cocktail based on a new spirit, sometimes we need multiple takes to just ‘get it right’. If we only have 30 or even 50 ml of the new spirit, we only have one single shot to get it right. If we fail, there is no second chance and no article or post. 
  • Last but not least, a sample tube or mini-bottle is not really sexy on our Instagram photo. For the same reason we hate photographing ‘almost empty’ bottles. A normal size and almost full bottle is always sexy and very recognizable for our followers.
Earlier this week I tried to reshake a more or less classic German cocktail : The Iceberg. This tasty ‘bitter forward’ cocktail is not difficult to make at all, still I succeeded in screwing it up big time.
 
Recently I bought a new mini-blender for my homebar. I was looking for a nice and easy recipe to test the blender. The even parts cocktail “The Iceberg” would be just perfect. Problem: My new blender seems to be A LOT better than the old one. The crushed ice didn’t know what hit it.. in just 4 or 5 seconds the ice was completely vanished. The result was a nice and tasty creamy drink, but no iceberg at all. I added some extra icecubes to the Margarita glass to make it an acceptable drink, but my perfect Instagram photo was completely ruined. And I couldn’t go for a second try because my bottle of tequila was empty and it was the only reposado Tequila in my homebar. Yes, I know that’s a shame. I decided to use this experience for a FAIL-article 😉
 
My advice : if your blender can handle crushing icecubes, the result will be much better. I’ve made lots of Frozen Daiquiris and Frozen Margaritas in the past summers, always using small icecubes with a perfect crushed result.
 
The Iceberg
 
Ingredients
30 ml Tequila reposado (Medium-aged tequila)
30 ml Orgeat Syrup
1 mini-bottle of Underberg
25 ml lemon juice
 
Method
All ingredients in your blender with 1 cup of crushed ice. But I would REALLY recommend icecubes instead, unless you also want to risk screwing up the drink. Blend until it’s smooth as a slushy. Serve in a Margarita- or Martini-glass. Add a metal straw and the empty Underberg-bottle. Cheers !
 
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 12 juni 2020

Ardbeg Sour

 
In the past weeks we joined two great online Ardbeg events : Ardbeg Day and Ardbeg Hour (=whisky tasting). During the last event Brendan McCarron also shared his favourite Ardbeg cocktail recipe. Brendan calls it his own version of the Daiquiri, but for me that name really connects to rum. I’ll just call it the Ardbeg Sour.   

Ardbeg Sour

Ingredients
50 ml Ardbeg 10
20 ml cloudy apple juice
20 ml lime juice
10 ml Vanilla syrup

Method
All ingredients into the shaker with lots of ice. Shake for 30 seconds and strain into a tumbler with a big block of ice. Slainte !

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.

dinsdag 9 juni 2020

Martini on the rocks

 
Warning : If you are a die-hard Martini-enthusiast and you already freak out completely when you hear James Bond order a Martini “shaken, not stirred” (*), you might need to take a pill to calm down before reading on.

In this article I’m talking about a new trend in American bars, or at least a revived trend: Martinis served on ice in a tumbler. Yes, read that again. On the positive side, your drink will stay cool much longer, on the negative side it will water down a little bit because ice will always do that. I tried it and actually liked it. I do like my drinks really cool.

I started from a Dry Martini recipe, because I also wanted to keep the color as transparent as possible. White vermouths often are a bit yellow. The result is a very clear drink in which the block of clear ice completely disappears. 

Martini on the rocks

Ingredients
60 ml Beefeater Gin
20 ml Forest Dry vermouth


Method
Stir the gin and vermouth in a mixglass with lots of ice until perfectly chilled. Strain into a tumbler with a big chunk of ice. Add an olive if you want. I kept it on the side to display the clearness of the drink.


(*) In my opinion James Bond likes his Martinis “shaken, not stirred” because he really wants more dilution. He needs to lower the alcohol to keep his mind clear to combat the villains.

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.