donderdag 13 mei 2021

Happy World Cocktail Day !!! - Green Martini


I’ve always been very much into everything retro and vintage. These days, my 70s childhood is already considered vintage too… and I have to admit I love it. The furniture and drinks from the 60s and 70s were fabulous. Even until the early 80s each bar served these flashy drinks based on Blue Curacao, Safari, Malibu, Passoa… and the liquid rockstar of every bar : Pisang Ambon. Even back then you could buy much better Banana liqueurs (e.g. CrΓ¨me de Banane), but everyone wanted a flashy green drink. 

This week we also received a new bottle of gin. Drebbel Gin is a handcrafted London Dry gin from Holland. Distilled alcohol from French corn. Juniper from Macedonia, Orris Root from Italy, Coriander seeds from Morocco, Angelica root and fresh lemons from the south of Spain. Ginger and Liquorice from India and vanilla from Madagascar. Like any good London Dry gin you can enjoy this one neat, with a cube of ice or with a nice bitter tonic. I used it as the supporting spirit in this vintage Martini from my youth.  

For this years #WorldcocktailDay, let’s get nostalgic and hitchhike back to the 70s. Throw on some Abba or Beach Boys music on high volume and spin that disco-ball. I started from an old vodka cocktail recipe and adapted it for this boozy holiday. 

Green Martini

Ingredients
40 ml Drebbel Gin
40 ml Pisang Ambon
20 ml Lime juice
Vanilla aroma. 

Method
Add Pisang, gin and lime juice to a shaker with lots of ice. Shake for 10 seconds and fine strain in a Martini glass. Carefully add two drops of vanilla aroma on top. Garnish with a 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.

woensdag 12 mei 2021

Port of New York


My foodblogging better half loves to cook and bake. Some days she shouts from the kitchen to ask if I can use an eggwhite… That calls for a nice sour cocktail. 

A well-known variation of the Whisky Sour is the New York Sour. It’s more or less the same whisky sour, but with a red wine float carefully added on top. I mixed up another variation, switching the red wine for a nice and fruity red port. 

This absolutely is not the same drink as a New York Sour. Port is a bit heavier and richer than red wine, so it won’t stay on top as a nice float… it will turn your drink into something that almost reminded me of a psychedelic 70s lava lamp πŸ˜‰. 

So, this drink might not look like a million dollars, but the taste is excellent. At first I was in doubt to use it for the blog, but my wife actually loved the strange look of it. So here it is…  

Port of New York

Ingredients
50 ml Douglas Laing Timorous Beastie
30 ml Lemon juice
10 ml Honey syrup
Eggwhite
A splash of Graham’s Six Grapes Port

Method
Add everything but the port to a shaker without ice. Give it a good dryshake. Add some ice and shake again to cool the drink. Double Strain in a tumbler with fresh ice. Add a splash of port wine on top. 

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 7 mei 2021

Fruit Basket for Mother's Day - Mom Gin


Mom Gin is certainly a well-known brand on this blog. It was probably one of the very first bottles I ever received for my blog, to create a cocktail for Mother’s Day. This year, a Dutch press agency asked if I could do that again. They send us a bottle and asked to create a new cocktail for this year’s Mother’s Day. Yes, this Sunday is Mother’s Day, so hurry up if you forgot about it πŸ˜‰ – Posting this a few days earlier so you still have time to get the ingredients for this delicious drink !!!

Mom Gin is owned by Gonzalez Byass and is distilled in the UK. It’s a 4x distilled premium gin with red berries and exotic botanicals. I would not label it as a sweet gin, the result is a very aromatic and fruity spirit. In the nose lots of red berries, strawberries, raspberries, lemon and coriander. The same fruity notes come back in the mouth, together with some cherry and liquorice. I want to build further on those fruity notes and really go all the way with fruity flavors.

My mom passed away many years ago, but I’ll make this drink for my wife, who’s also a fantastic mother to our daughter. 

Fruit Basket

Ingredients
60 ml Mom Gin
40 ml Pineapple juice
20 ml Orange juice
20 ml Lime Juice 
5 ml Mango puree

Method
Add everything to a shaker with lots of ice. Shake hard for 15 seconds, strain in a coppa glass with fresh ice. Serve with strawberries and a kiss πŸ˜‰ #HappyMothersDay 

Tip
I’m always a fan of keeping things simple. In some supermarkets you can find a mixed juice with pineapple, orange and mango that’s pretty close to the right measures for this drink. If you buy a pack of those, you only have to add Gin and lime juice. 

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 4 mei 2021

Experiment : Rum & Cola, but without the cola - Caracas Nectar


Sometimes it seems like things just happen to complete your story… By accident I didn’t receive the normal “sample kit” for the new Caracas Nectar Rum. I received a “distributors kit” which also included four aroma-samples that help you detect the most important aromas in this rum. The four main aromas that you can find in Caracas Nectar are : Banana, Cola, Cacao and fig

In non-Covid years on the first of May we always visit the “Radio 2 Garden Day”, a huge plants-fair where we buy a bunch of herb-plants directly from the producers. Because of COVID-measures, this event couldn’t take place this year, so we drove directly to the plantation of our favorite herbs-producer: Sanguisorba in Ranst. 

Bart Belmans has a true passion for herbs and grows lots of forgotten and medicinal herbs, next to your everyday mint and strawberry.

One of the special herbs I discovered in the greenhouses was the “Artimesia Abrotanum Maritima”, also known as the “Cola-herb”. This plant from the Absinthe-family smells exactly like cola and you can even use it to add subtle flavors to drinks. 

Let’s try a unique experiment. I’m going to make a ‘Rum & Cola’, which contains no cola at all. There is the cola-aroma in the rum itself and the intense cola-aroma of the herbal garnish. Tasting is actually 90% smell and 10% taste. In this drink you sip the rum, but your senses will experience the aroma of ‘Rum & Cola’. Your mind will be tricked into believing you’re tasting a ‘Rum & Cola’.

Does it really taste like a ‘Rum & Cola’? Of course not, but it really screws your mind because there is that hint of cola in the rum and the smell of cola in the garnish. It’s almost like a mental cocktail. What a great and fun experience. I think I will repeat this experiment in a few weeks when the plant has grown and I can cut off more garnish. You need a nice bush of this herb on top of your drink to get the right effect. 

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 30 april 2021

Bardot en Saint-Tropez - Maman Brigitte Rum


Last week I watched the product presentation of ‘Maman Brigitte’, a blended rum by (R)asta Morris, the independent bottling brand of Bert Bruyneel. We also got some cocktail suggestions by Noa Van Ongevalle, leading lady of cocktailbar The Pharmacy in Knokke. 

Maman Brigitte is a blend of 8yo Barbados rum, 5yo Dominican rum and 3yo Jamaican rum.

The Foursquare Barbados rum really puts its mark on the flavour profile of this blend. I don’t taste a very typical sweet rum flavour. The first dominant aroma is against all expectations citrus. This opens lots of opportunities for a nice fruity summer cocktail. The Dominican rum adds herbal and spicy notes. The Jamaican rum adds ‘funkiness’ due to the high amount of esters*. (Esters are natural compounds that are created through chemical reactions during the fermentation process when yeast mixes with molasse)

The character “Maman Brigitte” is a Goddess in the Voodoo legends of Haiti. She was the wife of Baron Samedi. She’s a goddess of life, death, justice, motherhood, fertility, cemeteries, crosses, gravestones, women, souls of deceased relatives, obscenities and passion. But of course there have been lots of famous Brigitte’s throughout history, so I picked my own choice for this delicious summer cocktail. I made one of these for my wife and when I asked her the next day what she wanted to drink, she replied “The same as yesterday”. 

P.S. During the online masterclass, Noa mixed up a tasty Zombie cocktail with 50 ml Maman Brigitte, 30 ml lime juice and 20 ml homemade falernum syrup. 

Bardot en Saint-Tropez

Ingredients
45 ml Maman Brigitte Blended rum
30 ml Triple Sec
40 ml Pineapple Juice
30 ml Lime juice

Method
Add all ingredients to a shaker with lots of ice. Shake for 10 seconds, double strain in a Martini glass. Add a 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.

dinsdag 27 april 2021

Graham's Port & Tonic


It’s springtime and we’re counting down the weeks to summer. Pubs and bars will also soon be allowed to re-open. Bring on those refreshing, fruity summer drinks. 

Gin & Tonic is still one of the most popular drinks, but maybe gin isn’t 100% your thing? 
Would you rather have a similar refreshing drink which has much more fruity flavors? 
Why not try a Port & Tonic.

Port & Tonic

Ingredients
50 ml Graham’s Blend Nr. 5 White Port
100 ml Indian tonic

Method
Add the port to a longdrink or coppa glass with lots of ice. Top with tonic and give it just one good stir. Garnish with a half slice of dehydrated grapefruit.

More
If you want some more flavors, try adding some fresh mint and lime to the glass. 

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 24 april 2021

Marama Origins Indonesia Rum


Some bottles sound so mysterious, I really need to taste them pure to experience the taste and aroma to the fullest. On the bottle of this Marama Origins Indonesia it says “Spirit drink, made with spiced rum, distilled in Indonesia”. Let’s be honest, this is not your average bottle of rum. 

I would probably just call it a “spiced rum”, made from Indonesian sugar cane and distilled in a continuous column still. The taste is also pretty different from your usual rum, because they use plants and fruits that are typical for Indonesia. Vanilla and Galanga root are the primary botanicals. 

Presented in a beautiful bottle we see a dark amber colored rum with aromas of spices and ginger, next to fruity notes of dried fruits like plums and raisins. In the mouth it’s a pretty sweet rum, with a refreshing citrus touch.  

I enjoyed a glass of this spirit, pure with a big block of ice. Next, I also tried a very simple sour with 25 ml of lemon and 10 ml of simple syrup. This would pair pretty good with a nice piece of dark chocolate.

The result was very different from any other rum (or Daiquiri) I’ve tasted before, but certainly tasty. If you want to taste a very different kind of rum, you might give this a shot πŸ˜‰ 

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.