vrijdag 25 september 2020

Autumn is coming


A new season has started, October is just around the corner. Most cocktailbars are preparing for their new menu. Dark evenings call for dark spirits, slightly stronger ‘slow sipping’ cocktails and typical autumn ingredients such as apple, pear, nuts, cinnamon, … 

Let’s do that too ­čśë

I’m using Spytail Ginger Rum as the base for this drink. Don’t let the ‘ginger’ scare you because it’s certainly not overwhelming. It’s a subtle flavour in a tasty rum. Spytail is a French rum brand, known for having their rum aged on cognac barrels. We tested their ‘normal’ rum a while back, this time we’re playing with the ginger infused rum. 



Autumn is coming

Ingredients
40 ml Spytail Ginger Rum
20 ml Ron Colon Salvadoreno high proof rum
10 ml Vanilla syrup
20 ml Cloudy apple juice
Cinnamon and nutmeg

Method
Put the rum, syrup and juice in a shaker with lots of ice. Shake for 20 seconds. Strain in a tumbler with a nice block of ice. Grate some cinnamon and nutmeg on top. Garnish with a large cinnamon stick. 

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 23 september 2020

The Wet & Dry Martini


When it comes to Martinis, I like them either dry or dirty. And when I like them dry, I really mean dry. Not like Winston Churchill who only glanced at the vermouth-bottle from across the room, but still pretty dry. 

Usually I make my Martinis with a dry vermouth, but for this one I really wanted to experiment with sherry, which is of course a very dry fortified wine. It took me a while to get it right and it was another blogger, Matthias, who gave me the ‘split wine’ tip that solved my problem. 

It doesn’t matter if you want your Martini wet or dry, adjust the measures between gin and wines as you please. But do try mixing sherry and vermouth. It works like a charm in this ‘Wet & Dry Martini’.

Wet because you can make it as wet as you want (=using more wines), dry because we are using dry vermouth and a pretty dry sherry. 

The Wet & Dry Martini

Ingredients
60 ml London Dry Gin
10 ml Dry vermouth
10 ml Amontillado sherry
1 dash orange bitters

Method
Stir in a mixing glass with lots of ice. Long enough, you really want this drink to be cold. 
Strain in a prechilled Martini glass. Add a single olive or lemon twist. 

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 22 september 2020

Glenmorangie - A Tale of Cake + Pairing with ├ęclair !!!


Dr. Bill Lumsden, Master Whisky Maker at Glenmorangie, aged some of his whisky on Tokaj barrels (=the famous Hongarian dessert wine) resulting in a true taste-bomb for your sweet tooth : Honey, vanilla, passion fruit, pear, … It threw him back to his childhood years and the cakes he made with his grandmother. This whisky is absolutely perfect to pair with a nice piece of cake. The distillery worked with Dominique Ansel, the French p├ótissier who invented the cronut. 

Back to Belgium – A couple of weeks ago I was lucky to receive a 50ml sample of this brand new whisky. But because it was just a small sample, I was also very limited in options. When I pour it in a glass, the empty bottle isn’t sexy anymore. And it’s really not enough whisky to do some cocktail experiments. Inspired by the story of the creation of this whisky, I decided to go for a pretty Instagram picture of the sample together with a nice piece of cake. I was thinking about the fantastic ├ęclairs my local baker had sold back in June during the ‘Week of the ├ęclair’. So I asked him if he could still make those… the answer was no.  

But Peter is not your average baker. He likes challenges, he likes whisky and he is very passionate about taste. 

I sparked his interest with this story and he suggested creating a brand new ├ęclair with some of this whisky in the filling. Now that’s an awesome idea. I contacted the P.R. agency and managed to get him another small sample of the whisky. 

A few days later he came back with this: 

“A Tale of Cake” Eclair – By Peter Bosmans

This ├ęclair has a delicious filling of salty caramel, roasted almond flakes and a cake that also has roasted almond flakes in its mix. The cake is sauced with Glenmorangie ‘A Tale of Cake’ whisky and sugar syrup. On top of the cake there is a mousse of passionfruit and mango. To finish the top part of the ├ęclair is decorated with gold spray and sponge cake. It looks absolutely amazing. 

The different flavours of the filling match the flavours of the whisky. The colors match the colors of the bottle and box. That’s what I call a perfect pairing. 

And yes, this ├ęclair absolutely tastes as good as it looks. 

I hope this can inspire some others to also create stuff like this ­čśŐ 

Bakkerij Bosbroek  
Peter & Katrien Bosmans-Vandebroek
Kroonstraat 46
3581 Beverlo
Belgium

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 19 september 2020

The Fake Barrel Aged Bottled Frozen Negroni


I have done this experiment before, but not for such a long time. So I’m very excited to see how it worked out. And I will combine it with something else I learned recently. 

On the first of April (I’m not joking) my wife was preserving some vegetables in the kitchen and sealing them in plastic bags. I thought to myself, why not repeat my fake barrel aging experiment…

So I went upstairs to my homebar and added the classical three ingredients for a Negroni into a plastic bag. I also added a few extra charred wood pieces of Jack Daniel’s barrels. I intended this experiment to “age” until June, when I could taste it for the #Negroniweek. But COVID-19 paralysed the world and #Negroniweek was postponed until the second half of September. I decided to keep the bag in the back of my fridge until it was time to taste it. 

So this is it. Three years ago I did this same experiment but only “aged” my cocktail for a month. This time I had it aging for 5,5 months. 

The day before the tasting I opened the bag and strained the cocktail through a coffee filter. The clean cocktail was poured into a small jar and put in the freezer for another night. 

Important remark : I didn’t add water to the recipe, so I’m still going to stir this cocktail with some ice in a mixing glass before serving. I want my Negroni to have a bit of dilution-water.  

What was the result of this “Fake barrel aged frozen bottled Negroni” ? At least it goes on record as the Negroni with the longest or craziest name ? ­čśë 

Of course you immediately recognize the typical bold Negroni flavours, but after those first seconds you also notice the deeper layers. The oak and vanilla flavours of the Jack Daniels casks are clearly present. No sharp edges, but rounded and tasty… takes me right back to Italy !

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 15 september 2020

Negroniweek 2020 - Frozen Negroni


A few days ago I shared my Frozen bottled Martini experiment. At the same time I also put a Frozen Negroni in my freezer and waited for the #Negroniweek to get it out and taste it.

For this experiment I picked Hotel Starlino Rosso vermouth, made in Torino, Italy. While their Ros├ę and Arancione aperitivos are aged in stainless steel containers, the Rosso vermouth is aged for 30 days in ex-bourbon barrels from Kentucky. This will add a warm, spicy aroma and flavour.   

People who follow my #drinkstagram adventures probably already know that I’m a sucker for all things vintage and retro. Just look at that great Starlino bottle and label. Isn’t it fantastic? It looks awesome on a vintage bar trolley. 

I really wanted to experience the effect of the freezing, so I didn’t go wild on the ingredients. 

Frozen Negroni

Ingredients
30 ml Campari https://www.campari.com/
30 ml Beefeater Gin https://www.beefeatergin.com/
30 ml Starlino Rosso Vermouth https://www.thestarlino.com/
20 ml water

Method
Add everything to a small bottle and put it in the freezer. Chill your Martini-glass or coupe. Add the cocktail straight from the bottle into the glass. Garnish with a (dried or fresh) slice of orange.

Can you still serve this Frozen Negroni in a tumbler with a big block of ice? Of course you can. The water in the bottle replaces the dilution when shaking or stirring. It doesn’t replace the ice in your glass. It’s your choice, but because it’s stone cold when served, I’d go for a nice coupe. 

Tip : Want something extra? Give your glass a rinse with a slight bit of Absinthe or anisette. 

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 14 september 2020

Negroniweek 2020 - Sbagliato Bianco



The #Negroniweek is an annual themeweek highlighting this iconic Italian cocktail, paired with a global fundraiser for charity. But we are still in 2020 and COVID-19 is still around. This year the activities will be limited to a digital-only event, raising money for organizations and initiatives that are providing relief for the hospitality industry, which have suffered immeasurable losses as a result of the global pandemic.


Of course cocktailbloggers and #drinkstagram influencers will post multiple delicious Negroni-style recipes and raise some extra attention for this initiative.

Traditionally the Negroniweek is always happening in June. Because of COVID-19 it was already postponed and is now happening this week 14 to 20 September.

During the year the Negroni cocktail is often featured on my timelines. We spend most of our summers in Italy and my Facebook and Instagram pages color red most of that period. In this themeweek I will share some of my fun experiments. Nevertheless I’ll stay true to the mission of my blog and keep it simple. If I can do this, so can you!

Let’s kick off the #Negroniweek with an unusual version of this cocktail… it’s white, it’s sparkling and it’s bitter-forward. 

Sbagliato Bianco

Ingredients30 ml Suze30 ml White vermouthProsecco

MethodIf you are going to use a big block of ice in your glass, first add the Suze and vermouth to a mixing glass with lots of ice cubes. Stir for half a minute. Strain into a tumbler with fresh ice.

If you are going to use smaller ice cubes in your glass, add both ingredients directly into your tumbler with ice. Stir for half a minute. 

Add some good quality Prosecco and give it just one more single stir. Garnish with a piece of lemon. 

We seem to still have a few days of Indian summer here in Belgium. Enjoy your drink with a ray of sunshine ­čśë  

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 13 september 2020

Frozen & Bottled Martini



Over the last few weeks I’ve seen a lot of bloggers experimenting with frozen cocktails. The concept is pretty easy : Add your ingredients to a small jar or bottle and put it in the freezer for at least one night. Serve straight from the bottle in the glass. Add some garnish and ready to serve. 


First of all, this is nothing new. It reminded me of the Dukes Martini, served at the Dukes Hotel in London. (Fun fact : I once worked for a company based at the same square!). They also freeze their gin (or vodka) and just add three dashes of vermouth in the glass. This special serve was invented in the mid-80s by Salvatore Calabrese and is also known as the Martini that will really get you drunk, because it holds as much alcohol as three normal Martinis. The bar has a two-drink maximum for this serve. In the world of spirits and cocktails Salvatore became known as ‘The Maestro’, he also invented the Breakfast Martini. 


Back to my homebar, where I also wanted to play around with this idea. Bottled cocktails have certain advantages. Because of the concept, the ingredients have more time to blend to perfection. Freezing the bottle will have some more influence. First, I really like my drinks very cold and I know I’m not the only one. Second, the effect of the alcohol will be slightly softened by the temperature. 

I decided to freeze two simple experiments: A Martini, but also a Negroni that I will taste during the upcoming #Negroniweek. 

When you serve a cocktail straight from the bottle, you will have no dilution from the ice because there will be no shaking or stirring. You need to compensate the lack of dilution by adding a little bit of water into your bottle. The amount of water will be depending on the ABV of the cocktail. A Martini or Manhattan will require a bit more water than a Negroni. 

Of course you will give the jar or bottle a quick shake before placing it in your freezer. James Bond’s “Shaken not stirred” could really work this way ­čśë 
The result ? This was really delicious. My kind of drink. I'm absolutely going to do this more often !!!

Frozen Martini


Ingredients
60 ml Broker’s Gin 20 ml Dry Vermouth35 ml water1 dash of Orange bitters

Method
Add everything to a small jar or bottle. Give it a shake and put it in the freezer. 
Chill your glass. Strain the cocktail straight from the bottle or jar into the glass. Garnish with an olive or lemon peel. 

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 5 september 2020

Italian Shandy

 
It’s been a while since I did a Michelada or beer-cocktail. Why not go for a Spritz-style shandy? It’s weekend after all. 

I’m not using juices or lemonades to mix with the beer, but bittersweet Italian aperitifs. The result is a very refreshing drink which is not too sweet at all.


Italian Shandy


Ingredients
4 cl Select Aperitivo
1,5 cl Averna
Italian Pilsner


Method
Fill up your beer glass with ice cubes. Add the Select and Averna to the glass. Add a bit of beer and give it a quick stir. Top with some more beer and garnish with a slice of orange. It alsmost looks like a beautiful Sunrise ­čśë

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 2 september 2020

French Manhattan


Variations on classic cocktails sometimes really hit the right spots and in time, become classics themselves. Starting from the Manhattan, you have well known variations like the Dry Manhattan, the Rob Roy (or Scotch Manhattan) and the Reverse Manhattan. But have you already tasted the French Manhattan? 

You can make one by just adding orange liqueur, but I wanted to go for the real French touch with cognac instead of rye whiskey. 

French Manhattan

Ingredients
45 ml Remy Martin Cognac
45 ml Sweet French vermouth
7,5 ml Cointreau
1 dash orange bitters

Method
Add everything to a mixglass with lots of ice. Stir until perfectly blended and cold. Serve in a Martiniglass or coupe. Garnish with a candied 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.