Truly an art form, mixology has taken off in recent years. Many a dad has found a new cure for mid-life crisis: trying his hand with a cocktail shaker and a cupboard full of unheard of spirits. With this we’ve seen a rise of some wonderful cocktail bars in London, where punters flock to enjoy delicious concoctions created by mixologist showmen.
The last time you sipped a cocktail containing gin, did you give any thought to the history of this spirit? You might be surprised to know that gin has been around since the Middle Ages and it started out as an herbal medicine before it became something that we quaff in our martinis.
There really is nothing like a hand-rolled cigar. For those who love a good cigar, gifts can be easy to find, but quality matters. Here is a list of gifts for cigar lovers, with a taste for class.
Cigar Introduction and Drink Pairing
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On what would otherwise be a nondescript backstreet in Shoreditch (also known as Leonard Street) is a palace for coffee lovers called Ozone. Ostensibly the place resembles a café, and stepping through the threshold you’d be forgiven for assuming it to be just that. At least, if the warm bitter aroma emanating from floor below wasn’t so powerful, and if the shiny, well-kept roasting machines weren’t so glaringly obvious.
About seven years ago, Cesar da Silva, now whisky sommelier and bar manager at the Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge, met Iain McCallum at the Auchentoshan Distillery in Scotland.
McCallum turned to Cesar and said, “If I ever met an Alan Sugar of whisky at your age, it would have been you.” From that point onwards, as Cesar says, he has “dedicated everything he can towards whisky.” Cesar is one of the mere 2,180 people in the world that are members of the elite society known as the Keepers of the Quaich.
While it’s a big thing in the States, coffee cupping is a pursuit that’s yet to really take off over here in Britain. Ozone, one of the UK’s leading authorities on all things coffee cupping, are open for putting your palate to the test, but for the meantime here are some basic tips on how to go coffee cupping.
It’s perhaps thanks to the wild gin craze of the 18th century and the ensuing suppression of the juniper-based spirit that we still brush gin under the carpet somewhat. Interestingly, some of the gin bars are now just as clandestine as the act of drinking and distilling gin used to be, but that doesn’t detract from their allure – it adds to them, in fact.
While there are those who stick with what they know, some of us have an unquenchable penchant for trying new things, be it rare food, fine spirits, or cups of coffee. Among our travels, TRULY have encountered some exquisite places to sample such delights, whether it be for the first time or the 100th.
Britain really isn’t enjoying tea as much as much as it should. Despite being a national obsession – Brits get through 165 million ‘cuppas’ every day – that was my feeling after meeting with the country’s ‘Tea Lady’, Henrietta Lovell.
Lovell is the founder of Rare Tea Company. Naturally, she knows a thing or two about tea.
It’s surprisingly difficult to find a decent bar to go whisky tasting in London. Even our most trusted tastemakers fond themselves scratching their heads. Nevertheless, difficult does not mean impossible, as we’ve come up with a list of London’s go-to whisky bars you might like to scout. The following has been narrowed down to those that aren’t members only.