Craft beer has gone nuts: mainstream cinema has made a film about it, the BBC says there could be a hop shortage, and brewing giants are having to buy out smaller competition. So, should there be good reason to get carried away in the craft beer craze?
There is nothing better than time spent with friends. Enjoy time out with the guys while tasting the best whisky, beer or wine in the city. Here are some of the top drinks tastings for men in London.
Those who live for a dram of the good stuff are spoiled for choice.
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.
Less than a decade ago, there was only one independent gin distillery in London. A sorry state of affairs for the city known as the home of the spirit. Now, though, the gin craze is back. From Sipsmith’s to the City of London Distillery and Jensen’s Gin, gin production has come back to where it all began.
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.
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.
The Glenfiddich Janet Sheed Roberts Reserve / Image: Glenfiddich
An ultimate luxury, a rare scotch can fetch staggering amounts of money.
Glenfiddich’s 55 year old is most famous for its distinct vanilla edged flavour. It resided in a cold, dark warehouse for 56 years before being bottled in 2011.
Several years ago, a new organic trend sprung up. Suddenly natural wines were all the rage. Not necessarily winning international awards or bothering consumers’ wine racks, but it was these biodynamic and low sulphur wines that were making their way onto the wine lists of some of the world’s leading restaurants.
You’d be hard pressed to find a bartender that can’t make a Martini; the drink that many consider the very embodiment of elegance and sophistication. That it may be, the drink’s origins are close to being anything but.
Over the years, several theories have arisen concerning how the Martini came about.
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.