Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Drinks a Flowing

As some of you will know my search for a job failed. Badly. So off I went and enrolled myself in a graduate scheme business course. Our Social Media project has led us to collaboratively write this blog post. Given free reign of our topic, naturally as four girls we chose the infamous London cocktail week.

Every year, London’s 200 most iconic, unique and fabulous bars ‘throw open their doors’ to participate in: London Cocktail Week. This year, from the 6th to the 12th of October, London was buzzing with potential partygoers, looking to enjoy a few drinks. Wristbands were purchased for a very affordable £15 providing access to the nations most bespoke and exclusive bars. For the more academically inclined, back to back seminars drew links between politics, history and cocktails, even explaining how the classic G + T originated from a simple scientific vaccine for Malaria.

Our vibrant Vestal Voyage
The Disco Vestell is the world’s first fully legal floating distillery specializing in premium quality vodka. We boarded the boat at 21:15 at the Granary Sq Towpath behind Kings Cross, and were greeted by our quirky host for the night, Captain Pat. Immediately we were handed a very strong but delicious Dark and Stormy, made by our excitable on-board Polish barman.  Things were looking up!  Before docking again we enjoyed personalised cocktails and a great view of London from our moving canal barge, including going through Islington Tunnel and along the canal (well worth the £15 ticket). An hour later we disembarked having thoroughly enjoyed our unique experience and were keen to explore what similar things are out there.

The rise of the unique drinking experience…
Following our evening spent with Captain Pat, we came to realise the growing desire for the “different”, “quirky” and “original”, as well as the increasing interest in unique bars and cocktail events. People are drawn to the idea of speakeasy bars, different settings  in which to sip their cocktail and maybe even the opportunity to doodle on the table or have a game of Ping-Pong between drinks.
Our evening spent on a canal boat got us thinking about the rise of Speakeasy bars around the country. Originating in 1920s America, Speakeasies were places to sip on illegal alcohol during prohibition. By nature they remain mysterious and exciting watering holes for cocktail drinkers today, where access must be granted at the door and the bar often entered through a concealed entrance.
Few people would say no to an exotic and delicious drink in an unusual setting, and we believe that people often now seek this  ‘whole experience’ idea when they go out for drinks.
We particularly have in mind a place that any of us are yet to experience but have been eyeing up for a while - Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town. Guests can choose from a range of well-constructed cocktails once they have entered through the SMEG fridge situated in the Spitalfields’ Breakfast Club!
If you cross the country to Bristol you will find a similar setup. Situated between two shops a small, red-lit, graffiti covered doorway is in fact the entrance to the bar, Red Light. Drinkers gain entrance by picking up the payphone and calling for a stern-faced barman to allow them in to quench their thirst with a tasty mixture of flavours.

These unique experiences have a secretive and exciting air about them. Drinkers not only report back to their friends on the tasty, innovative pick-me-ups they indulged in, but the whole exciting evening they spent there. Our trip with Vestal Voyages on The Disco Vestell was a similar affair and there is so much more to discover out there. We suggest you get drinking and encourage everyone to try one for themselves!

If you fancy shaking up your own scrumptious cocktails, check out the recipes below:

Dark and Stormy Cocktail
The Dark and Stormy cocktail was created by the Gosling Brothers the owners of Gosling Limited since 1806.
2ounces Dark Rum (preferably Goslings Black Seal)
3 ounces Ginger Beer (preferably Barrits Ginger Beer)
½ ounce Lime Juice
Combine the rum (the dark), ginger beer (the stormy) and lime juice in a large glass full of ice.
The ratios will depend on what brands you use, and how strong you like it!

Strawberry Daiquiri
Daiquiri is a family of cocktails whose main ingredients include rum, lime and a sweetener. It is believed to of been invented by American mining engineer Jennings Cox in Cuba during the Spanish-American war.
4 Fresh Strawberry’s, plus ½ a strawberry to garnish
2 Tsp. White Sugar
35 ml/1 ½ fl oz. White Rum
1 Tbsp. Strawberry Liqueur
25 ml/1 fl oz. Lime Juice
Place the strawberries, sugar, rum, strawberry liqueur and lime juice into the bottom part of a cocktail shaker and mash with the end of a rolling pin.
Place the lid on top of the cocktail shaker and shake well.
Once shaken strain into a large glass and garnish with half a strawberry

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