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The week in pictures

Last night, db headed to London’s Carousel restaurant for a cocktail and food dining experience hosted by Bombay Sapphire gin. Showcasing their premium Star of Bombay gin, we were treated to a menu of ‘slowly made food and cocktails’ – the preparation, of course, rather than the service!

The evening was punctuated by commentary from Renaud de Bosredon, Bombay’s UK global brand ambassador and Ollie Templeton, Carousel’s resident chef.

At the beginning of the evening, we were told to taste 4 different jellies, each combining certain botanicals featured in the Star of Bombay gin. On the card provided, we circled our preferred jelly and this formed the basis of our bespoke martini, served at the end of the night.

First up was a vibrant pink concoction combining Star of Bombay gin, watercress infused olive oil, St-Germain, fino sherry, tonic water and orange oil. This was matched with wilted watercress, house-cured bergamot bacon, jersey royals and brown butter.

Next up was a real surprise: a cocktail that looks and indeed had the body, but not tannin, of red wine. Cuicocha’s Crue was made from Star of Bombay, walnut liqueur (that took 2 years to ferment), martini rubino, maraschino liqueur, beetroot juice and orange zest. This concoction perfectly complimented the 48-hour cooked short rib of beef, pickled walnut gremolata, beetroot and preserved elderflower.

And finally…! Calabrian Meringue was a take on a sour and teamed Star of Bombay, grains of paradise and cubeb pepper-infused rose water with lemon and orange zest. It was topped with an Italian meringue. This was paired with preserved yuzu meringue tart with salted caramel.

On Wednesday, db travelled to the Official #Champagne Experience Day hosted by the Champagne Bureau UK at London’s Central Saint Martins. The tasting offered attendees the chance to interact with representatives of the growers and houses and to sample a wide selection of Champagne, with three free-pour tables featuring vintage, rosé and blanc de blancs champagnes.

The free-pour rosé table.

In addition, db editor-in-chief Patrick Schmitt MW gave two masterclass on the role of dosage and reserve wines in Champagne.

The lineup for the ‘reserve wines’ masterclass

Dirty Martini have unveiled a trio of chocolatey treats to celebrate Easter. The Easter Choctails menu includes a chocolate martini combining Absolut vanilla vodka, Briottet crème de cacao and Frangelico with double cream and chocolate powder.

Next up is the Maltease – no prizes for guessing what has inspired this creation! A ‘rich and creamy cocktail,’ it pairs Havana 3-year old rum with Mozart white chocolate vanilla cream, coconut water and maple syrup. The addition of Nutella and Ovaltine creates the malt-chocolate flavour.

And finally, the White Rabbit teams the tangy tastes of Solerno blood orange and Morgan’s spiced rum with crème de cacao, caramel syrup, mascarpone and Aztec dark chocolate bitters.

Richard Corrigan and Pierre Koffman.

Last Friday saw members of the foodie world gather together for Richard Corrigan’s annual St Patrick’s Day Brunch celebration. The brunch was well attended by acclaimed critics, Fay Maschler, Bill Knott, Richard Vines and Joe Warwick as well as foodie personalities, Pierre Koffmann, Fergus Henderson, Thane Prince and Oisín Rogers. The morning was filled with Black Velvet Guinness cocktails soaked up by Corrigan’s Irish fare including pork pies, sausage rolls and what seemed to be an endless supply of langoustine from Chef Ross Bryans.

Thane Prince and Niamh Shields.

Funkin held its fourth annual Funkin Innovation Forum at Swift on Tuesday and welcomed guest speaker Ericka Duffy, scent technician, and industry leaders including Andy Mil of Cocktail Trading Co, Shea Campbell, Funkin Innovation Champion and Robert Wood of The Wilderness in Birmingham. The afternoon focused on flavour and what the current and future trends are for the cocktail industry. A series of cocktails were served using Funkin’s latest innovations—Funkin Coconut Puree, Funkin Beetroot Shrub, Funkin Smoked Syrup and Funkin Rhubarb Syrup.

Cointreau launched its blood orange expression in signature chic style at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden this week, treating attendees to a glimpse of a Royal Ballet rehearsal of Rubies from George Balanchine’s ballet Jewels.

The evening kicked off with refreshing Cointreau Fizz cocktails that blended the orange liqueur with fresh lime juice and soda water, and served as the ideal apéritif for the ballet that followed.

Jetting in for the evening Alfred Cointreau, a sixth generation of the Cointreau family, who spoke of the similarities between the philosophies of the Cointreau brand and the Royal Opera House. In honour of the new expression’s red bottle, Cointreau rocked a pair of red Converse for the launch.

Eran Pick MW addressed a handful of wine press in London on Tuesday this week at the first ever UK outing for The Judean Hills Quartet – a four-strong winery organisation comprising Israeli wine producers Tzora (where Eran is winemaker), Sphera, Domaine du Castel, and Flam Winery.

Steven Spurrier addressed attendees of a lavish lunch at The Gavroche on Tuesday this week – an event held to celebrate the naming of Spurrier as 2017’s Decanter Man of the Year.

Among the wines served at the lunch in London were Ridge Chardonnay, Trotanoy 2005 and Steven Spurrier’s own sparkling wine from Dorset – Bride Valley Rosé Bella.

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