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Master of Malt Blog

Top ten: Gins for 2021

We’ve picked some of our favourite new gins and some classics to drink this summer, with tips on how to enjoy them. So, whether you’re a Martini lover or adore…

We’ve picked some of our favourite new gins and some classics to drink this summer, with tips on how to enjoy them. So, whether you’re a Martini lover or adore a G&T, here are our top ten gins for 2021.

The gin world does not stand still. Every week, we are inundated with great offerings from new producers and new offerings from great producers. It’s an exciting time to be a gin lover. But all that choice can be a bit daunting. So, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite gins both new and classic to enjoy in the sun this summer.

There’s everything here from vibrant Mediterranean-style gins to complex port cask-aged spirits; we’ve included tiny producers and global brands. If it’s delicious and contains juniper, then it’s a contender. So without further ado, here are our top ten gins for 2021.

Top Ten gins for 2021

hyke-gin-very-special-gin

Hyke Very Special Gin

We loved everything from Foxhole Spirits. The team uses leftovers from wine production in their distinctive gins. This gives the base spirit an unmistakable floral character. Combine that with other botanicals including grapefruit and Earl Grey tea and you have a gin of great elegance and smoothness that’s worth treating with a bit of care.

What does it taste like?

A well-rounded, luxurious spirit carries notes of delicate citrus, herbal tea, crisp juniper leading into warming cubeb and ginger spiciness. Perfect Martini gin.

portobello-road-savoury-gin

Portobello Road Savoury Gin

If you like your gin to taste like gin, then you’ll love this latest release from London’s Portobello Road. It majors on the juniper which combined with Calabrian bergamot peel, Seville green gordal olives, rosemary and sea salt produces a deeply dry gin that positively reeks of Mediterranean. It’s the next best thing to going on holiday. Gorgeous bottle too.

What does it taste like?

Powerful juniper, pungent herbs and refreshingly bitter citrus notes. This might be the ultimate G&T gin but it’s a great all-rounder. 

port-barrelled-pink-gin-salcombe-distilling-co-that-boutiquey-gin-company-gin

Port-Barrelled Pink Gin – Salcombe Distilling Co (TBGC)

And now for something completely different. This was produced by Devon’s Salcombe Distilling Company in collaboration with Port house Niepoort and bottled by That Boutique-y Gin Company. The base spirit is a pink gin, steeped with sloes, damsons, rose and orange peel post-distillation. It’s then aged in a cask which once held a 1997 Colheita Port to produce something of great complexity and deliciousness.

How does it taste?

Fragrant and fruity with plum and orange oil. Lovely sipped neat on ice or with fresh raspberries in a seriously fancy G&T.

bathtub-gin

Bathtub Gin

Alongside all the exciting new products, we’ve included a few old favourites like the mighty Bathtub Gin. It’s made with a very high quality copper pot-still spirit infused with ingredients including juniper, orange peel, coriander, cassia, cloves and cardamom to produce a powerful gin with a creamy viscous mouthfeel. 

How does it taste?

The initial focus is juniper, but the earthier botanicals make themselves known in the initial palate too with the most gorgeously thick mouthfeel. Negroni time!

dyfi-original-gin

Dyfi Original Gin

Dyfi gin was set up in Wales by two brothers, Pete Cameron, a farmer and beekeeper, and Danny Cameron, a wine trade professional, in 2016. It took them two years of research and tasting to come up with the recipe which includes bog myrtle, Scots pine tips, lemon peel, coriander, juniper and more. A very special gin. 

How does it taste?

Drying juniper and coriander spiciness, powerful pine notes with a touch of oiliness, bright bursts of citrus keep it fresh and light.

cotswolds-no-2-wildflower-gin

Cotswolds No.2 Wildflower Gin

The Cotswolds Distillery was set up to make whisky but the team began making gin to help with cash flow. And they turned out to be rather good at it. This is based on the distillery’s classic dry gin which is then steeped with botanicals including elderflower and chamomile to create a floral flavoured gin inspired by the wild flowers of the Cotswolds. 

How does it taste? 

Earthy liquorice, a crackle of peppery juniper, softly sweet with candied peels, just a hint of clean eucalyptus lasts. This would make a splendid Tom Collins.

fords-london-dry-gin

Fords Gin

Created by bartender Simon Ford in conjunction with Thames Distillers in London to be the ultimate all-rounder gin. For the botanical selection, they use a varied selection from around the world, including grapefruit peel from Turkey, jasmine from China, angelica from Poland, lemon peel from Spain, as well as juniper from Italy.

What does it taste like?

Herbal rosemary and thyme meet floral heather and juniper, pink peppercorns, and grapefruit pith. Try it in a freezer door Martini

gin-mare-gin

Gin Mare

No, the name is not a reference to the bad dreams you have after a night on the sauce. It’s the Spanish word for sea, pronounced something like ‘mar re’, and it’s another Mediterranean stunner featuring rosemary, thyme, basil with lots of zest, and the start product, arbequina olive. This is the gin of Barcelona. 

What does it taste like?

A fragrant, perfume-like gin majoring, very herbal and aromatic with notes of coriander, juniper and citrus zest. 

dingle-original-gin

Dingle Original Gin

It’s another ‘while we wait for the whiskey’ gin, but it’s no afterthought. Containing rowan berry, fuschia, bog myrtle, hawthorn and heather, this gin from the Dingle Distillery in Kerry won World’s Best Gin at the 2019 World Gin Awards. And when you taste it, you’ll understand why. 

What does it taste like?

Juicy and sweet with authentic summer berry notes, followed by fresh herbs (think mint leaf and fennel).

tanqueray-number-10-london-dry-gin

Tanqueray No. Ten

And among all the new brands, it’s worth paying tribute to one of the old timers. Tanqueray’s heritage stretches back to the early 19th century but this No. Ten was introduced in 2000. It’s a small batch gin made using whole citrus fruits alongside chamomile and juniper, and takes its name from pot still number 10 at the Tanqueray distillery. 

How does it taste?

Perfumed and aromatic with notes of tangy grapefruit zest, creamy custard, cardamom, Earl Grey tea and clean zingy juniper. Massively refreshing. 

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How to mix BBQ and booze for Father’s Day

If your dad has moved beyond the classic cremated sausage (black on the outside, raw in the middle) and supermarket lager combo, this is the blog post for you. And…

If your dad has moved beyond the classic cremated sausage (black on the outside, raw in the middle) and supermarket lager combo, this is the blog post for you. And him. So here are our tips on putting together BBQ and booze this Father’s Day.

Beer and a burger are about as perfect a match as Kylie and Jason. But the world of the barbecue offers a range of ingredients and flavours, opening up a whole load of drinks opportunities. From marinating meats with a splash of whisk(e)y to pepping up tomato sides with a slug of vodka, barbecues and booze are brilliant bedfellows.

Cooking with alcohol

Let’s take a closer look at how to put the booze on or in the food:

“We love adding a small quantity of alcohol into a barbecue marinade or glaze,” say Aaron & Susannah Rickard, authors of the newly published book Cooking with Alcohol. “The volatile alcohol molecules will gradually evaporate from the warm food as you eat, and this evaporation carries the vibrant, fresh aromas to your nose – fragrance is a big part of how our brains perceive flavour, so the addition of alcohol can literally make it seem more delicious.”

Well, there’s the science. The Rickards tend to use dark spirits when barbecuing with alcohol – they look for booze that can stand up to the strong, smoky flavours without adding too much liquid. “Dark rum, bourbon and even Jägermeister are all great options,” they recommend.

Cornish sustainability expert and development chef James Strawbridge from Strawbridge Kitchen agrees. He recently worked with online farm shop 44 Foods to create National BBQ Week ideas and he says using whisky in marinades helps to build a robust depth of flavour.

“It works wonderfully with the following spices and herbs: clove, mustard, rosemary, allspice, smoked sea salt, soy sauces, cinnamon and orange zest,” he explains. “Bourbon with its vanilla, spiced caramel notes is excellent with maple syrup for a smoky glaze brushed onto sticky ribs or with pulled pork.”

Buffalo Trace and butcher Jonny Farrell

Jonny Farrell demonstrates the thrill of the grill

BBQ and bourbon

Speaking of bourbon, Buffalo Trace has gone big on Father’s Day this year, with a competition for people to nominate a strong father figure for a chance to win a bourbon and barbecue experience. The brand has teamed up with renowned butcher Jonny Farrell, who has given MoM a top tip for the grill.

“If you’re outside and have a decent space around you – no covers and walls nearby – you can always use a little Buffalo Trace to flambé your steaks,” he says. “Just as they’re about to finish, carefully pour a shot over the coals and watch the flames lick the meat!”

Farrell explains that not only does this look “seriously cool”, but it also adds a little extra flavour.

Peat smoke and fire

Away from bourbon and back on this side of the pond, Strawbridge is a fan of peaty Scotch, which he says works “wonderfully well with BBQ beef short ribs or smoked beetroot to enhance the woody notes”.

The folks at Ardbeg are also unsurprisingly big on smoke – and smoking meat. They have once again joined forces with DJ BBQ to bring “big, smoky flavours to backyard barbecues”. The DJ’s big hit has to be 18-hour whisky smoked pulled pork, a recipe that features half a bottle of Ardbeg.

If that’s not enough Ardbeg, you could also make the Hot or Cold Apple Cider drinks pairing – a heady mix of Ardbeg Wee Beastie, cider and ginger (recipe below).

Ardbeg Wee Beastie

Ardbeg Wee Beastie, smokin’!

Beyond meat

But if red meat or big peat are not your bag, Cornish chef Strawbridge has a dish for that, too. “Irish whiskey is the drink to use with a little orange zest on lobster tails or to flambé wood roasted scallops in their shells,” he explains. “It’s lighter, complex and can be paired with seafood or poultry.”

Cooking with Alcohol authors the Rickards also have some tips beyond the meaty main. To pep up side dishes, they reckon stirring in a little alcohol can add a bright, fresh flavour.

“The zesty, herbal notes of gin will enhance a coleslaw beautifully, while just a teaspoon of vodka in a spicy tomato sauce adds a lovely zing,” they say. “And to finish your meal, marinade large pieces of pineapple or peach together with a little brown sugar, lime juice and spiced rum, before tossing them on the barbecue. The sugars in the fruit will caramelise over the heat to create a deliciously sticky sauce with incredible depth of flavour.”

Whatever you’re barbecuing this Father’s Day, there’s a drink for that.

Hot or Cold Apple Cider

Ingredients

50ml Ardbeg Wee Beastie
50ml apple cider
50ml ginger beer
25ml freshly squeezed lime juice
Demerara vanilla sugar to taste

Decide whether you would like to make cocktails individually or as part of a batch. Add the ingredients together and stir well. Heat the mixture on a BBQ (depending on your preference) and serve with a ladle or use a hot poker to heat individual serves (careful now!) Garnish with a cinnamon quill, a star anise and a mini toffee apple

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The winner of a VIP trip to the Lakes Distillery is…

A VIP trip to one of the country’s most beautiful locations to drink delicious English whisky is about to be on the cards for one lucky person. We have a…

A VIP trip to one of the country’s most beautiful locations to drink delicious English whisky is about to be on the cards for one lucky person. We have a new competition winner!

How good does a whisky-soaked trip to the Lakes District sound to you right now? Amazing? Us too. Well, one lucky person is about to live the dream. They’ve won our VIP trip to the Lakes Distillery competition.

Taking full advantage of our increasing freedom, today’s victor will head to the beautiful Lakes Distillery with their lucky +1 and a night’s accommodation including breakfast, a tour of the Lakes distillery including access to the whisky maker’s blending studio, a three-course lunch for two in the on-site bistro which and a whisky and chocolate tasting experience. All while enjoying the distiller’s stunning surroundings. Which alpacas roam. Neat, right?

VIP trip to The Lakes Distillery

So, who is our fortunate winner? It’s… 

Wendy O’Brien!

Props to you Wendy for scoring the trip of a lifetime and for those who weren’t so lucky this time, you’re sure to find a new competition worth entering right here.

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New Arrival of the Week: Manzanilla La Gitana En Rama

Today, we’re dreaming of Spain while sipping the latest release of a very special dry sherry called Manzanilla La Gitana En Rama. Just add gordal olives and you could be in…

Today, we’re dreaming of Spain while sipping the latest release of a very special dry sherry called Manzanilla La Gitana En Rama. Just add gordal olives and you could be in Andalusia. 

As we still can’t easily travel abroad, my wife and I often talk wistfully of where we’d like to be rather than sitting in our garden in Kent. Usually, it’s outside a bar in Sanlúcar de Barrameda in the south of Spain, sipping chilled Manzanilla sherry and eating tortillitas de camarones – addictive fritters made from tiny shrimp.

Well, we can’t eat tortillitas de camarones, mainly because we don’t know where we would get the camarones from but we can drink sherry and eat Spanish snacks. We should probably buy shares in Brindisa the amount we’re spending on chorizo, manchego and, best of all, chunky gordal olives. Naturally, there’s always a bottle of sherry in the fridge. Or should be if someone hasn’t drunk it. Tristan Stephenson, the Curious Bartender, touched on this when we spoke to him recently:

“I tend to have a bottle of sherry in the fridge anyway, well, actually that’s a lie, it tends to get drunk and then I don’t have one! But I always say I have one… I always want to have one, in the fridge”. 

It seems we’re not the only ones. Last year sherry sales were unusually strong which one producer put down to the holiday at home syndrome. If you’re missing Spain, then there’s no better palliative than sherry and tapas.

Fermin Hidalgo from Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana

Fermin Hidalgo from Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana

What is en rama sherry?

If I close my eyes with the sun shining and a chilled glass of Manzanilla La Gitana En Rama in my hand, I could almost be back on a magical spring holiday we took in Sanlucar a few years ago. 

Magical at least for the grown-ups, our daughter did get a bit bored during the five hour visit to Bodegas Hidalgo La Gitana in the company of Fermin Hidalgo. Sherry tastes even better when drunk straight from the barrel via a venencia, a cup on a stick which you have to learn how to use if you want to be taken seriously in the sherry region.

For a long time, this unfiltered, straight-from-the barrel taste was only available to visitors but in the past 20 years, sherry producers have started bottling wines ‘en rama’. The word ‘rama’ literally means ‘branch’ or ‘on the vine’ which translates roughly as ‘in its natural state’.

It’s become an annual tradition, much-anticipated by wine lovers. The cellar master at bodegas like Hidalgo or Gonzalez Byass in Jerez (Tio Pepe’s 201 en rama release is available here), pick out a few exceptional casks. These are then bottled with only a very light filtering. Each annual release is different and the wines change in bottle. Drink them young for maximum freshness or keep them to gain nutty complexity.

En Rama 2021 with glass

Manzanilla La Gitana En Rama – just add some olives and you can pretend you’re in Andalusia

La Gitana

‘La Gitana’ means ‘the gypsy’ and it’s the bestselling Manzanilla sherry in the world. A Manzanilla is a type of Fino which is made only in Sanlúcar de Barrameda where the salty sea air imparts a saline-tang to the sherry. Or so it seems. Anyway, this part of the sherry region is famous for the freshness and sheer drinkability of its wines.

A Manzanilla is a dry wine, very lightly fortified to 15% ABV and aged under flor, a layer of yeast, that keeps it protected from the oxygen. It’s blended in a solera before bottling (learn more about sherry here). At Bodegas Hidalgo, they only use Palomino grapes from their own vineyards and ferment using wild yeasts. 

The standard bottling is excellent but the ‘en rama’ is something else: nuttier and more complex but all the time with that fresh saline tang. Some years, it’s incredibly rich, but this year, it’s particularly refreshing and delicious. It can both be enjoyed in a carefree party mood, or sipped slowly, lost in concentration.

The more I drink fine dry sherries like this, the more I think that they have more in common with white Burgundy than the sticky brown concoctions that many still associate with sherry.

Don’t get me wrong, I like the sticky brown concoctions, they’re especially good for sweetening cocktails, but a Manzanilla en rama is a very different proposition. If you’re new to sherry, chill the wine and serve with some olives and almonds. The first glass might taste a bit odd if you’re used to very fruity wines like Sauvignon Blanc but by the second, I promise you’ll be hooked.

There’s really no easier way to travel to Spain this summer.

Tasting note:

Nose: Green apple, bready with floral and saline notes like smelling the sea.

Palate: Intense freshness, fruit like lemons and a Cox’s apples, salty and then creamy.

Finish: Pure almonds. Very long. 

Manzanilla La Gitana En Rama is available from Master of Malt. Click here to buy.

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Whisky writer Charles MacLean awarded an MBE

Three cheers for Charlie! Whisky writer Charles MacLean has been honoured for services to Scotch Whisky with an MBE after being named in Queen’s Birthday Honours list. There’s something so wonderful…

Three cheers for Charlie! Whisky writer Charles MacLean has been honoured for services to Scotch Whisky with an MBE after being named in Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

There’s something so wonderful about seeing somebody from the world of whisky get recognition from the mainstream. To us, master distillers and leading experts are like rock stars. But to the wider world whisky can still be something of a niche category. 

But every now and then something happens in whisky which makes waves outside our industry. This week the Queen’s Birthday Honours list made headlines and there was one notable figure from our world included, Charles MacLean.

MacLean, author of 18 books including Spirit of Place and Whiskypedia, is being recognised for his services to Scotch Whisky, UK exports and charity with an MBE. One of 47 recipients, MacLean was honoured alongside health and education leaders thanked for their efforts during the Covid-19 pandemic and pop sensation Lulu, so he’s in good company. 

Charles MacLean to receive MBE

MacLean is now an MBE!

Emotionally overcome

When we called MacLean this morning to offer our congratulations, he said he was “emotionally overcome.” And explained how he was “greatly surprised” when he received a letter from the Cabinet Office on 28 May informing him of the honour. Until the announcement on Saturday, he was “sworn to secrecy.”

In a statement, he said: “It is a tremendous honour to be recognised by The Queen for a career dedicated to a personal passion – Scotch whisky. This honour is one of my proudest moments, and it has been a challenge to keep it a secret from my nearest and dearest, but I am very much looking forward to celebrating with them where more than a few whiskies will likely be enjoyed”.

He also remarked that when he set out to write about whisky that he “could not have imagined the events that would unfold over the next four decades”. MacLean says this was a career he very much fell into. He holds degrees in art history, from St Andrews University, and law, from the University of Dundee. Previously he attempted to embark on a career in the legal profession but he soon realised it was not for him. MacLean then set out to become a writer and got his first paycheque writing about the whisky industry for Bell’s in 1981.

Charles MacLean to receive MBE

McLean will receive his MBE for services to Scotch whisky not tonic wine

Whisky ambassador extraordinaire

He has been writing about whisky ever since and has spent the last 40 years authoring books, touring the world giving talks and presenting tastings as well as acting as a consultant to the whisky industry on a variety of matters, becoming an invaluable ambassador for the national drink of Scotland in that time. 

MacLean was elected a Keeper of the Quaich in 1992 for “his services to Scotch over many years” and elected Master of the Quaich, the industry’s highest accolade, in October 2009. He even played himself in Ken Loach’s 2012 feature film The Angels’ Share

He told us that he celebrated the honour with a few friends and neighbours at a garden party with nothing fancier than Johnnie Walker Black Label. Congratulations to you, Charles. Or, should we say Charles MacLean MBE. It’s a well-deserved honour. 

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The Nightcap: 11 June

Guinness gets innovative, Rockstar Spirits rocks Dragon’s Den, Lochlea prepares for first bottling and Brewdog finds itself in hot water. It’s another cracker of a week on The Nightcap: 11…

Guinness gets innovative, Rockstar Spirits rocks Dragon’s Den, Lochlea prepares for first bottling and Brewdog finds itself in hot water. It’s another cracker of a week on The Nightcap: 11 June edition!

The weekend is always an exciting thing. But this weekend is particularly thrilling because we’re given the perfect excuse to enjoy some delightful gin. That’s right, tomorrow is World Gin Day and, while we don’t really need an excuse to enjoy the finest juniper-based beverages, it’s always nice to have something to say while you raise your glass in good company. And we’ll be doing exactly that at 3pm today on the Clubhouse App with World Gin Day founder Emma Stokes as well as the Neil Ridley and Kristiane Sherry. Join us, won’t you?

Over on our blog this week we rounded off our Islay Festival coverage with Ardbeg and Jura before launching a fab new competition with our friends at Tomatin. If a hamper full of whisky goodness doesn’t interest you then a) don’t enter and b) seek help. For Father’s Day (it’s soon, don’t forget!) we had a look at brands that keep distilling in the family and rounded-up a list of the finest musician-made booze on the market. Ian Buxton then cast doubt on a dubious claim about column single malt whisky while Lucy Britner busied herself learning the history of the brand that changed vodka. Amidst all this fun and fancy there was still time to enjoy some tasty blended Scotch and a cocktail with a song in its heart

Now, let’s get stuck into some Nightcap goodness!

BrewDog carbon negative

The founders of Brewdog were singled out for criticism in the open letter

Ex-Brewdog staff allege “culture of fear”

We begin with an explosive story that hit the headlines yesterday as former staff at Brewdog published an open letter regarding the “culture of fear” and “toxic attitude” that they allege exist at the company. The signatories said a “significant number” of former staff had “suffered mental illness as a result of working at BrewDog” and that the firm was built around a “cult of personality” of founders James Watt and Martin Dickie. The Scottish brewer and pub-chain has never shone away from controversy in its marketing, but the group calling itself Punks With A Purpose says this came at a cost. That Watt and Dickie exploited publicity, “both good and bad” to further their own business goals, chased “growth, at all costs”, and created an environment where staff were afraid to speak out about concerns. The letter included further statements such as “being treated like a human being was sadly not always a given for those working at Brewdog”. The plots thickened when Unite Hospitality (@FairHospitality) released an email attributed to Brewdog which appeared to encourage current staff to sign a counter letter dismissing the negative views of current and former staff. Watt responded to this and then later released a statement saying Brewdog was “sorry” and that it would not contest the letter, but “listen, learn and act”. It’s not the first time the brand has landed itself in hot water over its practices. And this story clearly isn’t over yet.

The Nightcap: 11 June

Joe Wilson says this is one of the most “collectible independent bottlings in existence”

Rare Samaroli whiskies head to auction

Few bottlers can boast a range of whiskies as desired and collectible as Samaroli so it’s no wonder headlines have been made now that 60 of its rare Scotch whiskies are set to go under the hammer via Whisky Auctioneer this month. Taking place from 17 to 21 June, the online auction will feature whiskies from collector Emmanuel Dron’s personal stash, some of which have been signed by Samaroli himself, including a 1967 Strathisla, 1967 and 1970 Laphroaig bottlings, a 1951 Glen Cawdor (Springbank), and the 1966 Bowmore Bouquet. Bottlings will also be up for auction from The Corti Brothers of Sacramento, such as a ‘very rare’ 1965 Clynelish and bottlings from Balmenach and Imperial, distilled in the 1960s. “This collection is a magnificent example of some of the finest and most collectible independent bottlings in existence,” says Joe Wilson, head of auction content at Whisky Auctioneer. “What’s special about Emmanuel Dron’s collection is that these bottles have unparalleled provenance. Whiskies with such an impeccable source are hard to come by.” And you know what that means. A price tag to match. Expect to see some eye-watering sums next week.

The Nightcap: 11 June

Rumour has it this beauty will be at MoM Towers in the future…

Lochlea whisky prepares for first bottling

For years Lochlea has been known best as the farm in Ayrshire which was the home of Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns from 1777 to 1784. By late 2021, however, it will also be recognised for its whisky. The independently owned farm-based distillery has announced this week that it is ready to launch its first expression this year. The distillery is the result of a £6m investment and production of the purpose-built facility began in 2014, taking four years. Lochlea then began laying down its first casks of whisky in the on-site warehouse in August 2018. So while we don’t know the exact launch date yet, we know it will be no sooner than August at least. The Lochlea Distillery team says it’s been working on creating a “truly distinct whisky” and describes the new make spirit as having a profile that’s “bursting with orchard fruit” with a “beautiful elegance way beyond its years”. All production is overseen by distillery manager Malcolm Rennie, who has spent 34 years in this industry at the likes of Kilchoman, Bruichladdich, and Ardbeg. Lochlea says that he sees this whisky, however, as the result of his life’s work. “Ensuring full traceability from field to cask is vital for us. We grow and harvest our own barley on Lochlea farm with the resulting draff used to feed local cattle and the water is sourced on-site. We’ve been able to take advantage of Ayrshire’s natural resources and in doing so it keeps our carbon footprint to a minimum,” says Rennie about the distillery’s process, which does sound extremely promising. Let’s hope it does Robert Burns proud.

The Nightcap: 11 June

We can’t wait to see you all again!

Imbibe Live to return this September

Great news arrived in our inbox this week from the UK’s leading drinks industry event as Imbibe Live confirmed it will be returning to London’s Olympia this September. The return to some normality will run from 13 to 14 September 2021, bringing the industry back together again after a challenging year. Strict standards of health and safety will be adhered too, naturally, as folks discover newly launched and unique products and attend seminars from industry leaders. Helping to curate the programme are the likes of Anna Sebastian, drinks expert and founder of ‘Celebrate Her’, Gabe Cook, global cider expert, Lorraine Copes, founder of not-for-profit organisation Be Inclusive Hospitality, and more. Daniel Zanetti, exhibition director at Imbibe Live, says the industry has shown an “incredible amount of support for one another” during the last year hopes that Imbibe Live “provides those working in the trade with real insight and practical support on how to help their businesses grow and thrive once again”. Registration is open now, although due to venue capacity visitors will be asked to attend on either the 13 or the 14 September to allow as many people as possible the opportunity to go. For further information visit the website and to register visit here. Let’s hope everything goes well between now and then to let this fantastic event take place. Fingers crossed!

The Nightcap: 11 June

It’s a bumper year for the Fiona Beckett

Fortnum & Mason awards 2021 shortlist announced

The Oscars of food and drink writing are back as the shortlist for the Fortnum & Mason awards has just been announced. The big award, as far as we’re concerned, is drinks writers of the year with the Guardian’s Fiona Beckett taking on Hamish Smith from CLASS magazine and beer writer extraordinaire Will Hawkes for his work in Pellicle and Tonic magazine. It’s a bumper year for Beckett as she is also shortlisted in the book category for How to Drink without Drinking (which we covered back in January). Also in the book category is Jane Anson with Inside Bordeaux and Wine Girl by Victoria James. Meanwhile, the debut book line-up features a great-looking new cocktail book which we’ll be covering shortly called CO SPECS by Cas Oh, Drink? by Prof. David Nutt, and Which Wine When by Bert Blaize and Claire Strickett. There’s also some food stuff. The winners will be announced at a glittering awards ceremony on 13 July. Nigella might be there. Oooh!

The Nightcap: 11 June

Tom Hurst rocking the dragons

Rockstar Spirits rock Dragons’ Den

We go for years without featuring a story about spirits brands on Dragons’ Den and then two come along in under a month. In May, we reported on Whisky Me securing funding from all the three ‘dragons.’ And now we were delighted to learn that Rockstar Spirits, the company behind delicous bottles like Two Swallows rum, secured funding after appearing on the BBC 1 programme on Thursday 10 June at 8pm. That’s last night. Founder Tom Hurst received bids from all but one Dragon, winning the backing of both Touker Suleyman and Tej Lalvani – who will both receive 4% of the premium spiced rum business in exchange for £12,500 each. Most impressively, Hurst managed to secure an offer for double the money and five times the equity from Theo Paphitis. Hurst said that he hadn’t been as nervous “since I had to do a reading in assembly when I was 11,” but that it was a “fantastic experience to take part in the show and a great rite of passage for any entrepreneur to test their mettle against some of the best business brains in the UK.” To celebrate Hurst has come up with a special Dragons Daiquiri cocktail with Two Swallows Citrus rum.

The Nightcap: 11 June

Copper Rivet is one of the many fantastic English whisky distilleries featured

The English Whisky Show is back

For the second year running there’s a whole show dedicated to English whisky called, um, the English Whisky Show. Sadly, like last year, it’s only taking place online but we’re all good at this now and the organisers can boast quite a line-up. All the big names are represented including Adnams, Copper Rivet, Bimber, the Oxford Artisan Distillery, Lakes, and, the granddaddy of them all, the aptly-named English Whisky Company, alongside independent bottlers like That Boutique-y Whisky Company. Taking place on Friday 3 and Saturday 4 September there will be six sessions all with tasting packs hosted by names including Felipe Schrieberg and Fiona Shoop. Prices start at £27.50 per session which seeing as you’ll be tasting some quality liquids including 11 new releases, looks like pretty good value. Tickets are available here and there are discounts for bulk buys and members of Exploring English Whisky. From single malts to spicy ryes and experimental grains, we couldn’t be more excited about the varied and dynamic English scene. So whether you’re already a fan or just English whisky curious, we highly recommend signing up for one or, better still, all the sessions. 

The Nightcap: 11 June

The new ‘world-first’ is a single nitrogen dispense solution. It pours pints from cans, basically.

Guinness launches world-first ‘microdraught’

Guinness was in an excitable mood this week as it revealed its new ‘microdraught’ technology, which aims to serve fresh pints regardless of an establishment’s size or setup. The result of a two-year development process, the MicroDraught unit uses a “keg’ so small, it comes in a can”, so even though the Guinness used is brewed in exactly the same way, the system bypasses the need for the traditional system of kegs, beer lines, and cooling systems. The dispense technology is described by the brand as its biggest innovation “since the development of the widget in 1988”, and is set to be trialed in restaurants in Great Britain from June, in venues in Ireland from July, and fully launched in Korea in July. Further trials in the United States, China, Hong Kong, Germany, and Russia will follow later this year. “Guinness is enjoyed the world over and globally renowned for pushing boundaries in technology.  Guinness MicroDraught is the next step in this journey and today’s launch means that Guinness will be available in over 12,000 more outlets for millions more consumers to enjoy,” says Grainne Wafer, global brand director, Guinness. “The secret to how the MicroDraught unit produces beautiful Guinness every time is the world-first patent-pending double coaxial piercing of the can. It uses an air pump – as opposed to the gas cylinder used in the traditional system – to push the liquid out of the can and through the standard Guinness Draught spout. The result is a beautiful two-part pour with the iconic surge and settle and cold, smooth taste that makes Guinness Draught a beer loved by consumers around the world.” We’re intrigued to see if the innovation takes off and whether the new pints feature on the right Instagram page, or the wrong one

The Nightcap: 11 June

The swanky, new-look Talisker is more sustainable

New sustainable packaging upgrade for Talisker 10 Year Old

Diageo has made a big deal about its sustainability commitments in the last couple of years and the drink giant’s latest innovation concerns Talisker. New packaging for its Talisker 10 Year Old has been introduced as part of the company’s wider 2030 sustainability action plan. The new packaging has increased the recyclability of the classic dram to 99.8%, while the bottle’s plastic components have been reduced by 86% and the original plastic stopper has been replaced with a premium wooden stopper. The brand also ensured the packaging weight was reduced by 6%, which will reduce materials used by 28 tonnes across 2021, meaning less waste to be managed per bottle. Pranay Chandra, malt whisky marketing manager, says that “consumers are increasingly conscious of their own environmental impact, and we are dedicated to supporting and being a part of this.” She adds that “we understand that there is still more to do, however, this is a significant step towards our goals of making all Talisker packaging recyclable by 2030, as well as working towards zero waste across our supply chain.” It’s another positive step in the right direction and we welcome any further improvements in the future.

The Nightcap: 11 June

Shit.

And finally… A beer made from goose poo. Mmmm!

We’ve had some funny drinks on the Nightcap –  like gin flavoured with sprouts or Chernobyl vodka – but a new beer might just take the biscuit. It’s from a Finnish brewery called Ant Brew which has just released a series of beers called Wasted Potential that are brewed from waste including goose droppings. No joke, this shit is for real. According to the press release: “The poop is used in a food-safe way to smoke malt to create a unique stout beer. The goose droppings are gathered from local parks, where geese are causing a messy problem.” Everybody wins! Sort of. Anyway, we can mock but this might be the logical conclusion of sustainability. Ant Brew’s home city of Lahti, aims to have a wasteless economy by 2050. So, in future, when someone says: “this beer tastes like shit”, it’s probably because it’s brewed with real poo. Lovely. 

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Family spirit: father and daughter/ son distillers

We’re keeping it in the family today as Millie Milliken takes a look at some of the father and daughter/ son distillers around the world – they’re braver than we…

We’re keeping it in the family today as Millie Milliken takes a look at some of the father and daughter/ son distillers around the world – they’re braver than we would be

One of my earliest memories is of my grandad (papa) showing me how to make beer in his garage, probably at a much younger age than I should have been. Luckily, there are some families who actually know what they’re doing when it comes to making drinks. Well-known brands from whisky like Teeling, Glenfarclas and Kilchoman trade on their family name, and there are plenty more out there from bourbon to brandy.

In celebration of this year’s Father’s Day, I’ve unearthed some of the father and daughter/ son distillers from around the wide world of drinks. From Florida to Manchester – and including a touching tribute to a recently lost father – they’re an eclectic bunch, and testament to the benefits of keeping their distilling and blending secrets in the family. Maybe it’s true: blood is thicker than whisky.

Jimmy and Eddie Russell at Distillery

Jimmy and Eddie Russell, Wild Turkey

First up is one of America’s most famous bourbons, Wild Turkey. Master distiller Eddie Russell and his father, the legendary Jimmy are a team with around 100 years of whisky making experience between them. And it was all down to Eddie’s mother, Joretta.

“I really wanted to move away as a young man, when I got the chance,” says Eddie. “I played football on scholarship at Western Kentucky University, but when I came home for my first summer break, my job options were the distillery or… the distillery. The mandate wasn’t Jimmy’s, but at my mother, Joretta Russell’s insistence.”

Eddie started at the bottom, rolling barrels, mowing lawns, painting houses before Jimmy moved him into the distillery to learn about yeast and mashing. Now Eddie sits alongside his father on the illustrious Bourbon Hall of Fame. Jimmy isn’t hanging his whisky making boots up any time soon either. “I’ve never thought of it as work. I’ve always said ‘the day it becomes work, I’ll retire.”

Where Eddie gets his father’s strong work ethic, Jimmy benefits from Eddie’s honesty: “When Eddie tells you something, it’s true. If he doesn’t like it, he will tell you!” Between the two of them, they’ve grown an empire that now Eddie’s son is getting in on, and there are now four generations working at Wild Turkey.

Until that day that working at Wild Turkey feels like work, though, Jimmy Russell will (for Eddie at least) always be the reigning patriarch: “For my dad, it took about 17 years before he became a master distiller. It was 34 years for me because my dad is still working – you should really only have one master.”

Father and son at Prestwich gin

Michael and Jack Scargill, Prestwich Gin

This Manchester born and bred gin was the result of a family dinner. “With my Dad approaching retirement, we were talking over dinner about what he was going to do with his spare time and the idea of starting our own gin cropped up,” explains Jack. “I didn’t think much of it but the next time I went round, Dad had bought a few books and a small still and started working on a few recipes and it went from there.”

With a background in chemistry, Michael takes on playing around with recipes and tweaking them as he sees fit, while Jack prefers tasting – as well as sales and marketing, which he has a professional background in.

The father/son duo’s love for gin came long before the gin boom, with birthday and Christmas presents often coming in the form of a bottle of the botanical spirit. Now, they can enjoy the fact that other people are giving theirs as gifts on special occasions – maybe a few fathers will receive one this Father’s Day.

Kristy and Billy Lark

Bill Lark and Kristy Lark-Booth, Killara Distillery

“Working with my Dad can be super amazing and at times very exasperating!” So says Kristy Lark-Booth, founder of Killara Distillery in Tasmania. Having spent years working at the family whisky business, Lark Distillery, with her father Bill, she branched out on her own in 2016 to set up her own venture.

Despite not working together as regularly day-to-day, Bill’s tutelage of Kristy on all this whisky distillation is testament to their working relationship: “I have learnt so much from him, not only how to distil amazing whisky but also a great work and personal ethic. Things like how to relate to people and to see the best in others, to follow your dreams and never give up. Working with him has given me the opportunity to explore and develop my own distilling style and certainly develop my palette.” 

Kristy’s integration into the family business wasn’t always a given. She had her eyes on a career in Air Traffic Control – and while she got a coveted place at the ATC school, having spent some time working at the distillery, she changed her mind: “They were, of course very supportive of that so I began learning whisky making from my Dad, and gin/liqueur making from my Mum. We worked closely together right up until Lark was taken over by investors.”

Looking to the future, Kristy and Bill will be working on a few projects that will see them come together again in a father/daughter – or daughter/father – capacity, including bringing back the old distillery school. Anything about distilling you don’t learn in there, ain’t worth knowing.

Wayne&Holly Bass & Flinders Distillery

Holly and Wayne Klintworth, Bass & Flinders Distillery

From the Bass & Flinders Distillery in Mornington Peninsula, Australia, head distiller Holly Klintworth produces gin, liqueurs and brandies, including a recent Maritime Gin with locally-foraged samphire, salt bush and kelp, as well as  Heartbreak Gin infused with Pinot Noir. The distillery started its life in 2009, but it wasn’t until a few years later that Holly decided to join her dad.

“Over the years dad would ask my opinion on a product or packaging, and here and there I would help out on weekends with bottling, or peeling oranges for our gins. I got a good feel for the passion my dad had for the craft spirits industry and I suppose it was pretty infectious.” Having previously spent time working in marketing in the wine industry, Holly joined her father’s distillery in 2016.

It didn’t come easy: Holly found getting up to speed so quickly a challenge without having a science background and not being initially too familiar with the production process. She was also one of few women working in the Australian distilling industry, although her father was keen to not let that deter her: “He would say to me, ‘Don’t let anyone tell you you aren’t as capable as a man in production’… He really empowered me to take ownership of the still, of the spirit and of the product from start to finish.”

Sadly, Wayne Klintworth passed away in early 2020, but his mentorship and inspiration have fuelled his daughter’s love and passion for producing fine spirits. “My dad was a real mentor and inspiration for me as I stepped into the distilling world. Having him mentoring me and him also being my dad, meant I learned the ropes extremely quickly as I had access to his knowledge and expertise at all hours of the day or night and he was always ready for a chat about the business.”

Rollins Distillery, father and son

Mike and Patrick Rollins, Rollins Distillery

If you look closely at the Rollins Distillery logo, you’ll notice it’s two rams butting heads. Florida isn’t known for its rams, so it’s probably more likely that those rams represent Patrick and Mike Rollins, the son and father who distil their 100% Floridian molasses rum.

It all started with father, Mike, whose time at the Naval Academy saw him studying chemistry and growing an interest in distillation. Several years later, the family was stationed in Scotland, where Mike spent some time studying operations at the Old Fettercairn Distillery. Back in Florida, with grown up kids, Mike decided to take the plunge, being sure to utilise Florida’s agriculture in the process.

Patrick was more interested in beer when his father approached him with the idea of setting up a distillery. Dreams of a brewpub slowly faded when he started learning more about distilling and rum – attending lectures and seminars – and he fell in love with the craft.

For Mike and Patrick, two heads are better than one: “Dad is a very inside-the-box technical thinker. He sees the trees. I am a very outside-the-box creative thinker. I see the forest. Together we are able to create so much more than we could separately.”

Mike agrees, with a slight caveat: “Let me be frank, I would have tried to make the distillery happen with or without Patrick, but I cannot say it would be as successful as it is today without him.”

 

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Cocktail of the Week: The Tipperary

Today, we’re mixing up a classic Irish whiskey-based cocktail with a tangled history which might have you singing a famous song. It’s the Tipperary! One of the most unforgettable scenes…

Today, we’re mixing up a classic Irish whiskey-based cocktail with a tangled history which might have you singing a famous song. It’s the Tipperary!

One of the most unforgettable scenes from a film full of great moments is in Das Boot where all the German World War Two submariners put on a gramophone record and sing along, badly, to ‘It’s a Long Way to Tipperary’. Meanwhile the political officer looks on disapprovingly at the men singing an enemy song. 

The song was originally written for and sung by homesick Irishmen but it tapped into a universal nostalgia for home and a weariness with war. It was first performed in 1912 and quickly became part of the popular culture of Europe and America.

A man walks into a bar

And like much popular culture in the early 20th century, it inspired a cocktail too. 

The story goes that in 1916 a customer walked into the bar at the Hotel Wallick in New York singing the song, and asked for a drink. On the spot, the bar manager Hugo Ensslin came up with the Tipperary. He put it in his 1917 book Recipes for Mixed Drinks specifying equal parts Chartreuse, Bushmills Irish whiskey and sweet vermouth

Or the other story is that Ensslin invented the cocktail to cash in on the visit to New York of Irish tenor John McCormack, the most famous singer of ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’.

This equal parts version shaken with ice and served straight up is the one that appears in Harry Craddock’s 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book under the name Tipperary Cocktail No. 1. There’s also a rather strange sounding Tipperary Cocktail No. 2 which is totally different, mixing orange juice, grenadine, French vermouth, gin and fresh mint. Must try it one day. It’s the no. 2 that is listed in David Embury’s The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks.

To further muddy the waters, the 1935 Waldorf Astoria cocktail book contains a third Tipperary which it says was “invented long before the wartime song of the same name was heard, so it must be considered a direct namesake of the Irish county, and so-called by a fond exile.” It contains two parts sloe gin, one part French vermouth and a teaspoon of lemon juice. It doesn’t say what you do with the ingredients but we imagine shaking with ice and serving straight up would suit the cocktail well. Very nice but not terribly Irish. 

Modern variations

Nowadays, the Irish whiskey, Chartreuse, sweet vermouth version is canonical. But it’s often made heavy on the whiskey to suit drier tastes. Two parts whiskey to one part each Chartreuse and Vermouth makes it not dissimilar to a Boulevardier. Or you could try a version created by Gaz Regan from Dead Rabbit in San Francisco, a 4:2:1 ratio of whiskey, vermouth and Chartreuse. He writes:

The Savoy’s Tipperary Cocktail (No. 1) calls for equal parts Irish whiskey, sweet vermouth and green Chartreuse…. This is the formula I decided to play with when I gave myself the task of pimping this drink. I love Chartreuse, so this was an easy decision. Chartreuse, as you might know, is a heavy-duty herbal liqueur and, as such, it’s an ingredient that ought to be handled judiciously when one is indulging in cocktailian pursuits, lest it mask the other ingredients. I cut back on the vermouth in the new formula. Or perhaps I added more whiskey. I’ll let you decide. The new drink sips quite well, though. The vermouth plays well with the whiskey, and the Chartreuse merely dances in the backdrop, making itself known, but not going anywhere near center stage.”

Whiskey Tipperary Cocktail with Chartreuse

However you make it, use a quality Irish whiskey with a good dose of pot still to it, we recommend Powers Gold Label (though I’m using my house blend) and a decent sweet vermouth. It’s usually stirred over ice and served straight up but there’s no reason why you couldn’t serve it on ice like a Negroni. Because of its name, greenish tinge and the presence of Irish whiskey, it’s often saved for St Patrick’s Day but we think it’s much too good to serve only once a year.

Incidentally, the story of the song is almost as complicated as the cocktail. You might be surprised to hear that it was written by two Englishmen, albeit one of Irish descent: Jack Judge, whose parents were from Mayo, and Harry Williams. But then again Shane MacGowan was born in Kent.

Here’s how to make the Tipperary

70ml Powers Gold Label Irish Whiskey
35ml Green Chartreuse
35ml Gonzalez Byass La Copa vermouth

Stir thoroughly over ice and strain into a chilled coupe. Serve with an orange or lemon twist while singing ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ in a thick German accent. 

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The story of Grey Goose vodka

This is the story of Grey Goose vodka, the brand that kickstarted the super-premium movement and changed the face of the category. But did you know that before it was…

This is the story of Grey Goose vodka, the brand that kickstarted the super-premium movement and changed the face of the category. But did you know that before it was vodka, the Goose was a brand of cheap German wine? Lucy Britner has the whole story.

The tale of Grey Goose can’t take flight without talking about its creator, the US booze tycoon Sidney Frank (who with his bow tie and cigar looked just like you hope a booze tycoon would look). It might surprise you to know that Grey Goose wasn’t always a vodka. The brand ‘Grey Goose’ started life as a German Liebfraumilch (like Blue Nun) – registered by Frank in the ‘70s. And although the sweet wine died, the trademark lived on, revived by Frank two decades later, to become a vodka.

The ultimate vodka brand

It was the ultimate vodka brand – it started life with no liquid, no distillery and no bottle. But Frank knew there was a tremendous opportunity. Absolut was already making waves and he had the contacts, thanks to his success with Jägermeister.

You see, Frank started Sidney Frank Importing Co (SFIC) in 1972, bringing Jägermeister from Germany and putting it on the map in the US. Among SFIC’s contributions to its success are the Jägerettes – what the company claimed were the first promotional models in the spirits industry. SFIC also introduced the Jägermeister Tap Machine, which brought the brand out of the freezer and onto the bar. So, Frank and his team were well connected in the US bar world.

Grey Goose vodka advert

Ooh la la!

Super Premium

Frank could see Absolut was doing pretty well, but he had worked out how he might do even better. In an interview with Inc, he points out that Absolut was selling for $15 a bottle. “I figured, let’s make it [Grey Goose] very exclusive and sell it for $30 a bottle,” he said.

And the story of how it came to be made in France is just as ‘matter of fact’ as Frank’s pricing structure. “I said, France has the best of everything. I asked a distiller there whether they could make a vodka. They said sure. The product manager and I tasted about 100 vodkas on my front porch here, and we agreed on one vodka as the best-tasting,” he told Inc.

If you’ve been to Cognac, you might’ve seen the big grey, Grey Goose plant outside of the town. And despite its location among the vines, Grey Goose is made using winter wheat from Picardy, France.

The liquid was created by François Thibault (below), Grey Goose’s own maître de chai. “The vodka was created in Gensac, near Cognac, a region renowned for its high-quality wines and spirits and high mastery of the distillation process,” says Sébastien Roncin, heritage curator for French brands at Bacardi (which now owns the brand). “The pure grain undergoes a five-step distillation process, maximising the flavour at each stage and retaining the unique qualities of fine French wheat. The spirit is then combined with naturally-filtered water from the Gensac spring.”

The vodka quickly won ‘best-tasting’ status with the Beverage Testing Institute and the story goes that Frank put all his projected profit for the year into advertising. The brand went from nothing but a name to 1.5-million cases by 2004. 

Francois Thibault Grey Goose Vodka

Frank becomes a billionaire

And in that same year, Frank sold Grey Goose to Bacardi, for a reported “more than” $2bn.

Bacardi made the purchase to become a “serious player in the strategically important vodka category”. And Frank, though rolling in cash, was a little bittersweet about it. He said of the sale: “One cannot avoid having mixed feelings on the sale of such a great brand. However, I cannot think of a better new home for Grey Goose than Bacardi. The people at Bacardi understand brand building, and this will ensure the development of the full potential of Grey Goose.”

Frank handed out big bonuses to his employees so they wouldn’t quit the company and he also splashed a bit of cash on himself – he bought two big Maybachs and a Bentley. And he gave $100m to Brown university, which is used to provide financial aid to students in need. (Frank himself had attended Brown in 1942 but had to leave after a year because he couldn’t afford the tuition.)

Before he sold the brand, Frank, who was a big golf fan, contributed to the creation of the Grey Goose 19th Hole TV programme on the Golf Channel. This was continued after the acquisition by Bacardi and in 2005, golfer Retief Goosen was endorsed by the brand, then Matt Kuchar in 2012.

The story goes that in his older years, Frank, unable to still play golf, would ride around on his cart, instructing a team of aspiring pros to play for him. And they say money can’t buy you happiness.

Frank died in 2006, at the age of 86, having fulfilled his dream of becoming a billionaire.

And the story of Sidney Frank Importing went full circle when, in 2015, it was acquired by Mast-Jägermeister. Two years later, the company’s name was changed to Mast-Jägermeister US.

Grey Goose is celeb-tastic

Celeb-tastic!

The Bacardi years

With Bacardi in the driving seat, Grey Goose has continued to champion the super-premium mentality, with straplines like ‘Fly Beyond’ and ‘Live Victoriously’.

The company has also carried on producing flavours, after Frank introduced L’Orange in 2000 and Le Citron a couple of years later. La Vanille ran from 2003-2007 and was reintroduced in 2018, while La Poire (2007), Cherry Noir (2012) and Le Melon (2014) have kept things fruity over the years.

All the while, Grey Goose has gained traction in popular culture. It was explicitly mentioned in the Sex and the City TV series and in songs such as Stop Playing Games by 8Ball & MJG. Roncin says these mentions contributed to Grey Goose vodka’s popularity.

And ‘sleb’ tie-ups are still on the bill. In 2018, Grey Goose announced a partnership with top Hollywood actor Jamie Foxx. The collaboration included a 9-part digital series called ‘Off Script’, which featured Foxx interviewing other superstars, including Denzel Washington, Benicio Del Toro and Melissa McCarthy.

The brand’s latest iteration, Grey Goose Essences, also got a spot at the Oscars. The 30% ABV flavoured vodka range was launched in February and it comprises three flavours: Strawberry & Lemongrass, White Peach & Rosemary and Watermelon & Basil. The Oscars push included a 30-second ad that ran during the ceremony.

Interestingly, Roncin describes Bacardi’s investment in Essences as the “largest investment in the brand since the original Grey Goose”. 

Today, Grey Goose is available in 152 markets – and it’s not yet 25 years old.

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The winner of a bundle of Sexton Irish Whiskey goodies is…

Every time a competition ends a winner must be announced. Isn’t it exciting? This time somebody is about to discover they’ve been lucky enough to nab a bundle of Sexton…

Every time a competition ends a winner must be announced. Isn’t it exciting? This time somebody is about to discover they’ve been lucky enough to nab a bundle of Sexton Irish Whiskey goodies!

Winner, winner chicken dinner. Somebody’s won one of our signature #BagThisBundle competitions and got themselves a terrific bundle coming their way. It’s full of Sexton Irish whiskey goodies. Although there’s no chicken involved. Sorry, that might have been confusing. 

But the good news is that the victor is going to have so much whiskey and equipment to make a host of delicious Irish whiskey cocktails that they’ll happily supply the chicken themselves. The Sexton has ensured that the bundle includes a bottle of its tasty Single Malt as well as a branded speed pourer, ice stamp, cocktail booklet, and lapel pin. Oh, and two branded slate coasters and six (6!) highball glasses. It’s quite the haul.

Sexton Irish Whiskey

And it’s all heading the way of one lucky individual. Congratulations to…

David Judge!

Enjoy the spoils of your victory sir. For everyone else, there’s plenty of other competitions to enter!

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