Sunday, 28 July 2013

The Wine Club does Cocktails

Having Club meetings every two months means that we all have to wait, with due patience, for the evening tasting to come along.  For many the wait for The Cocktail Night has been a long one, a heat wave and late July seemed to take forever to arrive,  but arrive it did and with it our appointment with Blue Sky, Shark Bite and other new tastes at our Wine Club meeting.

It's a strange thing that those that drink wine, in general at least, are not that aware or know much of the world of the cocktail. If fact even the experts seem to have some confusion as to how cocktails have come about even the name has a number of  plausible histories.

How do I know this, well we were all given a great evening's entertainment, skills training and most of all, enjoyment, by our two hosts, who, I am tempted to say, are clearly  steeped in the world of the cocktail, David Lloyd and Julie Stuart-Thompson.

They were well supported by the mixologist, producing quality cocktails on an almost industrial scale, Matt Coburn.

The night was warm, the expectations high and the dress code a good notch or two higher than is normal for the wine club with a number of DJs and posh frocks in attendance.

David, Julie, Matt, many thanks for all your great efforts, a great night.

The night was started with a gentle but good cocktail and one with an almost royal seal of approval by non other than Nigella.

Cocktail No 1:  Nigella Lawson's recommendation for parties, The Pointesttia.
One bottle of Prosecco, chilled
Half a carton (500 ml) of cranberry juice
125 ml of Cointreau

No ice, but all added from the fridge suitably chilled. Serve in flutes.

This was a really lovely drink, very refreshing with a good taste and colour.

Cocktail number two was the intriguingly named, The Shark Bite.

And here's the seems that when you have cocktails with friends its not just cocktails that need to be considered, thought should be given to the glasses, the things in the drinks, swizzles sticks and the sometime obligatory, umbrella, but no more than that, little amusements like the shark made from a water melon and then stuffed with fruit.

Here we have a proud David with a creation such as that made, I understand by Collette.

So cocktail number two, The Shark Bite, you may think this was a drink that bites you but you would be wrong, in fact its a drink that warms you, and that would be the Dark Rum, protects you from colds, and that would be the Orange Juice. It also makes you feel good, and yes that would be down to the be the Grenadine.   If that is not enough it will also makes you smile and that has to be the look of the cocktail. This is is one of the many layered cocktails, it seems that cocktails can be just that, layers of fruit juice, spirits, wine or soft drinks to please and delight, like this.

The recipe: 

Shark Bite:  

Mix quickly over ice, do not dally as the ice may melt and dilute the rum, this was one message of the evening, the mixologists enemy, melting ice and alcohol dilution.  Mix, shake and pour.

Take one measure of dark rum and dilute with 3 measures of orange juice, no bits. To this add Grenadine slowly to give the above finish. Add a squeeze of lime and add a slice of orange.  

For the interval all members had brought 'finger food' this was terrific, we could amble in the evening sun and enjoy nibbles and cocktails.  Dear members, many thanks for your contributions.

 The cocktail chosen to have with food was the fruit cocktail The Going The Distance Cocktail.  What a fine drink as well, very good for the drivers, for the non-drinkers and for us all to eat with and to enjoy before more spirit based cocktails were put together.

Cocktail 3: Going the Distance  (Non-alcoholic)
Mixture ratios:  Grenadine      1               Lemonade (chilled)   5                     Add lime 0.5      

Decorate with lime slice.                                Serve in highball glass.

Also the interval allowed the raffle to be drawn with stunning prizes once again, Polish Vodka and a book of cocktail making from the US. 

Adding more excitement to the evening was the quiz, all questions based on the cocktail and the folklore surrounding the genre. Having put us into groups of four some of us were very confident, this did not last however and I have report that the usual suspects came out on top once again.  A good quiz though and more thanks go to David for setting and asking the testing questions.

The second half saw two more cocktails,  the first was, at least for this and a number of members  the most attractive in both looks and taste, I cannot imagine it being bought that often in a Rugby Club or Army Mess, after all you do need to be among friends if you order a deep blue drink complete with swizzle stick. Yes we are talking about the Sky Blue, just gorgeous. Simple to make, ridiculously easy to drink but one that would need to be drunk with care.  Why is that you ask? Well its is made of just two ingredients, both quiet high on the Richter scale when in comes to alcohol content. 

How to make this drink, well first the glass has to be prepared, a slice of lemon is taken around the rim and the glass then dunked in sugar so that one has a sweet and sharp rim to the glass. The Sky Blue will quite happily dissolve this rim and in so doing add another layer of flavour to the drink.   Below are the instructions and do note the need to make quickly, certainly no ice in the drink and speed will mean no dilution of the gin and Blue Curacao mix.    Sublime!

Cocktail 4:  Blue Sky
Mixture ratios:    Sapphire gin  1            Blue Curacao    1                 Lemon 0.3 (optional)

Use cocktail glass.  Rub lemon around the rim and dip into caster sugar to create lip around the glass.
Use cocktail shaker, quickly with ice to mix gin and Curacao.  
Add lemon slice for decoration

And so the last cocktail of the evening, the suitably named Golden Dreams.  This was presented by Julie who did a great job in describing the cocktail but also gave insight in the way of the cocktail, how much to make, how to dress up, when to use an umbrella, this last point was very important.

For many this was the star of the evening, a deceptive little number with a calm personalty hiding a dark side, clearly one could make a large batch of this and quite happily drink it all being blissfully unaware of the alcohol you were taking on board, all would be well 'till you stood up or attempted to.

A super drink.

Cocktail 5: Golden Dreams
Mixture ratios:   
Vodka    1                                 Cointreau   1                         Orange juice    3           Cream –  0.3 or to taste

Blend together in cocktail shaker over ice.

Coming up next:

The hall is booked for our next meeting on September on our normal last Friday of the month the 27th. 

Eight brave members have stepped up to offer their  own selection of  wine,  they will be telling us about the wines and why they feel it's something special, there will be three reds, three whites, a rosé and a 'sticky'.

Should you want a word my number is 01993 880 227 or

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