The Connaught bar

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Why drink cocktails?

I’ve been lucky recently to have had some nights that were better than average. You know the sort of evening where everything comes together just right. A good bar, with a talented bartender making drinks, great company and good tunes, the sort of evening where you have a ‘drinking experience’. It got me thinking about the little things that elevate the experience of sipping a cocktail.

 

I’ve always been startled by people who say that cocktails are too expensive but who don’t mind paying over the odds for a bottle of beer or a glass of wine. I admit that it galls me to pay £7.50 for an overly sweetened daiquiri made using the cheapest ingredients by someone who would rather be anywhere other than behind the bar. But when you go to a good bar and your drinks are made by a bartender who does their job because they love it (well they don’t do it for the money that’s for sure!) and you sip a perfectly balanced drink, well that’s worth paying for!

and the winner is....

You may remember from a couple of our earlier updates that we have taken a bit of an interest in some competitions over the last few months www.bittersandtwisted.com/content/its-not-all-fun-and-games-honest. Well we thought a quick update was in order in regards to the Bacardi Legacy competition and the 42 Below Cocktail World Cup.

 

Firstly the 42 below comp, which is firmly under way as the UK teams are getting serious about creating a buzz around their drinks. In fact it is getting so competitive that team west London have had to resort to extreme tactics to show their dedication to the competition… check out this video clip of Danny from LAB getting a 42 below logo tattoo!… www.youtube.com/watch now that is some serious dedication to the cause!

 

Now on to the Bacardi Legacy competition which you may remember from our update has been running for the past 12 months, www.bittersandtwisted.com/content/what-could-be-better-classic-cocktail-ago-perrones-mulata-daisy-maybe Well it has finally come to an end…. which of course means it has also started all over again! Last night at a typically grand event hosted by the iconic rum brand and attended by many of the great and the good of our UK drinks industry, the 7 shortlisted bartenders for the 2010/11 comp competed to win a final 3 spot in the competition. By making it down to the final three these bartenders are committing to spending the next 12 months promoting their drinks in order to create a ‘modern classic’. 

 

Day of the dead? more like month of the living-dead!

My God it's been a couple of busy weeks for us here at Bitters & Twisted HQ. We have been working closely with our web designers and they have done us proud so we are getting closer and closer to the launch of our full site. We have been to check out the Sipsmith distillery in London, then we went drinking tequila in Leeds, followed by Gin in London, not to mention making pineapple bitters as well as homemade syrups and we have been catching up with friends old and new. I am getting tired just thinking about how rushed off my feet I have been.

 

On the subject of Sipsmith I am not going to say too much as I am going to be including them in an upcoming blog about artesianal producers and small batch spirits. I will say this however, if you get a chance to try their gin, I can highly recommend it. Somehow it makes me think that this is how old fashioned gins might have been. Not overly rounded or soft, Sipsmith gin is full of character and flavour and is a lively gin that grabs you by the taste buds and takes you for a ride. Right, that's enough of that, before I get carried away and don't leave myself anything else to write about!

 

I was lucky enough to be asked to judge the 'Cazadores hunt' in Leeds last week, which for those of you who don't know is an ever evolving tequila event that Cazadores are starting to roll out. The idea is simple, get 20 - 30 top bartenders together in a city centre at lunchtime. Refresh them with loads of tequila and then set them a series of tasks to compete at in several bars. End it all with a cocktail comp (after 6 hours of drinking tequila this was the most rowdy comp I have ever seen!) and crown the winning team as winners of the Cazadores hunt... The experience actually got me looking at both tequila and brand run competitions in a whole new light, so much so that I am going to be dedicating a blog update to the subject very soon. Keep your eyes peeled or subscribe to our blog to be notified when it gets updated...