Archive | September, 2013

Shaken Cocktails- Harvard

24 Sep

Following yesterday’s post about my  Shaken Cocktails/ Cocktails by Post kit tonight I made the second cocktail in the kit- a Harvard.


This one used:

  • 40ml Cognac
  • 10ml of red Antica Formula
  • A dash of each of the bitters

The dirnk itsef was lighter than the Manhattan and without the whisky smokiness and we loved it. Another hit from Shaken Cocktails and Felix Cohen!

Don’t forget that if you want to sign up for your own delivery you can or save £5 on your first one by clicking here


Shaken Cocktails- Manhattan

23 Sep

I love cocktails and I love getting things in the post so when I first heard about Shaken Cocktails/ Cocktails by Post I signed up ASAP.

The premise is that for £29 a month (or save £5 on your first one by clicking here! ) you’ll be sent all the ingredients to make two different but related cocktails (at least 2 of each one) along with the recipes and extra information.

Today my first package arrived and I was very pleasantly surprised and impressed with the contents. The kit contained whiskey, 2 different sweet vermouths (Noilly Prat and Antica Formula) as well as a dry (Noilly Prat) Cognac, 2 different bitters (Angostura and Bob’s orange) as well as brandied cherries and a jigger.


The basic Manhattan recipe (given in a much more detailed format in the booklet included) is from Felix Cohen of Manhattans Project:

  • 40mm of Rye whiskey
  • 10ml red Antica Formula
  • 5ml dry Noilly Prat
  • A dash of each of the bitters


The resulting drink was fantastic- a marked improvement on previous Manhattan’s I’ve had. Strong, sweet and bitter I’ve already added this to my favourite cocktails list

Ikea Shopping

22 Sep

I’m always on the look out for different drinks so a trip to IKEA was no exception.

I managed to bag elderflower, rhubarb and blueberry cordials to use in future cocktails as well as a new dark beer they sell. As you can see the beer didn’t last long enough for the photo!


The beer has a smooth caramel and coffee taste but was a lot lighter/ less substantial than other dark beers but I wouldn’t turn it down.

A Taste of Palmermo

16 Sep


My endless search for delicious bitter drinks continues with two drinks purchased in France sold by Apero Sans Alcohol under their Palermo label.


First up is Amarino (Amer is French for bitter and Amaro are a style of bitter drink)

The drink is bright red and smells of sugar and citrus with a slight bitter hint.

When poured it’s a lot less syrupy than it looks and the taste is like a milder Camapri. Citrus bitterness mixed with sweetness.

The serving suggestion is over ice or with fizzy water and a citrus or orange peel twist.

All in all this is a nice drink, less bitter than I hoped, but very drinkable and an ideal addition to a drinks cabinet- especially if you’re looking for something with no alcohol.


Second is Gentiane (Gentian root- one of the bitterist substances known- is often used in drinks as a bittering agent. You can read more about it here)

The drink is bright yellow though again fortunately not as sugary and syrupy as it would appear.

The smell is familiar to anyone who has smelt a gentian drink before- sweet combined with dampy (sometimes even mouldy) wood.

The taste follows the smell with a sweet front taste quickly followed by a bitter, woody taste which lingers as the mouth dries.

A more unique taste this drink is recommended to also be drunk over ice or with fizzy water but this time also with Cassis or tonic water.

An enjoyable drink which although it isn’t as bitter as I would like this makes it very quaffable so it’s a good thing it has no alcohol.

Grapefruit and Campari- a perfect combination

7 Sep



When I first tried Campari (about 6 years ago) I had it with orange juice and couldn’t believe people voluntarily drank it. I had never tried anything so bitter and there seemed to be no enjoyment in it.
Fast forward a few years and I love Campari with its bitter tones. I love it neat over ice or in a Negroni. If I want a long drink then pairing it with grapefruit juice gives layers of bitterness and fruit flavours.

Perfect served over ice on a sunny day.

The Search Continues…

6 Sep


My continuous search for more bitter drinks, and especially bitter soft drinks, continues and I was delighted to find Venezzio Bitter on a recent trip to a French supermarket.

Tasting like a lighter, fizzy and ‘thinner’ version of Campari with woody after tones this was gorgeous over ice. It froths up delighfully, and very pink, when poured which added to the spectacle.

Thankfully you can get it in the uk so I’ll be stocking up soon.

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