Double Dutch drinks at Aubaine

Cocktails

Double Dutch Drinks, founded by Dutch twins Joyce & Raissa, create spirit mixers using all-natural ingredients with unusual flavour combinations. The brand, which is very much in its infancy, currently has two drinks to its name: Pomegranate + Basil, and Cucumber + Watermelon.

Franco Dutch

Despite being on the scene for less than a year, Double Dutch drinks are currently stocked in Harvey Nichols, Fortnum and Mason, and a whole host of other retailers and bars.

I was lucky enough to meet the twins recently, who disclosed that they’re working on a Christmas drink with chilli and cardamom, which I can’t wait to try!

But for now, you can try their existing range in cocktails at Aubaine restaurants, including the super refreshing Franco Dutch (or make it yourself with the recipe below).

Ingredients
50ml Diplome Gin
150ml Double Dutch pomegranate and basil tonic
2 Basil Leaves
5ml Grenadine
10ml Vanilla syrup
10ml Lime juice
1/8th fresh pomegranate

Garnish
Basil top
Pomegranate wedge

Method
In a high ball glass muddle the Grenadine and basil lightly. Fill the glass with cubed ice, then add the Diplome, lime juice, and seeds from the pomegranate.

Top up with Double Dutch pomegranate and basil tonic and garnish with a sprig of basil and wedge of pomegranate.

Follow Double Dutch on Instagram or Twitter.

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World’s Most Imaginative Bartender UK – Dan Berger

Bar reviews, Cocktails, Events

Massive congratulations to this year’s UK winner of Bombay Sapphire‘s World’s Most Imaginative Bartender competition; Heddon Street Kitchen‘s Dan Berger.

I was lucky enough to be invited along on the day by Dan, one of the ten finalists in the UK, who got through to the top five with his take on a G&T; Portal to Exploration.

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On the eve of the world final, I caught up with Dan at Heddon Street Kitchen to talk cocktails and the competition. 

The small but carefully crafted cocktail list features 18 drinks – 10 of which are new, following the first menu change a few months after opening. Dan’s WMIBUK winning cocktail, Age of Discovery, also features. It’s a deliciously rich drink designed to enhance all the flavours of Bombay Sapphire. Featuring Darjeeling tea syrup, lemon, marjoram, Indian Dhania infused chestnut honey, and olive Oil, this drink is small, powerful and fragrant, which lasts on the tongue. 

 Age of Discovery features on Heddon Street Kitchen’s current cocktail menu, which recently changed for the first time since opening. N.B. They’ll give you a full one – I drank most of mine in eagerness before taking a picture. 

So what makes him a strong prospect for World’s Most Imaginative Bartender?  “I’ve always been good with flavours, but I really found a new creativity when I started working in bars”, says Dan. Clearly it runs in the family; his mum is a “great cook” and his sister a former chef. 

A huge part of this challenge (and ultimately, what every cocktail should be) is to create something innovative, something that showcases the spirit and ultimately looks good and tastes great. It’s clear that Dan has the eye, nose and, erm, taste to create pretty special (and now award-winning!) cocktails. 

Now get down to Heddon Street Kitchen and try one for yourself. 

Gin-based drinks from across the pond

Cocktails, Ginspiration

My lack of posts over the past few weeks can be attributed to having the time of my bloody life in America and Canada. Rather than writing about what I’m drinking, I’m just getting on with drinking it.

Having said that, following a night that, regrettably, I can barely remember at Employees Only in NYC (a bar I’d been wanting to visit for months), I thought it best to showcase a few particularly nice tipples I’ve had recently, while I can still recall them.

First up, Pink Gin Cider, discovered in a beer garden in San Francisco. Neither pink, nor made with gin, but delicious nonetheless. Chewy, flat, cloudy, sweet and dry – as all cider should be. Will certainly be seeking this out again. 

Second, Canada’s favourite; the Ceaser. A sort of Bloody Mary but made with Clemato juice (a smoother, lighter version of tomato juice which I’m pretty sure has something to do with clams. No, really). Traditionally made with vodka, but would work beautifully with a London Dry Gin.

Third, this little beauty. The Sacred Narrative, which can be found at Chill Winston, in Vancouver’s Gaslamp district, is a heady blend of gin, agave, rose water, pomegranate, cinnamon, cardamom and bitters. It’s sweet, dry, strong and complex and is my favourite cocktail of the trip to date.

Gin and Champagne cocktails

Cocktails

Christmas, for me, means Champagne. The immaculate conception and birth of baby Jesus miracle thing aside, it’s the best thing about the festive season. Couple that with gin, and you’ll find me in a happy drunken haze from somewhere around mid-December until the 1st January.

These gin and fizz cocktails are sure to please fans of either.

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The French 75
A true classic, which first appeared in The Savoy Cocktail Book in 1930. Put 2 measures of gin in a champagne flute, add a measure of lemon juice, half a measure of sugar syrup (make your own, it’s easy), and top with champagne.

 

The Millionaire’s Martini
What can possibly improve a Martini? Champers, duh. Combine 2 measures of gin and 2 measures of Vermouth in a glass filled with ice. Stir until chilled and strain into a Martini glass. Top with champagne.

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Sloe Royale
A different take on the Kir Royale. Put 2 measures of sloe gin into a flute and top with champagne for a festive treat.