The Popup Martini Bar

Several months ago, my auntie suggested that we hold a popup martini bar in our family restaurant. The venue is the Gallery, on the Main Street of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull (a beautiful and friendly Hebridean Island in Argyll, western Scotland). We thought about the idea for a while but it remained firmly in the land of fantasy for quite some time. Then, … Continue reading The Popup Martini Bar

A Martini with Hayman’s Gin

I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while.    A very good friend and reader of this blog presented me with a bottle of this gin from Haymans. I instantly loved the branding and packaging. The colours, dark blue and gold, were positively regal. So I put the bottle in the freezer and awaiting a visit from my friend so we could have … Continue reading A Martini with Hayman’s Gin

A Sho-Chu Martini

   We had a family get-together but we ran out of gin mid-way through the night. I know.     Luckily I found a bottle of Japanese sho-chu which I thought I could use as an experimental substitute in a martini. Sho-chu is a spirit distilled from things like barley, rice, sweet potato or one or two other ingredients. It’s normally between 25-35% strength so is … Continue reading A Sho-Chu Martini

The Espresso Martini

“Make me something that wakes me up and then f#*€s me up.”    I’ve wanted to make this one for a long time but given its chemical stimulant potency I found myself putting it off until a suitable situation arose. The origin of most cocktails is blurry (a testament to their effectiveness) but it is believed that the espresso martini was created in a bar … Continue reading The Espresso Martini

South African biltong

I love most foods that are raw, pickled or cured (with the exception of tinned tuna). A lot of them lend themselves very well to being a good martini accompaniment.   Enter the biltong. Usually (but not exclusively) made from beef, seasoned and dried in blocks, this South African delicacy was born out of hardy necessity to preserve meat, often ahead of long journeys into … Continue reading South African biltong

Martinis y tapas

   Having spent an amazing weekend in Madrid I thought I would write about the drinking culture in the city and see what inspiration I could draw from a martini perspective.    Los Madrileños know how to have fun – without feeling guilty, without getting stressed and without getting post-apocalyptically drunk. If you feel like having a drink or having something to eat then do so. … Continue reading Martinis y tapas

A festive Advocaat and lemonade

At Christmas time, and Christmas time only, my family partake of a ‘snowball’ cocktail. It is a typical winter warmer made with the Dutch drink Advocaat. Advocaat is a blend of whisky, sugar and egg nog, all of which are good winter ingredients. Mix equal parts of Advocaat and lemonade in a glass (we usually use a Paris goblet), stir then serve. It’s simple and … Continue reading A festive Advocaat and lemonade

Mum and Dad’s house gets 5/5 for martinis

I thought I would review my parents’ house to illustrate that you don’t need to be in a fancy bar to have a nice martini. I gave their venue full points for adhering to all the main points in the martini rating scale. They keep the gin and martini glasses in the freezer and they use lemon peel to flavour and garnish the drink. They … Continue reading Mum and Dad’s house gets 5/5 for martinis

A Demerara and dark rum ‘spiky coffee’

This isn’t a martini, but it’s a nice drink that we occasionally partake of in my family, especially in winter. It’s comparable to an Irish coffee, but we haven’t traditionally called it that here and we use rum, not whisky/whiskey. It’s particularly good after a long cold day of outdoors activity. Make yourself some coffee. Pour a cup and add milk to taste if that’s … Continue reading A Demerara and dark rum ‘spiky coffee’