As I made my way down the cobbles of Rose Street, rain cascading down on me from a sky which threatened to strike with lightning at any moment, I almost walked past the offices.
I knew the general direction I was headed, it was on my way home, I just didn’t know the exact destination. I guess that should have been my first clue that these guys were something different.
Eventually, sopping wet, I found a blue door which looked like it had take a beating. Illuminated by a single lamp above the frame, in the pitch darkness I could just about make out the logo of the people I needed to see.
Bryant & Mack: Private Detectives
So, there’s a heatwave. Is it a heatwave if it lasts this long or is it just the weather? Every year, the newspapers blare out warnings of an incoming heat wave.
If it happens every year, it can’t be a freak occurrence. Look, I just Googled it:
“A prolonged period of abnormally hot weather.”
Last year was set to be the hottest on record, the year before that was too… I think. I’m writing recipes, not conducting research on global climate patterns.
Any way. As I write this, it’s half past 1 and it’s currently 17℃ (Yay! I found the button) here in Edinburgh. That’s pretty warm. It’s also a Tuesday.
The reason I’m giving you the lowdown on my surroundings is because this is the perfect temperature for a Gin and Tonic. However, it’s not the perfect time. People tend to judge you when you sit in your living room drinking cocktails while they’re at work. I think it’s just jealousy but I’m not in the mood to challenge it.
That’s why I made a non-alcoholic version of this classic summer drink.
I love a good cocktail. You probably already know that if you’ve ever read this blog before.
I also like pop culture references… same as above…
So when I bought a bottle of Rittenhouse Bottled In Bond as a treat for my birthday week, I felt it was imperative that I combine those two loves in a delicious way.
After considering about 2 options. I settled on making a drink which would make Ron Swanson proud. Which meant I needed to make bacon whiskey.
When Tanqueray asked me if I knew how any warm/warming cocktails for this blight of cold weather we’ve been having recently, I was pretty excited.
Usually, Gin is seen to be a Spring/Summer drink. The skies need to be blue, the clouds non-existent and ice cubes big and clinking (or crushed if I’m having a Bramble).
But people have been drinking warm gin for a number of years.
Gin is for all seasons.
Quick note though. If you’re reading this, it means that there are no pictures below. This is because, in my infinite wisdom, I made everything, wrote down the recipes, drank the cocktails and then cleared away in the morning. Keen eyed observers will notice that I didn’t say anywhere in that “took a few photos for posterity”. My bad… I guess I’ll have to make them all again at some point and take some shots. This is what I do for you people.
There are only so many times you can make the same journey home before even the prospect of walking in your front door becomes a chore. Anna and I had tread the same paving stones after a wander through Edinburgh so many times, it had all become a blur. It became an almost involuntary motion as we put one foot in front of the other and slowly shuffled our way home.
One day, we decided to throw it all to fate and take a right turn.
It was the best right turn I have ever taken.
What began as simply a change of scenery took us from France to Cairo, Taipei and onward to many distant places.
Little did we know, that simple diversion from our steadfast path would take us on the Voyage of Buck.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I have been incorrect for a long proportion of my adult life. There exists, out there in the world, a drink which we have forced to hide in the shadows, gathering dust on bar shelves across the country due to our own ignorance and misinformation.
As you have gleaned from the title, I am talking about tequila.
I can feel you all turning up your noses and reaching for the door as I type these words. I implore you to hear me out!
Another amazing alcohol company has asked my humble opinion on their delicious elixir of fun, frivolity and fun times.
This time, it was from one of my favourite whiskies, Johnnie Walker. However, they were less concerned with my mixology prowess and more inquisitive about my thoughts on food pairings for their whisky.
As you well know, I have been tasked with creating and sharing some rum cocktails using a wonderful bottle of Captain Morgan’s Original Spiced Rum. I’ll be honest, this was a little bit more difficult than I first envisioned.
I have long enjoyed spiced rum over ice, maybe with a slice of lime (if I’ve remembered to pick some up on my travels) and that will do for me. I am a man of simple tastes.
But I was asked very nicely to do this and, come Hell or high water, I am going to do a damn fine job of it.
Ahoy, Land Lubbers!
Are you prepared for National Rum Day this year?
I am! Although, I do have to profess that I was given somewhat of a headstart by the lovely people over at Captain Morgan’s when they sent me a delicious bottle of their Original Spiced Rum and asked me to… drink it. They were pretty laid back about the whole affair, to be honest.
They just wanted me to have a good time and let all of you scurvy dogs know how to make the most out of this holiday with a bottle of fine grog.
Similar to the Martini, this is one of those classic gin cocktails which boils down to drinking lightly flavoured spirits. It’s usually made with just sweetened lime juice and a boat load of Gin. I thought I’d think outside the box and give it a much more British, summery feel with the inclusion of a splash of homemade Cucumber and Mint syrup.