I named a freakin’ book

… and you should buy it.

Okay, okay – so what if I’m strutting like I’m Cock of the Roost, King of the Hill, Lord Muck … I’m acting as if I’ve actually written a book, instead of just naming one.

Forgive me this moment of joy as the book in question is all about whisk(e)y cocktails, a subject you know I love, and is written by Jesse Estes, who I also think very highly of.

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From Dram to Manhattan is published by Ryland Peters & Small and the press suggests you “shake, stir, and mix your way to whiskey and bourbon connoisseur status with award-winning bartender Jesse Estes as he demonstrates how to tame these fiery spirits in 40 delicious cocktail recipes.”

It’s not wrong. Just a quick flick though some the hard-backed 64 pages and you’ll find a mixture of classics like Blood and Sand (one of my faves), to drinks like the Cereal Milk Punch, which just makes me want to start drinking in the morning. When I say it’s surprising detailed for such a tidy volume, I mean it. Folks it has 12 pages dedicated to Manhattans (and their ilk) alone. This book is no slouch.

So, who should read Jesse’s book? I think it’s best placed in the hand of the cocktail enthusiast – be they starting off making drinks at home, looking to up their game, or for the more experienced cocktailian who wants a small but detailed pocket book of inspiration and reminder close to hand.

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From Dram to Manhattan: Around the world in 40 whisky cocktails from Scotch to Bourbon is available on Amazon.


The Mark of Respect goes intercontinental

Last week I woke up to this message from all round gentleman Kevin Hurley, Global Brand Ambassador for Teeling Whisky (for context, read this):

“Gents, with both of your gracious permissions I would love to start promoting the ‘Mark of Respect’ as a Teeling cocktail in an official capacity. First up at two guest bartending shifts I will be doing (Fools Gold NYC and at Bar Anaan for Paris cocktail week) further to this I would wish to suggest it to accounts as a Teeling suggested serve for their drinks menus. I would be sure to credit both John as the creator and Mark as the inspiration in all correspondence around the drink. Would this be ok with you both? “

And so with that the MoR cocktail goes global.

First up, Fools Gold NYC …


Oh, and here in Paris at La Conserverie …

MoR  - add to blog!


A long list of things I drank

My first married Christmas was spent in Ireland and it would have been remiss of me not to use this as an excuse to sample the many fine spirits that the country produces – both historic and new.

As an aide memoir I have listed them below – anyone beat this for a Christmas time tipple list?

  • Blackwater Juniper cask aged gin
  • Bushmills Black Bush
  • Bushmills 10 Single Malt
  • Mitchell’s Green spot
  • Mitchell’s Yellow spot
  • Jameson Black Barrel
  • Jameson Signature Reserve
  • Jameson Caskmates
  • Powers 3 Swallow
  • Powers Gold Label Standard
  • Powers Gold Label 43%
  • Powers 12
  • Redbreast 12
  • Redbreast 15
  • Wedding blend – blended by my father in law for the wedding
  • Teeling New Make
  • Teeling 15
  • Teeling 21
  • Teeling 23
  • Tyrconnel

I also imbibed the following ‘foreign spirits’

  • YAMAZAKI  single malt  distillers reserve…..
  • Whiskey Picnic  blend
  • Makers Mark



Like whisky, have questions? Glenfiddich’s ambassador Mark answers them

This short film answers a lot of whisky questions, with Glenfiddich’s UK ambassador Mark Thomson

A Drinks Galore expert Interview:

Presented by Mark Jennings drinksgalo.re

Directed by Alex Blogg alexblogg.com

Featuring Mark Thomson, UK Glenfiddich Brand Ambassador

Thanks to Walker Slater Tailors walkerslater.com

Meet The Maker series: Mark interviews Alexandre Gabriel from Cognac Ferrand, Citadelle Gin & Plantation Rum

“Taste, with the capital letters … It’s not drinking to get drunk, it’s not drinking to look cool. It’s drinking for pleasure.”

Mark speaks to Alexandre Gabriel, President of Cognac Ferrand (creator of Citadelle Gin and Plantation Rum) about life, drinks and everything in between.

“You can rebuild the world with a bottle of rum until 2 in the morning … ”

Filmed at London’s Oxo Tower by the fantastic Alex Blogg

Whisky, Rogues, Dogs and Drams – The Whisky Show 2014 in 2 minutes

Mark from Drinks Galore captures the spirit of London’s The Whisky Show. An incredible event featuring top whiskies from around the world held in the Whisky Exchange.

Sample the drams with us as we go see what’s on offer from The Balvenie, Glenfiddich, Nikka, Teeling and much more.

Filmed by Alex Blogg and Edited by Phil Edwards October 2014