All you ever need to know about tequila – Drinks Galore Meet The Maker Series

Mark gets in-depth on tequila and mezcal with Tequila Ocho’s Jesse Estes. A Drinks Galore interview.

What actually is tequila? How is it made? What is mezcal and what’s the difference? How can you tell if your tequila is 100% agave and why does this matter? And what’s with this worm thing anyway?

Find out all you ever wanted to know about how agave spirits are made, and what makes one of the most misunderstood spirits seem much more enjoyable and alluring in this video interview.

Filmed in January 2015 at El Nivel in London by the visual and audio magicians Alex Blogg and Olly Burton.

Rum Ho went off with a blast

Ahoy mates, last week we presented Rum Ho – another drinks tasting for spirited amateurs. Starting with a classic daiquiri served up by the Hoxton bar crew, and finished with a rum grog made by the guests themselves we fitted a 5 rum tasting in between.

The air was thick with swarthy questions and cask strength badinage, plus the sheer volume of knowledge from ‘Professor Rum’ Roger Barnes  was enough to captivate event the most mutinous crew

The Hoxton summed up the event very well on their blog – check it out.

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New Event Announcement – Worldwide wine tasting (a journey through the world’s unexpected wine regions)

A SPECIAL Drinks Galore event in support of the 70 TechBikers, cycling 200miles Paris to London for Room to Read, you are invited to taste some fine wine, and hear an incredible story – all proceeds go to charity.   

Find out more and book tickets here

For 18 months Fearghal left everything he knew behind and cycled the globe – over 30,000km through some of the highest, driest, remotest, wettest, poorest and hottest places on earth. In doing so became one of the first Irishmen to circumnavigate the globe by bike.

Mile after mile what kept him going was a thirst for adventure, and a thirst for new wine. Using his years of wine tasting experience as a base, he experienced new countries and ever changing terroirs, but in each he found wine, and not just any wine … great wine.

Ferg will introduce us to this wine, and take us on a journey in and around the regions he passed through while we taste. All you need is you, we’ll provide the rest. And remember, each ticket helps Room to Read build more libraries and schools in the developing world

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Top presenter signed up for RUM HO

I am absolutely delighted to announce Roger Barnes as the presenter for the next Drinks Galore event RUM HO {Tickets here}

Roger Barnes Nosing2

Roger is THE MAN on rum – ask any barman and his name comes up first.

A renowned rum enthusiast across Europe with 20 years’ experience, what he doesn’t know about rum … well, he just knows everything. Rightly respected by many industry professionals ranging from brand owners to bartenders, brand ambassadors and rum distributors, he even sits on the UK Panel for previewing, tasting and judging rums.

Naturally a man this suave is also president of the London Cigar Aficionados, where he puts on cigar and rum tasting events to the discerning members.

I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing his passion and knowledge for this spirit a few times now and I can’t wait to share this with you.

Get your tickets for RUM HO here.

Drinks Galore – Meet The Maker Series – Mark gets in depth on gin with Plymouth Gin’s Master Distiller Sean Harrison

A few weeks ago I got in-depth on gin and more with Plymouth Gin’s Master Distiller Sean Harrison.

What is Navy Strength gin? Why does this former Navy man drink gin without garnish? Did he always dream of running a distillery, and what does a master distiller actually do with his time?

Find out all you ever wanted to know about how gin is made, and what makes one of the oldest gins so distinct, in this video interview.

Guest Event Summary – Gin Blossoming

I thought a G&T was two liquids binding in a glass with ice and optional garnish. Oh how I was wrong…

Thanks to Katie McCullough, guest at GIN BLOSSOMING for this Guest Event Summary:

It’s safe to say, I’m a gin drinker. By that I mean a gin & tonic is my go-to drink when ever anyone asks, preferably with lime. I thought a G&T was two liquids binding in a glass with ice and optional garnish. Oh how I was wrong…

This was the second Drinks Galore event I’d been to. The first one, Whisky I Love You, left me with nuggets of information and a slither of knowledge were I to order a whisky. When the announcement came that the second spirit was to be gin, well I booked straight away and gathered some friends to come with.

What I love about the Drinks Galore events are that they’re casual and relaxed.

I don’t profess to know a lot about alcohol except how to put it in my mouth and swallow, but I’ve also never been that enamoured by the idea of a wine-tasting. So to have an event like this exist where it’s more about the atmosphere and the time spent getting to know the spirits, means you’re instantly put at ease. To be honest that’s definitely helped by the fact you start the night in what feels like someone’s kitchen, a complimentary gin cocktail made before you fresh, with pockets of people chatting. The Hoxton Hotel may be busy in the foyer, but where we are feels like a few drinks away from the hustle and bustle. A civilised affair where it’s not about who you’re wearing and where you work, but what you’re drinking.

Then you’re led into what feels like someone’s living room where snifters of gin are laid out for each and everyone of us, and it would be rude not to partake…

Mark Thomson, the spirit expert, leads us through the tumbling troubled history of gin with his tales of Fleming, tonic, botanicals, and the origins of the moniker ‘Mother’s Ruin’. With a constant stream of knowledge delivered in a friendly funny way, you never feel like you’re being bombarded. Just like the gin in hand, you imbibe the wisdom like it’s the best history and science lesson you’ve ever had/drunk. Drinking gin neat was admittedly a little frightening. But once you smell, sip, appreciate the spirit neat, only then can you marvel at the differences. My own favourite was Hayman’s Old Tom, a gin that captures the essence of gin distillery from the 1800s, but without the badness that we’ve all heard about. Fresh, soft, citrus… This is a gin I would happily drink neat in a glass toppled with ice.

Our last drink of the night was served to us somewhat dissected. Presented with the ingredients of gin supplied by Dodds, and tonic by Fever-Tree, we were invited to create our own G&T. With spruces of lemon thyme, rinds of citrus, and bay leaves dotted around, we all got to creating. My personal and extremely beautiful tasting creation was lemon thyme, bay leaf and grapefruit rind.

I entered the room knowing how to ask for a G&T, I left the room knowing that’s never going to be as simple or good enough anymore. But I’ve got the knowledge to change that. There’s gin, and then there’s a world of gin you’ve not yet tried. I cannot wait for the next spirit of choice, next time I’m bringing more friends.

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Drinks Galore Interviews – Mark speaks to Mark Thomson, spirits expert

Mark Jennings interviews Mark Thomson, spirits expert and presenter for Drinks Galore. We discuss the spirits we tried and can’t go back to, the next ‘big’ spirits, the most unusual place to do a whisky tasting and what his ‘desert island’ spirit would be.

At Drinks Galore we believe there’s nothing better than tasting unique spirits in the company of great people. We’re talking about the kind of evening where you can learn as much from the person sitting next to you as from the drink-swilling expert.

#DrinksGalore – Elegant drinks tastings for spirited amateurs

Shot at McQueen London by Alex Blogg. See more of his fantastic work

New Event Announcement – GIN BLOSSOMING

Do you like Gin?

Hoxton Hotel barman

Of course you do

In that case you’ll like my next Drinks Galore tasting event … GIN BLOSSOMING

Find out more and book tickets here

We all drink it but how much do we really know about this fine spirit? Come and join me and a good crowd as we get merry and learn more, in the perfect surrounds of the Hoxton Hotel’s private rooms.

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You can see a short video from our launch event here