All posts tagged: drink

The Catford Gin Festival Returns for 2018

Due to popular demand, South London’s premier gin event returns from Friday 5th – Sunday 8th October 2018 at the Broadway Theatre in Catford. Hosted by the Forest Hill Gin Club and Team Catford, and sponsored by Fever Tree Premium Tonic Water, the three day festival in the main auditorium of the theatre will showcase local distillers such as Dulwich based Fatty’s Organic Gin alongside those from further afield like Colonsay Gin from the Hebrides in Scotland. Other distillers in attendance include HMS Spirits, Hidden Curiosities, Tappers, Griffiths Brothers, Hayman’s, Old Bakery, Sherlock & Sons, Brentingby and our very own Tom Cat Six. The Old Tom gin distilled in conjunction with Foxdenton is a smooth slightly sweeter style gin that has six botanicals including the unique hint of Scotch bonnet pepper for a real warmth. Tickets for the event cost £25 which gets you entry to a session, a commemorative copa balon gin glass, a tote bag, a brochure to guide you through your gin festival journey and tasters from each of the distillers. Full gin and tonics …

Looking for a New Year pick-me-up? Lawrence Roullier White goes in search of South East London coffee.

Looking for a New Year pick-me-up? Lawrence Roullier White goes in search of South East London coffee. Aga’s Little Deli, Dartmouth Road, SE23, serving Monmouth Coffee and tasty treats from Cinnamon Bakery in Peckham Brickhouse Bakery, Zenoria Street, SE22, Square Mile coffee and the world-famous Peckham Rye bread Blue Mountain Café, North Cross Road, SE22, the original and one of the best, in ED since 1993 Café G, Peckham Rye, SE22, serving Volcano Coffee and G what a great breakfast! Franklins Farm Shop, London Lane, SE22, Volcano Coffee in a foodie heaven and friendly haven General Store, Bellenden Road, SE15, serving Workshop Coffee and the best Bakewells Honor Oak Provender, Honor Oak Park, SE23, Monmouth Coffee and ever changing selection of wonderful cakes Boulangerie Jade, Barry Road, SE22, house blend free-trade and organic coffee served by smiley and lovely staff Norris & Knight, Forest Hill Road, SE22, serving Volcano Coffee Old Spike Roastery, Peckham Rye, SE15, great own-brand coffee from a fantastic social enterprise Romeo Jones, Dulwich Village, SE21, great coffee and great people watching in …

Hectic Host: Fireside Fun

It is that time of year when we move the party indoors and start to cocoon with family and friends, as the evenings get longer and the fire becomes ever more tempting. Having spent the summer flitting from one social event to another the winter provides a comforting sanctuary where the only pressure is to relax and enjoy the company. In front of the fire the conversation flows and friends we have known for years become even greater ones. It is for those very evenings that it is always a good idea to have a few icebreakers on the back burner – it never a good idea to too heavily grill a new guest – and sometimes even the closet groups need a little conversational inspiration, especially if the alcohol is flowing too. A favourite game of mine I played in my youth and is one our friends used to call ‘Machiavelli’ – presumably as the founder of modern political science was one of the hardest subjects to guess. When checking online to see if …

Hectic Host: #LawrenceinFlorence

The worst mistake anyone can make at any domestic drinks party is to try to run a professional cocktail bar. Spirits will be used at different rates making it almost impossible to meet your guests’ requests and you will spend all night mixing and shaking, if not running to the shops. Instead invite friends over and serve a particular pre-planned cocktail, together with several choices for non-drinkers, they are often forgotten. One drink which is is almost impossible to get wrong is the ever so glamorous Negroni. Finding myself lucky enough to be seated very recently in the very bar where the drink was invented I decided, with its orangery hue, that this was the perfect autumnal aperitif and my cocktail of choice for the coming months. Count Camillo Luigi Manfredo Maria Negroni was born in Florence in 1868, he was a maverick nobleman who swapped the rolling hills of Tuscany for the barren landscape of the Wild West, where he lived the horse-back cowboy life. Presumably his drinking habits became hardened by the extreme …

Hectic Host: Gin Craze

The 18th century Gin Craze took hold in a big way, the average Londoner drank 14 gallons a year and London had 7000 establishments selling the stuff. In the slums and unsanitary conditions gin was safer to drink than water and people readily got hooked. The widespread disorder caused by the problem eventually resulted in the 1751 Gin Act which effectively introduced licensing laws in to Britain. There is a second Gin Craze sweeping London, but this time things are a little more rarified; the rise of small batch distilleries and the increased interest in special botanicals have resonated with drinkers looking for a product with provenance. The usual way to make gin is to distill natural botanicals, such as juniper, coriander, citrus peel, cinnamon, etc. with neutral grain alcohol. The skill comes with knowing how to balance the botanicals to deliver the best possible fragrant flavour. Over on this month’s shopping page we identify 14 London gin distilleries – the term ‘London’ means ‘dry’; not where it is made – and here are some …