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Thursday, 30 March 2017

Curry Pizza on the Menu at St. Enoch

Di Maggio's Glasgow, pizza, curry pizza, St Enoch, Glasgow restaurant
Di Maggio’s in Glasgow’s St. Enoch Centre is bringing together two of the city’s favourite foods with the creation of a curry pizza.
The mouthwatering treat has been created to celebrate the £1.5 million investment in the Glasgow shopping centre’s food court and will be available exclusively in The Atrium over the Easter holidays.
Di Maggio's Glasgow, pizza, curry pizza, St Enoch, Glasgow restaurant

The Fusion pizza replaces the traditional tomato sugo with curry sauce and is then topped with chicken tikka, red onion and mozzarella.

Chris Anderson, operations manager of Di Maggio’s Food Courts, was behind the new taste sensation. He said: “I wanted to create a dish to celebrate the many different aspects of Glasgow from its reputation as the Curry Capital of the UK to its love of pizza.

“Di Maggio’s has been in the St. Enoch Centre for over 25 years and we have seen eating habits and tastes changing over the years and we are confident that this fusion of east and west will be a great success.”

The Fusion pizza is priced at £5 for a full pizza and £2.85 for half a pizza and will be exclusively available from Di Maggio’s at The Atrium food court in St. Enoch Centre from Saturday 1st April to Monday 17th April 2017.

For more information, please visit www.st-enoch.com.

Di Maggio's Glasgow, pizza, curry pizza, St Enoch, Glasgow restaurant

 

Sunday, 26 March 2017

30 Second Craft Beer Review - Pure Gallus by Black Wolf Brewery

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The Aldi Spring Beer Festival is under way so I made my way along to my local store last week to stock up on a few bottles of craft beer for the weekend. Aldi's buyers have specially selected 35 different beers from a huge range craft brewers from across the country and after much deliberation, I made my way home with half a dozen beers that I've not tried before.
One of the six was Pure Gallus from Stirling based brewer, Black Wolf Brewery.
Gerry's Kitchen, craft beer review, Pure Gallus, Black Wolf Brewery, 30 second craft beer review, craft beer

Pure Gallus Scottish Pale Ale (ABV 5.5%) from Black Wolf Brewery

Bought at Aldi for £1.49 for 330ml

  • Pours with a foamy head that is still evident towards the bottom of the glass.
  • Dark amber in colour with no haziness.
  • Citrus and pine notes on the nose with burnt caramel in the background.
  • Medium carbonation.
  • Bitter orange marmalade flavours on the initial taste that are replaced by notes of apricot before a palate cleansing grapefruit bitter finish.

I've written previously about Black Wolf Brewery with Tundra being one of my favourite wheat beers but I've always felt that the Stirling Brewery is a bit hit and miss. That said, Pure Gallus was right up my street. A beer that delivered huge flavour from the first sip to the last. Definitely one that I'll be stocking up on, a very good Scottish twist on the traditional IPA.

 

Friday, 24 March 2017

BLOOM Gin – The Perfect Gift For Mother's Day

Swap afternoon tea for cocktails and treat your mother to some indulgent BLOOM Gin cocktails at Somerset House!

The Pennethorne’s Bar in Somerset House and BLOOM Gin have launched a gorgeous BLOOM Gin cocktail to celebrate Mother’s Day. Described as one of London’s ‘hidden gems’ Pennethorne’s, in the New Wing of Somerset House in London, transforms from cosy lunches and drinks into a cocktail bar at night.

Pennethorne’s will be serving the BLOOMING Love cocktail, created by General Manager and Head Mixologist, Deena Versanszki, who hails originally from New York. Deena’s Blooming Love cocktail will be available at The Pennethorne’s Bar until the end of March.

Served in an elegant Martini glass this cocktail is mixed with BLOOM Gin and Martini Bianco and is garnished with a swirl of cucumber.

Pennethorne’s is open from Mon-Fri 8am-late, Sat 10am-late and Sun closed. Check the website in case of private events. Tables for more than 10 people can be reserved by emailing info@pennethornes.co.uk or calling Group Bookings +44 (0)20 7845 4651.

BLOOM Gin is the perfect gift for Mother’s Day. Its elegant and feminine bottle looks stylish on any drinks table yet is exquisite to drink! Below are a few cocktail suggestions to best enjoy BLOOM Gin:

BLOOM Gin & Tonic with Strawberries - Who needs flowers with this floral infused cocktail. BLOOM’s bespoke botanical blend of honeysuckle and chamomile give the classic Gin & Tonic a totally unique, slightly sweet taste. Serve with fresh sliced strawberries to really enhance the floral flavours.

To make the BLOOM Gin & Tonic with Strawberries at home:

  • Quarter two strawberries
  • Place in a balloon glass
  • Add ice
  • Top with 200ml high quality tonic water
  • Stir gently to ensure that the flavours are well mixed

BLOOM Gin French 75 - Beautifully simple yet sophisticated.

To make the BLOOM Gin French 75 at home you will need:

  • 25ml BLOOM London Dry Gin
  • 25ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 10ml sugar syrup (1 water: 2 sugar)
  • Top with good quality Prosecco or Champagne
  • Shake the first three ingredients with ice and strain into a chilled champagne flute. Top with bubbles and garnish with pretty edible flowers.

BLOOM Gin Pear Bellini- Raise a glass to your special mother with this effervescent celebratory cocktail.

To make this BLOOM Pear Bellini at home, you will need:

  • 25ml BLOOM London Dry Gin
  • 10ml pear juice
  • Shake pear juice and BLOOM with ice and fine strain into a chilled glass
  • Top with chilled Prosecco

BLOOM Gin - This elegant, feminine and delicate gin is the perfect gift for Mother's Day. Wonderfully stylish and exquisite to drink.

BLOOM Gin's beautiful new bottle and delicious floral flavour appeals to non-gin drinkers and gin aficionados alike. Distilled by one of the world's few female Master Distillers, Joanne Moore. Joanne chose the flowers of chamomile and honeysuckle, with the citrus fruit pomelo to make up the three main botanicals for BLOOM.

Available in all major supermarkets, Harvey Nichols and Ocado. RRP £24.00 for 70cl. ABV: 40%. http://www.waitrose.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductView-10323--115845-Bloom+London+Gin?storeId=10323

 

Thursday, 23 March 2017

International Gin & Tonic Day: How do you like your style of GIN?

This year when you celebrate International Gin and Tonic Day on the 9th April, why not prepare your G&T with three refreshingly different tasting gins from England's oldest Gin distilling company.

BLOOM Gin & Tonic with Strawberries - The perfect G&T for the summer

  • Quarter two strawberries and place in a balloon glass.
  • Add ice and pour 50ml of BLOOM Gin over the ice.
  • Top with 200ml of Fever-Tree tonic water.
  • Stir gently to ensure that the flavours are well mixed.

BLOOM Gin's elegant bottle and delicious floral flavour appeals to occasional gin drinkers and gin aficionados alike. It is distilled by one of the world's few female Master Distillers, Joanne Moore, who chose the flowers of chamomile and honeysuckle, with the citrus fruit pomelo to make up the three main botanicals for BLOOM.

BLOOM Gin is available from: Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Asda, Ocado and Morrisons. RRP: £24.00 for 70cl. ABV: 40% http://www.sainsburys.co.uk/shop/gb/groceries/gin/bloom-gin-70cl

Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin

  • Pour 50ml of Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin into a highball glass over ice cubes.
  • Add 200ml Fever-Tree Tonic and garnish with a wedge of orange studded with cloves.

Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin has a beautiful bottle and its hand-picked botanicals epitomise the exotic intensity of the Orient, with spicy cubeb berries from Indonesia, cardamon and black pepper from India and coriander from Morocco.

Available from: Asda, Tesco, Morrison's, Waitrose, Ocado, Booths and seven regional Harvey Nicols stores nationwide and 31Dover.com. RRP: £23.00 for 70cl. ABV: 40% http://www.waitrose.com/shop/HeaderSearchCmd?searchTerm=opihr+gin&defaultSearch=None

Thomas Dakin - Tom & Tonic - A gin and tonic with a unique flavour

  • Fill a tall glass with ice.
  • Pour in 50ml of Thomas Dakin Gin and top with 125ml of Fever-Tree tonic water.
  • Garnish with a twist of orange peel and a sprig of coriander.

Thomas Dakin Gin is a classic style London Dry Gin which takes its name from the forefather of English Gin, Thomas Dakin, who created the world's first quality gin in 1761 in the North West of England.

The Master Distiller uses a secret recipe of eleven botanicals, including some traditionally used for making cordials in the 18th Century, as well as juniper, orange peel and English coriander with the unique addition of red cole to give the gin its long, lingering finish. Horseradish, or red cole as it was known in Dakin's day, was used to revive weary travellers journeying by coach and horses from London to Scotland.

Thomas Dakin is available from: Waitrose, Harvey Nichols, Booths, Ocado, 31Dover.com, GinFoundry.com RRP: £29.00 for 70cl. ABV: 42% http://www.waitrose.com/shop/HeaderSearchCmd?searchTerm=thomas+dakin+gin&defaultSearch=None

Stoats Launches New Quick Pots Flavour

Stoats, a leading oats company, has announced three new flavours have been added to their Porridge Quick Pot range.

Due to the growing popularity of the Stoats Porridge Quick Pots, three new flavour pots have been added to the range. With wholesome oaty goodness and packed with real fruit pieces, these pots offer a super convenient way for on-the-go consumption – cooking in three minutes simply by adding hot water. Available in Raspberry & Honey, Rhubarb & Bramble, and Pear & Vanilla, the new pots are high in fibre and are a source of protein to help you own the day.

Stoats Pear & Vanilla Porridge Quick Pot
The first of the new Quick Pots is a completely new flavour to the Stoats range and an unbeatable taste combo. Perky pear teams up beautifully with vibrant vanilla to give you the porridge equivalent of a warm, life-affirming hug. Own the day, any time of day, quickly and easily.
Stoats Raspberry & Honey Porridge Quick Pot

Inspired by Cranachan, the legendary Scottish dessert, this pot is positively packed with premium Stoats oats, tangy raspberries and yummy honey. It’s a speedy, flavoursome way to fuel up with goodness and own the day.

Stoats Rhubarb & Bramble Porridge Quick Pot

Like taking a mouthful of the Scottish countryside, Stoats’ premium oats blend with tart rhubarb, sweet apple, and juicy brambles in a perky pot to fill you up and help you own the day.

Managing Director at Stoats, Tony Stone said: “As lifestyles are increasingly busy, we want to ensure that people can eat well on the go. These porridge pots prove the perfect portion of porridge that will keep you satisfied until lunch. We hope our consumers will enjoy these new flavour additions to our range.”

Stoats Porridge Quick Pots are available to purchase from www.eatstoats.co.uk for an RRP of £1.29 per pot as well as an introductory online offer of six pots for £5.

Established in 2005 by Tony Stone and Bob Arnott, Stoats specialises in providing good quality oat products which are nutritionally rich, convenient and help satisfy hunger at all points in the day.

Further information on Stoats products can be found at www.eatstoats.com.

Brakes Scotland Announces Partnership with MasterChef Gary Maclean in Boost to Scottish Offering

Scottish foodservice provider, Brakes Scotland, has announced a new partnership with MasterChef: The Professionals winner Gary Maclean. The partnership will see Gary support the company’s unwavering commitment to sourcing local products, promoting the very best in Scottish produce and innovation.

The partnership follows the launch of Brakes Scotland in 2016, part of Brakes’ UK operation, and further cements the company’s increased commitment to Scotland and its Scottish offering.

Gary Maclean has a long-standing relationship with Brakes spanning 25 years, having used the company throughout his entire career as a chef and senior lecturer. He comments: “The team at Brakes Scotland have so much passion and enthusiasm for Scottish produce. It’s fantastic to see the work the company is doing to support Scottish suppliers, including collaborating with smaller suppliers, and I’m really excited to be part of this. I have always been a huge advocate of Scottish produce across the seasons, from shellfish to fresh berries, and I believe Scotland is the envy of Europe in terms of the quality of produce we have on our doorstep. As a chef and lecturer I know first-hand how important locally sourced food, with strong provenance, is to chefs and consumers.”

John McLintock, director of operations, Brakes Scotland, commented on the new partnership: “Gary is an incredibly well respected and dynamic powerhouse in the world of food and we’re thrilled he’s on board to help enhance our Scottish focus and to work directly with our customers. We have grown our Scottish offering considerably, for example our dairy products are now entirely Scottish, and we have plans in the pipeline that will add to a brilliant Scottish range. We have always supported young chefs and Gary will help us to inspire young talent in Scotland, as well as develop new recipes and some other exciting initiatives. We remain focused on truly putting Scottish food at the very heart of our business.”

Brakes Scotland has shown significant investment in the Scottish economy and now has over 80 Scottish suppliers providing 400 Scottish specific product lines. This equates to £70m of Scottish produce procured annually, spanning meat, dairy, fish & seafood, bakery, desserts & ice cream, grocery and drinks. 30% of all Brakes Scotland sales are currently produced and packaged in Scotland.

Brakes Scotland has their Scottish Supplier event next week (Tuesday 28 March) at the Royal Highland Centre in Ingliston where 50 Scottish Suppliers will showcase their goods. The event will run from 12pm – 4pm and will include live demonstrations from Brakes Scotland sister companies, Fresh Direct and M&J Seafood.

 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Young Fathers, Belle & Sebastian and Idlewild to Headline Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival Music Line-Up

Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival is excited to announce DJ sets from Young Fathers, Belle & Sebastian, Idlewild and Metronomy’s Olugbenga at their Bank Holiday weekend festival in Edinburgh.

Young Fathers will headline the Friday night DJ slot with Idlewild on stage during the day on Saturday and Belle & Sebastian to play at the festival on Saturday night. Sunday’s session will feature a DJ set from Olugbenga Adelekan from Metronomy.

Over thirty internationally renowned brewers will fly in from around the world to participate in Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival; kicking off on the May Bank Holiday weekend, Friday 26th May - Sunday 28th at The Biscuit Factory in Leith.

Among them are Lervig, Firestone Walker, Dugges, Beerbliotek, Pohjala, Mikkeller HQ, Brooklyn Brewery and Sierra Nevada

For many of the participating brewers, it will be the first time they have touched down on Scottish soil where they will exhibit their beers to a festival audience of 3,000 people.

Completing the line-up, is an all-star selection of Scottish and English craft breweries, including from England, Beavertown, Kernel, Thornbridge, Magic Rock, and Northern Monk. From Scotland Tempest, BrewDog, Pilot, and Fierce Beer will be showcasing their beers.

Up to 200 beers will be available to try including new-to-market brews, cult classics and festival specials.

Tickets start at £30 (plus booking fee) and include entry to the festival, souvenir glass and the chance to explore all the special beers on offer.

Popular local street market, The Pitt will provide the food offering, including usual favourites, Umami Spice Girl and Pizza Geeks.

Speaking of the music line-up, Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival organiser Greg Wells said:

"We are beyond excited to announce our music line-up and begin the countdown to the first Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival.

We wanted our music line-up to reflect the vibe of the festival, offering both heavy hitters names and rising stars to complete the roster.

Up until now, craft beer festivals in Scotland have focused on local or up-and-coming talent. What we're seeking to do at Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival is bring together the best of beer, full stop.

Our hand-picked line-up will see superstar craft brewers from Sweden, New Zealand, America, Norway and even England pour their beers in Scotland for the very first time. Needless to say, this is not a beer festival to miss."

Tickets for Edinburgh Craft Beer Festival are available now: http://www.edinburghcraftbeerfestival.co.uk

 

Mediterranean Mezze Brings Sun-Drenched Dishes and Stunning Views to The Table

Bask in the heat of the Mediterranean – as stylish restaurant and bar Mezze has officially opened down by the Clyde. Hundreds of customers joined them on their first weekend as the restaurant brought welcomed sunshine to the city.
Set on the top floor of the Rotunda complex, the split-level bustling contemporary foodie oasis offers impressive seafood dishes, mouthwatering chargrilled meats and kebabs alongside spectacular views out across the River Clyde and SEC Hydro.
Led by head chefs, Alex Lioly and Ridi Mukja, their modern dishes shine on the menu, as Mezze showcases the diverse Mediterranean culture and landscape – with Greek, Cypriot, Ionian islands and Turkish influences that reinvent classic fare. The dishes – a combination of small and big plates have been created to share and to complement the casual, laid-back atmosphere and vibe of the space.
Sharing specialities include whole chargrilled sea bream, slow-cooked kleftiko lamb shoulder – a real show stopper, slow cooked chicken tava stews, and seafood saganaki stews that are perfect for bringing friends and family together.
Designed by CM Design Consultants, the 60-seater restaurant boasts postcard blue walls, comfortable and colourful fabric and leather booths and white washed tables and chairs that will transport you to port of Thessaloniki whilst you dine. For drinkers, a relaxing bar area is set under a spectacular Santorini-inspired blue dome feature ceiling that provides a dreamy oasis for cocktails or a quiet glass of wine before or after dinner.
Brought to you by restaurateurs, Kevin Campbell and Toni Carbajosa – who own Greek-Cypriot restaurant Halloumi and Rioja tapas and cocktail bar in Finnieston, the new restaurant will offer 20% off as an introductory welcome to diners.
Campbell says: “Modern Greek and Mediterranean cuisine is making waves at the moment and we wanted to create a dining space that pays homage to our chefs heritage. Ridi and Alex have created dishes that reinvent what they ate growing up in with a twist and the result is modern and fresh.
“Sharing is a culinary tradition and we wanted our guests to come and experience the magic of Mezze and feel as if they've stepped into the warmth of the Mediterranean Aegean sea.”
For more information please visit:

Twitter @mezzeglasgow

Instagram @mezzeglasgow

Open seven days from 12 noon until 10pm, Sunday to Thursday, and 10:30pm Friday and Saturday. Mezze is situated on the Fourth Floor of the Rotunda Complex. 28 Tunnel Street Hope St, Glasgow, and will be serving from lunch through to dinner.

Rotunda is located a two minute walk from the Hydro and SEC complex and is the newest addition to Glasgow’s thriving dining scene.

Bookings can be made on 0141 204 3144, or alternatively online at http://www.glasgowrotunda.com/mezze-glasgow/

Glass Half Full for Scotland’s Licensed Trade

Scots who have experience working in the licensed trade but have fallen on hard times are being encouraged to apply for one-off grants as part of an industry charity’s ‘Glass Half Full’ campaign.
Over the years the Scottish Licensed Trade Benevolent Society, known as The BEN, has helped a host of beneficiaries from throughout Scotland with one-off grants of up to £1,000 for everything from essential monthly payments including rent, phone and fuel bills to one-off payments for redecoration, clothing and even funding towards a lost wallet.
Launched last year, The Glass Half Full campaign is targeting current and former members of the licensed trade who have fallen on hard times through illness, unemployment or other factors, and would benefit from financial aid for reasons both big and small.
The charity has been providing social, financial and emotional support to members, both current and former, of the licensed trade for over 150 years including regular discretionary payments as well as one-off grants.
Over 50% of one-off grants since 2011 were for redecoration or household appliances including new cookers, fridge freezers and vinyl flooring while 19% were for essential bills including mortgage payments, rent, heating, insurance and council tax, highlighting the importance of the service. During this time, grants were also provided for a new boiler, numerous household repairs as well as healthcare and travel support.
To be eligible for support, applicants must have worked in the licensed trade (incorporating bars, pubs, restaurants, hotels, wholesalers plus packaging, production and distribution firms) for at least three years on a full-time basis. The three years do not need to be consecutive.
As well as encouraging potential beneficiaries to get in touch, the Glass Half Full campaign aims to engage members of the licensed trade, and general public, to help spread the word and Chris Gardner, chief executive of The BEN, hopes it will enable the charity to support more people throughout Scotland than ever before.
She said: “Since it was established, The BEN has supported thousands of people across Scotland and we continue to strive to help as many as we can today; we hope the Glass Half Full campaign will inspire people to either recommend our services or get in touch.
“We know there are hundreds of Scots out there who are eligible for support, but just don’t know it, so we want to let them know we are here to help whether that’s emotionally or financially through our regular discretionary payments or one-off grants. Anyone can require assistance at any time of their life, and as our records show, this could be anything from tiding you over for a lost wallet to helping with essential payments such as rent or mortgage that allow our beneficiaries to keep a roof over their head.
“We understand that there can be apprehension and embarrassment, which can be caused by seeking financial support but would assure anyone considering contacting us that the application process is completely confidential and any arrangements are managed with the utmost discretion. Every beneficiary is treated individually and we would encourage anyone in the license trade looking for support to get in touch as we are here to help.”
The BEN also has a network of local Volunteers who are on hand to support those in the trade. George Reddington, BEN Visitor, added: “A lot of former and current workers of the licensed trade won’t know they’re eligible for support and we would encourage those in the industry or even those who know someone eligible for assistance, be that financial or emotional, to get in touch. We’d also urge employers across Scotland to inform their staff of the varied services that The BEN provides and the options available, even if it is just to have a chat, we’re here to help.”
Support is also provided through The BEN Pitlochry Estate, which consists of 18 bungalows, and offers accommodation for current and retired members of the licensed trade industry as well as ‘Respitality’ breaks for carers in some of the most picturesque surroundings.
To find out more about The BEN or to enquire about support, please visit www.bensoc.org.uk or call 0141 353 3596.

Stewart Brewing's Jack Back Beer Wins Gold at the SIBA Independent Beer Awards

Leading Scottish craft brewer, Stewart Brewing, is celebrating the win of a prestigious national accolade after their popular beer Jack Back earned a Gold Award at the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) National Independent Beer Awards.
Jack Back fought off competition from hundreds of other entrants to win Gold in the ‘Champion Keg Standard Bitters & Pale Ales’ category at the awards ceremony, which took place at SIBA’s BeerX event in Sheffield on Friday 17 March. The UK-wide competition is open to all craft brewers around the country and each year receives hundreds of entrants, with over 400 beers entered in the keg competition this year.
Jo Stewart, Stewart Brewing co-founder, commented: “It’s amazing to win this award and we are extremely proud. The competition was so fierce with loads of great beers from well-respected brewers. It’s a massive result for our whole team and our customers who continue to support us. It was also great to see many other Scottish brewers do so well in the competition too.”
Speaking about the winning beer, she added; “Jack Back pours pale straw in colour with strong citrus and tropical fruit aromas and a touch of blueberry. The taste is light, crisp & refreshing, with a smooth hoppy finish.”
Mike Benner, SIBA Managing Director, said “It is fantastic to see such high quality beers across a range of formats in this year’s biggest ever beer competition. With hundreds of entries across cask, keg, bottle and can this really was the cream of the crop in terms of independent craft beers from the UK. It’s also clear fantastic tasting beer is being produced by our members across the length of Britain, but that Scotland brewers have proved to be a particular hit with judges in 2017.”
SIBA also acknowledged that the awards have highlighted the diversity of independent craft beer that is now being brewed in the UK.
Jack Back (3.7% ABV) is available in the Stewart Brewing brewery shop in Loanhead and the new Stewart’s Dockside Tap shop in Leith, as well as in select Edinburgh pubs and bars including Deacon Brodies, The Haymarket and The Mitre.
The Stewart Brewing brewery is located at Bilston Glen Industrial Estate, 26a Dryden Rd, Loanhead.
For more announcements, follow Stewart Brewing on social media:
www.facebook.com/stewartbrewingedin
Twitter @StewartBrewing

Wild Island Botanic Gin Springs Into Summer

 
Colonsay Beverages, producers of Colonsay Beers – Pig’s Paradise, IPA and 80 Shilling – is celebrating the launch of its premium gin, Wild Island Botanic Gin infused with botanicals hand foraged on the remote Inner Hebridean island.
Wild Island Botanic Gin, distilled five times using 100% British wheat, is infused with a carefully selected array of six Hebridean botanicals, namely lemon balm, wild water mint, meadowsweet, sea buckthorn, heather flowers and bog myrtle, to give the gin a fresh, crisp and complex character. A further ten distinct botanicals - Mediterranean lemon peel, orange peel, juniper, coriander, angelica, orris root, liquorice, nutmeg, cassia and cinnamon bark – add depth to the base spirit, which is incredibly smooth to drink even at a 43.7% ABV bottling strength.
The company has already produced and sold four 750 bottle batches since its launch in December and has secured two Scottish wholesale agreements and further gains in London, which has meant bringing forward planned production to meet rising demand.
“Wild Island Gin’s characters make it a fantastic spring or summer tipple and we want to make sure we are part of the gin drinker’s repertoire on the laid back warmer weather occasions. Product availability will be key.” commented director, Keith Bonnington. “The spirit has been tailored around one of our core Hebridean botanicals – lemon balm, which is part of the mint family, but carries a beautiful refreshing citrus aroma right through to the glass in your hand. We went a bit heavier than most gins on the dried lemon peel and steeped the botanicals for an unusually long time to release the essential oils in the zest and the result is even better than we had hoped.”
Wild Island Botanic Gin’s signature serve sees a return to a classic style of gin and tonic, using sliced lemon and a twist of peel to reinforce the fresh citrus notes.
The bottle’s distinctive expressionist watercolour interpretation of the island’s Kiloran Bay has been praised by designers. The brand also recently collaborated online with Pink Sheep Studio, and produced Harris Tweed lampshades that were colour matched to the bottle design and lit up the brand’s Facebook page.
Wild Island Botanic Gin is available to buy wholesale from Woodwinters and Sutherland Brothers, online at Drinkmonger.com and through all good independent wine and spirits merchants in Scotland.

Suggested Serves:

Wild Island Gin & Tonic - A simple classic, with a twist of added lemon and mint aroma.
  • 1 part Wild Island Botanic Gin
  • 2 parts good quality tonic water
  • 1 slice of lemon
  • 1 twist of lemon peel
  • 1 sprig of fresh mint
  • Fresh cubed ice
  • Half fill a highball glass with ice. Drop in a slice of lemon then fill the glass to the top with ice. Pour in a measure of Wild Island Botanic Gin followed by the tonic and lightly stir for a couple of revolutions to infuse the gin, the lemon, the ice and the tonic. Add a twist of lemon peel and a sprig of fresh mint for added aroma.

Wild Island Botanic Gin is on Facebook and Twitter.

 

Monday, 20 March 2017

5 Questions - Jason Barber, Dairy Farmer & Creator of Black Cow Vodka

5 Questions, Gerry's Kitchen, Black Cow Vodka, Vodka
Over the last few years the gin market has exploded and as a result, my gorgeous wife Nicola has switched from drinking vodka in favour of the juniper led spirit. Prior to her 'juniper epiphany', whenever we were out for drinks, we would always be scoping the bar looking for premium vodka brands in the Grey Goose, Chase or Ciroc mould, trying to find the cleanest and smoothest vodka that we could. Little did we know that there was another vodka out there that should have had top of our list - Black Cow Vodka.
Vodka is traditionally made by the distillation of either cereal grains or potato although sugar beet, molasses, grapes and rice have been known to have been used to produce the alcohol spirit.
Created by dairy farmer Jason Barber, Black Cow Vodka claims to be the world's only Pure Milk Vodka made entirely from the milk of grass grazed cows and nothing else. When I first heard about vodka made from milk, I really struggled to get my head around the idea but upon digging a little deeper into the brand, it seems that Jason has come up with something quite special.
So how does it work I hear you ask. It's quite simple really, although I would love to know how many attempts it took before Jason settled on his preferred process. The milk is separated into curds and whey. The curds are used to make cheese, the whey is fermented into a beer using a special yeast that converts the milk sugar into alcohol. This milk beer is then distilled and treated to a secret blending process. The vodka is then triple filtered and finished, before being hand bottled. Black Cow is made from the same milk that is used to make Barber’s 1833 cheddar, and Black Cow Deluxe Cheddar.
Is Jason as a genius distiller, mad inventor or somewhere inbetween? I'm not sure we'll ever know but by asking him 5 Questions, I hoped to find out a bit more about this modern day 'milky bar kid'.
5 Questions, Gerry's Kitchen, Black Cow Vodka, Vodka
Here's Jason's story;

How did you get started?

It all started when I was at school when I used to brew up orange juice for all the other pupils. My home brewing then changed to an interest and a passion to find the cleanest vodka on the planet. I think we have done it.

What’s the best piece of business advice you could give?

Pick a good partner who compliments all your weak points, I think I have done this too in Archie. (Paul Archard, co-owner) Also enjoy what you do.

Where would you like to see your business in 5 years time?

I would love our vodka to be renowned for being the best vodka in the world, and being able to buy it wherever.

If you could only enjoy Black Cow Vodka one way, what would it be & why?

That's a hard one as our vodka is great neat over ice with cheese, it also makes a great martini or in a cosmopolitan. As it brings a little cream to the party. If it was one way and no other, I would have to go for an expresso martini as milk obviously goes with coffee but also you get the creamy notes without the woody alcohol you get with some vodkas.

​​You can invite one person (living or dead) to your last meal – Who would it be and why? …and what’s on the menu?

Oh, that's easy! It would have to be Oliver Reed. Why? I think it would be fairly entertaining and I'm sure that he would appreciate black cow. On the menu we would have to start with oysters, lemon, Tabasco and Black Cow. This would be followed by duck with a little orange and Black Cow sauce or maybe a great British steak with a blue cheese sauce and of course a little Black Cow.

5 Questions, Gerry's Kitchen, Black Cow Vodka, Vodka

I would probably miss the pudding and move straight to the cheese board with some smelly cheeses and our cheddar, all washed down with some more black cow.

I was lucky enough to be sent a bottle of Black Cow Vodka to try out and I have to say that it is a mighty fine drink both neat over ice and as a classic vodka and tonic. Black Cow Vodka also makes a perfect base for a huge range of cocktails so keep an eye on Gerry's Kitchen for a full review of how I get on with my bottle of Gold Top.
With Mother's Day only a week away, check out these fantastic Black Cow Vodka gift packs to suit all budgets and get Mum a present to remember.
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This beautiful gift pack allows you to experience the whole milk - serve Black Cow Vodka over ice with Black Cow Vintage Cheddar, reuniting the curds and whey from the same milk.

The pack includes a 50ml Black Cow Vodka mini bottle and an 80g Black Cow Vintage Cheddar Truckle.

Price £12.00. Available from Black Cow www.blackcow.co.uk

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For something more luxurious, try the Black Cow Cocktail Shaker Gift Pack. Price from £99.00. Available from all Harvey Nichols stores and www.harveynichols.com and from the Black Cow online shop.

I would like to thank Jason for taking time out to answer 5 Questions and wish Black Cow Vodka all the best for the future.

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