Monday, 29 January 2018

Opening Date Announced for Fazenda Edinburgh

Independent restaurant operators City District Group, founders of Fazenda Bar & Grill, have announced they will open their Edinburgh doors on Friday 23rd February.

A £2m refurbishment of the 7000 sq ft site on George Street will include 175 covers incorporating a bar of 40 covers, plus a private dining room with seating for 8 guests. The interiors feature banquette seating in tan leather upholstery with Brazilian flourishes reflected in the golden glow of traditional-style chandeliers. Wine is prominently displayed throughout restaurant, with dramatic displays forming a central theme.

Fazenda’s Sales and Marketing Director, Tomas Maunier, commented: “Fazenda Edinburgh is inspired by the kind of restaurant you would find in the top areas of São Paulo or Rio de Janeiro. The experience is so versatile it allows everybody to enjoy it their own way. It’s a very sociable experience in a vibrant atmosphere with quality at its core, offering guests great value for money.”

The authentic gaúcho dining experience embraces rodizio, a unique Brazilian way of serving a variety of grilled meats carved at the table. For a set price, successions of prime cuts are served including chicken, lamb, pork and beef. A highlight is Fazenda’s signature picanha offering- a juicy, tender and flavourful cut from the cap of the rump, popular in Brazil. Fazenda ensures the experience is easy and enjoyable by allowing diners to eat at their own pace via a start/stop signalling system on every table.

Fazenda’s signature ‘picanha’ cut

Diners are also invited to visit Fazenda’s outstanding gourmet sides bar offering an extensive selection of salads, sushi, smoked salmon, fresh cut vegetables, cured meats, traditional Brazilian dishes, and more.

Francisco Martinez, Executive Head Chef for the group, commented: “The high quality of our produce is essential in delivering the authentic gaúcho experience. We carefully select our meats, just as we would if we were cooking for our friends back in Brazil, and limit the seasoning to the minimum so the natural flavours and textures of these great cuts shine through. The beauty of the experience is that you don’t get stuck with one cut, you go through a culinary voyage that allows you to enjoy a rainbow of flavours.” 

Francisco Martinez and Tomas Maunier 

Wine is also a key ingredient of the Fazenda experience, with a carefully-curated wine list offering diners a perfect accompaniment to every cut of meat.  Fazenda offers a selection of award-wining wines with a focus on South America, but also including some of the great players from the old world, ensuring guests experience a culinary journey they will not forget.

Tomas Maunier, continued: “We believe passion is the driving force behind a great restaurant. In South America, where we come from, life is all about sharing, and we want to share our passion for our roots and traditions with the people of Edinburgh.”

City District Group currently operates three Fazenda restaurants in Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Fazenda’s sister brand Picanha in Chester.

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Valentine’s at Malmaison Glasgow

Treat yourself and someone special to a sumptuous 3 course menu, with a Valentine's cocktail each for £99 per couple from Friday 9th to Wednesday 14th February, or upgrade to add a bottle of Champagne for £125 per couple

Valentine’s Menu by Chez Mal


  • Chicken liver mousse, Tokaji jelly & fig chutney, toasted brioche
  • Spiced Asian prawn & crayfish cocktail, sesame dressing, cucumber, Chinese leaf, coriander & chilli mayonnaise
  • Prime steak or beetroot carpaccio, pickled mushrooms, fried garlic crisps, Parmigiano- Reggiano & black truffle dressing
  • Two people sharing - Baked sea scallops, Duchess potatoes, mushrooms & white wine sauce


  • Grilled lemon sole, brown shrimp, cucumber butter, Anya potatoes & capers Normandy corn fed chicken breast, truffle leeks, pommes fondant & Chanterelle sauce
  • Lobster & truffle macaroni, bisque, lobster meat, tarragon, Gruyère & Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese sauce
  • Pumpkin ravioli, wild mushrooms, sage & pine nut butter
  • Two people sharing - Chateaubriand, 500g fillet, truffle creamed spinach, chunky fries, onion rings & Béarnaise sauce


  • Strawberry, shortbread & yoghurt cheesecake
  • Valrhona chocolate Pavé, passion fruit sorbet & cocoa nib tuile
  • Sticky toffee pudding, pecan caramel sauce & vanilla ice cream
  • Artisan cheese selection, crackers, quince & chutney, Old Amsterdam, Brie de Meaux, Beauvale, Munster, Valencay
  • Two people sharing - Baked Alaska, Italian meringue, cherry ripple ice cream, blackberries & Madeira sponge

Coffee & Champagne truffles

All prices include VAT at the prevailing rate. A discretionary service charge of 10% will be added to your bill (12.5% in London). For dietary requirements or more information, please speak with our Brasserie Manager.



Share Some Heart-Warming Aluna Cocktails With Your Loved One this Valentine’s Day

Share some heart-warming Aluna cocktails with your loved one this Valentine’s Day  

Aluna, a sublime blend of rums from Guatemala and the Caribbean with aromatic, natural toasted coconut flavours, is the perfect complement to a romantic night-in.

Its elegant bottle and lunar design also make Aluna a beautiful Valentine’s gift, for under £25.

We recommend an Aluna Hot Chocolate to fully embrace the cosy-night-in, but there are plenty of Aluna cocktails to try.

Aluna Hot Chocolate 

  • 50ml Aluna Coconut
  • Rich drinking chocolate
  • Stir Aluna into hot chocolate and garnish with toasted coconut flakes

More Aluna Cocktails to try...
  • -  Aluna poured over coconut water ice cubes

  • -  Aluna Apple with premium apple juice

  • -  Aluna Skinny Colada

  • -  Aluna Espresso Martini

  • -  Aluna Mojito

  • -  Aluna Hot Chocolate

  • -  Aluna Grapefruit Soda 


Think Pink and Fizz with BLOOM Gin for February 14th

Whether you and your partner are sharing a romantic day together or you are gathering friends for Galentine’s Day, BLOOM Gin will add some spark.

Give your partner or best-friend an elegant and sophisticated gift (that you get to enjoy too…)

BLOOM Gin Gift Box
RRP: £24.00 for 70cl

BLOOM Gin Cocktails 


  • 45ml BLOOM Gin
  • 20ml Rose Liqueur
  • 15ml Hibiscus Syrup
  • 35ml English Breakfast Tea
  1. Brew the tea with 35ml boiling water and stand for 3mins
  2. Combine with all other ingredients and shake over ice.
  3. Strain into a rocks glass and garnish with a strawberry


  • 50ml of BLOOM Gin
  • Add cubed ice
  • Top with premium tonic water
  • Garnish with 2 quartered strawberries

BLOOM Clover Club

  • 40ml BLOOM Gin
  • 15ml Peach Liqueur
  • 25ml Lemon Juice
  • 20ml Raspberry Syrup
  • 1 egg white

  1. Crack and separate the egg in a cocktail shaker
  2. add all the other ingredients and shake well
  3. Strain into a Coupette Glass and garnish with an edible flower
BLOOM French 75

  • 50ml BLOOM Gin
  • 25ml Lemon juice
  • 10ml sugar syrup
  1. Shake over ice and strain into a champagne flute
  2. Top with premium champagne or prosecco


Hard Rock Cafe Brings the Big Game to Glasgow


Hard Rock Cafe To Stay Open Late on 4 February 2018 to Celebrate



Glasgow, UK - On Sunday 4 February 2018Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow will be open late, especially for The Big Game. This year, the show-stopping sporting event is set to take place in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Guests at Hard Rock’s Big Game Viewing Party can enjoy a special game menu, available for one night only, as Hard Rock’s big-screen TVs project the game around the cafe.


For £10 per person, guests can have the Bar Package, which includes reserved seating, screens showing The Big Game and after midnight stadium snacks.


Alternatively, guests can go for The Big Game Package for £28.95 per person, which includes reserved seating, screens showing The Big Game, an appetizing platter including Tupelo Chicken Tenders, Hickory-Smoked Chicken Wings and Onion Rings, a choice of main course served on arrival (Hard Rock Cafe’s famous Original Legendary Burger or Hickory-Smoked Ribs), two drinks tokens, and finally, after midnight stadium snacks.


For £41.95 per person, guests can have the VIP Package, which consists of all of the above, as well as unlimited soda, unlimited tea and coffee after midnight and a goody bag.


Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow invites guests aged 18 and over to cheer on their favourite team from 10pm until the game finishes.


For more information, call 0141 353 8790 or visit


What:    Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow hosts the Big Game Viewing Party


Where: Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow

               179 Buchanan Street

                Glasgow, G1 2JZ


When:   Sunday 4 February 2018

From 10pm until the game finishes


Admission:          £10 per person for the Bar Package – Reserved seating, screens showing The Big Game and after midnight stadium snacks

£28.95 per person for the Big Game Package – Reserved seating, screens showing The Big Game, appetizing platter including Tupelo Chicken Tenders, Hickory-Smoked Chicken Wings and Onion Rings, choice of main course served on arrival (Original Legendary Burger or Hickory-Smoked Ribs), two drink tokens and after midnight stadium snacks 

                                £41.95 per person for the VIP Package – All of the above, plus unlimited soda, unlimited tea and coffee after midnight and goody bag

Ages 18 and over welcome

                               Note: BOOKING ESSENTIAL


Head to Rioja for a Spanish Romance this Valentines 🖤


Food. Flowers. Cava. Romance someone special at Rioja Finnieston this Valentines.


With the month of love around the corner, Glasgow’s leading Spanish restaurant, Rioja, is inviting all romantics to joy them this Valentines for a dreamy sharing menu. 


Whether you’ve just matched on Tinder and planning a first date, treating a sweetheart or even a friend, Rioja is the ultimate location for romance this Valentine’s Day. 


To help put love in the air, Rioja will pour a glass of artisan Spanish bubbles for every person dining on their special set sharing menu for £25.95 a head. And if that’s not enough to impress your beau, they will gift a fresh red rose to each table on Valentine's Day. 

 With the very best of Scottish and Spanish ingredients on the menu, Rioja dishes are always market fresh, full of intoxicating flavours and created using innovative cooking methods. Their Valentines menu is no exception. Starting with freshly baked bread and their infamous Spanish olives, embrace the vibrancy of the restaurant for a laidback meal. 

 You'll then enjoy two amuse bouche - a Spanish croquette with fois gras and a sherry reduction followed by an exceptional marinated Scottish salmon roulade with cheese and olives. 

The main event will see you choose three tapas from their specially crafted menu which includes monkfish and langoustines carpaccio with a beetroot gazpacho gel, aloe vera, and delicious pork trotters, black pudding, langoustines with Armagnac sauce. These are some of the imaginative dishes that you'll find on the menu. 

Desserts meanwhile are certain to wow. Homemade Spanish cheesecake is a customer favourite or for the chocolate lovers, a rich chocolate brownie topped with walnuts and fresh berries won't disappoint. 

 Lukas Krischke, general manager of Rioja Finnieston said: “Beautiful food, fresh flowers and chilled cava - is that not the perfect recipe for love?

“Whether you're looking to treat someone special mid-week or impress at the weekend we're running our menu all week for you to indulge. Join us in Rioja and enjoy a spot of Spanish romance.”


The menu is available from Monday 12th February until Sunday 18th February.  Set sharing menu includes freshly baked bread, Spanish olives and glass of cava £25.95. One rose will be gifted per table on Valentine's Day.


For reservations, full Valentine's menu, contact Lukas on 0141 334 0761 or book online at


Treat Your Valentine at Twenty Princes Street

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching ... why not spoil the one you love with a special Valentines dinner at Twenty Princes Street – only £49.50 per person including a cocktail on arrival, an exquisite 4-course dinner, coffee and petit fours.  With stunning views of the city skyline, its the perfect place to celebrate the most romantic night of the year!

Edinburgh’s Valentine’s Gin : An Expression of True Love

Gin lovers will be tickled pink by the latest limited-edition Edinburgh Valentine’s Gin, an ideal gift for the most romantic day of the year. 
Lovingly handcrafted, this exclusive small-batch gin will get you into the spirit for this day of love with its delicate floral notes and a pink hue from an infusion of rose petals and hibiscus. Edinburgh Valentine’s Gin also has added chamomile, lemon balm, lemongrass and Kaffir lime leaves to achieve sweet, floral notes which contrast with crisp, fresh hints of citrus.
 Edinburgh Gin’s Head Distiller, Dave Wilkinson, said:
 “At Edinburgh Gin, we love to share our passion for making truly distinctive gin. By blending botanicals including chamomile, lemon balm, lemongrass with distinctive, romantic floral tones of rose petals and hibiscus, we have created a gin that works perfectly with the indulgent flavours of the season. It makes the ideal Valentine’s gift for those seeking something unique for their loved ones.”
To compliment the beautiful gin, the art deco style bottle is adorned with a rose floral design and touches of pink and gold to create a truly stylish, romantic gift.
Edinburgh Valentine’s Gin works well with tonic, soda or one of our favourites, rose lemonade. Or, why not try it in one of our simple, yet indulgent cocktails, such as the sweet tasting “The First Kiss”, which combines it with our Raspberry Fruit Gin Liqueur (see recipe for The First Kiss below).  
Just 3,000 bottles of Edinburgh Valentine’s Gin (ABV 43%) are available in 70cl bottle from select specialist retailers and Edinburgh Gin distillery shop and online shop at at RRP £35.00.
The First Kiss
  • 35ml Edinburgh Valentine's Gin 
  • 15ml Edinburgh Gin’s Raspberry Fruit Liqueur
  • 60ml pineapple Juice 

  1. Shake with ice and strain
  2. Serve in a coupe and garnish with a raspberry 


Thursday, 25 January 2018

A Pizza Haggis - The One With a Wee Haggis on It.

If you love haggis, and love pizza, Edinburgh's new pizza restaurant @pizza has the perfect Burns Night on the menu this week.
Made with a sourdough base, the Pizza Haggis features classic tomato sauce, Scottish mozzarella, haggis, roast onion, sliced apple with chili, finished with whisky & thyme sauce and flat leaf parsley.

Available from Thursday 25th to Sunday 28th January.

The special recipe pizza comes paired with Edinburgh Beer Factory World Beer Award winners Bunk Edinburgh brown ale or Paolozzi lager, and a wee piece of tablet for £12.95, or £9.50 for the pizza on its own.

Located in the West End of Edinburgh, @pizza opened the doors to its 92-cover counter-serve restaurant in November 2017. Offering customers a large choice of quality toppings, every pizza is fully-customisable, and is created using 48-hour slow-proved sourdough or 100% spelt grain dough that is rolled and stretched on the counter for every order.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Valentine's with Berkeley Square Gin

Celebrate an elegant and sophisticated Valentine’s with Berkeley Square Gin.
Berkely Square London dry Gin is one of the world's most luxurious gins, distilled by hand in small batches since 1761. The hand-picked botanicals, including Kaffir Lime, lavender and basil, ensure that Berkeley Square makes the Classic Martini.
The ultra-smooth taste of the gin, with the surroundings of one of Mayfair's most opulent bars, is the combination for a date-night to remember.
Visit The Stafford or The Ritz for a Berkeley Square Classic Martini this Valentine;s Day.

If you intend to stay at home on February 14th, a bottle of Berkeley Square Gin makes a luxurious gift to be enjoyed within the comfort of your home.

Available to purchase from Harvey Nichols and Hedonism Wines.


Feeney’s Irish Cream is a Great Valentine’s Gift

Feeney’s Irish Cream Liqueur isn’t just for Christmas, it can be used to create a very romantic cocktail for this Valentine’s Day. Try making this tempting Feeney’s G&Tea cocktail:
  • Using a cocktail shaker add ice, add 40ml Feeney’s Irish Cream Liqueur
  • 10ml BLOOM Gin
  • 2 dashes of orange bitters
  • 5ml caramel syrup
  • 50ml cooled chamomile tea.  

Shake well and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with ½ a strawberry and a mint sprig – deliciously easy!
1 litre bottles of Feeney’s are available from: Tesco, Asda and from £12.00 per bottle. ABV: 17%
70cl bottles are available from:, and Amazon. RRP: £12.50 ABV 17%
BLOOM London Dry Gin is available from: Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, Harvey Nichols, Tesco, Asda, Ocado, and RRP: £24 for 70cl. ABV: 40%

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Restaurant Review - Alston Bar & Beef, Cathedral Gate, Corn Exchange Manchester


One of my favourite places to eat in Glasgow is Alston Bar& Beef, a fantastic restaurant hidden under Glasgow Central train station that specialises in steak and gin. Not content with offering thediners of Glasgow with top end prime beef and an almost endless selection of gin, owners Glendora Leisure recently opened a second Alston Bar & Beef in Manchester’s Corn Exchange. (The Alston name comes from the old street in Glasgow’s forgetten past where the Glasgow restaurant is now located)

Recently myself and Nicola were visiting Manchester and upon hearing that Gerry’s Kitchen would be in the city, we were kindly invited along to Alston Bar & Beef Manchester to see how it compared with the original.

Manchester’s Corn Exchange is a Grade II listed building which has had a colourful history. Originally built in 1837 as a gathering place for farmers to sell their grain before being demolished and rebuilt in 1897. Economic depression during the 1920s & 1930s followed by declining trade after the Second World War seen the trading floor fall into disuse. Jump forward thirty years and the building acted as home to the Royal Exchange Theatre Company as well as a filming location for the popular BBC television show, Brideshead Revisited, before becoming a gathering place for alternative communities and a large market up to the mid 1990s. After suffering extensive damage as a result of the 1996 IRA bomb attack, the building was renovated again and opened as the Triangle Shopping Centre with Adidas, O’Neill and MUJI opening flagship stores. 

The Triangle was relaunched as Corn Exchange Manchester in 2012 with plans to turn the building into a a food outlet and hotel and in 2014 demolition companies started the painstaking process of ripping out modern fixtures and fitting and restoring the building back to its Edwardian origins. 
The resulting Corn Exchange is a fantastic hub of restaurants and bar with a huge range of food options available. Keeping in character with the Glasgow Alston Bar & Beef, the Manchester restaurant is also a hidden gem with access to the restaurant through a entrance on Cathedral Gate before taking a flight of stairs down into a huge bar and restaurant space located in the bowels of the grand building. 

The dining area is huge but lowered ceilings with exposed air conditioning ducts plus art-deco style sliding glass doors help give the restaurant a cosy feel. No expense has been spared with the interior of the Alston Bar & Beef Manchester with marble bar and matching tabletops plus Victorian styled hexagonal tiling immediately catching the eye and despite the fact that this addition to the Alston brand is 200 miles away from the original, the interior designers have done a fantastic job to replicate the styling from Glasgow whilst adding something very unique to the Manchester restaurant scene.

Alston Bar & Beef do two things extremely well - Beef (obviously) and Gin, and as we had arrived a little early for dinner, we had time to relax with a pre-dinner drink before taking our table. With an extensive range of UK and world gins available, we struggled to choose but Nicola eventually picked one of her favourites, Harris Gin served with Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic while I decided to order something more ‘local’ and selected Three Rivers Gin which was served with Double Dutch Tonic.

Harris Gin is often known more for its award winning bottle design but the gin inside is definitely worthy of the beautiful packaging. It might smell like a traditional gin with juniper and coriander seed dominating the nose but the addition of locally foraged sugar kelp give a slight sweet finish on the palate which is balanced perfectly with the saltiness from the tonic. As for my own gin, distilled only a mile or so from the restaurant, Three Rivers Gin ticks all the right boxes with almond and orange peel and oats helping to create a creamy gin with a citrus bite. Double Dutch Tonic is the work of two sisters originally from the Netherlands but now living in London who wanted to create a range of mixers that complement the varying styles of gin that have turned up over the last few years. Their original tonic is less intense than others on the market and really allowed the flavours from the Three Rivers Gin to stand out.

The a la carte menu has a good selection of dishes that aren’t steak but as we were here for the beef, we wanted a good red wine to go with the main event. The wine list is pretty extensive with a good range of red, white and sparkling wines at budgets to suit everyone. We chose a bottle of Ochagavia Merlot from Chile which was an easy-drinking wine with a good balance of red fruit flavours and a slightly smoky finish - perfect for our Jasper cooked steak.

The restaurant serves up a great value pre-theatre menu but as we were eating a little later in the evening we were dining from the a la carte which is varied enough without being too overbearing. Nicola opted for a starter of Arbroath Smokie & Crowdie Roulade with Charred Corn, Baked Potato Foam and Parmesan Tuile. 

Big flakes of rich smoked haddock were bound with soft, crumbly fresh cheese before being rolled in toasted breadcrumbs. The charred corn brought a sweetness that was the perfect foil for the slightly acidic Crowdie while the Parmesan tuile added a salty bite to the dish. The baked potato foam didn’t really carry any real depth of potato flavour but that didn’t take away from this starter being a great example of texture and flavour balancing.

I’m still not sure how I managed to avoid the steak tartare but when our waitress asked for our order, I excitedly blurted out Lamb Belly! My starter of Tweed Valley Lamb Belly with Anchovy Kedgeree and Lemon & Coriander Oil was sublime. 

The slow cooked lamb belly was soft and tender yet crispy on the edges while the anchovy kedgeree brought just enough saltiness to cut through the sweet lamb. No kedgeree is complete without a boiled egg and the accompanying soft yoked egg was perfectly cooked and added further dimension to what was already a well flavoured dish. My starter was finished off with a drizzle of lemon and coriander oil which worked well with the lamb and acted as a pleasant palate cleanser.

East Lothian master butcher John Gilmour supplies Alston Bar & Beef with all of their Tweed Valley steaks, chosen from the best Limousine cross Aberdeen Angus cattle which is dry aged on the bone for a minimum of 35 days. In recent times, myself and Nicola have taken to ordering a large steak to share along with a couple of sides and tonight was no different as we settled on the 300g ribeye, cooked medium. 
The Josper Grill is a marvellous invention, a charcoal grill that doubles as a conventional oven which allows chefs to cook meat quickly and at intense heat whilst adding all the flavour that you would get from the hottest indoor barbecue.

There’s not much that I can say except that our ribeye steak was pretty much perfect. Well seasoned, well flavoured and cooked exactly as we like. Throw in a side of garlic and herb butter and you’ve got two happy diners.

Our two accompanying side dishes were both perfect. The hand cut chips, served in a cute copper cup, were crispy on the outside and fluffy inside and seasoned with a scattering of sea salt flakes. I’m not one to get overly excited about simple things like chips but these were fantastic and could easily imagine spending a lazy lunch hour sat at the bar without a care in the world as long as I had a cup (or two) of chips and a glass of chilled white wine.

Macaroni Cheese is a great accompaniment to a good steak - I’m not sure why but it could be something to do with the rich creamy cheese sauce acting as a foil to the iron rich meat - but what ever it is, Truffled Mac’n’Cheese takes it to another level providing that Chef hasn’t been too heavy handed with the truffle oil (or fresh truffle depending on the venue). This was pretty much bang on where it needed to be - the macaroni was cooked well with just a little bite but the overriding flavour was still the sharp cheesy sauce with subtle flavours of truffle doing enough to add a taste dimension that worked well with our perfectly cooked ribeye.

I’ve said in the past that the poached pear dessert at Alston is the best dessert in Glasgow and although we were both feeling quite full, we couldn’t not check to see if it was as good in Manchester as it is back home.

A lightly spiced, soft poached pear was served on top of a bed of toasted oat crumble with a copper pot of cream anglais and pear gel. The recipe travels well and this was the perfect way to end our meal. The pear was soft and juicy, the toasted oat crumbled added a balance of texture and the creme anglais wasn’t too sweet. I’ve not eaten too many desserts in Manchester but I might stick my neck out and say that the Alston poached pear pudding is the best in the city!

With dinner finished and a lengthy walk back to our hotel ahead of us, we decided to squeeze in one more drink before bracing the cold. This gave us time to get a quick look at ‘1837’, a cool speakeasy style bar hidden behind a velvet curtain. Named after the year that the original Corn Exchange was built, this bar allows diners to enjoy their meal in the restaurant before chilling with friends or family over a gin or two. Unfortunately the bar wasn’t open on the quiet Wednesday evening of our visit but I can imagine that come the weekend, 1837 is one of Manchester’s busiest yet best keep secrets.

So with our drinks finished, we made our way into the cold evening with the opinion that everything that Alston Bar & Beef do so well in Glasgow is replicated perfectly in Manchester.

We dined as guests of the restaurant but my review above is an honest account of our experience on the night and I would have no hesitation in recommending Alston Bar & Beef Manchester to anyone looking for quality and style in the northwest. We would like to thank the staff and management  for their hospitality and generosity on the night and wish them all the best for the future.

Keep up to date with news and offers from Alston Bar & Beef Manchester on Facebook and Twitter.


Wednesday, 10 January 2018

National Hot Toddy Day is on the 11th January celebrate it with The Dubliner!

With this cold and gloomy weather National Hot Toddy Day, which is on the 11th January, is a welcome celebration. The Dubliner has the perfect Hot Toddy recipe to keep you warm:

Inline images 1

  • Add 50ml The Dubliner Irish Whiskey
  • 25ml lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons of honey to a warmed heatproof glass. 
  • Top up the glass with boiling water, stir until all the ingredients are dissolved and mixed.
  • Garnish with a cinnamon stick.

The Dubliner is available from: Amazon, and     RRP: £22.50 for 70cl. ABV: 40%

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Happy Ginuary - without the calories

If you have opted for Dry Ginuary rather than Dry January, here are 3 Gin Cocktails to stimulate your taste buds (but not your waistband).

All under 100 calories per drink, after mixing.

Opihr Gin & Ginger (54Kcal)
For a more fiery twist, try swapping ginger ale for ginger beer.

  • 25ml Opihr Gin 
  • Light or Slimline Ginger Ale 
  • Fill a tall glass with ice, add Opihr Gin & top with a light or slimline Ginger Ale.
BLOOM Winter Berry G&T (70Kcal)

  • 25ml BLOOM Gin 
  • Fever Tree Naturally Light Tonic 
  • Garnish with fresh or frozen cranberries or blackberries
Thomas Dakin Tom & Mary (76Kcal)

  • 25ml Thomas Dakin Gin
  • 120ml tomato juice
  • 15ml lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon of Worcester sauce
  • 1/2 tsp horseradish sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Tabasco 
  • 8 coriander leaves
  • Splash of orange juice 
  1. Combine and stir all ingredients over ice
  2. Serve in a chilled hi-ball glass
  3. Top with a splash of orange juice
  4. Garnish with sprig of coriander, stick of celery and grounded black pepper


Sunday, 7 January 2018

60 Second Craft Beer Review - Cali-Belgique IPA by Stone Brewing Berlin

Since their launch back in 1996, Stone Brewing Co. have grown to become one of America’s most recognised independent craft brewers. Based in Southern California, the team at Stone have been making a name for themselves with big hitting beers including their flagship Stone Pale Ale and Arrogant Bastard Ale. 
In order to help satisfy worldwide demand for their flavoursome craft beers as well as opening up a distribution channel into Europe and the Balkans, Stone Brewing Berlin opened in the German capital and shortly after, Stone IPA became available in the UK - quickly became one of my favourite beers.
On a recent visit to my local Asda, I spotted the Stone ‘Gargoyle’ staring out at me from the shelf on a shining gold can of Cali-Belgique IPA, a twist on the classic IPA where the brewmaster in Berlin has taken a strain of Belgian yeast to create a new take on the classic. As the beer was rapidly approaching its best before date, Asda had reduced the beer to just 80p per can - needless to say, I filled my basket.

Cali-Belgique IPA (ABV 6.9%) from Stone Brewing Berlin

Bought at Asda for £0.80 for 330ml can - short best before date.

  • Pours with an airy foam head that collapses very quickly.
  • Pale golden in colour but very cloudy once settled.
  • Initially smells very much like a wheat beer before ripe bananas and clove spice invade the nose.
  • Medium carbonation.
  • Initially sweet to taste before bitter hops take over. Flavours of apricot and orange fight for attention but the cloves result in a slightly antiseptic bite. 

I’m a big fan of the beers from Stone Brewing, especially their very popular IPA, and I am also partial to some of the great beers from Belgium so had hoped that this mash-up would be my perfect brew however if fell a little short. The use of the Belgian yeast strain might have seemed like a great idea but the end result left the beer more Belgique and too far removed from the classic Stone IPA for my liking. I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy it but this beer won’t be making my top ten.

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