2010, My Best Bits
With 2011 edging ever nearer, now seems as good a time as any to reflect on the year that was 2010. Its been a busy one, that’s for sure, and one full of cocktail discovery. Looking back, there are 5 stand-out moments….
Touring the Lab at 69 Colebrooke Row
The team at 69 Colebrooke Row generously hosted the inaugural meet of the LCS (see below) and Tony Conigliaro himself provided a rare behind the scenes tour of his on-site laboratory where many of the drinks are created. It is not an exaggeration to say I am more than a little in awe of this man. His search for excellence knows no bounds and the fruits of his endless labours are truly exquisite. It was a a rare privilege to gain such a personal insight into his work.
Seeing Molecular Mixology Close Up at Purl
The first ever London Cocktail Week ran in October this year and I took the opportunity to attend as many of the special events as I could. The highlight by far was the molecular mixology masterclass at Purl. Two of the owners, Tristan and Tom demonstrated a variety of techniques including the creation of foams/airs, and various uses for liquid nitrogen and dry ice. The evening was fascinating and really broadened my horizons on what the experience of drinking cocktails was all about. The full write up of this event can be found here.
The London Cocktail Society Christmas Party at Callooh Callay
Back in August, I joined forces with two fellow cocktail enthusiasts, Emma, Kate to establish the London Cocktail Society. Intended as a way to meet like-minded amateur cocktail enthusiasts, we had modest aspirations in the early days. Just four events later and we have a membership list of nearly 200! Our 2010 events concluded with a party at Callooh Callay during which we held a ‘Ready Steady Shake’ competition where members teamed up with each other to compete in an against the clock creation of a unique cocktail from a box of surprise ingredients. A fantastic night made all the better by the amazing team at Callooh Callay.
Being Inspired by Gin Production
Not for nearly 200 years has London had a new copper pot still for the production of London dry gin. This was clearly an unacceptable situation for the inspirational chaps behind Sipsmith gin. Owner Sam Galsworthy was kind enough to provide a tour of his distillery, located in Hammersmith, to members of the LCS. The learning about the gin (and vodka) made by the distillery was interesting enough, but most special for me was the opportunity to meet, and chat with Sam. His passion for his product is infectious and it was inspirational to see someone following their dream, and doing such a darn good job of it! The gin is amazing and it couldn’t have been created by a more deserving team.
Memories at Rules
Rules cocktail bar in Covent Garden is an under-recognised gem of a bar that serves some fantastic cocktails. The reason they make my top 5 moments of 2010 however, is for one drink, the Blue Moon. The drink itself is good, but it just so happened to smell exactly like the aromatherapy used in the hotel I stayed in with Mrs Thecocktailgeek on our honeymoon earlier this year. Upon smelling the drink, a flood of emotions were released, and we were instantly transported to that amazing time. The moment really confirmed what it is I love about cocktails. Sometimes they just catch you unawares and transport you back to a different place, you don’t get that with a pint of Stella!