Archive | March, 2015

Woodford Reserve Classic American Cocktail Challenge

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Woodford Reserve Classic American Cocktail Challenge

Posted on 30 March 2015 by Chris Ford

Recently everyone’s favourite bourbon  Woodford Reserve set a group of bloggers including ourselves  the challenge  to create an innovative twist to a classic American cocktail. The guidelines were we could do this by experimenting with different sweetening agents (e.g. Sugar, honey, agave syrup, flavoured sugars), mixers, bitters and garnishes.

The classic American cocktails we could base your creations on are:

Old Fashioned
Julep
Manhattan
Whiskey Sour

I decided to go with the Julep, mainly because last year I entered a similar competition with Woodford and put my spin on the Old Fashioned so thought it was time for a change and I’m really happy with the results.

I decided to change my version in two ways, first instead of the traditional muddling of the mint to release the mint oils and flavour I decided to add the mint to boiled water and stir, I found this provided a much stronger mint flavouring,  the second change was instead of sugar for the sweeter I used Honey, again this added a more intense sweetness to the drink which over all Im very happy with, but how about you be the judge of how well I did?  here’s my cocktail in full :

 

The Honey Mint Julep

 

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons – boiling water, (easiest to pour from a kettle)
  • 6 – mint leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons – honey
  • 50ml – Woodford Reserve bourbon
  • Crushed ice
  • Mint sprigs, for garnish

 

Method

 

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Pour boiling water from the kettle into a small bowl.

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Add mint leaves; stir until wilted. Add honey; stir until dissolved.

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Let mixture stand until cool; remove mint. Combine 50ml bourbon with honey mint syrup.

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Pour bourbon mixture over crushed ice in frosted tumbler or tall glass. Garnish with mint sprigs.

and ENJOY!

 

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If you try it please let me know what you think, Woodford Reserve brand ambassador Tom Vernon will be judging the winning cocktail  which will then go on the cocktail menu of the South Place Hotel  for a month, not many people can say that!

 

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SILICON VALLEY: THE COMPLETE FIRST SERIES

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SILICON VALLEY: THE COMPLETE FIRST SERIES

Posted on 23 March 2015 by Chris Ford

From creator the  of Beavis and Butt-Head  and Office Space  Mike Judge brings this comedic look at the crazy world of Silicon Valley and the explosion of new tech start ups happening there right now.

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Inspired by Judge’s own experiences as a Silicon Valley engineer in the 80’s, the show follows the trials and tribulations of awkward computer programmer Richard (Thomas Middleditch – The Wolf of Wall Street), who lives in a “Hacker Hostel” along with his friends Big Head (Josh Brener – The Big Bang Theory), Gilfoyle (Martin Starr – This Is The End), and Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani – Sex Tape).

Under the watchful eye of Erlich (T.J. Miller – Transformers: Age of Extinction), a dotcom millionaire who lets them stay in his house for free (as long as he gets a 10% stake in their projects), the friends struggle to break into the elusive and lucrative market. Richard is stuck in a part-time job at tech company Hooli, and his obscure website, Pied Piper, is going nowhere fast. But when a colleague realises just how valuable the site’s compression algorithm is, Richard finds himself caught in the middle of an extreme bidding war between Hooli founder Gavin Belson (Matt Ross – American Horror Story) and independent billionaire venture capitalist Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch – The Master).

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SILICON VALLEY: THE COMPLETE FIRST SERIES is out on blu-ray and DVD from today and to celebrate HBO have kindly given us three copies of the boxset to giveaway,  for a chance to win just answer the following question :

 

What is the name of the cartoon Mike Judge created featuring two dysfunctional Metal Heads ?

 

Answers to be emailed  ‘enterthecomp@gmail.com by 1st April, uk entries only and the decision of Gentlemen’s Goods in final.

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Wetherspoon Spring Ale Festival

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Wetherspoon Spring Ale Festival

Posted on 23 March 2015 by Chris Ford

Wetherspoon across the UK are currently serving ten real ales from across the world alongside a selection of beers from the UK during a 17 day festival  on right now until  Sunday March 29 th.

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A total of 22 different hop varieties are being featured amongst the festival beers, including established varieties (Fuggles and Goldings) and newer varieties (Boadicea and Jester).

The overseas beers are; Spider Bite (Devils Backbone, USA), Shipwreck IPA (Lighthouse Brewery, Canada), Wee Heavy (Bodebrown Brewery, Brazil), Durban Pale Ale (Shongweni Brewery, South Africa), Hightail Ale (Mountain Goat Brewery, Australia), California Breakfast Ale (Golden Road Brewery, USA) 0’ Dwyer’s Irish Stout (Dungarvan Brewery, Ireland), JCIPA (Townshend Brewery, New Zealand), English IPA (Cerveza Fort Brewery, Spain) and ESA (Barley Brown’s Brewery, USA).

The UK beers include; Play it Again Sam (Phoenix), Monty Python’s Holy Grail (Black Sheep), Puffin Ale (Orkney), Lazy Dog (Wolf), Pocket Full of Rye (Brains), Mojo (Robinsons), New Moon (Hanlons) and New Dawn Ale (Daleside).

This weekend I took to my local Spoons to sample some of the festivals delights,  standouts for me were 0’ Dwyer’s Irish Stout and Spider Bite but if you are thinking of heading down yourself  ( and you have until Sunday)  heres a handy list of all the beer in the festival

GUEST ALE LIST

1 ELGOOD’S SPRING CHALLENGE 3.7 2 FESTIVAL BREW
2 HAWKSHEAD JESTER 3.7 1 FESTIVAL BREW
3 ROBINSONS MOJO 3.7 3 NEW, SEASONAL BEER
4 B & T BEDFORDSHIRE CLANGER 3.8 3 SPECIAL BREW
5 BATH COBBLESTONE 3.8 3 NEW, SEASONAL BEER
6 BANKS’S ARCHER 4.0 3 NEW, SEASONAL BEER
7 BLACK SHEEP MONTY PYTHON’S HOLY GRAIL 4.0 2 SEASONAL BEER
8 DEVILS BACKBONE SPIDER BITE 4.0 5 INTERNATIONAL BREWER – USA BANKS’S
9 EVERARDS ASCALON 4.0 3 SPECIAL BREW
10 PURITY RIVET 4.0 3 FESTIVAL BREW
11 MAULDONS BRONZE ADDER 4.1 4 NEW, SEASONAL BEER
12 HYDES PADDOCK WOOD 4.2 3 NEW, SEASONAL BEER
13 JENNINGS GOLDEN HOST 4.2 2 SEASONAL BEER
14 RUDGATE BREW NO.11 MILK STOUT 4.2 5 SPECIAL BREW
15 BRAINS POCKET FULL OF RYE 4.3 1 SPECIAL BREW
16 PHOENIX PLAY IT AGAIN SAM 4.3 1 SPECIAL BREW
17 CELT EXPERIENCE A FALSE DAWN 4.4 2 FESTIVAL BREW
18 HANLONS NEW MOON 4.4 3 FESTIVAL BREW
19 MORLAND THE TANNER’S JACK 4.4 3 SPECIAL BREW
20 OTTER OTTER’S PROGRESS 4.4 3 FESTIVAL BREW
21 DUNGARVAN O’DWYER’S IRISH STOUT 4.5 5 INTERNATIONAL BREWER – EIRE WADWORTH
22 LANCASTER ALBION CONNECTION 4.5 3 FESTIVAL BREW
23 MOUNTAIN GOAT HIGHTAIL ALE 4.5 4 INTERNATIONAL BREWER – AUSTRALIA HOOK NORTON
24 NOTTINGHAM SALSA 4.5 2 SPECIAL BREW
25 ORKNEY PUFFIN ALE 4.5 2 NEW BEER
26 WHARFEBANK OTHELIA GOLD 4.5 2 NEW, SEASONAL BEER
27 DALESIDE NEW DAWN 4.6 4 FESTIVAL BREW
28 HOOK NORTON INSPIRED 4.7 2 FESTIVAL BREW
29 WOLF LAZY DOG 4.7 3 SPECIAL BREW
30 ADNAMS JESTER 4.8 2 FESTIVAL BREW
31 CALEDONIAN MERMAN XXX 4.8 4 SPECIAL BREW
32 GOLDEN ROAD CALIFORNIA BREAKFAST ALE 4.8 2 INTERNATIONAL BREWER – USA ADNAMS
33 HILDEN NANSEN STREET 4.8 4 FESTIVAL BREW
34 ACORN SOVEREIGN IPA 5.0 2 FESTIVAL BREW
35 BATEMANS LINCOLNSHIRE RED 5.0 4 FESTIVAL BREW
36 CAMERONS VERMILLION 5.0 4 SPECIAL BREW
37 SHEPHERD NEAME BOADICEA IPA 5.0 2 FESTIVAL BREW
38 TITANIC WIT STOUT 5.0 5 FESTIVAL BREW / SPECIALITY BEER
39 VALE SPS 5.0 4 SPECIAL BREW
40 WADWORTH YE OLE ADMIRAL 5.0 2 FESTIVAL BREW
41 BARLEY BROWN’S ESA 5.1 2 INTERNATIONAL BREWER – USA MARSTON’S
42 RCH BOADICEA 5.3 2 FESTIVAL BREW
43 SALOPIAN INDIGENOUS 5.5 5 FESTIVAL BREW
44 TOWNSHEND JCIPA 5.5 2 INTERNATIONAL BREWER – NEW ZEALAND EVERARDS
45 INVERALMOND RASCAL LONDON PORTER 5.6 5 NEW, SEASONAL BEER
46 SHONGWENI DURBAN PALE ALE 5.7 2 INTERNATIONAL BREWER – SOUTH AFRICA BATEMANS
47 CERVECERIA FORT ENGLISH STYLE IPA 5.8 2 INTERNATIONAL BREWER – SPAIN SHEPHERD NEAME
48 BODEBROWN WEE HEAVY 6.0 4 INTERNATIONAL BREWER – BRAZIL CALEDONIAN
49 LIGHTHOUSE SHIPWRECK IPA 6.5 3 INTERNATIONAL BREWER – CANADA WYCHWOOD
50 WELTONS CHURCHILLIAN STOUT 6.6 5 SEASONAL BEER

 

for more info on the festival and to download some tasting notes head over to their real ale site  www.jdwrealale.co.uk

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Papa John’s Pizza no Quibble Guarantee

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Papa John’s Pizza no Quibble Guarantee

Posted on 18 March 2015 by Chris Ford

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Pizza is probably my favourite takeaway. Zero effort is involved, it’s delivered straight to your door and you don’t even need to use plates.
I’ve done my research, and after having sampled many pizza delivery chains and independent operations, Papa John’s has always struck me as a safe bet. For a start their bases are freshly made – and there’s a big taste difference between this and the frozen dough used by other companies. Toppings wise, the meat seems high quality and all the vegetables though are all freshly sliced in store which again to me makes a big difference.

So, even though I was already a fan, I will be upfront with you, Papa Johns offered me some free pizza. Now, my mother always told me it was rude to turn down free pizza so I graciously accepted although on the proviso I will say what I think and views are all my own as always…

Ok back to the Pizza

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Papa Johns have launched a new no quibble guarantee with all their pizza, you don’t like it what they deliver? No problem they will send you another pizza free of charge, no questions. Now I don’t know about you but when a guarantee like that is offered up the devil inside of me comes out, I’m looking extra hard for mistakes, problems, something wrong … anything to get me more free pizza!

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Well what can I say? I was out of luck. The pizza arrived bang on time, the toppings were delicious, it was hot and, well, lovely! Also included was a side box comprising of potato wedges and chicken wings. Still desperately looking for a quibble, I observed that the wedges weren’t as crispy as I’d prefer. But no biggie, and dipped in the provided sauces however they tasted great.

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So as me and the girlfriend settled down with our grub, she paid the ultimate price for free pizza, by suffering through my new Clint Eastwood western boxset (which – on a side note – was awesome)

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Would I order again? I already have! And still nothing to complain about… damn that perfectionist Papa John.

To find out more about Papa John’s connect with them in the following ways

Twitter @papajohnsuk

Facebook www.facebook.co.uk/papajohnsuk

Web : www.papajohns.co.uk

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ASSASSIN – Competition !

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ASSASSIN – Competition !

Posted on 10 March 2015 by Chris Ford

On a break from his duties as the landlord of The Queen Vic, Danny Dyer takes you on a journey through the murky London underworld when ASSASSIN is released on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Platforms on March 9th courtesy of Signature Entertainment.

A story of the most corrupt crime bosses in the London underworld, and one man’s crusade to bring them to justice. A killer for hire (Dyer) breaks the rules of his profession when he falls for a beautiful young woman. But when the most notorious gangland brothers in London (Martin & Gary Kemp) hire him to kill his girlfriend’s father, his world breaks down and he must turn against his notoriously fearsome employers and their gang to save the woman he loves.

dyer
Starring professional Londoner Danny Dyer along with both Martin Kemp and his brother Gary Kemp ASSASSIN has a really interesting cast and I found it a lot of fun.
Talking of Martin Kemp if you are regular reader you will know I interviewed him last year but in case you missed it head over here to check it out.

kemps

To celebrate the release we have been kindly given THREE copies of the Blu-Ray to give away and all you have to do to win them is tell me which famous Gangster twins did the Kemp brothers previously play?

Answers to enterthecomp@gmail.com
Three winners will be drawn at random on Friday 20th March.

ASSASSIN is out now on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital Platforms

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The Biggest Wastes of Police Time

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The Biggest Wastes of Police Time

Posted on 09 March 2015 by Chris Ford

james2

From Oscar© winner Danny Boyle, TV police comedy drama, Babylon: The Complete First Series, comes to DVD on 9th March 2015, courtesy of Entertainment One. James Nesbitt is Metropolitan chief constable Richard Miller who must deal with daily trials and tribulations from public nuisances, to serious threats, all whilst trying to maintain a positive public image.
To celebrate the  release we take a look at some of the biggest wastes of police time, which by the way, is illegal in itself (according to Section 5 of the Criminal Law Act) and just how bizarre, funny and weird these timewasters can really be.

hooker

HOOK(ER), LINE AND SINKER

In 2013, a man decided to explore his sexual side further by trying out some street products, however, what he discovered was in fact a huge breach of the “Sale of Goods Act”, he claimed the prostitute had made out that she was “better looking than she actually was”, so the man called the emergency service up immediately to report on this. He was not sold a replacement item.

contraband

CONTRABAND

In 2012, a couple reported that £10,000 worth of cannabis had been stolen from their marijuana farm that they’d been illegally growing. To make sure it was obvious how upset they were they decided to wave an air pistol in front of the police when they were arrested. They’ve now said bye to their garden and high to jail.

family issues

FAMILY ISSUES

In 2012, a 14-year old boy had the audacity to ignore his parent’s demands to turn off his games console and go to sleep; this resulted in a call being made to 999. The parents complained that their son would not go to bed and clearly thought this was a criminal matter. The only arrest made was on his parent’s pride.

rspca

RSPCA-IN’T US

In 2014, a man called the police to say he had a fly in his ear. The police had to explain they were too buzzy to deal with this time wasting call.
At the beginning of the year a father called the police to report that his out-of-control cat had trapped his family in their bedroom and was holding them hostage. “He’s charging at us, he’s at our door, bedroom door, he’s trying to attack us, he’s very, very, very, very hostile”, said the father. Thankfully, the police managed to capture the criminal.
On another occasion, a woman called to report a hedgehog she was “scared” of in her garden, when asked whether if it was alive of dead, she responded, “It’s not dead. It’s alive”. The call handler then calmed her down by explaining hedgehogs live in gardens.
A woman dialled 999 because her neighbour’s cat was giving her a “strange look”, nevertheless, the police patrol were not sent out.

 

garment

GARMENT GRIEVANCES

In 2014, a distressed call was made to the police saying, “Police please, I need to exchange my shoes”. The superintendent in charge later said, “We want the public to think very carefully before dialling 999”.
In 2013, a man lost his trousers, which in turned resulted in him losing his head too, he called the emergency services to alert them to this great loss. Unfortunately, his trousers were never found again. RIP.

takeaway

TAKE (‘EM) AWAY

In 2010, a caller insisted police action against a Chinese takeaway who was 45 minutes too late in feeding him, for that, immediate punishment was demanded. The corrupt takeaway eventually made his way to the rightful mouth and he was very lucky that he wasn’t taken away.
In 2013, a woman dialled 999 because she was delivered the wrong takeaway during the Christmas period. The police festively reminded her to only call the line with real emergencies. Little is known on whether she also complained to Santa Claus about receiving the wrong present too.

the heat

THE HEAT

In 2013 a woman was robbed of her own central heating. The lady in question called the emergency department to declare that someone had come to fix her boiler but, “it’s not as hot as it used to be, I think he must’ve stole some heat from me”. When asked if she’d tried to turn up her thermostat she asked, “What’s a thermostat?”.

drama

THE OFF SCREEN DRAMA

In 2013, a man watching The X Factor was mortified he was unable to put in a vote for his favourite act on the reality TV show and felt he had to do something about it, via 999. The issue lasted as long as his question, “I’m watching The X Factor and I can’t get through to make a vote… would you please telephone them yourself and put a vote on for me?”.

missing person

MISSING PERSON

Missing people are no joke, the heartbreak that ensues is enough to tear anyone apart, so you can imagine how serious the police took a call in 2014 when it was reported that a person was missing. “I went out about five minutes ago to have a fag and he’s gone”. The police man sympathetically asked, “who’s gone sorry?”, to which the man clarified, “my snowman”.

kidnapping

KIDNAPPING

In 2013, a woman called 999 and reported that she had been kidnapped, “”I can’t see anything, I’m wearing a blindfold. Wait, I’m trapped”. After a few more minutes she realised she was under her duvet covers. The suspicious quilt has since stopped kidnapping her.

 

creme

CRÈME DE LA CRÈME

The icing on the cake, of all the above calls made to 999, the following still remains unbeatable to this day. In 2008, a man called the police as he was having trouble breathing and was worried he was going to pass out, the dispatcher reassured him that an ambulance would be on the way but needed to clarify some further details, “Are you an asthmatic? What were you doing when you started having trouble breathing?”. Thankfully he cleared up his medical history, “running from the police”.

 

babylon

Babylon: The Complete First Series, available on DVD now, courtesy of Entertainment One.

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